Famous People Who Died In 1968

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 1968. This list includes people like Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Helen Keller, Yuri Gagarin, John Steinbeck and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, novelists, military leaders and directors who died in 1968. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, Germany & France and many more countries.
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 1 
Martin Luther King Jr.
(African-American Civil Rights Movement Leader Who Used Civil Disobedience to Combat Racism)
Martin Luther King Jr.
121
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: April 4

A leader in the civil rights movement in the mid-twentieth century, Martin Luther King Jr. is best remembered for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience. A man of Christian faith who was inspired by Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent activism, he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting racial inequality.  

 2 
Robert F. Kennedy
(United States Senator, Brother of President John F. Kennedy)
Robert F. Kennedy
49
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts
Died: June 6

Robert F Kennedy, the brother of the 35th US president John F Kennedy, was a politician who served as US Attorney General and as US Senator. He was known as a civil rights and human rights activist and fought against organised crime and the Mafia. He opposed America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. He was assassinated by a 24-year-old Palestinian.

 3 
Helen Keller
(American Author and First Deaf-Blind Person to Earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree)
Helen Keller
98
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: June 27, 1880
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tuscumbia, Alabama, United States
Died: June 1

A prolific author, having written 12 published books and several articles, Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her autobiography, The Story of My Life, made Keller famous and was adapted for film and stage. She was also an activist and campaigned for women's suffrage, labour rights, socialism and other such causes.

 4 
Yuri Gagarin
(Soviet Pilot and Cosmonaut Who Became the First Man to Travel into Outer Space)
Yuri Gagarin
36
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: March 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Klushino, Russia
Died: March 27
Yuri Gagarin was the first man to travel into outer space when he completed an orbit of the Earth aboard the Vostok 1 in 1961. Following this, he became a national hero in Russia. He had previously served as an Air Forces pilot. He tragically died in a MiG-15 crash.
 5 
John Steinbeck
(American Writer and Winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature)
John Steinbeck
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 27, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Salinas, California, United States
Died: December 20

Famous for his novels The Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat, John Ernst Steinbeck was noted for his sympathy for the plight of workers in his books. The Nobel laureate, who said he did not deserve the prize, authored 33 books, some of which were best sellers during his time. His books were also adapted into films.

 6 
Enid Blyton
(Best Selling Children's Writer of the 20th Century Known for Her Works 'Malory Towers' & 'The Famous Five')
Enid Blyton
11
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 11, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: East Dulwich, London, England
Died: November 28
Author Enid Blyton is best remembered for her iconic children’s book series such as Famous Five, Malory Towers, and Secret Seven, majorly focusing on mystery-based plots. Her works have made her the fourth-most-translated writer. She had supported animal and paediatric charities. Her story inspired the BBC film Enid.
 7 
Frankie Lymon
22
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 27
Rock and roll/R&B singer/songwriter Frankie Lymon started his career as the lead singer of the group The Teenagers, known for hits such as Why Do Fools Fall in Love. Both his and his band’s popularity declined after he went solo. He was found dead of a heroin overdose at 25.
 8 
Tallulah Bankhead
(American Actress)
Tallulah Bankhead
13
Birthdate: January 31, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Huntsville, Alabama, United States
Died: December 12
Tallulah Bankhead was the daughter of former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives William Brockman Bankhead. She also gained fame for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat. She had also been part of radio and TV shows. She had a life riddled with bisexual promiscuity and alcoholism.
 9 
Upton Sinclair
(American writer)
Upton Sinclair
11
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 20, 1878
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland
Died: November 25
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and political activist Upton Sinclair is best remembered for his novels such as The Jungle and The Brass Check, which mirrored the exploitative and unjust nature of various sectors. He was also an occult and telepathy enthusiast. He was actively involved with the Socialist and Democratic parties.
 10 
Bea Benaderet
(Actress)
Bea Benaderet
6
Birthdate: April 4, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: October 13
 11 
Marcel Duchamp
(French Painter, Sculptor, Chess Player and Writer)
Marcel Duchamp
10
Birthdate: July 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Blainville-Crevon, France
Died: October 2
French-American painter and sculptor Marcel Duchamp is remembered for his association with movements such as Cubism and Dadaism. A significant figure in conceptual art, he was against art that was meant to just cater to the eyes. He was also a skilled chess player and carved his own chess set.
 12 
Bobby Driscoll
5
Birthdate: March 3, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
Died: March 30
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 13 
Duke Kahanamoku
(Hawaiian Competition Swimmer Who Popularized the Sport of Surfing)
Duke Kahanamoku
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 24, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Haleʻākala, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Died: January 22

Duke Kahanamoku was an American competitive swimmer and surfer. He is credited with popularizing the ancient Hawaiian surfing. As a swimmer, Kahanamoku won three gold medals in two different Olympics. Kahanamoku was inducted into both the Surfing Hall of Fame and International Swimming Hall of Fame. He has been also inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame.

 14 
Lise Meitner
(Austrian-Swedish Physicist Who Discovered the Element Protactinium)
Lise Meitner
9
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: November 7, 1878
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 27

Lise Meitner was an Austrian-Swedish physicist best remembered for her contributions that led to the discoveries of nuclear fission and the element protactinium. Nicknamed the German Marie Curie by Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner became the second woman in the world to receive a doctorate in physics in 1905. In 1997, chemical element 109 meitnerium was named in her honor.

 15 
Dan Duryea
(Known for His Roles in the Films: ‘The Pride of the Yankees’ and ‘None But the Lonely Heart’)
Dan Duryea
6
Birthdate: January 23, 1907
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: White Plains, New York, United States
Died: June 7

Dan Duryea was an American actor best remembered for portraying negative roles. However, he was also renowned for his versatility as he played a wide variety of leading roles as well. He also became famous as a TV actor and played important roles in series like China Smith and The New Adventures of China Smith.

 16 
Thomas Merton
(Writer & theologian was ordained to the Catholic priesthood and given the name "Father Louis".)
Thomas Merton
13
Birthdate: January 31, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Prades, France
Died: December 10

American Trappist monk and theologian Thomas Merton was ordained a priest and named Father Louis. He was a member of the monastery Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani. He is remembered for his bestselling autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, and for his study of Eastern religions such as Buddhism.

 17 
Nick Adams
(Actor)
Nick Adams
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 7
 18 
Pio of Pietrelcina
(Italian Saint)
Pio of Pietrelcina
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: May 25, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pietrelcina, Italy
Died: September 23

Born Francesco Forgione, Pio of Pietrelcina changed his name after joining the Capuchin order at age 15. He later became famous for exhibiting stigmata, marks on his body symbolizing the wounds of Jesus. He is revered as the patron saint of adolescents and civil defense volunteers.

 19 
Franchot Tone
4
Birthdate: February 27, 1905
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Niagara Falls, New York, United States
Died: September 18
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 20 
Jim Clark
(One of the Greatest Formula One Racing Drivers and Two-Time World Champion in 1963 and 1965)
Jim Clark
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 4, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kilmany, Fife, Scotland
Died: April 7

British Formula One racing-driver James Clark Jr. is counted among the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He won his first World Driver’s Championships in 1963 making a record of winning seven out of ten races in a season. He again won the championship in 1965. His 1965 Indianapolis 500 win marked the first win for a rear-engined car.

 21 
Lev Landau
(Russian Physicist and One for the Founders of Quantum Mechanical Theory)
Lev Landau
5
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: January 22, 1908
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Baku, Azerbaijan
Died: April 1

Nobel Prize-winning Russian physicist Lev Landau is remembered for his pathbreaking research in quantum mechanics. A math prodigy, he had learned calculus at 13. He failed to receive his Nobel in person due to a near-fatal car crash which caused him injuries that eventually caused his death 6 years later.

 22 
Marion Lorne
(Actress)
Marion Lorne
1
Birthdate: August 12, 1883
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Pittston, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 9
 23 
Otto Hahn
(Chemist)
Otto Hahn
5
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: March 8, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: July 28
Nobel Prize-winning German chemist Otto Hahn is remembered for revolutionary discovery of nuclear fission, along with Fritz Strassmann. Born to a glazier, he was pushed to study architecture but chose chemistry instead. He spent his final years grieving the death of his only son in a car accident.
 24 
Wes Montgomery
(Musician)
Wes Montgomery
8
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: March 6, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: June 15
 25 
William Talman
(Actor)
William Talman
2
Birthdate: February 4, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: August 30
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 26 
Little Walter
(Guitarist, Street artist, Singer, Songwriter)
Little Walter
6
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Marksville
Died: February 15
 27 
Kay Francis
(Actress)
Kay Francis
4
Birthdate: January 13, 1905
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Died: August 26
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 28 
Ramon Novarro
(One of the Top Box Office Attractions of the 1920s and Early 1930s)
Ramon Novarro
7
Birthdate: February 6, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Durango, Mexico
Died: October 30

Ramon Novarro was a Mexican-American actor who went on to become one of the most bankable actors during the 1920s and early-1930s. Promoted as a Latin lover, Ramon Novarro was regarded as a sex symbol in Hollywood. His murder, which took place on October 30, 1968, inspired several works of art like short stories, songs, and TV series.

 29 
William Powell
(Screenwriter)
William Powell
8
Birthdate: February 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: California, United States
Died: March 13
 30 
Howard Florey
(Australian Pharmacologist and Pathologist Who Shared the Nobel Prize for His Role in the Development of Penicillin)
Howard Florey
5
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: September 24, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
Died: February 21

Howard Florey was an Australian pathologist and pharmacologist. He is best remembered for his role in the formation of penicillin, for which he shared the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain in the year 1945. Florey is credited with carrying out the first clinical trial of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1941.

 31 
Randolph Churchill
(Son of Winston Churchill and Conservative Member of Parliament for Preston from 1940 to 1945)
Randolph Churchill
9
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 28, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: June 6

Randolph Churchill was a British journalist and writer. The only son of Sir Winston Churchill, Randolph Churchill followed in the footsteps of his father and became a prominent politician, serving as a member of parliament for Preston. Randolph Churchill was portrayed by famous actors in several TV series and films like Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years and Darkest Hour.

 32 
Weegee
(Photographer, Photojournalist, Journalist)
Weegee
2
Listed In: Photographers
Birthdate: June 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 26
 33 
Dorothy Gish
(Actress)
Dorothy Gish
1
Birthdate: March 11, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: June 4
 34 
Rose Wilder Lane
(Journalists)
Rose Wilder Lane
6
Birthdate: December 5, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: De Smet, South Dakota, USA
Died: October 30
 35 
George Gamow
(Physicist)
George Gamow
1
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: March 4, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Odessa
Died: August 19

Born to school teacher parents, Ukrainian-American physicist George Gamow grew up to be a pioneer of the big-bang theory. His other contributions include the liquid-drop model of atomic nuclei and his research on DNA. Apart from various science textbooks, he also wrote the popular Mr. Tompkins series of physics books.

 36 
Gholamreza Takhti
(Wrestler)
Gholamreza Takhti
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 27, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: January 7

Gholamreza Takhti was an Iranian wrestler best remembered for winning the gold medal in the 87 kg category at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. A two-time world champion, Takhti had also won a gold medal at the 1958 Asian Games. Thanks to his sportsmanship and chivalrous behavior, Gholamreza Takhti was the most famous Iranian athlete of the 20th century.

 37 
Jess Willard
(Boxer)
Jess Willard
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 29, 1881
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pottawatomie County, Kansas
Died: December 15
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)
 38 
Edna Ferber
(playwright, novelist, writer,screenwriter)
Edna Ferber
4
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 15, 1885
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Appleton
Died: April 16
 39 
George Hackenschmidt
(Estonian Professional Wrestler)
George Hackenschmidt
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 1, 1877
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tartu, Estonia
Died: February 19
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 40 
Little Willie John
(Singer)
Little Willie John
4
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 15, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cullendale, Arkansas, U.S.
Died: May 26
 41 
Carl Theodor Dreyer
(Danish Screenwriter and Film Director)
Carl Theodor Dreyer
1
Birthdate: February 3, 1889
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: March 20
 42 
Max Brod
(Israeli Author, Composer and Journalist)
Max Brod
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 27, 1884
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Prague, Czech Republic
Died: December 20

Max Brod was a Czech German-speaking Jewish author, composer, and journalist. He studied law at the German Charles-Ferdinand University and proceeded to pursue a career as a journalist and composer. He worked as an editor and literary adviser for the Israeli national theatre for three decades. He was a close friend and biographer of writer Franz Kafka. 

 43 
Pitirim Sorokin
(Sociologist and Political Activist)
Pitirim Sorokin
2
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: January 21, 1889
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: nyazhpogostsky District, Russia
Died: February 10

Pitirim Sorokin was a Russian-American political activist and sociologist best remembered for his immense contribution to the social cycle theory. His life and work have played an influential role in the life of popular American historian and scholar, Allan Carlson. Among other prominent personalities who have been influenced by Sorokin's work is American politician and 48th Vice President Michael Pence.

 44 
Ruth St. Denis
(Dancer)
Ruth St. Denis
2
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: January 20, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Died: July 21
 45 
Neal Cassady
(Major Figure of the 'Beat Generation' of the 1950s and the 'Psychedelic' and 'Counterculture' Movements of the 1960s)
Neal Cassady
12
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 8, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah
Died: February 4
 46 
Georgios Papandreou
(Politician, Economist, Diplomat, Lawyer)
Georgios Papandreou
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 13, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kalentzi
Died: November 1

Georgios Papandreou was a Greek politician who served as the Prime Minister of Greece on three occasions between 1944 and 1965. Papandreou, whose illustrious political career spanned over 50 years, is also credited with founding the Papandreou political dynasty. Georgios Papandreou was also counted among the best orators in Greece.

 47 
Alice Guy-Blaché
(Film director)
Alice Guy-Blaché
1
Birthdate: July 1, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Mandé, France
Died: March 24
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 48 
Konstantin Rokossovsky
(Soviet and Polish Military Officer)
Konstantin Rokossovsky
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 1, 1896
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: August 3

Konstantin Rokossovsky was a Soviet and Polish officer. One of the most important Red Army commanders during the Second World War, Rokossovsky also served as Poland's Defence Minister from 1949 to 1956. He also served as the Marshal of Poland and as the Marshal of the Soviet Union.

 49 
Dennis O'Keefe
(Actor)
Dennis O'Keefe
1
Birthdate: March 29, 1908
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fort Madison, Iowa, United States
Died: August 31
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 50 
John Heartfield
(Photographer, Painter, Poster artist)
John Heartfield
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: June 19, 1891
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Schmargendorf
Died: April 26

John Heartfield was a German visual artist. He is credited to have pioneered the use of art as a political weapon. He used photomontages to satirize Adolf Hitler and depict his anti-Nazi and anti-fascist sentiments. He studied at the Royal Bavarian Arts and Crafts School and went on to launch a publishing house, Malik-Verlag, with his brother.