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 or 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 dies in Rome at about 56
  • 1634 George Chapman, English dramatist, poet and translator of Homer, 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 (invented Newtons cradle and discovered the eye's blind spot), dies (b. c. 1620)
  • 1699 Lucas Achtschellinck, Flemish painter (b. 1626)
  • 1708 Adolf Friedrich II of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (b. 1658)
  • 1737 Cornelis van Alkemade, Dutch historian, author and collector of antiquities, dies at 83
  • 1748 Thomas Lowndes, English astronomer, founder of the Lowndean professorship of astronomy at Cambridge University (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 (rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster, dies at 64
  • 1864 Abner Monroe Perrin, Confederate brigadier general, dies in battle at 37
  • 1867 Friedrich William Eduard Gerhard, German archaeologist (b. 1795)
  • 1871 John F. W. Herschel, British astronomer (Catalogue of Nebulae), dies at 79
  • 1876 Georgi Benkovski, Bulgarian revolutionary, brutally killed by the Turks (b. 1843)
  • 1876 Henri-François-Alphonse Esquiros, French poet and writer (Evangile du peuple), dies at 63
  • 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 Joris-Karl Huysmans, French writer (Against the Grain), 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

Józef PiłsudskiJózef Piłsudski (1867-1935)

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

  • 1944 Arthur Quiller-Couch, Cornish novelist and editor (The Oxford Book Of English Verse 1250–1900), dies at 80
  • 1951 Oscar DePriest, American politician (Rep-D-Ill), dies at 80
  • 1956 Hendrik P. Marchant, Dutch minister of Education, dies at 87
  • 1962 Dick Calkins, American comic strip artist and co-author of Buck Rogers), dies at 67
  • 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

Nelly SachsNelly Sachs (1891-1970)

German-Swedish poet and playwright (O the Chimneys - 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
  • 1985 Jean Dubuffet, French painter and sculptor (Landscape with 2 Personages), dies at 83
  • 1988 Paul Osborn, American playwright (Mornings at 7), dies at 86
  • 1989 Joe Valdez Caballero, American 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, British politician and art philanthropist, dies at 91
  • 1994 Erik Erikson, American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst who coined the phrase "identity crisis", dies at 91
  • 1994 John Smith, British Labour Party chairman (1992-94), dies at 55
  • 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, Iranian born American theater director, dies of AIDs at 32
  • 1996 Hubert William Dean, British air armaments specialist, dies at 84
  • 1996 Rob Hall, New Zealand mountaineer, dies on Mt Everest 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 Michael Richardson, British investment banker and advisor to Margaret Thatcher known as "Mr Privatisation", dies at 78
  • 2003 Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French UN High Commissioner for Refugees (b. 1933)
  • 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 Irena Sendler, Polish social worker, WWII heroine (b. 1910)
  • 2008 Robert Rauschenberg, American artist (b. 1925)
  • 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
  • 2018 Dennis Nilsen, Scottish serial killer, dies at 72
  • 2022 Robert McFarlane, American Marine Corps veteran and civil servant (National Security Adviser, 1983-85), involved in the Space Defense Initiative, and Iran-Contra Affair, dies at 84