Famous People Who Died In 1939

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 1939. This list includes people like Sigmund Freud, Amelia Earhart, James Naismith, Havelock Ellis, Norman Bethune and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, journalists, poets and playwrights who died in 1939. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, Russia & Austria and many more countries.
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 1 
Sigmund Freud
(Neurologist & the Founder of Psychoanalysis)
Sigmund Freud
56
Birthdate: May 6, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Příbor, Czechia
Died: September 23

Regarded as the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud was a neurologist. Despite suffering criticism, psychoanalysis remains influential in the fields of psychology and psychiatry; such is the influence Freud has on humanities. Scholars believe that Freud is one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century and that his impact is comparable to that of Marxism and Darwinism.

 2 
Amelia Earhart
(The First Female Aviator to Fly Solo Across the Atlantic Ocean)
Amelia Earhart
291
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 24, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Atchison, Kansas, United States
Died: January 5

Amelia Earhart became the first female pilot to complete a solo trans-Atlantic flight, in 1932. A champion for equal rights, Amelia later wrote best-selling memoirs and contributed to the women pilot’s group The Ninety-Nines. In 1937, Amelia disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean and was later declared dead.

 3 
W B Yeats
(One of the Greatest English-Language Poets of the 20th Century and 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature Winner)
W B Yeats
22
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 13, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sandymount, Ireland
Died: January 28
Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet, playwright, and prose writer W. B. Yeats is remembered as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century. Known for works such as The Tower, he also helped establish the Abbey Theatre. An occult enthusiast, he was also part of The Ghost Club.
 4 
James Naismith
(The Inventor of the Game of 'Basketball')
James Naismith
11
Birthdate: November 6, 1861
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Almonte, Mississippi Mills, Canada
Died: November 28
Canadian-American physician and coach James Naismith is considered as the inventor of basketball. He authored the first basksetball rule book and established the University of Kansas basketball team. He served as the Kansas Jayhawks athletic director and coach, and trained legends such as Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith.
 5 
Howard Carter
(Archaeologist)
Howard Carter
19
Birthdate: May 9, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England
Died: March 2
 6 
Ma Rainey
(Street artist, Musician)
Ma Rainey
26
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: April 26, 1886
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, United States
Died: December 22
 7 
Douglas Fairbanks
(Actor)
Douglas Fairbanks
10
Birthdate: May 23, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: December 12
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 8 
Alphonse Mucha
(Painter)
Alphonse Mucha
2
Birthdate: July 24, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ivancice, Czechia
Died: July 14
 9 
Charles M. Schwab
(American Steel Magnate & Businessman)
Charles M. Schwab
26
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: February 18, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 18
 10 
Zane Grey
(Novelist)
Zane Grey
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 31, 1872
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zanesville, Ohio, USA
Died: October 23
 11 
Norman Bethune
(Physician)
Norman Bethune
8
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: March 4, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gravenhurst, Canada
Died: November 12

Canadian thoracic surgeon Norman Bethune served as an army physician for the Canadian Army during World War I. He revolutionized medical science by introducing the concept of mobile blood-transfusion. A Communist Party of Canada member, he later served the Chinese army against Japan, becoming a revered name in China.

 12 
Anthony Fokker
(Aviation Entrepreneur & Aircraft Designer Who Pproduced Fighter Aircraft in Germany During WW I)
Anthony Fokker
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: April 6, 1890
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Blitar, Indonesia
Died: December 23

Though a high-school drop-out, Dutch aviation designer and entrepreneur Anthony Fokker showed his interest in mechanics quite early. He designed over 40 types of fighter aircrafts for the Germans during World War I. The aircraft that completed the first nonstop flight across the U.S. was also made by him.

 13 
Harvey Cushing
(American Neurosurgeon, Pathologist, Writer and the First Person to Describe Cushing’s Disease)
Harvey Cushing
4
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: April 8, 1869
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: October 7
 14 
Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya
(Deputy Minister of Education in the Government of the Soviet Union 1929 – 1938)
Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 26, 1869
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: February 27
 15 
Carl Laemmle
(Filmmaker)
Carl Laemmle
3
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: January 17, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Laupheim, Germany
Died: September 24
 16 
Chick Webb
(Musician)
Chick Webb
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: February 10, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Died: June 16
Height: 4'1" (124 cm)
 17 
Ford Madox Ford
(British Writer Known for His Novels: 'The Good Soldier', 'Parade’s End' Tetralogy and 'The Fifth Queen' Trilogy)
Ford Madox Ford
2
Birthdate: December 17, 1873
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Merton, Surrey, England
Died: June 26

Best remembered for his novel The Good Soldier, author Ford Madox Ford was the grandson of Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown. He had been part of World War I. He spent his final years in France and the US, mostly authoring criticism. The tetralogy Parade's End remains one of his best-known works.

 18 
Otto Rank
(Psychologist)
Otto Rank
1
Birthdate: April 22, 1884
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: October 31

Otto Rank was an Austrian psychoanalyst and philosopher. A close colleague of Sigmund Freud, Rank was also the managing director of Freud's publishing house. Rank was a prolific writer and wrote extensively on psychoanalytic themes. He was the first person who viewed therapy as a learning and unlearning experience focusing on feelings. Psychologist Rollo May was deeply influenced by Rank. 

 19 
William James Mayo
(Physician and Surgeon)
William James Mayo
5
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: June 29, 1861
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Le Sueur
Died: July 28

Physician and surgeon William James Mayo is best-known as a principal co-founder of the non-profit American academic medical center Mayo Clinic. Son of British-American medical-doctor and chemist William Worrall Mayo, William James and his brother, Charles Horace Mayo, joined the sole-proprietorship medical practice of their father, which developed under them and other doctors intothe Mayo Clinic.

 20 
Charles Horace Mayo
2
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: July 19, 1865
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rochester
Died: May 26

Part of the Mayo medical family of the U.S., Charles Horace Mayo had established the Mayo Clinic with his brother William James Mayo and others. He specialized in varied medical fields, mastering neurosurgery, goitre surgery, cataract operations, and other procedures. He later served the U.S. Army surgical team.

 21 
Hans Langsdorff
(Soldier)
Hans Langsdorff
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: March 20, 1894
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bergen auf Rügen
Died: December 19

Hans Langsdorff was a German naval officer best remembered for commanding the Admiral Graf Spee, a heavily armed cruiser, which was nicknamed pocket battleship by the British. The legendary ship played a key role in the Spanish Civil War where it conducted five non-intervention patrols.

 22 
Eugen Bleuler
(Psychiatrist, Physician, University teacher)
Eugen Bleuler
1
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: April 30, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Zollikon
Died: July 15
One of the most prolific psychiatrists of his time, Eugen Bleuler is known as the man who introduced the term schizophrenia. He also introduced autism and ambivalence as 2 concepts required for the study of schizophrenia. His Textbook of Psychiatry became a staple in classes of psychiatry
 23 
Charles R. Walgreen
(American Businessman and Founder of 'Walgreens')
Charles R. Walgreen
1
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: October 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dixon, Illinois, United States
Died: December 11

Charles R. Walgreen was an American businessman best remembered for founding Walgreens, which operates America's second-largest pharmacy store chain. Charles R. Walgreen is one of the most important members of the Labor Hall of Fame.

 24 
Alice Brady
(Actress)
Alice Brady
1
Birthdate: November 2, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: October 28
 25 
Ernst Toller
(German Author, Playwright, Left-Wing Politician and Revolutionary Known for His Expressionist Plays)
Ernst Toller
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: December 1, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Szamocin, Poland
Died: May 22

German playwright and author Ernst Toller is best remembered for his Expressionist plays and his Marxism. Though he served the German Army initially, he suffered a physical breakdown soon and quit, propagating peace instead. His best-known play, Man and the Masses, was written in prison.

 26 
Polaire
(Singer)
Polaire
1
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 14, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Algiers, Algiers, Algeria
Died: October 11
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 27 
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz
(Writer & Painter Active Before World War I & During Interwar Period)
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz
0
Listed In: Photographers
Birthdate: February 24, 1885
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: September 18

Polish author, painter, and dramatist Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz of the Awangarda Krakowska movement was part of the Australian expedition of anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski, as an artist. He had also worked in the Russian Army. He committed suicide at the onset of World War II, though many believe he had faked his own death.

 28 
Arthur Rackham
(Former Illustrator best-known works include the illustrations for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm)
Arthur Rackham
1
Birthdate: September 19, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vauxhall, London, England, United Kingdom
Died: September 6
 29 
Joseph Force Crater
(American Lawyer and Judge)
Joseph Force Crater
1
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: January 5, 1889
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Easton, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 6
 30 
Richard Halliburton
(Author)
Richard Halliburton
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 9, 1900
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brownsville, Tennessee, United States
Died: March 24
 31 
Armand Călinescu
(39th Prime Minister of Romania Who was Assassinated by ‘Iron Guard’ Members with ‘Nazi’ Support)
Armand Călinescu
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 4, 1893
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Piteşti, Romania
Died: September 21

Romanian economist and politician Armand Călinescu served as Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister before becoming Prime Minister of Romania. He was believed to be very close to King Carol II and possibly the real-power behind the throne during the King’s royal-dictatorship. Călinescu detested Iron Guard and anti-Semitism and was eventually assassinated by Iron Guard members with Nazi support.

 32 
Sidney Howard
(Playwright)
Sidney Howard
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: August 23
 33 
Lois Weber
(Actress)
Lois Weber
1
Birthdate: June 13, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: November 13
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 34 
Philipp Scheidemann
(Politician)
Philipp Scheidemann
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 26, 1865
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kassel
Died: November 29

Social Democratic Party of Germany member Philipp Scheidemann was the man who declared the formation of the Weimar Republic and also served as its chancellor. Born into a working-class family, he initially apprenticed as a printer. The rise of the Nazi power caused him to move to Denmark later.

 35 
Pope Pius XI
4
Birthdate: May 31, 1857
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Desio, Italy
Died: February 10

A man who believed in the motto “The peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ,” Pope Pius XI was also an avid scholar. His reign witnessed the rise of Benito Mussolini and the signing of the Lateran Treaty, which recognized Vatican City as an independent nation state.

 36 
Kyōka Izumi
(Japanese Author of Novels, Short Stories, and Kabuki Plays Who Was Active During the Prewar Period)
Kyōka Izumi
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: November 4, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan
Died: September 7

Often considered an eccentric and superstitious writer, Kyōka Izumi chiefly wrote on fantasy, producing numerous novels, short stories and haiku plays in the backdrop of distinctive and yet supernatural world, using fantasy to criticize many social norms and practices.  Initially trained by Ozaki Kōyō, Izumi has produced several masterpieces, including The Holy Man of Mount Kōya and Worship at Yushima.

 37 
Benjamin Tucker
(Journalist, Philosopher, Economist, Translator, Anarchist)
Benjamin Tucker
3
Birthdate: April 17, 1854
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dartmouth
Died: June 22
 38 
John R. Lynch
(American Writer, Attorney and Military Officer)
John R. Lynch
0
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: September 10, 1847
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vidalia, Louisiana, United States
Died: November 2
 39 
Pierce Butler
(Jurist)
Pierce Butler
1
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: March 17, 1866
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dakota County, Minnesota, United States
Died: November 16
 40 
Heywood Campbell Broun
(Journalist)
Heywood Campbell Broun
0
Birthdate: December 7, 1888
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: December 18
 41 
Kelly Miller
(American mathematician)
Kelly Miller
0
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: July 18, 1863
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Winnsboro, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 29
 42 
Ambroise Vollard
(Art Dealer)
Ambroise Vollard
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 3, 1866
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Denis, Réunion
Died: July 22
 43 
Gwen John
(Painter, Visual artist, Model)
Gwen John
2
Birthdate: June 22, 1876
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Haverfordwest
Died: September 18
 44 
Johann Strauss III
(Composer)
Johann Strauss III
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: February 16, 1866
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 9
 45 
Margaret Floy Washburn
(American Psychologist)
Margaret Floy Washburn
1
Birthdate: July 25, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: October 29
 46 
Fay Templeton
(Singer and actress)
Fay Templeton
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 25, 1865
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Died: October 3
 47 
Zinaida Yusupova
(Lady in waiting)
Zinaida Yusupova
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 2, 1861
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: November 24
 48 
U Ottama
(Theravada Buddhist Monk, Author, and Freedom Fighter)
U Ottama
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 28, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sittwe, Myanmar (Burma)
Died: September 9

U Ottama was a Theravada Buddhist author and monk. He is best remembered for leading the independence movement in Burma during British colonial rule. U Ottama kept fighting for the freedom of his country despite being imprisoned on a number of occasions for his anti-colonialist political activities.

 49 
Havelock Ellis
(Physician)
Havelock Ellis
1
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: February 2, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Croydon
Died: July 8

Havelock Ellis co-wrote the first English textbook on homosexuality. Initially a teacher in Australia, he later moved to London to study medicine. His seven-part Studies in the Psychology of Sex is a first-of-its-kind study on human sexuality. He also believed in eugenics and the importance of smell in sexual behavior.

 50 
Marthe de Florian
(Socialite)
Marthe de Florian
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 9, 1864
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 29