Deaths in History on January 21

  • 304 Saint Agnes (martyred) (b. 291)
  • 879 Boudouin with the Iron Arm, earl of Flanders, dies
  • 917 Erchanger, Duke of Swabia (c. 880)
  • 1059 Michael I Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople (1043-59) whose excommunication by Rome caused the Great Schism, dies (b. c. 1000)
  • 1118 Pope Paschal II, born Raniero (1099-1118), dies
  • 1519 Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Spanish explorer executed on charges of treason at about 42 [birthdate undocumented, born c. 1475; exact death date uncertain, may have been as early as 15 January)
  • 1527 Juan de Grijalva, Spanish conquistador (c. 1489)
  • 1546 Azai Sukemasa, Japanese samurai and warlord (b. 1491)
  • 1596 John Ligarius, German theologist/prime minister, dies at 66
  • 1609 Joseph Justus Scaliger, French inventor of "Julian Period", dies at 68
  • 1670 Honorat de Brueil seigneur de Racan, French aristocrat playwright and poet, dies at 80
  • 1683 Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st earl of Shaftesbury, dies at 61
  • 1686 Nicolas-Francois Blondel, French architect, dies
  • 1699 Obadiah Walker, English writer (b. 1616)
  • 1704 Willem B Schepers, Dutch merchant/ship owner, dies at about 83
  • 1706 Adrien Baillet, French scholar and critic, dies at 56
  • 1710 Johann Georg Gichtel, German mystic and religious leader, dies at 71
  • 1722 Charles Paulet, 2nd Duke of Bolton, English supporter of William III of England (b. 1661)
  • 1731 Thomas Woolston, English theologian (b. 1669)
  • 1773 Alexis Piron, French dramatist (La Métromanie), dies at 83
  • 1774 Mustafa III, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1717). Reigns 1757 to 1774. Dies at 56

Louis XVILouis XVI (1754-1793)

King of France (1774-93), beheaded during the French Revolution at 38

  • 1795 Samuel Wallis, English explorer (Wallis Island), dies at 66
  • 1809 Josiah Hornblower, American statesman (b. 1729)
  • 1814 Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, French writer and botanist (Paul et Virginie), dies at 77
  • 1815 Matthias Claudius, German poet (Death and the Maiden), and journalist (Der Wandsbecker Bote), dies at 74
  • 1823 Cayetano José Rodríguez, Argentine cleric, journalist and poet (b. 1761)
  • 1831 Achim von Arnim [Ludwig Joachim von Arnim], German Romantic poet and writer (Des Knaben Wunderhorn),u dies at 49
  • 1859 Henry Hallam, British lawyer and historian, dies at 81
  • 1870 Alexander Herzen, Russian writer (b. 1812)
  • 1871 John J Rochussen, gov-general of Neth-Indies (1845-51), dies at 73
  • 1872 Franz Grillparzer, Austrian playwright (Sappho/Libussa), dies at 81
  • 1879 John Blair Scribner, American magazine and book publisher, dies of pneumonia at 28
  • 1881 Wilhelm Matthias Naeff, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1802)
  • 1892 John Couch Adams, English astronomer (co-discover Neptune), dies at 72
  • 1901 Elisha Gray, American inventor (telephone prototype), dies at 65
  • 1903 Hermanus J A M Schaepman, Dutch clergyman/politician, dies at 58
  • 1914 Theodor Kittelsen, Norwegian artist (b. 1857)
  • 1919 Gojong, Emperor Gwangmu of Korea (1897-1907), dies at 66

Vladimir LeninVladimir Lenin (1870-1924)

Russian Marxist Revolutionary and Soviet Leader (1917-24), dies of a stroke at 53

Camillo GolgiCamillo Golgi (1843-1926)

Italian physician and medical researcher (Nobel Prize in Medicine-1906), dies at 81

  • 1927 Floris H Verster, Dutch painter/cartoonist/etcher, dies at 65
  • 1928 George Washington Goethals, American army general and civil engineer who supervised the construction of the Panama Canal, dies at 69
  • 1932 Lytton Strachey, English biographer and critic (Benson Medal 1923), dies at 51
  • 1933 George A. Moore, Irish novelist (b. 1852)
  • 1944 Gustaaf DFL Schamelhout, Flemish physician/writer, dies at 74
  • 1944 Heinrich zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, German major and pilot, shot down
  • 1945 Rash Behari Bose, Indian revolutionary leader against the British Raj in India, dies at 58

George OrwellGeorge Orwell (1903-1950)

British author (Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four), dies at 46

  • 1955 Maarten Pleun Vrij, Dutch lawyer and criminologist, dies at 59
  • 1957 Arthur L Bowley, English statistician/economist, dies at 87
  • 1962 André Lhote, French painter and art historian (Traité du paysage), dies at 76
  • 1963 Franz Jung, German writer and political activist, dies at 74
  • 1968 Will Lang Jr., American magazine executive (b. 1914)
  • 1971 Richard B Russell, (Sen-D-Ga), dies at 73
  • 1974 Jan Arends, Dutch poet/author, dies at 48
  • 1974 Lewis L Strauss, head US Atomic Energy Comm (1953-58), dies at 78
  • 1977 Sandro Penna, Italian poet, dies at 70
  • 1978 Freda Utley, British scholar and author. (b. 1898)
  • 1981 James Stronge former Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament, assassinated by IRA, alongside his father Norman
  • 1981 Norman Stronge, former Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament, assassinated by IRA alongside son James
  • 1984 Giannis Skaribas, Greek writer, dramatist, and poet (b. 1893)
  • 1985 James Beard, American culinary expert and author (Delights & Prejudices), dies at 81
  • 1987 Charles Goodell, American politician (b. 1926)
  • 1987 Pieter G Buckinx, Flemish writer (7th Day), dies at 83
  • 1994 Basel al-Assad, Syrian president Hafez al-Assad's son and chosen successor, dies in car accident at 31
  • 1995 Flavio "Negao" Pires da Conceicao, drug Trafficker, dies at 25
  • 1995 John Halas, Hungarian-American cartoonist and animator (Animal Farm), dies at 82
  • 1996 René Marc Jalbert, sergeant-at-Arms at the National Assembly of Quebec (b. 1921)
  • 1996 Roman Cieślewicz, Polish French artist and graphic designer, dies at 66
  • 1996 Sam Green, industrialist/inventor, dies at 88
  • 1997 Colonel Tom Parker [Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk], Dutch-born talent manager (Elvis Presley), dies at 87
  • 1997 Dennis Main-Wilson, British TV and radio producer (Marty, Till Death Us Do Part), dies of lung cancer at 72
  • 1997 Michael Duane, British progressive educationalist and author, dies at 81

Byron de la BeckwithByron de la Beckwith (1920-2001)

American white supremacist, dies at 80

  • 2003 Paul Haines, American-born Canadian poet (b. 1933)
  • 2004 Yordan Radichkov, Bulgarian writer and playwright (The Tied Up Balloon), dies at 74
  • 2005 John L. Hess, American journalist (b. 1917)
  • 2005 Theun de Vries, Dutch writer (The Girl with the Red Hair), dies at 97
  • 2006 Bedanand Jha, Nepalese politician
  • 2006 Ibrahim Rugova, Kosovar nationalist writer and President of Kosovo (1992-2006), dies at 61
  • 2007 U;Nee, Korean pop artist (b. 1981)
  • 2008 Marie Smith Jones, last native speaker of the Eyak language (b. 1918)
  • 2008 Pam Barrett, Canadian politician (b. 1953)
  • 2011 Dennis Oppenheim, American conceptual artist (b.1938)
  • 2012 Jonathan Idema, American torturer, kidnapper and con-artist, dies from Aids complications at 55
  • 2012 Roy John Britten, American molecular biologist (repeated DNA sequences in eukaryotic genomes), dies of pancreatic cancer at 92
  • 2013 Alden Winship Clausen, American banker (President of World Bank), dies at 89
  • 2015 Leon Brittan, British politician, Home Secretary and member of the European Commission, dies at 75
  • 2015 Martin Honeysett, British cartoonist (Punch, Private Eye), dies at 71
  • 2017 Emma Tennant, English writer (Pemberley: Or, Pride and Prejudice Continued), dies at 79
  • 2019 Harris Wofford, American politician (Sen-D-Pennsylvania 1991-94), head of AmeriCorps, dies at 92