Deaths in History on May 21

  • 987 Louis V, last Carlovingians King of France (966-987), dies
  • 1254 Conrad IV, King of Germany, Jerusalem and Sicily, dies at 26

Henry VI of EnglandHenry VI of England (1421-1471)

King of England (1422-61, 1470-71), executed in the Tower of London at 49

  • 1481 Christian I, king of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, dies at 55
  • 1512 Pandolfo Petrucci, Italian ruler of the Republic of Siena (1500-12) during the Renaissance, dies at 60
  • 1524 Thomas Howard 2nd duke of Norfolk, general/premier, dies at about 80

Hernando de SotoHernando de Soto (c. 1500-1542)

Spanish conquistador and 1st European to discover the Mississippi River, dies of a fever while searching for gold, near the Mississippi River at about 46

  • 1607 John Rainolds, English scholar (b. 1549)
  • 1619 Hieronymus Fabricius Ab Aquapende Italian physician (De Formato Foetu), dies at 82
  • 1639 Tommaso Campanella, Italian theologian, philosopher and poet, dies at 70
  • 1647 Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, Dutch poet and playwright (Warenar), dies at about 65
  • 1650 James Graham, Marquis of Montrose "the Great Montrose", Scottish general, hanged at 37
  • 1664 Elizabeth Poole, English born Puritan American settler, first woman to found a town (Taunton), dies at 65
  • 1670 Niccolò Zucchi, Italian astronomer, dies at 83
  • 1686 Otto von Guericke, German scientist, inventor, and politician, dies at 83
  • 1690 John Eliot, English missionary in Massachusetts, dies at 85
  • 1703 Roemer Vlacq, Dutch admiral, dies in battle
  • 1719 Pierre Poiret, French mystic, dies at 73
  • 1725 Robert Haley, 1st Earl of Oxford and English premier (Whig, 1710-14), dies at 63
  • 1742 Lars Roberg, Swedish physician (b. 1664)
  • 1771 Christopher Smart, English poet & journalist (Ceremony of Carols), dies at 49
  • 1786 Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Swedish pharmacist and chemist (lemon acid), dies of mercury poisoning at 43
  • 1790 Thomas Warton, English critic and poet (Pleasures of Melancholy) British Poet Laureate (1785-90), dies at 62
  • 1806 Maria Antonia of Naples and Sicily, Princess of Asturias, dies at 21
  • 1810 Chevalier d'Éon [Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont], French spy, dies at 81
  • 1865 Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, Danish Archaeologist, created Stone, Bronze, Iron age system, dies at 76
  • 1879 Arturo Prat, Chilean naval officer (b. 1848)
  • 1894 August Kundt, German physicist, (sound vibration, test of Kundt), dies at 54
  • 1894 Emile Henry, French anarchist (b. 1872)
  • 1895 Mary Harris Thompson, 1st American woman surgeon, dies at 66
  • 1911 Williamina Fleming, Scottish-born astronomer (b. 1857)
  • 1915 Leonid Gobyato, Russian general (designed the portable mortar), dies in combat at 40
  • 1919 Victor Segalen [Max Anely], French ship's doctor and writer, dies
  • 1919 Yevgraf Fyodorov, Russian mathematician (b. 1853)
  • 1920 Venustiano Carranza, Mexican President (1917-1920), executed by army generals after his decision that the next President be a civilian (61)
  • 1924 Bobby Franks, American school boy killed by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, at 14
  • 1926 Ronald Firbank, British novelist (The Flower Beneath the Foot), dies at 40

Archibald PrimroseArchibald Primrose (1847-1929)

5th Earl of Rosebery, British Prime Minister (Liberal: 1894-95), dies at 82

  • 1933 John Henry Mackay, Scottish German author (Der Schwimmer), dies at 69
  • 1935 Hugo de Vries, Dutch botanist and geneticist who rediscovered Mendel's theory of heredity and for his work on genes (The Mutation Theory), dies at 87

Jane AddamsJane Addams (1860-1935)

American pacifist, social activist, feminist, author, co-founder of ACLU (Nobel Prize for Peace, 1931), dies at 65 [1]

  • 1949 Klaus Mann, German-American author (Mephisto), dies at 42
  • 1964 James Franck, German-born American physicist (Nobel Prize for Physics 1925), dies at 81
  • 1965 Geoffrey de Havilland, British aircraft designer, dies at 82
  • 1970 E. L. Grant Watson, Australian biologist (b. 1885)
  • 1973 Carlo Emilio Gadda, Italian engineer and writer (War Diary), dies at 79
  • 1973 Ivan Konev, Russian general (Marshal of the Soviet Union - led Red Army on WWII Eastern Front, commanded Warsaw Pact forces), dies at 75
  • 1978 Jo Spier [Joseph Spier], Dutch cartoonist and water color painter, dies at 77
  • 1981 Patsy O'Hara, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • 1981 Raymond Mccreesh, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • 1983 Kenneth Clark, English art historian (Civilisation), dies at 79
  • 1987 Archie Carr, American ecologist and zoologist (advocated for conservation of sea turtles), dies at 77
  • 1988 Bruno Frei [Benedikt Freistadt], Austrian Marxist journalist, dies at 91
  • 1988 Dino Conte Grandi, Italian Fascist politician and delegate to league of nations (1925-32), dies at 92
  • 1990 Moelvi Mohammed Farouk, Indian spiritual leader, murdered
  • 1991 Jean Van Joutte, Prime Minister of Belgium (1952-54), dies

Rajiv GandhiRajiv Gandhi (1944-1991)

Prime Minister of India (1984-89), assassinated at 46 by a suicide bomber from the LTTE

  • 1992 Brendan Mulholland, British reporter jailed for refusing to name his sources (Daily Mail), dies at 59
  • 1992 Elizabeth David, British cookbook writer (English Bread and Yeast Cookery), dies after a series of strokes at 72
  • 1992 Mrithi, gorilla (Gorilla in the Mist), dies at 24
  • 1993 John Frost, English soldier who led the defence of Arnhem Bridge during Operation Market Garden, dies at 80
  • 1994 Forsyth Hardy, Scottish documentary film pioneer, dies at 84
  • 1994 Giovanni Goria, Italian politician (Prime Minister of Italy, 1987-88), dies of lung cancer at 50
  • 1994 John Henry Weidner, Dutch-American resistance fighter, dies at 81
  • 1995 Kieron Walsh, British academic, dies at 46
  • 1995 Les Aspin, American politician, (Rep-D-Wisc, 1971-93) US Secretary of Defense (1993-95), dies of stroke at 56
  • 1996 Bobby Tulloch, ornithologist, dies at 67
  • 1996 Laurence Dowdall, Scottish lawyer, dies at 91
  • 1996 Mary Perot Nichols, American journalist, dies at 79
  • 2000 Barbara Cartland, English romance author (Camfield #69), dies at 98
  • 2000 Mark R. Hughes, American entrepreneur (b. 1956)
  • 2002 Niki de Saint Phalle, French sculptor, dies at 71
  • 2003 Frank D. White, American politician (b. 1933)
  • 2008 Brian Keenan, Irish Provisional IRA member who played a key role in Northern Ireland's peace process (1998), dies of cancer at 66
  • 2009 Allen Greenwood, British aeronautical engineer and aerospace executive, dies at 91
  • 2016 Marco Pannella, Italian politician and activist, dies at 86
  • 2020 Oliver Williamson, American economist (Nobel Prize for Economics 2009), dies at 87
  • 2022 Jiří Zídek Sr., Czech basketball center (considered best Czech player ever; FIBA European All-Star 1966, 67; USK Praha) and coach (USK Praha, Sparta Praha), dies at 78