Criminals

Criminals are the individuals who have committed a crime. Crimes refer to any unlawful activity that is punishable by a state. The term 'criminal'; is not a strictly defined one as different states have different laws regarding crimes and unlawful activities. A crime generally can be said to be an activity that causes harm to an individual, the community or the state. Criminals may commit crimes as a means of earning their livelihood, out of jealousy, greed or malice, for recreational purposes, out of boredom, or for a plethora of other reasons. Crimes may be classified as personal crimes, property crimes, inchoate crimes and statutory crimes. Offences that cause harm to a person such as assault, murder, sexual offences, etc. come under personal crimes while robbery, burglary, arson and forgery are categorized as property crimes. Often high profile criminals are given wide coverage in mass media which accords to them a sort of celebrity status. So fascinated are people with the tales of murderers that Jack the Ripper till date remains a hot topic of discussion. Serial killer Ted Bundy is so notorious that many books and films were based on his life. Jim Jones of the infamous People's Temple incident continues to intrigue psychologists till date. Read on to learn lurid details about the notorious criminals from all over the world.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Rank the Most Wicked Criminals

 1 Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden
43
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: March 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: May 2, 2011
Osama Bin Laden, former leader of the international terrorist organization Al Qaeda, had orchestrated the September 11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, among others. The attacks led to the U.S.’s War on Terror, and Laden was eventually tracked down and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.

 2 Zodiac Killer

Zodiac Killer
14
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States

Zodiac Killer was an the unidentified American serial killer who spread terror in the northern California from late 1960s to early 1970s. In his letters to police and press, he claimed to have killed 37 people, out of which five were confirmed. Though he was never caught, his case inspired numerous books, films and television series including Clint Eastwood’s classic Dirty Harry.

 3 Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes
54
Famous As: Business Woman
Birthdate: February 3, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Elizabeth Holmes is a former businesswoman who is credited with founding the now-defunct health technology company Theranos . It was later revealed that Elizabeth Holmes had deceived her investors with false claims. The rise and fall of her company inspired a book titled Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.

 4 Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy
53
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 24, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Burlington
Died: January 24, 1989

Ted Bundy was an American serial killer who kidnapped, raped and murdered a number of women and girls during the mid and late 1970s. He ultimately confessed to his crimes and was sentenced to death by electric chair. Later, the life of one of the most notorious criminals of the late 20th century inspired a number of books and movies.

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 5 Robert Durst

Robert Durst
14
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: April 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York,City New York

Robert Durst is a real estate heir and suspected killer of three people, including his first wife Kathleen McCormack Durst and longtime friend Susan Berman. The events surrounding Durst's trial have inspired films and TV series like All Good Things and The Jinx. His life also inspired the book A Deadly Secret, which was later adapted into a TV film.

 6 Mohammed Omar

Mohammed Omar
26
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: 1960 AD
Birthplace: Kandahar, Afghanistan
Died: April 23, 2013
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 7 Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar
46
Listed In: Drug Lords, Gangsters
Famous As: Colombian Drug Lord
Birthdate: December 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rionegro
Died: December 2, 1993

A notorious Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar was the founder and leader of the infamous Medellín Cartel. His drug cartel monopolized the cocaine trade into the United States and he became one of the wealthiest criminals ever in history. Dubbed "The King of Cocaine", he left behind a controversial legacy upon his death at the age of 44.

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 8 Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur
75
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: June 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 13, 1996

Tupac Amaru Shakur, popularly known as 2Pac or Makaveli, is considered as one of the greatest American rappers of all time. Talent and trouble went hand in hand in Shakur’s journey to fame; the higher Shakur rose in his iconic status, the deeper he became entangled in gang violence and an infamous rivalry, which sadly led to his untimely demise.

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 9 Larry Nassar

Larry Nassar
33
Famous As: Doctor
Birthdate: August 16, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States

A convicted sex offender, Larry Nassar was once the USA Gymnastics national team doctor. He is a former professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. At least 250 young women and girls have accused him of sexual assault. He is currently in prison on charges of sexual assault of minors and child pornography.

 10 Charles Manson

Charles Manson
29
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Criminal and Murderer
Birthdate: November 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: November 19, 2017

Criminal and cult leader Charles Manson was the leader of the notorious Manson Family, a criminal cult that committed a series of murders in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was arrested and imprisoned many times in his life and died in 2017 while serving his life sentence at California State Prison.

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 11 Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer
45
Famous As: Serial Killer, Sex Offender
Birthdate: May 21, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Allis, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died: November 28, 1994

One of the most notorious serial killers ever convicted in America, Jeffrey Dahmer terrorized the Milwaukee region in the 1980s. He targeted young men and boys, who he would lure to his house on some pretext before torturing and killing them. Finally arrested and imprisoned in the early 1990s, he was killed by a fellow inmate in 1994.

 12 Frank Abagnale

Frank Abagnale
21
Listed In: Fraudsters
Famous As: Impostor, Fraudster
Birthdate: April 27, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Rochelle

Frank Abagnale’s life story inspired the film Catch Me If You Can. He was a con man, imposter and did check forgery from the age 15 to 21. He assumed the identities of an airline pilot, a physician and a lawyer, among others. He was eventually arrested and after spending few years in prison started working for the federal government.

 13 John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy
31
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: March 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 10, 1994

John Wayne Gacy was a sex offender and a serial killer. He assaulted, raped and murdered at least 33 boys and young men in 1960s and 1970s. He tortured and killed all his victims inside his ranch house near Norridge, a village in Norwood Park. He was given death sentence in March 1980 and was executed in May 1994.

 14 Dennis Nilsen

Dennis Nilsen
23
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 23, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: May 12, 2018

Dennis Nilsen was a Scottish necrophile and serial killer who killed at least 12 boys and young men between 1978 and 1983. Also known as the Muswell Hill Murderer, Nilsen committed these crimes in London, England, where he would lure his victims into his house before strangulating them to death. He was convicted in 1983 of six counts of murder.

 15 Al Capone

Al Capone
13
Listed In: Gangsters, Drug Lords
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: January 17, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 25, 1947

Al Capone, also known by the nickname Scarface, was one of the most notorious American gangsters who controlled the organised crime in Chicago between 1925 and 1931. He was known for violence and cruelty in eliminating rival gang members, the most infamous incident being the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. His life inspired numerous books and films.

 16 Sirhan Sirhan

Sirhan Sirhan
17
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Assassin
Birthdate: March 19, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Sirhan Sirhan is a Palestinian militant who assassinated U.S. senator Robert F. Kennedy, brother of John F. Kennedy, by shooting him at the Los Angeles-based Ambassador Hotel, on June 5, 1968. Sirhan was convicted of murder. He is currently serving a life sentence at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

 17 Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez
62
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 29, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, United States
Died: June 7, 2013

American serial killer, rapist, and burglar, Richard Ramirez terrorised the people of California, primarily Los Angeles, between 1984 and 1985 before being eventually captured by the police. The brutal criminal, also known as Night Stalker, was finally found guilty of 43 charges, including 13 murders and was sentenced to death. While on a death row, he died of cancer. 

 18 Ted Kaczynski

Ted Kaczynski
34
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist, Anarchist
Birthdate: May 22, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago

From a brilliant mathematician and an assistant professor at University of California, Theodore Kaczynski became the notorious American criminal—Unabomber—who was responsible for mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 in eighteen years. He was eventually caught and sentenced to life imprisonment after his anti-technology essay sent to the media was recognised by his brother.

 19 Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski
32
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: August 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France

Polish-French film director, producer, writer, and actor Roman Polanski is a popular yet controversial figure. He has made several critically acclaimed films and has received six Oscar nominations. He has been accused of sexual abuse by numerous women and is a subject of an Interpol red notice issued for his arrest.

 20 D. B. Cooper

D. B. Cooper
4
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United States
Died: November 24, 1971

D. B. Cooper is a media epithet for an unidentified man, who in 1971 hijacked a Boeing aircraft for four parachutes and $200,000. On receiving the ransom, he released the passengers; but forced the pilot to fly towards Mexico City, jumping off the plane with the $200,000 somewhere between Seattle and Reno. Nothing has been found about him since then.

 21 Ayman al-Zawahiri

Ayman al-Zawahiri
8
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: June 19, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Maadi, Egypt
Former surgeon Ayman al-Zawahiri was initially Osama bin Laden’s physician and became the leader of al-Qaeda after Laden’s death. He was one of the brains behind the 9/11 terror attacks. He also urged Muslims to kidnap Western tourists in Islamic countries and was behind the U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa.

 22 Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)

Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)
17
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: March 9, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pittsburg, Kansas, United States
Dennis Rader, better known as BTK, an abbreviated form of “blind, torture, kill,” is an American serial killer. He murdered 10 people and then sent letters to the police and the media, explaining his crimes. Following a 10-year hiatus, he began sending letters again, leading to his arrest and conviction.

 23 Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper
9
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: 1865 AD
Birthplace: England

Jack the Ripper was anl unidentified serial killer who predominantly targeted female prostitutes living and working in the ghetto of the East End of London. Since the murders were never solved, Jack the Ripper became infamous folklore in England. The murders were so cleverly done that the authorities were not even able to ascertain the killer's gender.

 24 Ed Gein

Ed Gein
14
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: August 27, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States
Died: July 26, 1984

Popularly known as the Butcher of Plainfield, Ed Gein was a murderer and body snatcher. His spine-chilling life insane acts like exhuming corpses and making keepsakes and trophies from their skin and bones, inspired films like The Silence of the Lambs, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Psycho.

 25 Harshad Mehta

Harshad Mehta
57
Listed In: Fraudsters
Famous As: stockbroker
Birthdate: July 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rajkot district
Died: December 31, 2001

 26 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
9
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: March 1, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Balochistan, Pakistan

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a Pakistani terrorist, who is believed to be “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks.” A member of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization, he led al-Qaeda's propaganda operations for a few years. He is known by at least fifty pseudonyms. He was captured in 2003 and is currently detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

 27 Bonnie Parker

Bonnie Parker
11
Listed In: Robbers, Murderers
Famous As: Thief
Birthdate: October 1, 1910
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rowena, Texas, United States
Died: May 23, 1934

Best known as part of the legendary criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie Parker was infamous for her bank robberies with her partner Clyde Chestnut Barrow. They apparently murdered several policemen, too. Their crimes were romanticized in many movies including a 1967 film starring Faye Dunaway as Bonnie.

 28 Joaquín Guzmán Loera

Joaquín Guzmán Loera
15
Listed In: Drug Lords
Famous As: Drug lord
Birthdate: April 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: La Tuna, Mexico

 29 Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele
12
Listed In: War Criminals
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: March 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bavaria, Germany
Died: February 7, 1979

Known as Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele was the chief doctor of Auschwitz concentration camp and was responsible for killing thousands of Jews as well as torturing the prisoners mercilessly and conducting inhuman experiments on them. These included injecting them with chemicals and stitching twin children together. Despite his horrible crimes, the infamous Nazi doctor could never be captured.

 30 Larry Hoover

Larry Hoover
10
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: November 25, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Gang leader Larry Hoover, also known as King Larry, established the Chicago street gang known as the Gangster Disciples. He later named the gang Growth and Development and focused on community service. He is currently in prison, serving six life sentences, including one for a murder committed in 1973. 

 31 Mohamed Atta

Mohamed Atta
16
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Hijacker
Birthdate: September 1, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kafr el-Sheikh, Egypt
Died: September 11, 2001

 32 John Gotti

John Gotti
7
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Mobster & Mafia
Birthdate: October 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, United States
Died: June 10, 2002

John Gotti was the boss of the Gambino crime family, described as America's most powerful crime syndicate. It made millions per year from criminal activities like racketeering, loan sharking, drug trafficking, prostitution, extortion, pornography and illegal gambling. The FBI convicted him in 1992 and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole and later died of throat cancer.

 33 Edmund Kemper

Edmund Kemper
10
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: December 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Burbank, California

Edmund Kemper is a serial killer, rapist and a necrophile. He was charged, convicted and sentenced to eight concurrent life sentences in 1973 for murdering ten people, including his paternal grandparents and mother. Most of his victims were female college students and hitchhikers, whom he lured into his vehicle and then killed them. He later decapitated and violated them.

 34 Joseph James DeAngelo

Joseph James DeAngelo
17
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: November 8, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bath, New York

Joseph James DeAngelo is an American serial killer, rapist and burglar who carried out his crimes for many years in 1970s and 1980s and was finally captured by the police in 2018. The former police officer and auto mechanic, who was known by various names like Golden State Killer and Visalia Ransacker, was sentenced to life in prison in 2020.

 35 Ronald Kray

Ronald Kray
12
Listed In: Gangsters
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: October 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haggerston, London, England
Died: March 17, 1995

Ronald Kray was a British criminal involved in organized crime in the East End of London in the 1950s and 1960s. Along with his twin brother, Reggie, he ran a gang that was notorious for committing murders, armed robberies, and arson among other criminal activities. The brothers were arrested in 1968 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

 36 Reginald Kray

Reginald Kray
15
Listed In: Murderers, Robbers
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: October 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hoxton, London, England
Died: October 1, 2000

 37 Charles Sobhraj

Charles Sobhraj
69
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: April 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ho Chi Minh City
Charles Sobhraj, better known as the “Bikini Killer” and “The Serpent,” is an infamous criminal who was convicted of murdering twelve tourists in Southeast Asia in the 1970s, purely out of his hatred for hippies. After serving jail time in India, he is now serving a life sentence in Nepal.

 38 Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald
15
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Armed force officer
Birthdate: October 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Died: November 24, 1963

Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for killing Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit. Further investigation suggested that he had murdered US President John F. Kennedy about 45 minutes before murdering Tippit. Though he denied the accusations, he was charged with the murder of Kennedy. While in police custody, Oswald was shot dead by Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner.

 39 Akhtar Mohammad Mansour

Akhtar Mohammad Mansour
0
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Militant
Birthdate: 1968 AD
Birthplace: Maiwand, Afghanistan
Died: May 21, 2016

 40 Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid
7
Famous As: Gunman
Birthdate: November 17, 1859
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan
Died: July 14, 1881

Billy the Kid was a gunfighter of the American Old West whose notoriety grew when he escaped from jail after killing two sheriff's deputies. He remains one of the most notorious personalities of the American Old West, whose life has been often dramatized in popular culture. His story has inspired over 50 films, including Billy the Kid, and The Outlaw.

 41 Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann
21
Listed In: War Criminals
Famous As: One of the Main Organizers of the Holocaust
Birthdate: March 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Solingen, Rhine Province, Germany
Died: May 31, 1962
Adolf Eichmann was a Nazi lieutenant colonel and one of the chief organizers of the Holocaust, that involved mass deportation and murder of Jews. In 1962, Eichmann was captured by the Mossad in Argentina and was then taken to Israel. He was eventually tried and hanged for crimes against humanity.

 42 Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger
8
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: American convicted murderer and former organized crime figure
Birthdate: September 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dorchester

Whitey Bulger was an Irish-American FBI informant and organized crime boss. His arrest and subsequent trial exposed FBI handler John Connolly who had helped Bulger in return for the latter's information about the Patriarca crime family. Bulger's life and work inspired the 2015 film Black Mass. Many fictional TV and film characters have also been inspired by Whitey Bulger.

 43 Gary Ridgway

Gary Ridgway
11
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Nicknamed “the Green River Killer,” Gary Ridgway is a serial killer convicted of killing 49 women by driving them to remote locations, strangling them, and then disposing of their bodies in the Green River. DNA technology helped the police nab him. He had served in the Vietnam War earlier.

 44 Anders Behring Breivik

Anders Behring Breivik
21
Listed In: Terrorists
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: February 13, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Anders Behring Breivik, or Andrew Berwick, is a Norwegian terrorist who bombed eight people in Oslo and then shot dead 69 people at a AUF summer camp on the island of Utøya. The incident, known as the 2011 Norway Attacks, led to him being sent to jail for 21 years.

 45 Andrew Cunanan

Andrew Cunanan
18
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: August 31, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: National City, California, United States
Died: July 23, 1997

Andrew Cunanan was an American spree killer who killed five people, including world-renowned fashion designer Gianni Versace and business tycoon Lee Miglin, during a three-month period. The motive behind the killings remains unknown as he killed himself shortly after the murders. His story has inspired several films and TV series, including the 1998 movie The Versace Murder.

 46 David Berkowitz

David Berkowitz
31
Listed In: Serial Killers
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: June 1, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

A convicted serial killer, David Berkowitz is believed to have killed six people and wounded seven others. He eluded the police for several months before being captured. He is currently serving six consecutive life sentences in the maximum-security prison, Shawangunk Correctional Facility. He was popularized by the media under the name “Son of Sam.”

 47 Meyer Lansky

Meyer Lansky
6
Listed In: Gangsters
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: July 4, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Grodno, Belarus
Died: January 15, 1983
Meyer Lansky, or the "Mob's Accountant,” was key to the formation of the National Crime Syndicate along with Charles "Lucky" Luciano. A member of the Jewish mob, he built a worldwide gambling empire that included casinos in Las Vegas. Hyman Roth from The Godfather Part II was based on him.

 48 Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos
22
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: February 29, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Troy, Michigan, United States
Died: October 9, 2002

Sexually and physically assaulted by her own grandfather during her childhood and teenage years, Aileen Wuornos took to prostitution to support herself. From becoming pregnant at age 14 to engaging in sexual activities in exchange for drugs, Aileen's early life played a major role in turning her into a serial killer. Her story eventually became quite famous in popular culture.

 49 Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman
20
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Killer of John Lennon
Birthdate: May 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas

Mark David Chapman gained notoriety after murdering popular English singer-songwriter, John Lennon, of Beatles. A fan of the Beatles, Chapman said he was frustrated with Lennon's public statements and lifestyle. He even admitted that he contemplated murdering Paul McCartney, Ronald Reagan, and Johnny Carson. His story formed the bases of films like Chapter 27 and The Killing of John Lennon.

 50 John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan

John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan
1
Listed In: Murderers
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: December 8, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England
Died: November 8, 1974
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