Famous People Who Died In 1944

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 1944. This list includes people like Erwin Rommel, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include soldiers, political leaders, military leaders and artists who died in 1944. This list includes people from United States, Germany, United Kingdom & France and many more countries.
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 1 
Glenn Miller
(Trombonist)
Glenn Miller
40
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: March 1, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Clarinda, Iowa, United States
Died: December 15
 2 
Edvard Munch
(Norwegian Painter Best Known for His Works: ‘The Scream’, ‘Madonna’ and ‘The Sick Child’)
Edvard Munch
37
Birthdate: December 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ådalsbruk, Norway
Died: 1944 AD

Norwegian painter Edvard Munch is remembered for his iconic works The Scream and The Frieze of Life - A Poem about Life, Love, and Death. His paintings exhibited themes that reflected his own psychological states. He was a significant member of the Symbolism movement but was banned by the Nazi.

 3 
Wassily Kandinsky
(Russian Painter, Art Theorist and a Pioneer in Abstract Art)
Wassily Kandinsky
12
Birthdate: December 16, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 13
Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky is considered the pioneer of abstract art. Known for notable works such as On White II and Study for Improvisation, he was a prominent artist of the Blue Rider Period and experimented with expressionism. He also earned a professorship at the University of Dorpat
 4 
Piet Mondrian
(One of the Greatest Artists of the 20th Century)
Piet Mondrian
8
Birthdate: 1872
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died: January 31

Dutch painter Piet Mondrian is remembered for pioneering what is known as 20th-century abstract art. He co-founded the De Stijl art movement with Theo van Doesburg and gave rise to Neoplasticism. His art was influenced by Cubism. Many of his paintings consist of geometric shapes in particular sets of colors.

 5 
Manuel L. Quezon
(2nd President of the Philippines)
Manuel L. Quezon
13
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 19, 1878
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Baler, Philippines
Died: August 1

Filipino statesman Manuel L. Quezon, or MLQ, was the president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944, thus becoming the first Filipino to lead a government of the whole of the Philippines. He formed a government-in-exile in the U.S. after the Japanese invasion during World War II.

 6 
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
(French Poet, Author, and Aviator Best Known for His Novella ‘The Little Prince’)
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
16
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 29, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: July 31

French writer, poet, aristocrat, and journalist, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, is best remembered for his novella, The Little Prince. He was a pioneering aviator as a young man. A successful commercial pilot before World War II, he joined the French Air Force at the start of the war. Equally successful as a writer, he won several of France's highest literary awards.

 7 
Rezā Shāh
(Shah of Iran from 1925 to 1941)
Rezā Shāh
30
Birthdate: March 15, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alasht, Iran
Died: July 26

Rezā Shāh was a military colonel who founded the Pahlavi dynasty and reigned as the Shah of Iran from December 1925 to September 1941. He was also the prime minister of Iran from October 1923 to November 1925. His tenure saw the introduction of many social, economic, and political reforms, and he is regarded as the founder of modern Iran. 

 8 
Erwin Rommel
(General)
Erwin Rommel
105
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 15, 1891
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Heidenheim an der Brenz, Germany
Died: October 14

Known as The Desert Fox, Nazi field marshal Erwin Rommel led the Axis forces during World War II. For his plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944, he was given a choice to either commit suicide by consuming a cyanide pill or face a trial and execution. He chose the former.

 9 
Claus von Stauffenberg
(German Army Officer Who Failed in His Attempt to Assassinate Adolf Hitler)
Claus von Stauffenberg
14
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jettingen, Germany
Died: July 1

German army officer Claus von Stauffenberg, a significant figure of the German Resistance Movement within the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany, attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944, but failed. He was executed by a firing squad soon after Operation Valkyrie. He had earlier actively participated in World War II.

 10 
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
(United States Naval Aviator and Eldest Son of Joseph P. Kennedy SR and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy)
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
13
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 25, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hull, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 12

Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was a US Navy lieutenant. The eldest of the famous Kennedy siblings, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was groomed by his father from a very young age to become the president of the United States. After his death during World War II at age 29, John F. Kennedy took it upon himself to materialize his father's dreams.

 11 
Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom
(The Fifth Daughter and the Youngest Child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert)
Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: April 14, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 26
Princess Beatrice of the U.K. was the fifth daughter and the youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She stayed with her mother long after all her siblings married and left. She eventually married Prince Henry of Battenberg, and she and her husband continued to live with the Queen. 
 12 
Noor Inayat Khan
(British Resistance Agent in France in World War II)
Noor Inayat Khan
15
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 1, 1914
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: September 13

Noor Inayat Khan was a British spy who served in a secret British World War II organization called Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the war. She was also the first female radio operator to be sent into occupied France from the UK to aid the French Resistance. She was subsequently caught and executed at a Nazi concentration camp.

 13 
Henning von Tresckow
(Military Officer)
Henning von Tresckow
11
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 10, 1901
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany
Died: July 21

Henning von Tresckow was a German Army officer who played a key role in organizing German  resistance against Adolf Hitler. He drafted the Valkyrie plan for a coup against the German government and even attempted to assassinate Hitler in 1943. The next year, he once again plotted to kill Hitler and failed again, upon which he committed suicide. 

 14 
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark
(Former Prince of Greece and Denmark)
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark
20
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 2, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: December 3

Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, the son of King George I of Greece, served as a major general in the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922. The Turkish forces recaptured Smyrna and Andrew was blamed for the loss of Greek territory. As a result, he was exiled from Greece and he lived in France where he died.

 15 
Florence Foster Jenkins
(American Socialite and Amateur Soprano)
Florence Foster Jenkins
11
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 19, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 26

Florence Foster Jenkins was an American socialite who was often ridiculed and mocked for her poor singing ability, which in turn made her popular. Known as the world's worst opera singer, Jenkins became a musical cult-figure in New York City due to her technical incompetence as an amateur soprano. Her life inspired several plays and films, including Florence Foster Jenkins.

 16 
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
(Military Leader)
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
9
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, USA
Died: July 12
 17 
Lupe Vélez
(Mexican Actress During the 'Golden Age of Hollywood' Cinema)
Lupe Vélez
7
Birthdate: July 18, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: San Luis Potosí City, Mexico
Died: December 14
Height: 5'0" (152 cm)
 18 
Hilma af Klint
(Swedish Artist and Mystic Best Known for Her 'Temple' Paintings)
Hilma af Klint
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1862
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Solna, Sweden
Died: October 21

Hilma af Klint was a Swedish mystic and artist whose paintings represented complex spiritual ideas. English musician and singer-songwriter Jane Weaver cited af Klint's work as inspiration for her 2017 album, Modern Kosmology. In 2019, Hilma af Klint became the subject of a feature-length documentary titled Beyond the Visible — Hilma af Klint.

 19 
Alfred Emanuel Smith
(42nd Governor of New York (1923-28))
Alfred Emanuel Smith
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 30, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: October 4
 20 
Leo Baekeland
(Chemist & Inventor)
Leo Baekeland
4
Birthdate: November 14, 1863
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium
Died: February 23

Industrial chemist Leo Baekeland is remembered as The Father of the Plastics Industry for creating Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic of the world, thus marking the beginning of the Polymer Age. His many inventions include Velox, a special photographic paper, the rights of which he sold to George Eastman.

 21 
Kasturba Gandhi
(Wife of Mahatama Gandhi)
Kasturba Gandhi
16
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: April 11, 1869
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Porbandar
Died: February 22

Kasturba Gandhi was an Indian freedom fighter and political activist. Best remembered as the wife of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Kasturba took part in Indian independence movements along with her husband. Her life and career inspired a play titled Kasturba which was written by Narayan Desai and directed by Aditi Desai. The play was staged several times in India.

 22 
Arthur Eddington
(Astronomer)
Arthur Eddington
2
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: December 28, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kendal
Died: November 22

Arthur Eddington was an English physicist, astronomer, and mathematician. He wrote numerous articles that explained Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity to the English-speaking world. He began his career in academics and eventually shifted to astronomy, becoming the chief assistant to the Astronomer Royal at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. He was a recipient of the Henry Draper Medal. 

 23 
Dadasaheb Phalke
(Father of Indian Cinema)
Dadasaheb Phalke
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tryambakeshwar, Bombay Presidency
Died: February 16
 24 
Stephen Leacock
(Canadian writer)
Stephen Leacock
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: December 30, 1869
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Swanmore, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Died: March 28
 25 
Josephine Earp
(Wyatt Earp's wife)
Josephine Earp
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1861 AD
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: December 19
 26 
Amy Beach
(Composer)
Amy Beach
7
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: September 5, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Henniker, New Hampshire, United States
Died: December 27
 27 
Ernst Thälmann
(Politician, Worker, Revolutionary, Trade unionist)
Ernst Thälmann
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 16, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamburg
Died: August 18
 28 
Thomas Midgley, Jr.
(American Mechanical and Chemical Engineer)
Thomas Midgley, Jr.
3
Listed In: Engineers
Birthdate: May 18, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 2

Thomas Midgley Jr. was an American chemical and mechanical engineer. Midgley played a key role in the development of leaded gasoline and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were later banned due to their negative impact on the environment and human health. Thomas Midgley Jr. was granted over 100 patents during his lifetime.

 29 
Lou Henry Hoover
(First Lady of the United States 1929 – 1933)
Lou Henry Hoover
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: March 29, 1874
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Died: January 7
 30 
Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
(Chemist)
Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
0
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: August 30, 1863
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Murom
Died: September 27

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii was a photographer and chemist of the Russian Empire. Prokudin-Gorskii is remembered for his effort to capture early 20th-century Russia and his groundbreaking work in color photography. From 1909 to 1915, Prokudin-Gorskii traveled across the Russian Empire, documenting several of its aspects. After his death, many of his negatives were taken to the U.S. Library of Congress.

 31 
Mariya Oktyabrskaya
(Tankman)
Mariya Oktyabrskaya
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 16, 1905
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Crimea, Russian
Died: March 15
 32 
Kenesaw Mountain Landis
(American Jurist and 1st Commissioner of Baseball (1920 - 1944))
Kenesaw Mountain Landis
4
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: November 20, 1866
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Millville, Ohio, United States
Died: November 25

The son of a Union soldier, Kenesaw Mountain Landis was successful US federal judge. He was also the first Commissioner of Baseball and is remembered for his role in the Black Sox scandal, in which he removed eight Chicago White Sox players for deliberately losing the 1919 World Series.

 33 
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
(Italian Poet, Founder of the 'Futurist Movement' and Author of the First 'Futurist Manifesto')
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
0
Birthdate: December 22, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: December 2

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was an Italian poet, art theorist, and editor. He is credited with founding the Futurist movement and is remembered for his work Manifesto of Futurism. In 1918, he founded a political party called Futurist Political Party as an extension of the social and futurist artistic movement. The party merged with the Italian Fasces of Combat in 1919.

 34 
Richard Sorge
(Soviet Military Intelligence Officer and Spy Who was Active During World War II)
Richard Sorge
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 4, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Baku, Azerbaijan
Died: November 7

Richard Sorge was a German journalist and Soviet military intelligence officer. He was active before and during the Second World War. He worked undercover in both Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan under the codename, "Ramsay." He was arrested, tortured, and hanged in 1944. In 1964, he was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

 35 
Prafulla Chandra Ray
4
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: August 2, 1861
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Khulna
Died: June 16

Indian Bengali chemist Prafulla Chandra Ray founded the country’s first pharma company, Bengal Chemicals. Educated in Calcutta and Edinburgh, he later worked from his home, a room on the first floor of the college where he taught. Knighted for his achievements, he donated generous sums to the Brahmo Samaj initiatives.

 36 
Jean Tatlock
(Psychiatrist)
Jean Tatlock
0
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: February 21, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Died: January 4
 37 
Hannah Szenes
(Writer, Poet)
Hannah Szenes
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 17, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: November 7

Hungarian Jewish poet and SOE member Hannah Szenes went down in history for voluntarily parachuting into occupied Europe during World War II to assist the Allied forces and the armed resistance against the Nazis. Captured at the Hungarian border, she was eventually tortured and executed by a firing squad.

 38 
Louis Renault
(Founder of Renault)
Louis Renault
1
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: February 12, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris
Died: October 24

Louis Renault was a French industrialist. A pioneer of the automobile industry, Renault is remembered for co-founding the popular automobile manufacturer, Renault Group. Renault is credited with building factories that contributed immensely to the war effort during the First World War; the Renault FT tank, the first tank of modern configuration, was created and manufactured by his company.

 39 
Alexis Carrel
(Surgeon, Biologist)
Alexis Carrel
1
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: June 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, Rhône, France
Died: November 5
Nobel Prize-winning French biologist and surgeon Alexis Carrel is remembered for developing a method to suture blood vessels with minimum stitches, to repair them. He also successfully kept tissues alive outside the body for 30 years, in an innovative tissue culture experiment, and worked on organ transplantation.
 40 
Fritz Pfeffer
(Physician)
Fritz Pfeffer
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: April 30, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gießen
Died: December 20

Known as Albert Dussel in Anne Frank’s diary, Fritz Pfeffer was a successful Jewish dentist who had hid along with Anne Frank and her family in the Secret Annex during the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands. Initially deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, he later died at the Neuengamme concentration camp.

 41 
Harry Langdon
(Comedian)
Harry Langdon
1
Birthdate: June 15, 1884
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Council Bluffs, Iowa, United States
Died: December 22
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 42 
William Heath Robinson
William Heath Robinson
0
Listed In:
Birthdate: March 31, 1872
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: September 13
 43 
Antanas Smetona
(Former President of Lithuania)
Antanas Smetona
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 10, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Taujėnai
Died: January 9

The first president of Lithuania, Antanas Smetona was drawn into the revolutionary movements of his country soon after finishing law school. A major political figure of his country during the two World Wars, he came to power for a second time after launching a coup in 1926.

 44 
Asmahan
(Actress)
Asmahan
2
Birthdate: November 25, 1912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Syria
Died: July 14
 45 
William Kissam Vanderbilt II
(American Motocross Racer and Sailor)
William Kissam Vanderbilt II
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 26, 1878
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: January 8

William Kissam Vanderbilt II was an American yachtsman and motor racing enthusiast. Born into the popular Vanderbilt family, William developed an interest in yachting and horse racing. He participated in yacht racing in 1900 and won the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup. A racing enthusiast, William owned many fast cars and launched an international auto racing event called the Vanderbilt Cup.

 46 
Milena Jesenska
(Czech Writer Who Helped Many Jews Escape From Czechoslovakia After the Advent of The Nazis)
Milena Jesenska
2
Birthdate: August 10, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: May 17

Milena Jesenska was a Czech writer, editor, journalist, and translator. She is best remembered for translating Franz Kafka's works from German to Czech and for her romantic relationship with Kafka when she was still married to Ernst Pollak. She is also known for her action of saving the lives of many Jewish and political refugees when the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia.

 47 
Hazel Ying Lee
(American Pilot)
Hazel Ying Lee
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 24, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: November 25
 48 
Ida Tarbell
(Journalist)
Ida Tarbell
1
Birthdate: November 5, 1857
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hatch Hollow, Amity Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 6
 49 
Aimee Semple McPherson
(Evangelist)
Aimee Semple McPherson
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 9, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Salford, Ontario, Canada
Died: September 27
 50 
Wang Jingwei
(1st President of the Republic of China)
Wang Jingwei
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 4, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sanshui District, Foshan, China
Died: November 10
Wang Jingwei lost both his parents in childhood. He grew up to become a close associate of Sun Yat-sen. He was the first president of the Republic of China. His collaboration with Japan to form a government in Nanjing made him a traitor in the eyes of his countrymen.