On This Day

Deaths in History on November 20

  • 869 King Edmund of East Anglia
  • 967 Aboe al-Faradj al-Isfahani, Arabic author (Book of Liederen), dies
  • 1348 Stefano Colonna, Roman senator, dies in battle against Roman revolutionaries by Porta Tiburtina
  • 1437 Thomas Langley, bishop of Durham, cardinal and lord chancellor (b. 1363)
  • 1480 Eleonora van Austrian, translator, dies
  • 1518 Marmaduke Constable, English soldier (battle of Flodden), dies after swallowing a frog, at about 61
  • 1527 Wendelmoet "Weyntjen" Claesdochter, 1st Dutch woman burned as heretic
  • 1529 Karl von Miltitz, German papal nuncio (met with Martin Luther), drowns at about 39
  • 1591 Christopher Hatton, English politician (b. 1540)
  • 1612 John Harington, English Elizabethan courtier, writer (Orlando Furios) and inventor of the flush toilet, dies at about 52
  • 1651 Mikołaj Potocki, Polish soldier who fought Cossack rebellions, dies at about 56
  • 1662 Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands (b. 1614)
  • 1669 Arnold Geulincx, Flemish philosopher (Cholera), dies at 45
  • 1675 Francisco de Moura y Cortereal, Spanish Vicroy of Sardinia and Governor of Hapsburg Netherlands (1664-68)
  • 1678 Karel Dujardin, Dutch painter and etcher (Learned Dog), dies at about 56
  • 1704 Charles Plumier, French botanist (Frangipani genus Plumeria is named after him), dies at 58

  • 1713 Thomas Tompion, English clock maker (cylinder tunnel), dies at 74
  • 1737 Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach, German born Queen of Great Britain, consort to King George II, dies at 54
  • 1741 Melchior de Polignac, French diplomat, Cardinal and poet, dies at 80
  • 1750 Wilhelmus Schortinghuis, Dutch Christian theologist, dies at 50
  • 1764 Christian Goldbach, German mathematician, dies
  • 1778 Francesco Cetti, Italian Jesuit priest and scientist, dies at 52
  • 1856 Farkas/Wolfgang Bolyai, Hungarian mathematician, dies at 81
  • 1863 James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin & Kincardine and Governor (Jamaica), dies at 52
  • 1882 Henry Draper, American amateur astronomer (photos of the Moon, Orion Nebula), dies of pleurisy at 45
  • 1887 Louis Gallait, Belgian historical painter (Egmont & Receiver), dies at 77
  • 1888 Nathaniel Currier, American lithographer (Currier & Ives), dies at 75
  • 1889 August Ahlqvist, Finnish poet (Suomalainen Runousoppi), dies at 63
  • 1898 John Fowler, English engineer (London Metropolitan Railway), dies at 81

BattleTom Horn

1903 Tom Horn, American gunfighter and outlaw, hanged to death at 42

Old West Lawman, Outlaw and Bounty Hunter Tom Horn
Old West Lawman, Outlaw and Bounty Hunter
Tom Horn
  • 1908 Georgy Voronoy, Russian mathematician (Voronoi diagram), dies at 40

Person of interestLeo Tolstoy

1910 Leo Tolstoy [Lev Nikolayevich], Russian novelist (Anna Karenina, War & Peace), dies of pneumonia at 82

Novelist Leo Tolstoy
Novelist
Leo Tolstoy
  • 1925 Alexandra, Danish princess and Queen of Great Britain, consort to Edward VII, dies at 80
  • 1934 Willem de Sitter, Dutch scientist and cosmologist (developed theoretical models of the universe based on Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity), dies at 62

Person of interestJohn Jellicoe

1935 John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, British Admiral of the Fleet in World War I (Battle of Jutland), dies of pneumonia at 75

British Admiral of the Fleet John Jellicoe
British Admiral of the Fleet
John Jellicoe
  • 1936 Jose A Primo de Rivera, Spanish lawyer and politician (founder of Spanish Falange), executed at 33

  • 1938 Enzo Matsunaga, Japanese writer (b. 1895)
  • 1938 Edwin Hall, American physicist (discovered Hall effect), dies at 83
  • 1938 Maud of Wales, Queen of Norway, spouse of King Haakon VII, dies at 68
  • 1944 Sekio Nishina, Japanese inventor (kaiten-suicide submarine), dies at 21
  • 1945 Francis William Aston, British chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1877)
  • 1947 Wolfgang Borchert, German writer, dies at 26
  • 1952 Benedetto Croce, Italian philosopher (La Critica), dies at 86
  • 1954 Clyde Cessna, American aviator and airplane manufacturer, dies at 74
  • 1957 Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Russian-Lithuanian artist, dies at 82
  • 1959 Alfonso López Pumarejo, 16th President of Colombia (Liberal: 1934-38 and 1942-46) and statesman (President of UN security council 1948), dies at 73
  • 1960 Ya'akov Cahan, Hebrew poet and writer, dies at 79
  • 1962 Jasper McLevy, American socialist mayor of Bridgeport Ct, dies at 84

Person of interestFrancisco Franco

1975 Francisco Franco, Spanish dictator (1936-75), dies at 82

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco
Spanish Dictator and General
Francisco Franco
  • 1976 Trofim Lysenko, Soviet biologist and agronomist, dies at 78
  • 1977 Maxie Wander, Austrian writer (Good Morning My Lovely), dies at 44
  • 1978 Vasilisk Gnedov, Russian poet (b. 1890)
  • 1978 Giorgio De Chirico, Italian painter (founded the scuola metafisica art movement), dies at 90
  • 1980 John McEwen, 18th Prime Minister of Australia (1967-68), dies at 80
  • 1981 Rolf Bongs, German writer, dies at 74
  • 1984 Trygve Bratteli, Norwegian Prime Minister (Labour: 1971-72, 1973-76), dies at 74

  • 1986 William Bradford Huie, American writer and publisher, dies at 76
  • 1992 John Foreman, producer (Prizzi's Honor), dies at 67 of heart attack
  • 1993 Christopher Frank, French writer, dies at 51
  • 1993 Emile Ardolino, American director (Dirty Dancing), dies at 50 of AIDs
  • 1994 John Lucarotti, British Canadian scriptwriter (Doctor Who), dies at 68
  • 1994 Ali-Akbar Sa'idi Sirjani, Iranian poet and journalist, dies at 64
  • 1995 Ahmed Abel-Wadoud Karadawi, Sudanese academic/activist, dies at 50
  • 1996 Bert Geoffrey Achong, Trinidadian pathologist and inventor (electron microscopist), dies at 67
  • 1997 Gary Burris, American murderer (Kenneth Chambers), executed in Indiana at 40
  • 1997 Robert Palmer, American rock critic, dies at 52
  • 1998 Galina Starovoitova, Russian politician and dissident, assassinated at 52
  • 1999 Amintore Fanfani, Italian politician and 5 x prime minister of Italy, dies at 91
  • 2000 Mike Muuss, American computer programmer (Ping), dies in a car accident at 42
  • 2000 Kalle Päätalo, Finnish novelist (Iijoki), dies at 81
  • 2003 Loris Azzaro, French fashion designer (b. 1933)
  • 2003 David Dacko, first President of the Central African Republic (b. 1930)
  • 2003 Eugene Kleiner, American entrepreneur (b. 1923)
  • 2003 Roger Short, British Consulate General (b. 1944)
  • 2004 David Grierson, Canadian radio host (b. 1955)
  • 2005 Manouchehr Atashi, Persian poet, dies at 74
  • 2005 Sheldon Gardner, American psychologist (b. 1934)
  • 2006 Zoia Ceauşescu, Romanian mathematician and daughter of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, dies of lung cancer at 57
  • 2007 Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia (b. 1919)
  • 2008 Sven Inge, Swedish painter and modern artist (b. 1935)
  • 2009 Lino Lacedelli, Italian mountaineer (b. 1925)
  • 2010 Laurie Bembenek, American convicted murderer and fugitive (b. 1958)
  • 2010 Chalmers Johnson, American political scholar and author (b. 1931)
  • 2013 Peter Griffiths, British politician (C), controversially won his seat (1964), dies at 85
  • 2013 Sylvia Browne, American author and self-proclaimed medium dubbed "America's most controversial psychic," dies at 77
  • 2016 Kostis Stephanopoulos, Greek conservative politician (President of Greece, 1995-2005), dies at 90
  • 2016 William Trevor, Irish writer (Children of Dynmouth, Fools of Fortune), dies at 88
  • 2018 Aaron Klug, Lithuanian born British biochemist (Nobel prize for Chemistry 1982), dies at 92
  • 2020 Jan Morris, Welsh journalist, historian, writer and pioneering trans woman (Venice, Conundrum), dies at 94 [1]
  • 2020 Patriarch Irinej [ Miroslav Gavrilović], Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, dies of COVID-19 at 90 [1]