Diabetes in History

Historical Events

  • 1922-01-11 Insulin first used on humans to treat diabetes, on Canadian Leonard Thompson, aged 14

Famous Deaths


Person of interestAlexander Graham Bell

1922-08-02 Alexander Graham Bell, 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

Person of interestEdgar Wallace

1932-02-10 Edgar Wallace, 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

Person of interestB.R. Ambedkar

1956-12-06 B.R. Ambedkar [Baba Saheb], 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

Jurist and Social Reformer B.R. Ambedkar
Jurist and Social Reformer
B.R. Ambedkar
  • 1960-10-06 Douglas Spencer, American actor (The Thing from Another World, This Island Earth, River of No Return), dies from diabetes at 50
  • 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
  • 1990-07-22 George Wood, dies of diabetes complications at 56
  • 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
  • 1995-10-21 Linda Goodman, Morgantown, West Virginia, American astrologer and poet, 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 (Aunt Esther-Sanford & Sons), 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
  • 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
  • 2004-12-20 Son [Frank] Seals, American blues musician (Nothing But the Truth) dies from diabetes complications at 62

Person of interestGeorge Mikan

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

NBA Center George Mikan
NBA Center
George Mikan
  • 2005-07-04 Hank Stram, American Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (KC Chiefs Super Bowl 1970), dies of diabetes complications at 82
  • 2006-03-06 King Floyd, American soul singer-songwriter (Groove Me), dies of complications of a stroke and diabetes at 61
  • 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
  • 2012-01-09 Malam Bacai Sanhá, President of Guinea-Bissau, dies of diabetes at 64
  • 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 vocalist, 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
  • 2016-03-22 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
  • 2017-06-16 Stephen Furst, American actor (Animal House, St. Elsewhere) dies from diabetes complications at 63
  • 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
  • 2019-02-03 Matti Nykänen, Finnish ski jumper (4 Olympic gold 1984, 88), dies of diabetes complications at 55