On This Day

Deaths in History on May 11

  • 1304 Maḥmūd Ghāzān, 7th Mongol Empire ruler in Iran, dies at 32
  • 1610 Matteo Ricci, Italian Jesuit missionary (China), dies at 57
  • 1672 Charles Seton, 2nd Earl of Dunfermline, Scottish peer, dies at 57
  • 1708 Jules Hardouin Mansart, French architect, dies at 62
  • 1723 Jean Galbert de Campistron, French dramatist, dies at 66
  • 1777 George Pigot, Baron Pigot, British governor of Madras, dies at 58

Person of interestWilliam Pitt the Elder

1778 William Pitt the Elder, British Prime Minister (Whig, 1756-61, 66-68) known as the `Great Commoner', dies at 69

British Prime Minister (The Great Commoner) William Pitt the Elder
British Prime Minister (The Great Commoner)
William Pitt the Elder
  • 1779 John Heart, American farmer (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at about 68

MurderSpencer Perceval

1812 Spencer Perceval, British statesman and Prime Minister (1809–1812), assassinated by John Bellingham at 49

British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval
British Prime Minister
Spencer Perceval
  • 1849 Juliette Récamier, French socialite, dies at 71
  • 1857 Eugène François Vidocq, French criminal & police detective, dies at 81
  • 1871 John Herschel, English cataloguer of southern hemisphere stars, dies at 79
  • 1874 Franklin Buchanan, American first superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, dies at 73
  • 1881 Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Swiss writer (Journal Intime), dies at 59
  • 1887 Jean Baptiste Boussingault, French chemist, dies at 85
  • 1891 Edmond Becquerel, French physicist who studied the solar spectrum, magnetism, electricity and optics (photovoltaic effect), dies at 71

  • 1916 Karl Schwarzschild, German astronomer (Schwarzschild effect), dies at 42
  • 1920 William Dean Howells, American author (A Woman's Reason), dies at 83
  • 1927 Henry Martyn Robert, American soldier & parliamentarian (Robert's Rules of Order), dies at 90
  • 1927 Juan Gris, Spanish cubist painter, dies at 40
  • 1929 Jozef Murgaš, Slovak inventor, dies at 65
  • 1934 Orest Khvolson, Russian physicist & honorary member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (1920), dies at 81
  • 1935 Edward Herbert Thompson, American archaeologist (Mayan civilization), dies at 78
  • 1938 Arnold Sauwen, Flemish poet (Hours of Solitude), dies at 81
  • 1939 Evgenii Miller, Russian counter-revolutionary, dies at 71
  • 1943 Szmul Zygielbojm, Jewish-Polish socialist politician (Bund) and activist, commits suicide to protest Allied indifference to the Holocaust during WWII at 48
  • 1944 Henk Hos, Dutch resistance fighter, executed at 37
  • 1944 Walter Oesau, German fighter pilot (WWII), dies at 30
  • 1956 Walter S Adams, American astronomer & director of Mount Wilson, dies at 79

Person of interestJohn D. Rockefeller Jr

1960 John D. Rockefeller Jr., American financier & philanthropist, dies of pneumonia at 86

Financier and Philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr
Financier and Philanthropist
John D. Rockefeller Jr
  • 1962 Hans Luther, German politician (Chancellor, 1925-6), dies at 83
  • 1963 Herbert Spencer Gasser, American physiologist & Nobel laureate, dies at 74
  • 1965 Roger Vailland, French author, dies at 57
  • 1973 Grigory Kozintsev, Russian director, dies at 68
  • 1976 Alvar Aalto, Finnish architect (Finlandia House), dies at 78
  • 1978 John Clinge Doorenbos, Dutch journalist & poet, dies at 93

  • 1981 Hoyt J. Fuller, American editor (1st World magazine), dies at 57
  • 1981 Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist (Nobel 1969 - the study of the three-dimensional geometric structure of molecules), dies at 83
  • 1983 Zenna Henderson, American sci-fi author (Anything Box), dies at 65
  • 1985 Chester Gould, American cartoonist (Dick Tracy), dies at 84
  • 1985 Garmt Stuiveling, Dutch writer & poet (Ego & Echo), dies at 77
  • 1986 Henry P. McIlhenny, American philanthropist, dies at 76
  • 1987 James Jesus Angleton, American intelligence officer & head of counterintelligence for the CIA (1954-75), dies at 69

Person of interestKim Philby

1988 Kim Philby, British spy & Soviet mole who was a member of the "Cambridge Five", dies at 76

  • 1991 Ho Dam, North Korean foreign minister (1970-83), dies at 62
  • 1992 Carlos Herrera, American drink inventor (Margarita), dies at 90
  • 1992 Elizabeth McDonald, American inventor (Spic & Span), dies at 98
  • 1994 Alfred James Broomhall, British Protestant Christian medical missionary to China, dies at 82
  • 1994 Lewis B Puller, American writer (Pulitzer 1992), commits suicide at 48
  • 1995 David Avidan, Israeli poet, dies at 62
  • 1996 Joan Thirkettle, British journalist, dies at 48
  • 1996 Malcolm MacEwen, Scottish conservationist & communist activist, dies at 84
  • 1996 Nnamdi Azikiwe, 1st President of Nigeria (1963-66), dies at 91

Person of interestDouglas Adams

2001 Douglas Adams, English author (Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy), dies of myocardial infarction and a fatal cardiac arrhythmia at 49

  • 2002 Joseph Bonanno, Italian-American mafioso & crime boss of the Bonanno crime family, dies of heart failure at 97
  • 2002 Renaude Lapointe, French-Canadian journalist & senator, dies at 90
  • 2007 Malietoa Tanumafili II, Sovereign Ruler of Samoa, dies at 94
  • 2007 Bernard Gordon, American writer & producer (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers), dies at 88
  • 2011 Klaus Schlesinger, German writer, dies at 64
  • 2017 Jur Mellema, Dutch politician (CHU), dies at 93