Famous People Who Died In 1978

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 1978. This list includes people like Jim Jones, John Cazale, Keith Moon, Bob Crane, Harvey Milk and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, prime ministers, artists and journalists who died in 1978. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, Germany & Italy and many more countries.
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 1 
Keith Moon
(Drummer)
Keith Moon
27
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 23, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wembley, England
Died: September 7

Keith Moon was an English drummer whose drug addiction and self-destructive behavior overshadowed his contribution to the rock band The Who. His drumming continues to attract appreciation from critics. Several other drummers like Dave Grohl and Neil Peart have cited Moon's drumming style as an influence. In 1982, he was inducted posthumously into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.

 2 
Bob Crane
(Actor)
Bob Crane
10
Birthdate: July 13, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Waterbury, Connecticut, United States
Died: June 29
Bob Crane was a radio show host before soaring to fame with his portrayal of Colonel Robert Hogan in the two-time Emmy-nominated series Hogan's Heroes. In his later career, he hosted The Bob Crane Show and performed in dinner theater. He was a victim of an unsolved homicide in 1978.
 3 
Norman Rockwell
(American Painter & Illustrator Known for His Works ‘Scout at Ship's Wheel’ &‘Santa and Scouts in Snow’)
Norman Rockwell
10
Birthdate: February 3, 1894
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: November 8

Painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell became famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post. He was associated with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for over six decades and produced covers for their publications and calendars. A prolific artist, he made more than 4,000 original works in his lifetime.

 4 
Harvey Milk
(American Politician and First Openly Gay Man to be Elected to a Public Office in California)
Harvey Milk
35
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: May 22, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Woodmere, New York, United States
Died: November 27
LGBT rights activist Harvey Milk became California’s first openly gay elected official when he became a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978. Milk and San Francisco mayor George Moscone were later assassinated by politician Dan White. Milk's story later inspired the 2008 biopic Milk.
 5 
Golda Meir
(Former Prime Minister of Israel (1969 - 1974))
Golda Meir
17
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: December 8

Born in present-day Ukraine and brought up in the United States, the phenomenal rise of Golda Meir to become the prime minister of Israel was driven by her sheer leadership qualities. She steered her country amid hostilities from its neighbourhood during her eventful term as premier which also saw the Yom Kippur War. She is remembered as a strong-willed woman.

 6 
Adolf Dassler
(German Entrepreneur and Founder of ‘Adidas')
Adolf Dassler
6
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: November 3, 1901
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Herzogenaurach, Germany
Died: September 6

Adolf Dassler was a German cobbler-turned-entrepreneur who established the German sportswear company Adidas. His older brother, Rudolf Dassler, established Puma. The two brothers initially operated the Dassler Brothers Sports Shoe Factory. Adolf was a pioneer in designing athletic shoes and in selling them through endorsements from athletes.

 7 
Will Geer
(Actor, Musician and Social Activist Known for His Role as ‘Zebulon Walton’ in the TV Series ‘The Waltons’)
Will Geer
10
Birthdate: March 9, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Frankfort, Indiana, United States
Died: April 22
Actor and social activist Will Geer actively participated in the labor movements of the the 1930s and 1940s in New York and Southern California. He traveled across the U.S. with singer Woody Guthrie, during the Great Depression. Hollywood blacklisted him as a result of his leftist activities.
 8 
Gig Young
(Best Known for His Roles in the Films: ‘They Shoot Horses, Don't They?’ and ‘Teacher's Pet’)
Gig Young
9
Birthdate: November 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: St. Cloud, Minnesota, United States
Died: October 19
Gig Young is remembered for his Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning performance in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? He also delivered stellar performances in films such as Come Fill the Cup and Teacher's Pet, and for his Emmy-nominated role in the TV film The Neon Ceiling.
 9 
Terry Kath
(Known as a founding member of the rock band Chicago)
Terry Kath
7
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 31, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 23
 10 
Kurt Gödel
(Mathematician, Philosopher and One of the Most Significant Logicians in History)
Kurt Gödel
10
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: April 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brno, Czech Republic
Died: January 14

Hailed as one of the greatest logicians since Aristotle, Kurt Gödel was Austrian-born American mathematician, logician, and philosopher, who earned international stardom for his incompleteness theorem. Also credited with developing a technique called Gödel numbering, he later started working on Mathematical Platonism, a philosophical theory that failed to attract wide acceptance.

 11 
Margaret Mead
(Cultural Anthropologist)
Margaret Mead
7
Birthdate: December 16, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Died: November 15

One of the most celebrated anthropologists to have ever existed, Margaret Mead is remembered for his research on a broad range of topics, such as sexual conventions in Western society. Of her 23 books, the most talked-about was the bestseller Coming of Age in Samoa.

 12 
Louis Prima
(Singer-songwriter)
Louis Prima
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 7, 1910
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: August 24
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 13 
Jomo Kenyatta
(1st President of Kenya (1964–1978) and the 1st Prime Minister of Kenya (1963–1964))
Jomo Kenyatta
29
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 20, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gatundu, Kenya
Died: August 22
After being held as a prisoner by the British for 9 years, anti-colonial activist Jomo Kenyatta was released shortly before Kenya achieved its independence, and became the country’s first prime minister and then its first president. The Father of the Nation, Kenyatta was also named Mzee, meaning “grand old man.”
 14 
Hubert Humphrey
(38th Vice President of the United States (1965-1969))
Hubert Humphrey
13
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 27, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wallace, South Dakota, United States
Died: January 13

The 38th vice president of the USA, Hubert Humphrey was an early skeptic of the Vietnam War; however, he had no choice but to support the war effort as President Lyndon B. Johnson wanted the war to go on. Thanks to his popularity, several buildings have been named after Humphrey. He has also been portrayed by actors like Bradley Whitford.

 15 
Ed Wood
(Actor)
Ed Wood
3
Birthdate: October 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
Died: December 10
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 16 
Robert Shaw
(British Actor Known for His Role as ‘Henry VIII' in the Drama Film ‘a Man for All Seasons')
Robert Shaw
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 9, 1927
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Westhoughton, Lancashire, England
Died: August 28
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 17 
Jack L Warner
(Canadian-American Film Executive and Founder of ‘Warner Brothers. Studios’)
Jack L Warner
3
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: August 2, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, Canada
Died: September 9

One of 12 children of Polish immigrants, Jack L Warner, along with three of his brothers, formed the iconic production house Warner Bros. Apart from producing the first talkie, The Jazz Singer, and iconic films such as Casablanca, they also launched the careers of the who’s who of Hollywood.

 18 
Charles Boyer
(French-American Actor)
Charles Boyer
12
Birthdate: August 28, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Figeac, France
Died: August 26

French-American actor Charles Boyer appeared in more than 80 films in a career that spanned over half a century. He pursued a theatrical career as a young man and eventually moved into films. He achieved extreme popularity with his roles in romantic movies like The Garden of Allah and Love Affair in the 1930s. He received four Academy Award nominations.

 19 
Jacques Brel
(Actor & One of the Best-Selling Belgian Recording Artists of All Time)
Jacques Brel
12
Birthdate: April 8, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Schaerbeek, Belgium
Died: October 9

Jacques Brel was a Belgian singer, actor, director, and songwriter. He is remembered for composing and performing thoughtful, literate, and theatrical songs. Apart from inspiring French musicians, Brel's works have also had a major influence on English-speaking performers like David Bowie, Scott Walker, Rod McKuen, Marc Almond, and Alex Harvey. Brel is the third-best-selling Belgian music artist of all time.

 20 
Chill Wills
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Seagoville, Texas, United States
Died: December 15
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 21 
Edgar Bergen
(Best known for his proficiency in ventriloquism and his characters Charlie McCarthy)
Edgar Bergen
3
Birthdate: February 16, 1903
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 30
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 22 
Robert Menzies
(12th Prime Minister of Australia)
Robert Menzies
9
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 20, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jeparit
Died: May 15

Robert Menzies was an Australian politician who served as the prime minister of Australia on two non-consecutive terms. He served over 18 years in total, becoming the longest-serving prime minister in Australian history. His government is known for its emphasis on higher education, national security policies, and immigration schemes. After retirement, he became the chancellor of the University of Melbourne. 

 23 
Burt Munro
(New Zealand Motorcycle Racer Who Set an Under-1,000 CC World Record)
Burt Munro
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 25, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Invercargill, New Zealand
Died: January 6

New Zealand motorcyclist Burt Munro made three world records, traveling in his Indian motorcycle from New Zealand to the Bonneville Salt Flats in the U.S., and the one made in 1967 still remains unbroken. The 2005 film The World's Fastest Indian, based on his life, featured Anthony Hopkins as Munro.

 24 
James Daly
(Actor)
James Daly
1
Birthdate: October 23, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died: July 3
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 25 
Aram Khachaturian
(Armenian Composer and Conductor)
Aram Khachaturian
13
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 6, 1903
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tbilisi, Georgia
Died: May 1
 26 
Totie Fields
(Comedian)
Totie Fields
8
Birthdate: May 7, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Died: August 2
Height: 4'10" (147 cm)
 27 
Harold Abrahams
( Olympic Champion in 1924 in the 100 metres Sprint)
Harold Abrahams
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 15, 1899
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bedford, Bedfordshire, England
Died: January 14

English track and field athlete is best remembered for his gold medal win in the 100m race at the Paris Olympics in 1924. Part of the Achilles Club, he and his exploits inspired the 1981 film Chariots of Fire. Following his retirement, he became a broadcaster and sports administrator.

 28 
Giorgio de Chirico
(Italian Painter and Founder of the ‘Scuola Metafisica’ Art Movement)
Giorgio de Chirico
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 10, 1888
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Volos, Greece
Died: November 20

Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico, the founder of the scuola metafisica art movement, showed marked influence of his childhood spent in Greece in his work. His metaphysical paintings showcased empty cityscapes, mannequins, trains, and towers. His notable works include The Child's Brain and The Enigma of an Autumn Afternoon.

 29 
Zara Cully
(Actress)
Zara Cully
1
Birthdate: January 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 28
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 30 
Sandy Denny
(Legendary British Folk Rock Singer and Former Lead Singer of the Band ‘Fairport Convention’)
Sandy Denny
4
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
Died: April 21

English singer-songwriter Sandy Denny, considered a leading British folk-rock singer, performed as lead-singer of the famous folk-rock band Fairport Convention, and fronted it through many of its successful albums like What We Did on Our Holidays. Other notable works of Denny includes her solo-albums like Rendezvous; and her folk-duet The Battle of Evermore with Robert Plant for Led Zeppelin's album.

 31 
George Moscone
(Attorney)
George Moscone
1
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: November 24, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, USA
Died: November 27
 32 
Carl Betz
(Actor)
Carl Betz
1
Birthdate: March 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 18
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 33 
Maybelle Carter
(Musician)
Maybelle Carter
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 10, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nickelsville, Virginia, United States
Died: October 23
 34 
Max Mallowan
(Archaeologist)
Max Mallowan
2
Birthdate: May 6, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wandsworth, London, England
Died: August 19
 35 
W. Eugene Smith
(Photographer, Photojournalist, War photographer, Journalist)
W. Eugene Smith
0
Listed In: Photographers
Birthdate: December 30, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wichita
Died: October 15

W. Eugene Smith was an American photojournalist whose major photo essays include photographs of the Second World War. His work, Country Doctor, which he photographed for Life magazine, is now widely regarded as the first extended editorial photo story. An organization named W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund has been established in his honor to support young photographers. 

 36 
Karl Wallenda
(German-American High Wire Artist)
Karl Wallenda
1
Birthdate: January 21, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany
Died: March 22
 37 
Gene Tunney
(Professional Boxer Who was the World Heavyweight Champion from 1926 to 1928)
Gene Tunney
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 25, 1897
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: November 7
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 38 
Mohammed Daoud Khan
(1st President of Afghanistan)
Mohammed Daoud Khan
10
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 18, 1909
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kabul
Died: April 28
Mohammed Daoud Khan was an Afghan general and politician. He is best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1953 to 1963. He also served as the first President of Afghanistan from 17 July 1973 to 28 April 1978. Mohammed Daoud Khan helped overthrow the monarchy in Afghanistan as he led the 1973 Afghan coup d'état.
 39 
Arthur Brough
(Actor)
Arthur Brough
1
Birthdate: February 26, 1905
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Petersfield, United Kingdom
Died: May 28
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 40 
Aldo Moro
(Politician, Diplomat, University teacher)
Aldo Moro
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 23, 1916
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Maglie
Died: May 9

Christian Democracy member Aldo Moro had served as the Italian prime minister and had also held important portfolios such as foreign affairs and public education. He was also a University of Bari professor of law, initially. He was abducted and killed by left-wing terrorists known as The Red Brigades.

 41 
Lyman Bostock
(Baseball player)
Lyman Bostock
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Died: September 23
 42 
Maggie McNamara
3
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: June 18, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: February 18
 43 
William Grant Still
(Composer who became the first black man to conduct a major orchestra)
William Grant Still
6
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 11, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Woodville, Mississippi, United States
Died: December 3
 44 
Lloyd Wright
(Architect)
Lloyd Wright
2
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: March 31, 1890
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: May 31

American architect Lloyd Wright is best remembered for his Prairie style of architecture predominant in the 20th-century American residential buildings. A proponent of organic architecture, he also delivered talks on architecture. He made headlines when a staff set fire to his Taliesin studio and murdered seven people.

 45 
Joe Davis
(English Professional Snooker and Billiards Player)
Joe Davis
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 15, 1901
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Whitwell, Derbyshire, England
Died: July 10
 46 
Mary Blair
(American Artist, Animator and Designer)
Mary Blair
0
Birthdate: October 21, 1911
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: McAlester, Oklahoma, United States
Died: July 26
 47 
Julio Jaramillo
(Singer)
Julio Jaramillo
8
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 1, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Died: February 9
 48 
Willy Messerschmitt
(Aeronautical engineer, Engineer, University teacher)
Willy Messerschmitt
1
Listed In: Engineers
Birthdate: June 26, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: September 15
 49 
Eddie Aikau
(Hawaiian Surfer Who Was the First Lifeguard at Waimea Bay on the Island of Oahu)
Eddie Aikau
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 4, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kahului, Hawaii, United States
Died: March 17
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 50 
Rocky Dennis
(American Boy Who Had Craniodiaphyseal Dysplasia)
Rocky Dennis
14
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glendora, California, United States
Died: October 4

Roy Lee Dennis, or Rocky Dennis, was an American boy who suffered from craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, a rare sclerotic bone disorder which results in various neurological disorders. His face was distorted due to his condition, and he died at 16. His life inspired the Academy Award-winning 1985 movie Mask.