Deaths in History on May 31

  • 455 Petronius Maximus, Roman senator, Emperor of Rome (455), lynched by an angry mob trying to escape Rome at 58 or 59
  • 1076 Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria and the last Anglo-Saxon earl, beheaded after rebelling against William the Conquorer
  • 1091 Hendrik van Verdun, bishop of Luik (1075-91), dies
  • 1198 Moses ben Solomon Ha-Cohen, rabbi of Mainz, dies
  • 1246 Isabella of Angouleme, queen consort of King John of England (1200-16) and Countess of La Marche, dies at about 58
  • 1349 Thomas Wake, English politician and baron (b. 1297)
  • 1408 Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, Japanese shogun, dies at 49
  • 1410 King Martin I of Aragon (b. 1356)
  • 1495 Cecily Neville, mother of Edward IV of England and Richard III of England, dies at 80
  • 1504 Engelbert II, Earl of Nassau-Dillenburg-Dietz and viceroy of Luxembourg, dies at 53
  • 1551 Aristotele "Basiano" da Sangallo, Italian set designer, dies
  • 1558 Philip Hoby, English politician (b. 1505)
  • 1567 Guido de Bres, Belgian theologian (b. 1522)
  • 1567 Pereguin de la Grange, French minister, martyr of Reform, dies
  • 1594 Tintoretto, Italian Mannerist painter and notable exponent of the Renaissance school, dies at 75
  • 1620 Willem Louis, earl of Nassau-Dillenburg, dies at 59
  • 1665 Pieter J. Saenredam, Dutch architectural painter, dies at 67
  • 1680 Joachim Neander, German clergyman (b. 1650)
  • 1740 Frederik Willem I, King of Prussia (1713-1740), dies at 51
  • 1747 Andrei Osterman, Russian statesman (b. 1686)
  • 1799 Pierre Lemonnier, French astronomer (b. 1715)
  • 1809 Ferdinand von Schill, Prussian officer who led rebellion against the French, dies at the Battle of Stralsund at 33
  • 1809 Jean Lannes, French marshal and friend of Napoleon Bonaparte, dies of his wounds from the Battle of Aspern-Essling at 40
  • 1831 Samuel Bentham, British mechanical engineer (b. 1757)
  • 1832 Évariste Galois, French mathematician (Group theory), dies at 20

Joseph GrimaldiJoseph Grimaldi (1778-1837)

English pantomimist and the "greatest clown in history", dies at 57

  • 1846 Philip Marheineke, German clergyman (b. 1780)
  • 1847 Thomas Chalmers, Scottish minister and 1st moderator (Free Church of Scotland 1843-47), dies at 67
  • 1848 Eugénie de Guérin, French writer (b. 1805)
  • 1849 Leonard du Bus de Gisignies, Governor-general of Neth-Indies, dies at 69
  • 1860 Peter Vivian Daniel, American jurist, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1841-60), dies at 76
  • 1862 Robert Hopkins Hatton, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies in battle at 35
  • 1880 Hippolyte Mège-Mouriés, French chemist and inventor of margarine, dies at 62
  • 1900 James Loudon, Dutch politician, Governor-General of Dutch East Indies (1872-75), dies at 75
  • 1900 John Power, Irish baronet and whiskey manufacturer (Powers Whiskey), dies in battle
  • 1906 Hermann Schell, German theologist (Gott und Geist), dies at 56
  • 1908 Louis-Honoré Fréchette, Canadian poet, dies at 68

Elizabeth BlackwellElizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910)

English-American physician who was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, dies at 89

  • 1914 Angelo Moriondo, Italian inventor (patented earliest known espresso machine, 1884), dies at 62
  • 1916 British Rear Admiral Horace Hood, dies in Battle of Jutland on board HMS Invincible, at 45
  • 1918 Alexander Mitscherlich, German chemist and son of Eilhard Mitscherlich, dies at 82
  • 1928 Ludwig Enneccerus, German politician and scholar, dies at 85
  • 1928 Manuel de Oliveira Lima, Brazilian historian, dies at 60
  • 1931 Felix-Raymond-Marie Rouleau, French Canadian cardinal, archbishop of Quebec (b. 1866)
  • 1952 Walter Schellenberg, German lawyer/headed spy (Venlo), dies
  • 1957 Leopold Staff, Polish poet (b. 1878)
  • 1960 Walther Funk, German economist and Nazi politician, dies at 69
  • 1960 Willem Elsschot [Alfons Josephus de Ridder], Flemish writer (Kas), dies at 78
  • 1961 Walter Little, Canadian politician (b. 1877)
  • 1962 Henry F. Ashurst, American Democratic politician (U.S. Senator from Arizona), dies at 87
  • 1963 Carel C. van Essen, Dutch archaeologist (Art of Ancient Rome), dies at 63
  • 1971 Massimo Campigli, Italian painter and illustrator, dies at 75
  • 1972 Walter Freeman, American physician (developer and practitioner of psychiatric surgery transorbital lobotomy), dies
  • 1973 Albert Egges van Giffen, Dutch archaeologist, dies at 89
  • 1974 Adelle Davis, American nutritionist and author (Let's Stay Healthy), dies of cancer at 70
  • 1976 Jacques Monod, French biochemist (1966 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine - genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis), dies at 66
  • 1976 Martha Mitchell [nee Beall], American wife of US Attorney General John Mitchell (who was kidnapped so she wouldn't talk), dies of multiple myeloma at 57
  • 1981 Giuseppe Pella, 31st Prime Minister of Italy, dies at 79
  • 1986 James Rainwater, American physicist (Nobel 1975-determining the asymmetrical shapes of certain atomic nuclei), dies at 68
  • 1986 Jane Frank, American artist, dies at 67
  • 1987 Roy Winsor, American producer (Search for Tomorrow, Love of Life), dies at 75
  • 1989 C. L. R. James [Cyril Lionel Robert James], Trinidadian historian (The Black Jacobins), journalist, intellectual and socialist, dies at 88 [1]
  • 1989 Charles A. Hufnagel, American surgeon (artificial heart valve pioneer), dies at 72
  • 1991 Angus Wilson, British writer (Wrong Set), dies at 77
  • 1992 Lutz Stavenhagen, German politician, top aid to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, dies of pneumonia at 52
  • 1993 Spuds Mackenzie [real name Honey Tree Evil Eye "Evie"], American advertisement dog for Bud Light beer, dies at 9
  • 1996 Paul Peter Piech, American-British print artist, dies at 76
  • 1996 Peter Gordon Dorrell, British archaeologist and photographer, dies at 68
  • 1996 Timothy Leary, American psychologist & advocate for psychedelic drug use, dies of cancer at 75
  • 1997 Anton Zischka, Austrian writer (Lebendiges Europa), dies at 92
  • 1997 James Bennett Griffin, American archaeologist, dies at 92
  • 1997 Rosie Will Monroe, American WW II icon (Rosie the riveter), dies at 76
  • 2002 Eric Boyland, English biochemist (cancer research), dies at 97
  • 2006 Miguel Ortiz Berrocal, Spanish abstract and figurative sculptor, dies at 72
  • 2006 Raymond Davis Jr., American chemist and physicist (2002 Nobel Prize for Physics - detection of neutrinos), dies at 91
  • 2006 Ryan Bennett, American sports journalist (MMA), dies after a car crash at 36
  • 2009 Danny La Rue, Irish drag entertainer, dies at 81
  • 2009 George Tiller, American pro-abortion physician, murdered while in church at 67
  • 2009 Millvina Dean, British civil servant who was the last living survivor of the RMS Titanic and also the youngest aboard, dies of pneumonia at 97

Chris HaneyChris Haney (1950-2010)

Canadian journalist who created the board game "Trivial Pursuit", dies at 59

  • 2010 Louise Bourgeois, French-born American sculptor, painter and print maker, dies at 98
  • 2010 Rubén Juárez, Argentine bandoneonist, dies of cancer at 62
  • 2013 Tim Samaras, American tornado chaser, dies from tornado injuries at 55
  • 2014 Martha Hyer, American actress (Day of the Wolves, Night of the Grizzly), dies at 89
  • 2019 Niara Sudarkasa [Gloria Albertha Marshall], American educator and anthropologist (Lincoln College), dies at 80
  • 2020 Christo [Javacheff], Bulgarian artist and wrapper (Running Fence), dies at 84