Sports Stars Who Died in 1956

  • Jan 21 Sam Langford, Canadian boxer (b. 1883)
  • Jan 23 Billy Evans, American Baseball HOF umpire (American League 1906-27; at age 22, youngest umpire in MLB history), dies from a stroke at 71
  • Feb 3 Johnny Claes, Belgian racing driver (b. 1916)
  • Feb 5 Savielly Tartakower, Austrian/Polish/French chess player, dies at 74

Connie Mack

Feb 8 Connie Mack, American Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, manager and owner (World Series 1910, 11, 13, 29, 30; most managerial wins, losses & games managed in MLB history; Philadelphia A's), dies at 93

  • Mar 31 Ralph DePalma, Italian-American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1915; American AAA National Dirt Track C'ship 1908-11), dies of cancer at 73
  • Apr 19 Lionel K P "Buster" Crabb, British diver (WWII), dies at 47
  • May 18 Maurice Tate, English cricket all-rounder (39 Tests, 155 wickets, 1 x 100, 5 x 50), dies at 60
  • May 26 Al Simmons, American Baseball HOF outfielder (career BA .334; 3 × MLB All-Star; World Series 1929, 30; AL batting champion 1930, 31; Philadelphia A's), dies of a heart attack at 54
  • Jun 17 Bob Sweikert, American racing driver (b. 1926)
  • Jun 29 Max Emmerich, American athlete and gymnast (Olympic gold, triathlon 1904), dies at 77
  • Jul 10 Joe Giard, American baseball player (b. 1898)
  • Jul 16 Brian Norton, South African tennis player (Wimbledon 1921 runner-up), dies at 56
  • Jul 20 Ken Burn, Australian cricketer (Tasmanian rep on 1890 Ashes tour, 2 Tests), dies at 93
  • Jul 27 Mick Commaille, South African cricketer and soccer rep (12 Tests for South Africa 1910-28), dies at 73
  • Aug 5 André Milhoux, Belgian racing driver, dies at 27
  • Aug 13 Harry Donnan, Australian cricketer (5 Tests for Australia 1891-96), dies at 91
  • Sep 7 C. B. Fry, English cricket batsman (26 Tests, 2 x 100s; Sussex, Hampshire), dies at 84
  • Sep 16 Shorty Ray, American football player and supervisor of NFL officials, dies at 71

Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Sep 27 Babe Didrikson Zaharias, American all-round athlete (10 LPGA majors, Olympic gold medals 80m hurdles, javelin 1932), dies of colon cancer at 45

  • Oct 1 Stan Ockers, Belgian road cyclist (World road champion 1955; Tour de France runner-up 1950, 52), dies in track cycling accident at 36
  • Nov 1 Lajos Asztalos, Hungarian chess player (International Chess Master 1950), dies at 67
  • Nov 14 Ture Persson, Swedish sprinter (Olympic silver 1912), dies at 63