On This Day

Deaths in History on May 12

  • 912 Leo VI Sophos, Byzantine Emperor (886-912) and writer (Problematica), dies at 45
  • 1003 Gerbert, French scholar, dies in Rome
  • 1003 Pope Sylvester/Silvester II, [Gerbert van Aurillac], 1st French Pope (999-1003), dies
  • 1012 Sergius IV, [Pietro Crescentii], Italian Pope (1009-12), dies
  • 1382 Johanna I, Queen of Naples/Provence, dies
  • 1465 Thomas Palaeologus, Despot of the Despotate of Morea
  • 1634 George Chapman, English dramatist/interpreter, dies
  • 1641 Thomas Wentworth, 1st earl of Strafford and Viceroy of Ireland, beheaded at 48
  • 1649 Isaac Doreslaer, English lawyer/diplomat, murdered
  • 1684 Edme Mariotte, French physicist and priest
  • 1699 Lucas Achtschellinck, Flemish painter (b. 1626)
  • 1708 Adolf Friedrich II of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (b. 1658)
  • 1737 Cornelis van Alkemade, Dutch historian, dies at 83
  • 1748 Thomas Lowndes, English astronomer (b. 1692)
  • 1759 Lambert-Sigisbert Adam, French sculptor, dies at 58
  • 1784 Abraham Trembley, Swiss naturalist (first to study freshwater polyps or hydra), dies at 73

  • 1792 Charles Simon Favart, French dramatist, dies at 81
  • 1796 Johann Peter Uz, German poet (Theodicee), dies at 75
  • 1801 Nicholas Repnin, Russian statesman (b. 1734)
  • 1814 Robert Treat Paine, American judge (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at 83
  • 1838 Jędrzej Śniadecki, Polish writer, physician, chemist (creation of modern Polish terminology in the field of chemistry), dies at 69
  • 1843 Charlotte von Kalb, German writer, dies at 81
  • 1845 August Wilhelm Schlegel, German poet, translator and critic, dies at 77
  • 1845 János Bacsanyi, Hungarian poet (b. 1763)
  • 1852 John Richardson, Canadian writer (War of 1812), dies at 55
  • 1856 Jacques Philippe Marie Binet, French mathematician (b. 1786)
  • 1860 Charles Barry, British architect, dies at 64
  • 1864 Abner Monroe Perrin, Confederate brigadier general, dies in battle at 37

Person of interestJ.E.B. Stuart

1864 J.E.B. Stuart [James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart], Confederate General, dies at 31

Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart
Confederate General
J.E.B. Stuart
  • 1867 Friedrich William Eduard Gerhard, German archaeologist (b. 1795)
  • 1871 John F W Herschel, British astronomer (Catalogue of Nebulae), dies
  • 1876 Henri-François-Alphonse Esquiros, French poet and writer (Evangile du peuple), dies at 63
  • 1876 Georgi Benkovski, Bulgarian revolutionary, brutally killed by the Turks (b. 1843)
  • 1878 Catherine Beecher, American educator (championed higher education for women), dies at 77
  • 1897 Ulrika "Minna" Cant-Johnstown, Finnish playwright, dies at 53
  • 1897 Willem Roelofs, Dutch painter and lithographer, dies at 75

  • 1906 Gabriel C. Wharton, American civil engineer and Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 81
  • 1907 J K Huysmans, writer, dies at 59
  • 1916 James Connolly, Irish socialist (founder of the Irish Socialist Republican Party), dies at 47
  • 1918 Abel Hoadley, Australian confectioner (Violet Crumble), dies at 73
  • 1921 Emilia Pardo Bazán, Spanish countess and writer (Pascual López: Autobiography of a Medical Student), dies at 68
  • 1925 Alfred Milner, British governor (Cape Colony) and colonial administrator, dies at 71
  • 1925 Amy Lowell, American imagist poet (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) 1926, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 51
  • 1930 Pieter Jelles Troelstra, Dutch politician (SDAP), dies at 70

Person of interestJózef Piłsudski

1935 Józef Piłsudski, Father of the Second Polish Republic who served as its Chief of State (1918-22), Marshall of Poland and later its de facto leader (1926-35), dies at 67

Statesman and First Marshall Józef Piłsudski
Statesman and First Marshall
Józef Piłsudski
  • 1944 Arthur Quiller-Couch, Cornish novelist and editor (The Oxford Book Of English Verse 1250–1900), dies at 80
  • 1951 Oscar DePriest, (Rep-D-Ill), dies at 80
  • 1956 Hendrik P Marchant, Dutch minister of Education, dies at 87
  • 1962 Dick Calkins, co-author (Buck Rogers), dies at 67
  • 1965 Roger Vailland, French playwright (La Truite), dies at 57
  • 1966 Felix Martin Julius Steiner, German Heer and Waffen-SS officer (b. 1896)
  • 1967 John Masefield, British writer and poet (Salt-Water Ballads), Poet Laureate (1930-67), dies at 88

Person of interestNelly Sachs

1970 leonie "Nelly" Sachs, German Swedish poet and playwright (Nobel prize for Literature 1966), dies at 78

  • 1970 Wladyslaw Anders, Polish general (WW I, WW II), dies at 78
  • 1977 Luc van Brabant, Flemish writer and erotic poet, dies at 67
  • 1981 Benjamin Sheares, President of Singapore (1971-81), dies at 73
  • 1982 Humphrey Searle, writer (20th Century counterpoint), dies at 66
  • 1985 Jean Debuffet, French painter and sculptor (Landscape with 2 Personages), dies at 83
  • 1986 Elisabeth Bergner, dies at 85
  • 1988 Paul Osborn, American playwright (Mornings at 7), dies at 86
  • 1989 Joe Valdez Caballero, creator of hard taco, shell, dies at 81
  • 1990 Andrei Kirilenko, Russian member of Central Committee of Communist Party, dies at 83
  • 1994 Alfred Lane Beit, connoisseur, dies at 91
  • 1994 David Brooks, psychologist, dies at 91
  • 1994 John Smith, British Labour Party chairman (1992-94), dies at 55
  • 1994 Erik Erikson, American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst who coined the phrase "identity crisis", dies at 91
  • 1995 Giorgio Belladonna, Italian bridge player (16 x World C'ships; 10 x European C'ships, Italy open team-of-four), dies of lung cancer at 71
  • 1995 Reza Abdoh, theatre Director, dies at 32
  • 1996 Hubert William Dean, air armaments specialist, dies at 84
  • 1996 Robert Edwin Hall, mountaineer/businessman, dies at 35
  • 1998 Hermann Lenz, German writer Swabian Chronicles), dies at 75
  • 1999 Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia 1993-1999 (b. 1910)
  • 1999 Saul Steinberg, Romanian-American cartoonist and illustrator (The New Yorker), dies at 84
  • 2001 Alexei Tupolev, Russian aircraft designer (b. 1925)
  • 2003 Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French UN High Commissioner for Refugees (b. 1933)
  • 2003 Michael Richardson, British investment banker and advisor to Margaret Thatcher known as "Mr Privatisation", dies at 78
  • 2005 Martin Lings, English Islamic scholar (b. 1909)
  • 2006 Sonny Montgomery, American politician (Rep-D-Mississippi 1967-97), dies at 85
  • 2007 Mullah Dadullah Akhund, Taliban military leader (b. 1966?)
  • 2008 Robert Rauschenberg, American artist (b. 1925)
  • 2008 Irena Sendler, Polish social worker, WWII heroine (b. 1910)
  • 2011 Harry Danielsen, Norwegian educator and politician, dies at 74
  • 2014 H. R. Giger, Swiss Oscar-winning surrealist artist, dies from injuries from a fall at 74
  • 2015 Ruth Mompati, South African politician and Secretary of Nelson Mandela, dies at 89
  • 2016 Delbert L. Latta, American politician (Rep-R-OH, 1959-89 ), dies at 96
  • 2017 Mauno Koivisto, President of Finland (1982-94), dies at 93