Deaths in History on May 17

  • 1189 Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Japanese general (b. 1159)
  • 1336 Emperor Go-Fushimi, 93rd Emperor of Japan (1298-1301), dies at 48
  • 1365 Louis VI the Roman, Duke of Bavaria and Elector of Brandenburg, dies at 37
  • 1395 Constantine Dragas, Serbian ruler of a semi-independent realm
  • 1464 Thomas de Ros, 9th Baron de Ros of Helmsley, English politician, executed at 36
  • 1510 Sandro Botticelli, Florentine Renaissance painter (Birth of Venus), dies at about 65
  • 1521 Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, English politician (b. 1478)
  • 1536 George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford, English brother of Anna Boleyn, beheaded after being tried and convicted for high treason and incest at 32
  • 1575 Matthew "Nosey" Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury (1559-75), dies at 68
  • 1591 Jost Amman, Swiss cartoonist, graphic artist and illustrator, dies at 51
  • 1606 Forges Dimitri #1, Tsar of Russia (1605-06), murdered
  • 1695 Cornelis de Heem, Dutch painter, dies
  • 1727 Catherine I, Empress of Russia (1725-27), dies at 43
  • 1729 Samuel Clarke, English philosopher and theologian, dies at 53
  • 1737 Claude Buffier, French philosopher and historian, dies at 75
  • 1740 Jean Cavalier, French Huguenot chief of the Camisards, dies at 58
  • 1765 Alexis Clairaut, French mathematician (Clairaut's theorem), dies at 52
  • 1797 Michel-Jean Sedaine, French dramatist (Le Philosophe sans le savoir), dies at 77
  • 1801 William Heberden, English physician (b. 1710)
  • 1807 John Gunby, Maryland Soldier in the American Revolutionary War (b. 1745)
  • 1809 Leopold Auenbrugger, Austrian physician (invented percussion as a diagnostic technique), dies at 86
  • 1822 Armand-Emmanuel, Duc de Richelieu, Prime Minister of France (1815-18, 1820-21), dies at 55

John JayJohn Jay (1745-1829)

US statesman and 1st US Chief Justice, dies at 83

TalleyrandTalleyrand (1754-1838)

French statesman, dies at 84

  • 1838 René Caillé, French explorer and the first European to return alive from the town of Timbuktu, dies at 38
  • 1838 René Caillié, French explorer (1st European to return alive from Timbuktu), dies of tuberculosis at 38
  • 1839 Archibald Alison, Scottish author (b. 1757)
  • 1851 Adriaan van Bevervoorde, Dutch journalist (Treason), dies at 31
  • 1868 Isami Kondo, Shinsengumi Commander (b. 1834)
  • 1875 John C. Breckinridge, American politician (14th US VP (1857-61 at just 36) and Confederate general, dies at 54
  • 1879 Asa Packer, railroad magnate and founder of Lehigh Valley Railroad (b. 1805)
  • 1883 Lydia Estes Pinklham, patent-medicine manufacturer, dies

John DeereJohn Deere (1804-1886)

American blacksmith and manufacturer (founded Deere & Company), dies at 82

  • 1888 Giacomo Zanella, Italian poet (b. 1820)
  • 1889 Marie of Prussia, Queen consort of Bavaria (1848-64), dies at 63
  • 1889 William Roxby Beverly, artist, dies
  • 1892 Gyorgy Klapka, Hungarian general/parliament leader, dies at 72
  • 1896 Sophus Tromholt, Norwegian astrophysicist and photographer (photographed Sami people), dies at 45 [1]
  • 1914 Peter Leyten, Bishop of Breda (1885-1914), dies at 79
  • 1916 Boris Borisovich Galitzine, Russian physicist (b. 1862)
  • 1917 Belva Ann Lockwood, American attorney (1st lady to argue in Supreme Court), dies at 86

Charles BrookeCharles Brooke (1829-1917)

2nd White Rajah of Sarawak (1868-1917), dies at 87

  • 1919 Guido von List, Austrian-German occultist and novelist (Jung Diethers Heimkehr), dies at 70
  • 1919 José Santos Zelaya, President of Nicaragua (1893-1910), dies at 65
  • 1927 Harold Geiger, U.S. Army aviation pioneer (b. 1884)
  • 1930 Herbert David Croly, US founder (New Republic), dies at 61
  • 1931 Johan [Eliza J] de Master, art critic/writer, dies
  • 1931 Timothy Cole, American wood engraver, dies at about 71
  • 1936 Panagis Tsaldaris, twice Greek prime minister (b. 1868)
  • 1938 Jakob Ehrlich, Austrian politician and Zionist, dies at 60
  • 1944 Félix Éboué, French colonial administrator, dies at 60
  • 1945 Jan van Geenen, resistance fighter, dies
  • 1945 Sasaki Shigetsu Sokei-an, founder 1st Zen Institute of America, dies
  • 1947 George William Forbes, Prime Minister of New Zealand (b. 1869)
  • 1955 Camilla Wedgwood, English anthropologist (Malekula: A Vanishing People in the New Hebrides), dies of cancer at 54
  • 1961 Frans van Cauwelaert, Flemish minister/mayor of Antwerp, dies at 81
  • 1963 John Wilce, physician and former head football coach at the Ohio State University (b. 1888)
  • 1964 Otto V. Kuusinen, Finnish politician (founder of the Finnish Communist Party), dies at 82
  • 1969 Joseph Beran, Czech archbishop of Prague/cardinal, dies at 80
  • 1970 Nigel Balchin, English author (My Executioner), dies at 61
  • 1973 Alexander J. Kropholler, Dutch architect and writer, dies at 91
  • 1974 Ernest Nash, German-American photographer and archaeologist, dies at 75
  • 1978 Selwyn Lloyd, British politician (Foreign Secretary, 1955-60; Exchequers, 1960-62; Leader of the House of Commons, 1963–64; Speaker of the House of Commons, 1971-76), dies of a brain tumor at 73
  • 1981 Jeannette Ridlon Piccard, 1st US woman free balloon pilot, dies
  • 1985 Bobby Ewing, (Patrick Duffy) killed off on Dallas
  • 1987 Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish economist and economist (Nobel 1974), dies at 88
  • 1989 Dan Alderson, American scientist (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and sci-fi fandom figure, dies of diabetes at 47
  • 1994 Willian Noel Moffet, Irish architect, dies at 82
  • 1995 Paul D. Stoop, American vice-admiral (WW II-Coral Sea), dies at 90
  • 2000 Donald Coggan, 101st Archbishop of Canterbury (1974-80), dies at 90
  • 2001 Frank G. Slaughter, American novelist and physician (b. 1908)
  • 2002 Dave Berg, American cartoonist (The Lighter Side of...), dies at 81

James Chichester-ClarkJames Chichester-Clark (1923-2002)

Irish politician, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (1969-71), dies at 79

  • 2003 Frank "Pop" Ivy, American and Canadian football coach (b. 1916)
  • 2004 Ezzedine Salim, leader of Iraqi Governing Council (b. 1943)
  • 2004 Jørgen Nash, Danish artist (b. 1920)
  • 2006 Captain Nichola Goddard, Canadian soldier (b. 1980)
  • 2006 Cy Feuer, American playwright (b. 1911)
  • 2006 Eric Forth, British Member of Parliament (b. 1944)
  • 2006 John Marsden, Australian lawyer, and gay rights activist, dies of stomach cancer at 64
  • 2007 Lloyd Alexander, author (b. 1924)
  • 2009 Mario Benedetti, Uruguayan journalist, novelist, and poet, dies from respiratory and intestinal problems at 88
  • 2010 Walasse Ting, Chinese-American painter (b. 1929)

Jorge Rafael VidelaJorge Rafael Videla (1925-2013)

Argentine military officer and dictator (1976-81), dies from complications from a fall at 87

  • 2014 Gerald Edelman, American biochemist (Nobel 1972), dies from natural causes at 84
  • 2019 Herman Wouk, American novelist (The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War), dies at 103
  • 2021 Buddy Roemer, American politician (Governor-D+R-Louisiana 1988-1992, Rep-D-LA, 1981-88), dies at 77