Famous People Who Died In 1956

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 1956. This list includes people like B. R. Ambedkar, A. A. Milne, Jackson Pollock, Bela Lugosi, Bertolt Brecht and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, artists, poets and presidents who died in 1956. This list includes people from United States, France, Germany & United Kingdom and many more countries.
Vote for Your Favourite People Who Died In 1956

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

 1 
Jackson Pollock
(American Abstract Expressionist Artist Known for His ‘Drip Technique’ Work)
Jackson Pollock
44
Birthdate: January 28, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cody, Wyoming, United States
Died: August 11
Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock pioneered the drip technique or action painting, which involved moving his whole body to paint on a horizontal surface. Unfortunately, he struggled with alcoholism and died in a car accident, while drunk driving. He inspired a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography and the 2000 film Pollock.
 2 
B. R. Ambedkar
(One of the Architects of the Indian Constitution)
B. R. Ambedkar
132
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: April 14, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: December 6

India's first Minister of Law and Justice, B. R. Ambedkar inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement. He also fought against social discrimination prevalent in India at that time. Widely regarded as the chief architect of the Constitution of India, Ambedkar was posthumously honored with India's highest civilian award - The Bharat Ratna.

 3 
A. A. Milne
(Best Known for His Books About the Teddy Bear ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ and Children's Poetry)
A. A. Milne
16
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 18, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 31

A. A. Milne was an English author best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh. He joined the British Army as a young man and served in both World War I and World War II. In his career as a writer, he wrote several novels, non-fiction pieces, articles, poems, screenplays, and children’s stories.

 4 
Bela Lugosi
(Best Known for His Role as 'Count Dracula' in the 1939 Film ‘Son of Frankenstein’)
Bela Lugosi
6
Birthdate: October 20, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lugoj, Romania
Died: August 16
Hungarian-American actor Bela Lugosi is best remembered for his iconic performance as Dracula on Broadway and in the 1931 film of the same name, based on Bram Stoker’s novel. He also appeared in films such as The Black Cat, The Raven, and Son of Frankenstein, along with Boris Karloff.
 5 
Bertolt Brecht
(Theatre Practitioner, Playwright, and Poet Known for His Plays: ‘The Threepenny Opera’ and ‘Life of Galileo’)
Bertolt Brecht
21
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 10, 1898
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Augsburg, Germany
Died: August 14

German playwright, poet, and theater director, Bertolt Brecht, is best known for co-writing the play, The Threepenny Opera, with Kurt Weill. Growing up in war-torn Germany in the early 20th century, he had a difficult life. A hardcore Marxist, he lived in exile during the Nazi period. He returned to Germany after the war and established a theater company.

 6 
Irène Joliot-Curie
(French Physicist, Politician and Winner of the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Irène Joliot-Curie
8
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: September 12, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 17

Marie Curie and Pierre Curie’s daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, herself a brilliant scientist, won the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with her husband, Joliot-Curie, for discovering artificial radioactivity. She was also one of the first three female French government members. She tragically died of leukemia caused by exposure to radiation.

 7 
H. L. Mencken
(One of the Greatest and Most Influential American Literary Critic in the 1920s)
H. L. Mencken
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 12, 1880
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: January 29

H. L. Mencken was an American journalist, cultural critic, essayist, satirist, and scholar of American English. His reporting on the Scopes Trial earned him national recognition. The trial came to be known as the Scopes Monkey Trial as Mencken had nicknamed it Monkey Trial in accordance with his satirical reporting of the trial.

 8 
Jim Elliot
(Missionary)
Jim Elliot
15
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon
Died: January 8
 American Christian missionary Jim Elliot was one of five people killed during Operation Auca. He is still remembered for his selfless devotion to God and his zeal, tempered by love, to guide people. The Journals of Jim Elliot contains volumes of documents written over many years by Jim Elliot in which the missionary has detailed his mission work.
 9 
Tommy Dorsey
(Trombonist)
Tommy Dorsey
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 19, 1905
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: November 26
 10 
Alfredo Ferrari
(Engineer)
Alfredo Ferrari
8
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 19, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Modena
Died: June 30
 11 
Alben W. Barkley
(35th Vice President of the U.S)
Alben W. Barkley
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 24, 1877
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lowes, Kentucky
Died: April 30
 12 
Connie Mack
(Baseball manager)
Connie Mack
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 22, 1862
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: East Brookfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 8
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 13 
Art Tatum
(American Jazz Pianist)
Art Tatum
2
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 13, 1909
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States
Died: November 5
 14 
Charles Joughin
(Chef)
Charles Joughin
1
Listed In: Food Experts
Birthdate: August 3, 1878
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Birkenhead, England
Died: December 9
English-American chef, Charles Joughin, was the chief baker aboard the RMS Titanic. A survivor of the disaster, he was depicted in two major films about the Titanic. He was also on board the SS Oregon when it sank and served on ships operated by the American Export Lines, as well as on World War II troop transports.
 15 
Fred Allen
(American comedian)
Fred Allen
1
Birthdate: May 31, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Died: March 17
 16 
William Boeing
(American Aviation Pioneer and Founder of ‘The Boeing Company’)
William Boeing
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 1, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: September 28
Aviation mogul and Boeing founder William Boeing was initially a timber man. While learning to fly from Glenn L. Martin, he bought a plane from him, damaged it, and managed to repair it. Inspired by this, he built his first plane. He was also a horse-breeder and an avid reader.
 17 
Elpidio Quirino
(Former President of the Philippines)
Elpidio Quirino
5
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 16, 1890
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vigan City, Philippines
Died: February 29

Elpidio Quirino was a Filipino politician and lawyer. From 1948 to 1953, Quirino served as the president of the Philippines. He was serving as the vice-president when he succeeded the presidency after the sudden death of incumbent President Manuel Roxas. In 2016, a memorial was established in Tokyo, Japan, in his honor.

 18 
Ernest Joseph King
(Naval Officer)
Ernest Joseph King
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 23, 1878
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio, United States
Died: June 25
 19 
Clarence Birdseye
(Inventor, Engineer)
Clarence Birdseye
0
Birthdate: December 9, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: October 7
 20 
Alexander Korda
(Hungarian-British Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter)
Alexander Korda
0
Birthdate: September 16, 1893
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Túrkeve, Hungary
Died: January 23

Hungarian-British filmmaker Sir Alexander Korda initially worked as a journalist and launched film magazines such as Pesti Mozi. He later moved to Hollywood and then to England, where he launched his production company. Known for producing classics such as The Thief of Baghdad, he was the first filmmaker to be knighted.

 21 
Pietro Badoglio
(Prime Minister of Italy from 1943 to 1944)
Pietro Badoglio
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 28, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Grazzano Badoglio, Italy
Died: November 1

Initially an artillery officer, Pietro Badoglio served as a general during the two World Wars. He eventually signed an armistice with the Allies to withdraw Italian forces from World War II. He eventually served as the prime minister of Italy and was also the 1st Duke of Addis Abeba.

 22 
Charles MacArthur
(Playwright)
Charles MacArthur
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: November 5, 1895
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 21
 23 
Preston Tucker
(Entrepreneur)
Preston Tucker
2
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: September 21, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Capac, Michigan, United States
Died: December 26
 24 
Meghnad Saha
(Indian Astrophysicist Who Developed the ‘Saha Ionisation Equation’ and ‘Thermal Ionisation’)
Meghnad Saha
4
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: October 6, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bangladesh
Died: February 16

Indian astrophysicist Meghnad Saha is best remembered for developing the thermal ionization equation. A grocer’s son, he relied on merit alone to excel in academics and eventually became a professor at the universities of Allahabad and Calcutta. He was also a Lok Sabha MP and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 25 
Alexander Rodchenko
(Russian Artist and One of the Founders of 'Constructivism' and Russian Design)
Alexander Rodchenko
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 5, 1891
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: December 3

Remembered as one of the founders of the avant-garde movement named Russian constructivism, Alexander Rodchenko has experimented with photography, paintings, posters, photomontage, and sculpture. Most of his works have political overtones. He was a prominent member of the October Group and was geared toward making art for the working classes.

 26 
Alfred Kinsey
(American Biologist Who Founded The Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University)
Alfred Kinsey
12
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: June 23, 1894
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 25

Alfred Kinsey was an American biologist, sexologist, and professor of zoology and entomology. He is credited with founding the Indiana University's Institute for Sex Research in 1947. Kinsey's research on human sexuality and his other works have influenced cultural and social values in the USA as well as internationally. In 2012, Kinsey was inducted into Chicago's Legacy Walk.

 27 
Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein
(Writer)
Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein
1
Birthdate: August 12, 1872
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cumberland Lodge, Old Windsor
Died: December 8
 28 
Kenji Mizoguchi
(Japanese Film Director and Screenwriter Known for His Long Takes and Mise-en-scène)
Kenji Mizoguchi
0
Birthdate: May 16, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hongo, Tokyo, Japan
Died: August 24

Kenji Mizoguchi was a Japanese film director and screenwriter best known for his romantic fantasy drama film Ugetsu. He earned much acclaim for his style of filmography and stage design. He developed what became his signature "one-scene-one-shot" approach to cinema and is counted amongst the most acclaimed filmmakers in Japanese and world cinema history. 

 29 
Sam Langford
(One of the Greatest Boxes of All Time)
Sam Langford
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 4, 1883
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Weymouth Falls, Canada
Died: January 12
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 30 
Frederick Soddy
(Radiochemist)
Frederick Soddy
1
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: September 2, 1877
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Eastbourne
Died: September 22
 31 
Elisabeth of Romania
(Queen Consort of the Hellenes (1922 - 1924) and First Lady of Romania)
Elisabeth of Romania
4
Birthdate: October 12, 1894
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Peleş Castle, Sinaia, Kingdom of Romania
Died: November 14

The daughter of Prince Ferdinand, Princess Elisabeth of Romania became the queen of Greece by her marriage to King George II. She later divorced her husband and became the First Lady of Romania following her mother’s death and her brother Carol II’s dethronement. She adopted an artist lover 30 years younger to her.

 32 
Robert Hotung
(The grand old man of Hong Kong)
Robert Hotung
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 22, 1862
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Died: April 26
 33 
Juho Kusti Paasikivi
(7th President of Finland)
Juho Kusti Paasikivi
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 27, 1870
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hämeenkoski, Finland
Died: December 14

The 7th president of Finland, Juho Kusti Paasikivi has also been his country’s prime minister. He had chaired the Senate of Finland, too. He is chiefly remembered for his post-World War II foreign policies. Initially an academician of law, he later turned to banking and insurance management and, eventually, to politics.

 34 
Maud Allan
(Canadian Dancer Known for Her 'Dance of the Seven Veils')
Maud Allan
0
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: August 27, 1873
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: October 7

Maud Allan was a Canadian dancer who became known for her Dance of the Seven Veils. She studied piano at the Hochschule für Musik and became a piano teacher. She later abandoned the piano in favor of dance. She was very creative as a dancer and even designed her own costumes. She became a dance teacher in her later years.  

 35 
Marie Laurencin
(French Painter and Printmaker Known for Her Delicate Portraits of Elegant, Vaguely Melancholic Women)
Marie Laurencin
0
Birthdate: October 31, 1883
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: June 8

Marie Laurencin was a French printmaker and painter. An important member of the Cubists within the Groupe de Puteaux, Laurencin was an influential figure in the Parisian avant-garde. Today, her works can be seen at popular museums like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in the USA, the Tate Gallery in the UK, and the State Hermitage Museum in Russia.

 36 
Harold Bride
(Sailor)
Harold Bride
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 11, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
Died: April 29
 37 
Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia
(Military Personnel)
Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 14, 1879
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pushkin, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: October 30
 38 
Michael Ventris
(English Architect, Classicist and Philologist)
Michael Ventris
0
Birthdate: July 12, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, England
Died: September 6

Apart from being a renowned architect, Michael Ventris was also a skilled cryptographer. He not only deciphered the Minoan Linear B script, but also linked it to the ancient Greek script. As an architect, he was commissioned by the Ministry of Education to design schools. He died in a car crash at 34.

 39 
Hiram Bingham III
(American Academic, Explorer and Politician)
Hiram Bingham III
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Died: June 6

Best known for his research on the Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes, American archaeologist Hiram Bingham III had learned mountaineering from his missionary father. Though not a professional archaeologist, he ventured into exploration after gaining an interest in South America while teaching South American history at Yale.

 40 
Gerald Finzi
(Composer, Music educator)
Gerald Finzi
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: July 14, 1901
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London
Died: September 27
 41 
Robert Walser
(Writer)
Robert Walser
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 15, 1878
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
Died: December 25
 42 
Robert Newton
(Actor)
Robert Newton
2
Birthdate: June 1, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Shaftesbury, Dorset, England, UK
Died: March 25
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 43 
Jules Rimet
(Football administrator)
Jules Rimet
1
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: October 14, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Theuley
Died: October 16
 44 
Fred Merkle
(Baseball manager)
Fred Merkle
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 20, 1888
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Watertown, Wisconsin, United States
Died: March 2
 45 
Jean Hersholt
(Danish-American Actor)
Jean Hersholt
2
Birthdate: July 12, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: June 2
 46 
Lionel Crabb
(Lieutenant Commander who vanished during a reconnaissance mission for MI6 around a Soviet cruiser berthed at Portsmouth Dockyard in 1956)
Lionel Crabb
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 28, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 19
 47 
Anastasio Somoza García
(President of Nicaragua from 1937 to 1947 and from 1950 to 1956)
Anastasio Somoza García
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 1, 1896
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Marcos, Nicaragua
Died: September 29

Anastasio Somoza García was a Nicaraguan leader who served as the president of Nicaragua from 1937 to 1947 and again from 1950 to 1956. Before becoming the president of Nicaragua, Somoza played a major role in ousting the then-President Adolfo Díaz. Somoza is credited with starting the Somoza family, which had absolute control over Nicaragua for more than four decades. 

 48 
Lewis Terman
(Psychologist, University teacher)
Lewis Terman
1
Birthdate: January 15, 1877
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Johnson County
Died: December 21
 49 
Hugh Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard
(Police Officer)
Hugh Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 3, 1873
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Taunton, England
Died: February 10
 50 
Leo Baeck
(German Rabbi, Scholar and Theologian)
Leo Baeck
0
Birthdate: May 23, 1873
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Leszno, Poland
Died: November 2

German rabbi and spiritual leader Leo Baeck remains a symbol of liberal Jewish thinking of the Nazi era. He is best remembered for The Essence of Judaism and This People Israel, the latter of which was penned by him while in a Nazi concentration camp.