On This Day

Deaths in History on July 12

  • 783 Bertrada of Laon, Frankish queen sometimes referred to as "Bertha Broadfoot", and mother of Charlemange the Great, dies
  • 1073 Johannes Gualbertus, Italian monk/saint, dies
  • 1429 Jean de Gerson, French theologian (Theologica mystic), dies at 65
  • 1441 Ashikaga Yoshinori, Japanese shōgun (1429-41), assassinated in evening play by the Akamatsu family at 48
  • 1450 Jack Cade is slain in a revolt against English King Henry VI

Person of interestErasmus

1536 Desiderius Erasmus, humanist/priest (Novum instrumentum omne), dies at 69

Humanist and Theologian Erasmus
Humanist and Theologian
  • 1545 Maria Manuela van Portugal, niece of Spanish King Philip II, dies
  • 1575 Renée of France, duchess of Ferrara and daughter of French King Louis XII, dies at 63
  • 1584 Steven Borough, English explorer, dies at 58
  • 1633 Simon Besler, German composer, dies at 49
  • 1640 Henry Casimir I, count of Nassau-Dietz, dies
  • 1664 Stefano della Bella, Italian printmaker (b. 1610)
  • 1682 Jean Picard, French astronomer, dies at 61
  • 1693 John Ashby, English admiral
  • 1708 William of Nassau de Zuylenstein, Earl of Rochford, Dutch soldier and diplomat, dies
  • 1712 Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland (1658-59), dies at 85

  • 1749 Charles de la Boische, Marquis de Beauharnois, Governor of New France

Person of interestAlexander Hamilton

1804 Alexander Hamilton, US Founding Father and 1st Secretary of the Treasury (1789-95), killed by Vice President Aaron Burr in pistol duel near Weehawken at 49

1st US Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton
1st US Secretary of Treasury
Alexander Hamilton

Person of interestWilliam Howe

1814 William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe, British Military Leader (commander of British forces in the American Revolutionary War), dies at 84

Military Leader William Howe
Military Leader
William Howe
  • 1835 David Douglas, Scottish botanist (Douglas fir), dies from falling in to a pit trap while surveying Mauna Kea in Hawaiʻi at 35
  • 1844 Charles-Louis Panckoucke, French publisher, dies at 63
  • 1845 Henrik Wergeland, Norwegian poet (Creation, Humanity, and Messiah) and author, dies at 37
  • 1849 Dolley Madison, 4th First Lady Of The United States (b. 1768)
  • 1850 Robert Stevenson, Scottish civil engineer (Bell Rock Lighthouse, Scotland), dies at 78
  • 1874 Fritz Reuter, German novelist, dies at 63
  • 1892 Cyrus West Field, American financier noted for success of 1st transatlantic cable, dies at 72
  • 1898 Paul Voulet, French captain/mass murderer in Senegal, dies
  • 1899 Esquire Mauritius A de Savornin Lohman, Governor of Suriname, dies at 67
  • 1902 Pieter Caland, Dutch hydraulic engineer (New Waterway), dies at 74
  • 1910 Charles Stewart Rolls, British auto manufacturer (Rolls-Royce Ltd), dies at 32
  • 1916 Aritius S Talma, Dutch minister of Agriculture, dies at 52
  • 1917 François Fournier, Swiss-French postage stamp forger, dies at 71
  • 1918 Dragutin Lerman, Croatian explorer, dies at 54
  • 1918 William McComb, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 89

Person of interestGertrude Bell

1926 Gertrude Bell, British archaeologist (Desert & The Sown), dies at 57

Archaeologist and Writer Gertrude Bell
Archaeologist and Writer
Gertrude Bell
  • 1929 Robert Henri, American painter (The Eight) and leader of Ashcan school of painting, dies at 63

  • 1933 Willem H Drucker, lawyer, dies at 45
  • 1934 Ole Evinrude, Norwegian-American industrialist and inventor (outboard marine engine), dies at 57

Person of interestAlfred Dreyfus

1935 Alfred Dreyfus, French Jewish artillery officer (Dreyfus Affair), dies at 75

Jewish Artillery Officer Alfred Dreyfus
Jewish Artillery Officer
Alfred Dreyfus
  • 1945 Boris Galerkin, Russian mathematician (b. 1871)
  • 1945 Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, German field marshal (German Air Force-WW II), dies at 49
  • 1946 Ray Stannard Baker, American journalist (Puliter Prize 1940), dies at 76
  • 1949 Douglas Hyde, first President of Ireland (b. 1860)
  • 1950 Elsie de Wolfe, American socialite and interior decorator (b. 1865)
  • 1956 Maurice Lippens, Belgian governor of Congo (1921-23), dies at 80
  • 1961 Mazo de la Roche, Canadian author (b. 1879)
  • 1966 D T Suzuki, Zen Buddhism scholar, dies in Tokyo Japan at 96
  • 1980 John W Davis, President (WV State college), dies at 92
  • 1981 Ben Seijes, historian (WWII), dies at 73
  • 1988 Joshua Logan, Broadway producer (South Pacific), dies at 79 of palsy
  • 1988 Raymond W Goldsmith, US economist, dies at 83
  • 1990 Richard R Briggs, dies after short illness at 71
  • 1993 Dan Eldon, British-Kenyan photojournalist, killed in Somalia while working for Reuters at 22
  • 1994 David Malcolm Lewis, English historian, expert in Greek Epigraphy, dies at 56
  • 1994 James Bysse Joll, British historian, dies at 76
  • 1996 (Andrew) Rodger Waterson, Scottish zoologist, specializing in malacology (mollusks) and entomology (insects), dies at 84

  • 1996 John Boon, English publisher (MiIls and Boon), dies at 79
  • 1998 Serge Lemoyne, French Canadian artist (b. 1941)
  • 2000 Charles Merritt, Canadian Army officer and recipient of the Victoria Cross during World War II, dies at 98

Person of interestEdward Lee Howard

2002 Edward Lee Howard, CIA Case Officer and alleged Soviet spy, dies at 50 after breaking his neck during a fall

Alleged Soviet Spy Edward Lee Howard
Alleged Soviet Spy
Edward Lee Howard
  • 2004 Jean Ruth Adams, American entomologist (insect pathogens and viruses), dies at 75 or 76
  • 2004 Betty Oliphant, co-founder of National Ballet of Canada (b. 1918)
  • 2005 John King, Baron King of Wartnaby, British businessman and CEO of British Airways after its privatization, dies at 87
  • 2007 Stan Zemanek, Australian radio personality (b.1947)
  • 2007 Mr. Butch, Iconic Boston street figure (b. 1951)
  • 2008 Tony Snow, former speechwriter for Presidents George H. W. Bush and press secretary for George W. Bush (b. 1955)
  • 2009 Simon Vinkenoog, Dutch writer and poet, dies at 80
  • 2010 Harvey Pekar, American comic book writer (American Splendor), dies at 70
  • 2010 James P. Hogan, British sci-fi author (Giants' Star), dies at 69
  • 2013 Amar Bose, American entrepreneur and academic (M.I.T., Bose Corporation), dies at 83
  • 2017 Scharlette Holdman, American death penalty mitigation specialist, dies at 70
  • 2018 Tom Gallagher, American diplomat, gay activist, and 1st Foreign Service officer to publicly come out in 1976, dies at 77