Famous People Who Died In 1961

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 1961. This list includes people like Ernest Hemingway, Carl Jung, Gary Cooper, Ty Cobb, Erwin Schrödinger and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, journalists, artists and novelists who died in 1961. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, France & Switzerland and many more countries.
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 1 
Ernest Hemingway
(American Literary Icon Who Was Known for His Straightforward Prose & Use of Understatement)
Ernest Hemingway
86
Birthdate: July 21, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: July 2

Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist and short-story writer who had a strong impact on 20th-century fiction. He published seven novels and six short-story collections and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea are some of his classic works. He ended his own life in July 1961.

 2 
Carl Jung
(Swiss Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst and Founder of Analytical Psychology)
Carl Jung
13
Birthdate: July 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kesswil, Switzerland
Died: June 6

Widely regarded as the father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung is one of the most important contributors to symbolization and dream analysis. The concepts of socionics and a popular psychometric instrument called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) were developed from Jung's theory. Apart from working as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung was also an artist, craftsman, builder, and prolific writer.

 3 
Gary Cooper
(One of the Greatest Male Stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema)
Gary Cooper
18
Birthdate: May 7, 1901
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Helena, Montana, United States
Died: May 13

Gary Cooper was one of the most popular and versatile American actors of all time. Known for his understated acting style, Cooper won the adulation of critics, fans, and fellow movie stars. A major movie star throughout the golden age of cinema, Cooper was ranked 11th on the 25 greatest male stars of classic Hollywood cinema list published by AFI.

 4 
Erwin Schrödinger
(Austrian Physicist Who Made Important Contributions to the Development of Quantum Mechanics)
Erwin Schrödinger
20
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: August 12, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erdberg, Vienna, Austria
Died: January 4
Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, is best known for the "Schrödinger's cat" experiment, or the Schrodinger equation. His book What Is Life? explored genetics through physics. The Nobel Prize winner also wrote on a variety of topics, such as color theory and thermodynamics, and tried to create a unified field theory.
 5 
Ty Cobb
(One of the Greatest Players in Baseball History)
Ty Cobb
9
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 18, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Narrows, Georgia, United States
Died: July 17
During his 22-season career in Major League Baseball, Tyrus Cobb was known for setting numerous records with his aggressive approach on the field. The outfielder with a record career batting average featured in the list of all-time great players and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Associated with Detroit Tigers for more than two decades, he was also involved in philanthropy.
 6 
Patrice Lumumba
(1st Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Patrice Lumumba
7
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 2, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sankuru, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Died: January 17
Congolese politician Patrice Lumumba was the first prime minister of the Republic of the Congo. He was an MNC leader and played a major role in turning Congo from a Belgian colony to an independent country. He was executed on the orders of Mobutu Sese Seko, following the Congo Crisis.
 7 
Marion Davies
(Actress and Producer Best Known for Her Films: ‘When Knighthood Was in Flower’ and ‘Little Old New York’)
Marion Davies
7
Birthdate: January 3, 1897
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: September 22

Marion Davies was an American actress, screenwriter, producer, and philanthropist. During the mid-1920s, Davies was Hollywood's number one female box office star due to the popularity of her films Little Old New York and When Knighthood Was in Flower. Since her death, Davies has been portrayed in several films by different actresses, including Kirsten Dunst, Virginia Madsen, and Amanda Seyfried.

 8 
Anna May Wong
(American Actress and First Chinese American Film Star in 'Hollywood')
Anna May Wong
5
Birthdate: January 3, 1905
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: February 3

Anna May Wong was an American actress and the first Chinese-American to make it big in Hollywood. She is remembered as the first Chinese-American to gain international recognition as an actress. Anna made history in 1951 when she appeared in The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, becoming the first Asian-American to be featured as the lead in a US television show.

 9 
Chico Marx
(American comedian)
Chico Marx
2
Birthdate: March 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: October 11
 10 
Dag Hammarskjöld
(Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961)
Dag Hammarskjöld
13
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 29, 1905
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jönköping, Sweden
Died: September 18

Dag Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat and economist. In 1953, Hammarskjöld became the youngest person to be appointed as the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He died in airplane crash in 1961. Dag Hammarskjöld became the first person to be honored with a Nobel Peace Prize posthumously.

 11 
Dashiell Hammett
(Regarded as one of the Best Mystery Writers of All Time)
Dashiell Hammett
2
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: May 27, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. Mary's County, Maryland, United States
Died: January 10
 12 
Jeff Chandler
32
Birthdate: December 15, 1918
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: June 17
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 13 
Grandma Moses
(Painter, Illustrator)
Grandma Moses
3
Birthdate: September 7, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York
Died: December 13

Anna Mary Robertson, better known as Grandma Moses, revolutionized American folk art with her iconic depictions of American rural life. After spending 15 years of her life working as a housekeeper, she deviated toward embroidery. A bout of arthritis made her switch to painting in her late 70s.

 14 
Gail Russell
(Actress)
Gail Russell
0
Birthdate: September 21, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: August 27
 15 
Sam Rayburn
(43rd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives)
Sam Rayburn
10
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 6, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kingston, Tennessee, United States
Died: November 16
 16 
Eero Saarinen
(Architect)
Eero Saarinen
11
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: August 20, 1910
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kirkkonummi, Finland
Died: September 1

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American industrial designer and architect best remembered for his impressive designs for monuments and buildings. He is credited with designing important structures, such as the Washington Dulles International Airport, the TWA Flight Center, and the Gateway Arch. He is widely regarded as one of the 20th-century's most prominent American architectures.

 17 
James Thurber
(Cartoonist, Author, Journalist & Playwright)
James Thurber
2
Birthdate: December 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: November 2
 18 
David Kenyon Webster
(Journalist, Writer)
David Kenyon Webster
1
Birthdate: June 2, 1922
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: September 9
 19 
Edith Wilson
(First Lady of the United States)
Edith Wilson
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 15, 1872
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wytheville, Virginia, United States
Died: December 28
 20 
Mohammed V of Morocco
(Sultan of Morocco)
Mohammed V of Morocco
2
Birthdate: August 10, 1909
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fes, Morocco
Died: February 26
 21 
Charles Coburn
(Actor Known for His Movies 'The Devil and Miss Jones', 'The More the Merrier' and 'The Green Years')
Charles Coburn
0
Birthdate: June 19, 1877
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia, United States
Died: August 30
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 22 
George Formby
(Actor, Comedian, Film producer, Musician)
George Formby
1
Birthdate: May 26, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wigan
Died: March 6
 23 
Sergio Osmeña
(The 4th President of the Philippines)
Sergio Osmeña
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 9, 1878
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cebu City, Philippines
Died: October 19

The 4th president of the Philippines, Sergio Osmeña had also been the country’s 1st vice-president. Initially a military commander of the Philippine army, he had been part of World War II. He had begun his political career as the governor of Cebu. He also founded the Nationalist Party.

 24 
Frederick McKinley Jones
(Inventor of 'Mobile Refrigeration Technology' for Transportation of Perishable Goods)
Frederick McKinley Jones
3
Birthdate: May 17, 1893
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: February 21

Best known for inventing an automatic refrigeration system used in long-haul trucks, Frederick McKinley Jones was orphaned at age 7. He quit school as a child and took up menial jobs. After briefly serving the army, he focused on inventing machine parts and ended up with over 60 patents.

 25 
Percy Grainger
(Composer, Arranger and Pianist Known for His Folk-Dance Tune ‘Country Gardens’)
Percy Grainger
2
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: July 8, 1882
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brighton, Australia
Died: February 20

Born to an English father in Australia, Percy Grainger was raised by his mother after their parents’ split. Mostly homeschooled after being bullied by his batchmates, he developed a love for music and debuted as a pianist at 10. He revived English folk music and set up the Grainger Museum.

 26 
George S. Kaufman
(Theatre director, Screenwriter, Journalist, Playwright, Bridge player, Writer)
George S. Kaufman
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: November 16, 1889
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pittsburgh
Died: June 2
 27 
Ruth Chatterton
0
Birthdate: December 24, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 24
 28 
Lee de Forest
(Father of Radio)
Lee de Forest
3
Birthdate: August 26, 1873
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Council Bluffs, Iowa, U.S.
Died: June 30
 29 
Vanessa Bell
(Painter)
Vanessa Bell
2
Birthdate: May 30, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: April 7
 30 
Frantz Fanon
(Psychiatrist)
Frantz Fanon
5
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: July 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fort-de-France, Martinique
Died: December 6

Frantz Fanon was a French-West Indian born in Martinique, a former French colony. A skilled psychiatrist and physician, he realized the impact of colonialism on the human mind while treating French soldiers and Algerians. The author of books such as The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon supported the Algerian independence movement.

 31 
Maria of Yugoslavia
(Consort)
Maria of Yugoslavia
2
Birthdate: January 6, 1900
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gotha, Germany
Died: June 22
 32 
Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina
(Former President of the Dominican Republic)
Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina
21
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 24, 1891
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Cristóbal Province, Dominican Republic
Died: May 30

Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina was a Dominican dictator. He ruled the Dominican Republic from 1930 to 1961, serving as president for 18 years and as an unelected military strongman for the rest of the time. While he was in power, the Dominican Republic witnessed large-scale violence and his 31-year-rule is regarded as one of the bloodiest eras in the Americas.

 33 
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
(Philosopher)
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
0
Birthdate: March 14, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rochefort-sur-Mer, Charente-Inférieure, France
Died: May 3
 34 
Moss Hart
(American Playwright, Librettist and Theater Director)
Moss Hart
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 24, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 20
 35 
Learned Hand
(Former United States Judge and Judicial Philosopher)
Learned Hand
2
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: January 27, 1872
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Albany
Died: August 18
 36 
Barry Fitzgerald
(Actor)
Barry Fitzgerald
6
Birthdate: March 10, 1888
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: January 14
 37 
Alastair Denniston
(Scottish Field Hockey Player)
Alastair Denniston
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 1, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Died: January 1

Alastair Denniston was a Scottish code breaker and hockey player. He was deputy head of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) from 1919 to 1942. As a member of the Scottish Olympic hockey team in 1908, he won a bronze medal. He worked as a code breaker during the war years. He taught French and Latin following his retirement. 

 38 
Govind Ballabh Pant
(Freedom Fighter)
Govind Ballabh Pant
26
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 10, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Almora,India
Died: March 7
 39 
John A. Bennett
(Soldier)
John A. Bennett
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: April 10, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Virginia, United States
Died: April 13
 40 
Hilda Doolittle
(Poet)
Hilda Doolittle
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 10, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 27
 41 
Emily Greene Balch
(Central Leader of the 'Women's International League for Peace and Freedom' and Winner of 1946 Nobel Peace Prize)
Emily Greene Balch
2
Birthdate: January 8, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston
Died: January 9

Emily Greene Balch was an American sociologist, economist, and pacifist. She is best remembered for her work to deal with social issues like child labor, poverty, and immigration. She also worked towards reducing juvenile delinquency and uplifting poor immigrants. In 1946, Emily Greene Balch was honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.

 42 
Blaise Cendrars
(Swiss Novelist and Poet)
Blaise Cendrars
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 1, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Died: January 21

French-speaking Swiss poet Blaise Cendrars was a regular at the artists’ colony known as The Beehive. Remembered for his novels such as Bourlinguer and his poems such as Pâques à New York, he mostly included autobiographical elements in his works, such as his experiences at the front lines for the French army.

 43 
Josef Priller
(German Military Aviator )
Josef Priller
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 27, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ingolstadt
Died: May 20
 44 
Booker Little
(Trumpeter)
Booker Little
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: April 2, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Died: October 5
 45 
Otto Loewi
(American Pharmacologist and Psychobiologist)
Otto Loewi
0
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: June 3, 1873
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: December 25

Otto Loewi was a German-born American psycho-biologist and pharmacologist, whose research on neurology proved that chemicals were involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Working with Sir Henry Dale, he established the role of acetylcholine as an endogenous neurotransmitter, co-winning the Nobel Prize for it. Later, he worked on diabetes and devised Loewi’s test for the detection of pancreatic disease.

 46 
Masanobu Tsuji
(politician, military personnel)
Masanobu Tsuji
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 11, 1900
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ishikawa Prefecture
Died: July 20
 47 
Mihail Sadoveanu
(Romanian Political Figure, Journalist, Short Story Writer, and Novelist)
Mihail Sadoveanu
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: November 5, 1880
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pascani, Moldova, Romania
Died: October 19

Mihail Sadoveanu was a Romanian political figure, journalist, short story writer, and novelist. One of the most prolific writers of Romania, Sadoveanu is best remembered for his adventure and historical novels. In 1961, Mihail Sadoveanu was honored with the prestigious Lenin Peace Prize

 48 
Jules Bordet
(Nobel Prize-Winning Belgian Scientist Known for His Discovery of Factors in Blood Serum that Destroy Bacteria)
Jules Bordet
0
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: June 13, 1870
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Soignies
Died: April 6

Nobel Prize-winning Belgian immunologist and microbiologist Jules Bordet is remembered for his discovery of blood serum components that are capable of destroying bacteria. He later established the Pasteur Institute of Brussels and taught at the Free University of Brussels. He also discovered the Bordetella pertussis bacteria that causes whooping cough.

 49 
Lucian Blaga
(Romanian Poet, Philosopher, Poetry Translator, Playwright, and Novelist)
Lucian Blaga
2
Birthdate: May 9, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lancram, Alba, Romania
Died: May 6

Lucian Blaga was a Romanian poet, philosopher, poetry translator, playwright, and novelist. He was also associated with the University of Cluj, where he worked as a professor of cultural philosophy. Over the course of his career, Lucian Blaga was honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Hamagiu Award and a nomination for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

 50 
Angela Thirkell
(Novelist)
Angela Thirkell
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 30, 1890
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England
Died: January 29