Diabetes in History

Historical Events

Historic Invention

1922-01-11 Insulin first used on humans to treat diabetes, when Frederick Banting injects fellow Canadian Leonard Thompson, aged 14

  • 1984-08-07 Harmonica Frank [Floyd], American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player dies of lung cancer and diabetes complications at 75

Famous Deaths

O. HenryO. Henry (1862-1910)

1910-06-05 American short story writer (Cabbages and Kings), dies of cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes complications and an enlarged heart at 47

Alexander Graham BellAlexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)

1922-08-02 Scottish-born British-American inventor (telephone), dies of diabetes complications at 75

  • 1931-07-18 Oskar Minkowski, German Biologist (pancreas and diabetes), dies at 73

Edgar WallaceEdgar Wallace (1875-1932)

1932-02-10 English novelist, playwright and journalist (The Terror, The Four Just Men) who created King Kong, dies of diabetes at 76

  • 1948-07-09 James Baskett, American actor (Song of the South) 1st African American male to receive an Oscar, dies from diabetes at 44

B.R. AmbedkarB.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956)

1956-12-06 Indian politician, jurist (architect of the Constitution of India) and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement, dies after suffering from diabetes at 65

  • 1960-10-06 Douglas Spencer, American actor (The Thing from Another World, This Island Earth, River of No Return), dies from diabetes at 50

François DuvalierFrançois Duvalier (1907-1971)

1971-04-21 Dictator and President of Haiti (1957-71), dies of heart disease and diabetes at 64

  • 1974-11-25 Rosemary Lane, American actress (An Angel from Texas, 4 Mothers, Harvest Melody), dies from diabetes and pulmonary obstruction at 61
  • 1980-09-09 John Howard Griffin, American photographer, journalist and author (Black Like Me), dies from complications of diabetes at 60
  • 1988-02-28 Harvey Kuenn, American baseball utility (AL batting champion 1959; 10 × All-Star 1953–1960²; Detroit Tigers), dies from heart disease and diabetes at 57
  • 1989-05-17 Dan Alderson, American scientist (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and sci-fi fandom figure, dies of diabetes at 47
  • 1992-02-04 John Dehner [Forkum], American actor (The Right Stuff, Big Hawaii, Bare Essence), dies of emphysema and diabetes at 76
  • 1992-08-25 Alma Graciela Haro Esmerelda, singer, dies of diabetes at 65
  • 1992-10-21 Jackson Weaver, voice of Smokey the Bear, dies of diabetes
  • 1993-11-25 Claudia McNeil, actress (Raisin in the Sun), dies of diabetes at 77
  • 1994-07-02 Marion Williams, American gospel singer (Stars of Faith), dies of diabetes at 66
  • 1994-09-22 Mattie Moss Clark, American gospel singer, and music minister, dies of diabetes complications at 69
  • 1995-10-21 Linda Goodman, American astrologer and poet, dies from complications of diabetes at 70
  • 1996-02-08 Del Ennis, American baseball outfielder (MLB All-Star 1946, 51, 55; NL RBI leader 1950; Philadelphia Phillies), dies from complications of diabetes at 70
  • 1998-11-17 Esther Rolle, Bahamian-American actress (Good Times; Maude), dies from complications of diabetes at 78
  • 1999-12-26 Curtis Mayfield, American singer-songwriter and soul musician ("Freddie's Dead"; "Superfly"), dies from complications of type 2 diabetes at 57
  • 2000-01-02 Nat Adderley, American jazz musician (Work Song), dies from diabetes complications at 68
  • 2002-03-17 Rosetta LeNoire, American actress (Family Matters, The Brother from Another Planet), dies from diabetes at 90
  • 2002-09-14 LaWanda Page [Alberta Peal], American actress (Sanford & Son - "Aunt Esther"), dies of complications from diabetes at 81
  • 2002-11-05 Vinnette Carroll, American actress and 1st African-American woman to direct on Broadway (1972: Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope), dies of heart disease and diabetes at 80
  • 2003-04-17 Earl King, American R&B and blues guitarists, singer, and songwriter ("Come On"; "Big Chief"), dies from diabetes-related complications at 69
  • 2003-08-18 Tony Jackson, British bass player (The Searchers, 1962-64 - "Sugar And Spice"), dies from a combination of diabetes, heart disease, and cirrhosis of the liver at 65
  • 2004-02-23 Don Cornell [Luigi Varlaro], American singer (Sammy Kaye Orch, Hold My Hand), dies of emphysema and diabetes at 84
  • 2004-03-26 Jan Sterling [Jane Adriance], American actress (Ace in the Hole, The High and the Mighty), dies of diabetes and a stroke at 82
  • 2004-10-26 Bobby Ávila, Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman (MLB All-Star 1952, 54, 55; AL batting champion 1954; Cleveland Indians), dies of diabetes and lung ailment at 80
  • 2004-12-20 Son [Frank] Seals, American blues musician ("Nothing But the Truth"), dies from diabetes complications at 62

George MikanGeorge Mikan (1924-2005)

2005-06-01 American Basketball Hall of Fame center (NBA All Star 1951-54; NBL MVP 1948; Minneapolis Lakers), dies of diabetes complications at 80

  • 2005-07-04 Hank Stram, American Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (KC Chiefs Super Bowl 1970), dies of diabetes complications at 82

David LangeDavid Lange (1942-2005)

2005-08-13 32nd Prime Minister of New Zealand (Labour: 1984-89), dies of complications associated with renal failure and diabetes at 63

  • 2006-03-06 King Floyd, American soul singer-songwriter ("Groove Me"), dies of complications of a stroke and diabetes at 61
  • 2007-02-03 Pedro Knight, Cuban-American trumpeter, husband and manager of legendary singer Celia Cruz, dies from complications of diabetes at 85
  • 2007-03-18 Bob Woolmer, England cricket all-rounder, coach (19 Tests, coach Pakistan, South Africa), dies of diabetes at 58
  • 2008-12-13 Horst Tappert, German director, actor and former SS member (Derrick), dies of diabetes at 85
  • 2010-06-06 Marvin Isley, American rock bassist, and songwriter (The Isley Brothers - "Fight The Power"), dies from complications of diabetes at 56)
  • 2011-11-03 Matty Alou, Dominican baseball outfielder (NL batting champion 1966; MLB All-Star 1968-69; Pittsburgh Pirates), dies of diabetes complications at 72
  • 2012-01-09 Malam Bacai Sanhá, President of Guinea-Bissau, dies of diabetes at 64
  • 2012-10-02 Big Jim Sullivan [Tomkins], British session and touring rock guitarist, sitar, and banjo player, dies of heart disease and diabetes at 71
  • 2012-11-02 Milt Campbell, American decathlete (Olympic gold 1956), dies from prostate cancer and diabetes at 78
  • 2012-12-20 Jimmy McCracklin, American pianist, dies from diabetes and hypertension at 91
  • 2013-03-03 Bobby Rogers, American pop and soul tenor vocalist (The Miracles - "You've Really Got a Hold on Me"), and songwriter ("Going To A Go-Go"; "The Way You Do the Things You Do"), dies from complications from diabetes at 73
  • 2013-04-12 Michael France, American screenwriter, dies from complications from diabetes at 51
  • 2013-06-06 Tom Sharpe, British satirist and author, dies from complications from diabetes at 85
  • 2014-03-29 Billy Mundi [also Tony Schnasse, born Antonio Salas], American session musician and drummer (The Mothers of Invention; Rhinoceros), dies of complications from diabetes at 71
  • 2015-02-21 Bruce Sinofsky, American documentary film director (Brother's Keeper), dies at 58 from diabetes complications
  • 2016-02-29 Aron Burton, American electric and Chicago blues bass guitarist, singer, and songwriter, dies of heart disease and diabetes at 77
  • 2016-03-22 Phife Dawg [Malik Taylor] American rapper (A Tribe called Quest), dies from diabetes complications at 45
  • 2016-06-17 Prince Be [Attrell Cordes], American rapper (PM Dawn), dies from diabetes complications at 46
  • 2017-05-22 (Granville) "Mickey" Roker, American jazz drummer (Art Farmer; Milt Jackson; Dizzy Gillespie), dies suffering from diabetes and lung cancer at 84
  • 2017-06-16 Stephen Furst, American actor (Animal House, St. Elsewhere), dies from diabetes complications at 63
  • 2017-09-06 Jim McDaniels, American basketball forward (All American 1971; Western Kentucky Uni; No. 1 overall pick ABA Draft 1971; ABA All-Star 1972; Carolina Cougars), dies from diabetes complications at 69
  • 2017-12-17 Kevin Mahogany, American jazz vocalist ("Double Rainbow"; "Pride And Joy"), dies of diabetes complications at 59 [1] [2]
  • 2018-05-01 Javier Aller, Spanish actor (The Biggest Robbery Never Told), dies at 46 of complications from diabetes
  • 2018-06-03 Clarence Fountain, American Grammy Award-winning gospel singer (The Blind Boys of Alabama), dies of complications of diabetes at 88

Penny MarshallPenny Marshall (1943-2018)

2018-12-17 American actress (The Odd Couple; Laverne & Shirley), and director (Big; Awakenings; A League of Their Own), and producer (Cinderella Man), dies of diabetes complications at 75

  • 2019-02-01 Wade Wilson, American NFL quarterback, 1981-1998 (Dallas Cowboys - Super Bowl 1995, Minnesota Vikings - Pro Bowl 1988, and 3 other teams), dies of complications from Type 1 diabetes on his 60th birthday

Matti NykänenMatti Nykänen (1963-2019)

2019-02-03 Finnish ski jumper (4 Olympic gold 1984, 88), dies of diabetes complications at 55

  • 2021-06-24 Benigno Aquino III, 15th President of the Philippines (Liberal Party: 2010-16), dies of diabetes related kidney failure at 61