Deaths in History on July 17

  • 521 Magnus Felix Ennodius, bishop and Latin poet (b. 474)
  • 656 Uthman ibn Affan, Third Caliph, oversaw standardization of the Qu'ran (644-56), assassinated
  • 855 Leo IV, Italian Pope (reigned 847-55), dies
  • 924 King Edward the Elder of England (899-924)
  • 1025 Boleslaw I Chobry [the brave], duke and king of Poland, dies
  • 1070 Boudouin VI, count of Flanders/Henegouwen, dies
  • 1345 Jacob Van Artevelde [Manner Man], Flemish broker, lynched
  • 1453 John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, English nobleman and military leader during the Hundred Years' War, killed in battle at 65 or 66 in the Battle of Castillon when his horse was fatally struck by an artillery shell and fell on top of him pinning him to the ground and allowing a French soldier to finish him off with a battleaxe
  • 1531 Hosokawa Takakuni, Japanese military commander (b. 1484)
  • 1571 Georg Fabricius, German poet, historian and archaeologist, dies at 55
  • 1588 Mimar Sinan, Ottoman architect and civil engineer for Sultans Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, and Murad III, dies at 99
  • 1627 Lieven de Key, Flemish master builder (Vleeshal), dies at about 67
  • 1645 Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, Scottish politician
  • 1704 Pierre-Charles Le Sueur, French fur trader and explorer (Minnesota River Valley), dies of yellow fever
  • 1709 Robert Bolling, English settler in Virginia (b. 1646)
  • 1746 Anthonie van de Heim, Dutch pension advisor (1737-46), dies at 53
  • 1753 Andre-Joseph Panckoucke, French book publisher/merchant, dies
  • 1762 Peter III, Emperor of Russia (1762), dies under mysterious circumstances in captivity at 34
  • 1766 Giuseppe Castiglione, Italian Jesuit brother and missionary to China, dies at 77

Adam SmithAdam Smith (1723-1790)

Scottish economist (Wealth of Nations) and moral philosopher, dies at 67

  • 1791 Martin Dobrizhoffer, Austrian Jesuit missionary (b. 1717)
  • 1793 Charlotte Corday, French revolutionary who murdered Jean-Paul Marat in a bath, is guillotined at 24
  • 1794 John Roebuck, English inventor and industrialist (b. 1718)
  • 1838 John Whites, hydraulic engineer, dies at 82

Charles GreyCharles Grey (1764-1845)

2nd Earl Grey, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Whig: 1830-34), dies at 81

  • 1863 J. Johnston Pettigrew, American lawyer and Confederate General in the American Civil War, dies at 35
  • 1864 Daniel McCook Jr, American Brigadier General (Union Army), dies at 29
  • 1864 Dirk Dark Curtius, attorney/liberal minister of Justice, dies at 71
  • 1878 Aleardo [Gaetano] Aleardi, Italian poet (Tre Fiumi), dies at 65
  • 1879 Maurycy Gottlieb, Ukrainian painter (b. 1856)
  • 1881 James Bridger, American scout, fur trader and mountain man par excellence, dies at 77
  • 1885 Jean-Charles Chapais, Canadian politician (considered Father of the Canadian Confederation), dies at 73

Dorothea DixDorothea Dix (1802-1887)

American pioneering nurse and social activist who created the first American mental asylums, dies at 85

  • 1893 Frederick A. Johnson, American politician (b. 1833)
  • 1894 Josef Hyrtl, Austrian anatomist, dies at 83
  • 1898 John Stuart Williams, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 80
  • 1903 James McNeill Whistler, American-British painter (Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 aka "Whistler's Mother"), dies at 69
  • 1912 Henri Poincaré, French mathematician (Poincaré conjecture), dies at 58
  • 1918 Alexandra Feodorovna [Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine], last Russian Tsarina (1894-1918), executed by firing squad at 46

Alexei NikolaevichAlexei Nikolaevich (1904-1918)

last Tsarevich of Russia and son of Tsar Nicholas II, executed at 13

  • 1918 Alexei Trupp, Russian footman and assistant of Tsar Nicholas II, executed at 62

Anastasia NikolaevnaAnastasia Nikolaevna (1901-1918)

Russian Grand Duchess, youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, executed at 17 by a group of Bolsheviks

  • 1918 Anna Demidova, Russian lady in waiting of Tsarina Alexandra, executed at 40
  • 1918 Eugene Botkin, Russian court physician of Tsar Nicholas II, executed at 53
  • 1918 Ivan Kharitonov, Russian cook of Tsar Nicholas II, executed around the age of 46
  • 1918 Maria Nikolaevna Russian Grand Duchess, 3rd daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, executed at 19 by a group of Bolsheviks

Nicholas IINicholas II (1868-1918)

last Tsar of Russia (1894-1917), executed by a Bolshevik firing squad in Yekaterinburg, Siberia at 50

  • 1918 Olga Nikolaevna, Russian Grand Duchess, eldest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, executed at 22 by a group of Bolsheviks
  • 1918 Tatiana Nikolaevna, Russian Grand Duchess, 2nd daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, executed at 21 by a group of Bolsheviks
  • 1922 Heinrich Rubens, German physicist, dies at 57
  • 1928 Alvaro Obregon, President of Mexico is assassinated
  • 1928 Giovanni Giolitti, 5x Prime Minister of Italy (1892-93, 1903-05, 1906-09, 1911-14, 1920-21), dies at 85
  • 1935 George William Russell, Irish nationalist, poet and artist, dies at 68
  • 1941 Emil Barth, German revolutionary (Social Democratic Party), dies at 62
  • 1943 Sir Patrick Duncan, Governor-general of the Union of South Africa (1937 to 1943), dies at 72
  • 1944 Hugh Rigby, English portrait painter (King George V 1928-32), dies
  • 1944 William James Sidis, American mathematician and child prodigy, dies from a cerebral hemorrhage at 46
  • 1945 Ernst Busch, German field marshal (WWII), dies at 60

Draža MihailovićDraža Mihailović (1893-1946)

Serbian WWII hero and war criminal, executed at 53

  • 1947 Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat in WW II (saved thousands of Jews), dies at 34
  • 1950 Evangeline Booth, the 4th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1865)
  • 1954 Dirk Berend Nanninga, Dutch painter, dies at 85

Henri FarmanHenri Farman (1874-1958)

British-French aviator who broke several aviation records, dies at 84

  • 1959 Eugene Meyer, American businessman and newspaper publisher (b. 1875)
  • 1959 Henri Pourrat, French writer (Le chasseur de la nuit), dies at 72
  • 1971 Gerald Nye, American politician and Republican US Senator from North Dakota (1925-1945), dies after mistakenly being prescribed penicillin to which he was allergic at 78
  • 1975 Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Georgian writer and public benefactor, dies at 82
  • 1975 Modoc, the elephant, dies at age 78 (oldest known nonhuman mammal)
  • 1980 Boris Delaunay, Russian mathematician (b. 1890)
  • 1989 Heinz Risse, German writer, dies at 91
  • 1990 Tony Pugsley, British rear-admiral (Walcheren attack (1944)), dies at 88
  • 1993 Ineke Shutter, choreography (Black Girl Goes to School), dies at 61
  • 1993 Scott Salmon, US choreographer (La Cage aux Folles), dies at 51
  • 1993 Vladimir Barmyn, Russian inventor (Stalinorgel), dies at 84
  • 1995 Joe Hutton, Northumbrian piper and shepherd, dies at 71
  • 1996 Geoffrey Jellicoe, English landscape architect, dies at 95
  • 1996 John William Fozard, British aircraft designer, dies at 68
  • 1996 Paul Touvier, French-Nazi WW II criminal, dies at 81
  • 2001 Katharine Graham, American publisher (The Washington Post during Watergate), dies at 84
  • 2003 David Kelly, Welsh UN weapons inspector (b. 1944)
  • 2004 Julian Hodge, British financier and multi-millionaire (Hodge Group), dies at 99

Edward HeathEdward Heath (1916-2005)

British Prime Minister (Conservative: 1970-74), dies of cancer at 89

  • 2005 Joe Vialls, Australian writer (b. 1944)
  • 2006 (Frank) "Mickey" Spillane, American mystery writer (I, The Jury), dies of pancreatic cancer at 88
  • 2007 Betsy Haworth, Church of England deaconess and minister, dies at 82
  • 2007 Júlio Redecker, Brazilian Politician (b. 1956)
  • 2009 Leszek Kolakowski, Polish philosopher (Conversations with the Devil), dies at 81
  • 2009 Leszek Kołakowski, Polish philosopher (b. 1927)
  • 2012 William Raspberry, American columnist (Pulitzer 1994), dies at 76
  • 2014 Henry Hartsfield Jr, American USAF Colonel, and NASA astronaut (STS-4; STS-41-D; STS-61-A), dies of complications from back surgery at 80
  • 2014 Ross Burden, New Zealand celebrity chef, dies at 45
  • 2015 Owen Chadwick, English historian, priest and university chancellor, dies at 99
  • 2019 Andrea Camilleri, Italian author (Inspector Montalbano novels), dies at 93
  • 2020 C. T. Vivian, American civil rights activist who worked with Martin Luther King, dies at 95

John LewisJohn Lewis (1940-2020)

American politician (Rep-D-Georgia) and prominent civil rights leader (Big Six), stops causing "good trouble" due to pancreatic cancer at 80