Famous People Who Died In 1980

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 1980. This list includes people like John Lennon, Colonel Sanders, Alfred Hitchcock, Peter Sellers, John Bonham and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, philosophers, soldiers and artists who died in 1980. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, Germany & India and many more countries.
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 1 
John Lennon
(The Founder, Co-Songwriter, Co-Lead Vocalist & Rhythm Guitarist of 'The Beatles')
John Lennon
407
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 9, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Died: December 8

John Lennon was part of the hugely successful and popular music band, Beatles. It became the first British band to break out big in the US. However, they eventually broke up. Subsequently, Lennon went solo, with 1971 album, Imagine, being his most successful and acclaimed post-Beatles efforts. Sadly he was shot dead by a deranged fan in New York.

 2 
Colonel Sanders
(Founder of the Fast Food Chicken Restaurant ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ (KFC))
Colonel Sanders
58
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: September 9, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Henryville, Indiana, United States
Died: December 16

Colonel Sanders is the man who revolutionized the American fast food industry by founding the restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Establishing a style trademark by wearing a white suit and black string tie, Sanders went on to become a symbol of the KFC brand. Such is the popularity of the brand, the symbol is recognized all over the world.

 3 
Steven McQueen
38
Birthdate: March 24, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beech Grove, Indiana, United States
Died: November 7

Dubbed the King of Cool, Steve McQueen was an American actor known for his antihero persona. He was one of the most bankable stars during the 1960s and 1970s. Renowned for performing many of his own stunts, McQueen remains a popular star. In the 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Steve McQueen was played by Damian Lewis.

 4 
Jesse Owens
(American Track and Field Athlete Who Won Four Gold Medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics)
Jesse Owens
37
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 12, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oakville, Alabama, United States
Died: March 31

Widely regarded as one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time, Jesse Owens' three world records in less than an hour in 1935 came to be known as the greatest 45 minutes ever in sports. He was credited with destroying Adolf Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy when he won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics.

 5 
Alfred Hitchcock
(One of the Most Influential Filmmakers of All Time)
Alfred Hitchcock
31
Birthdate: August 13, 1899
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leytonstone, London, England
Died: April 29

Popularly known as the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock pioneered the Hitchcockian style of filmmaking. One of the most studied filmmakers in the world, Hitchcock is also one of the most influential in the history of cinema. In his career, that spanned six decades, he directed some of the greatest films of all time, such as Psycho and Vertigo.

 6 
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
(The Last Shah of Iran Who Ruled from 1941 to 1979)
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
64
Birthdate: October 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: July 27

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi served as the last king of Iran from 1941 to 1979. During his reign, Iran witnessed rapid military and industrial modernization and several social and economic reforms. During his rule, Iran also enjoyed a spike in economic growth, surpassing France, England, and the US. However, the Iranian Revolution, which was unusual in many ways, overthrew the king.

 7 
Peter Sellers
(English Actor and Comedian Known for His Role as ‘Inspector Jacques Clouseau’ in ‘The Pink Panther’ Film Series)
Peter Sellers
12
Birthdate: September 8, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portsmouth, England
Died: July 24
Best known for his Academy Award-nominated roles in Dr. Strangelove and Being There, and as Clouseau from the Pink Panther series, Peter Sellers was admired for his impeccable comic skills. He initially toured around Europe as a drummer and also participated in radio shows such as The Goon Show
 8 
John Bonham
(Drummer of Rock Band Led Zeppelin)
John Bonham
20
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Redditch, England, UK
Died: September 25

John Bonham was an English drummer and songwriter. Considered one of the most influential and greatest rock drummers in history, Bonham was part of the world-renowned rock band Led Zeppelin. He influenced several drummers like Joey Kramer, Dave Grohl, Ian Mosley, Neil Peart, and Tommy Lee among other famous drummers. Bonham is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

 9 
Bon Scott
(Singer & Musician)
Bon Scott
72
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Forfar, Scotland
Died: February 19
Bon Scott worked with bands such as The Spektors, Valentines, and Fraternity before joining the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, replacing lead singer Dave Evans in 1974. He was one of Classic Rock’s 100 Greatest Frontmen of All Time. Following his death, AC/DC released a best-selling album as a tribute.
 10 
Mae West
(Actress, Screenwriter, Singer)
Mae West
11
Birthdate: August 17, 1893
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 22
Mae West began her career as a child actor in vaudeville. She later appeared in films such as You Done Me Wrong and Go West, Young Man. She became famous for her signature double entendres and sexual liberty she projected on screen. She also wrote books and plays later.
 11 
Otto Frank
(German Businessman and Father of ‘Anne Frank', the Author of 'The Diary of a Young Girl’)
Otto Frank
11
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: May 12, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Province of Hesse-Nassau
Died: August 19
Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, published her journal, detailing her experience during the Holocaust, as The Diary of a Young Girl, after her death. Otto was the only person in his family to survive the Holocaust. A former banker, he had also served in the German army.
 12 
Jean-Paul Sartre
(Novelist, Playwright, & Philosopher)
Jean-Paul Sartre
24
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 21, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 15

Jean-Paul Sartre was a French philosopher, writer, literary critic, and political activist. One of the most important personalities in the philosophy of phenomenology and existentialism, Sartre played a crucial role in 20th-century French philosophy. His work continues to influence literary studies, post-colonial theory, sociology, and critical theory. He was honored with the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature.

 13 
Ian Curtis
(English Singer, Songwriter and Musician)
Ian Curtis
17
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 15, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stretford, Lancashire, England
Died: May 18
 14 
Jean Piaget
(Swiss Psychologist Known for His Work on Child Development)
Jean Piaget
13
Birthdate: August 9, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died: September 16
Swiss psychologist and academic Jean Piaget is remembered for his work on child development and genetic epistemology, consisting of his theory of cognitive development. He also established the International Center for Genetic Epistemology and was the director of the International Bureau of Education. He was an honorary Harvard doctorate.
 15 
Josip Broz Tito
(Yugoslav Communist Revolutionary and the chief Architect of the 'Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia')
Josip Broz Tito
38
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 25, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kumrovec, Croatia
Died: May 4
Josip Broz Tito served as the prime minister of Yugoslavia from 1944 to 1963 and as its president from 1953 to 1980. He was also the Marshal of Yugoslavia. During World War II, he led the Partisans. He was also one of the main figures behind the Non-Aligned Movement.
 16 
Dorothy Stratten
(Canadian Former Actress and Model Who was Killed by Her Estranged Husband Paul Snider)
Dorothy Stratten
16
Birthdate: February 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada
Died: August 14

Dorothy Stratten was a Canadian model, actress, and Playboy Playmate. Renowned for her beauty, Stratten was adjudged the Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1980 before she was killed by her estranged husband Paul Snider at the age of 20. Her relationship with Snider and her death inspired films, such as Death of a Centerfold and Star 80.

 17 
George Raft
5
Birthdate: September 26, 1901
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hell's Kitchen, New York, United States
Died: November 24
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 18 
Jimmy Durante
(One of America's Most Popular Personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s)
Jimmy Durante
6
Birthdate: February 10, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: January 28

Jimmy Durante was an American comedian, actor, singer, and pianist. Widely regarded as one of America's most popular and familiar personalities of all time, Durante was often characterized by his Lower East Side accent, gravelly speech, and a prominent nose. Also known for his charitable work, Durante worked closely with Fraternal Order of Eagles, which raises money for abused children.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth
12
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 12, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: February 20
Author and socialite Alice Roosevelt Longworth was the eldest child of American president Theodore Roosevelt, and his only child with his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee. Though Alice was married to Republican leader Nicholas Longworth III, she had a child through an affair with Senator William Edgar Borah. 
 20 
Karl Dönitz
(German Admiral Who Briefly Succeeded Adolf Hitler as Head of State)
Karl Dönitz
17
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 16, 1891
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Grünau, Berlin, Germany
Died: December 24
Karl Dönitz was the supreme commander of the German Navy and played a crucial role in World War II. Hitler made Dönitz his successor before committing suicide. Dönitz officially surrendered after Germany’s loss in World War II and was convicted as a war criminal at the 1946 Nuremberg Trials.
 21 
David Janssen
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Richard Kimble’ in the TV Series ‘The Fugitive’)
David Janssen
14
Birthdate: March 27, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Naponee, Nebraska, United States
Died: February 13
David Janssen is best known for his portrayal of Richard Kimble in the series The Fugitive. He also played titular roles in Richard Diamond, Private Detective; O'Hara, U.S. Treasury; and Harry O. He made it to TV Guide’s list of the 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.
 22 
Oswald Mosley
(British Politician)
Oswald Mosley
19
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 16, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mayfair, London
Died: December 3
Named by BBC History as the “worst” historical British person of the 20th century, Oswald Mosley started off as an MP in the 1920s. He was part of the Conservative Party and then the Labour Party. He then formed the British Union of Fascists and the United Kingdom New Party
 23 
Milburn Stone
17
Birthdate: July 5, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Burrton, Kansas, United States
Died: June 12
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 24 
Jay Silverheels
(Actor and Athlete Known for His Role as ‘Tonto’ in the TV Series ‘The Lone Ranger’)
Jay Silverheels
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 26, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brantford, Canada
Died: March 5

Indigenous Canadian actor Jay Silverheels gained international popularity for playing Tonto, the Native American companion of the protagonist in the American western TV series The Lone Ranger. As a young man, he excelled in athletics and became a lacrosse player. He later quit sports to pursue acting. He bred and raced Standardbred horses as a hobby. 

 25 
Bill Evans
(American Jazz Pianist Known for Lush Harmonies and Lyrical Improvisation)
Bill Evans
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 16, 1929
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Plainfield, New Jersey, United States
Died: September 15

Bill Evans was an American composer and jazz pianist. Many of his compositions and other works continue to influence jazz pianists and are played and recorded by several artists. His work has influenced players like Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Steve Kuhn, and Michel Petrucciani among many other musicians. Evans is an inductee of the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.

 26 
William O. Douglas
(Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)
William O. Douglas
11
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: October 16, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Maine Township, Minnesota, United States
Died: January 19
 27 
Strother Martin
8
Birthdate: March 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kokomo, Indiana, United States
Died: August 1
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 28 
Marshall McLuhan
(Canadian Philosopher Known for His Work in the Field of Media Theory)
Marshall McLuhan
7
Birthdate: July 21, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada
Died: December 31
Canadian philosopher Herbert McLuhan revolutionized media theory with his concept of "global village." He predicted the World Wide Web three decades before its invention and is also remembered for coining the expression “the medium is the message.” His works include Understanding Media, The Gutenberg Galaxy, and The Mechanical Bride
 29 
Dorothy Day
(American Social Activist, Journalist, and Anarchist)
Dorothy Day
5
Birthdate: November 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 29

Dorothy Day was an American social activist, journalist, and anarchist. She is best remembered for co-founding the Catholic Worker Movement along with French activist Peter Maurin. She also co-founded a newspaper called Catholic Worker and served as its editor between 1933 and 1980. In 2001, Dorothy Day was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 30 
Tex Avery
(Golden Age Animator & Creator of Classic Cartoon Characters 'Bugs Bunny', 'Daffy Duck' and 'Porky Pig')
Tex Avery
4
Birthdate: February 26, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Taylor, Texas, United States
Died: August 26

Second only to Walt Disney in terms of influence, American animator and director Tex Avery is remembered for playing an important role in the development of  popular characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel  etc. Well-known for his technical innovation and directorial style, his characters are equally loved by adults for their inherent sarcasm.  

Henry Valentine Miller
4
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: December 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Yorkville, Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: June 7
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 32 
Hans Asperger
(Paediatrician)
Hans Asperger
7
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: February 18, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: October 21
Hans Asperger, who lent his name to Asperger’s syndrome, is remembered as a pioneer in autism research and was earlier believed to have saved children with disabilities from being killed by the Nazis. However, later evidence suggested he had sent two mentally disabled children for experiments under the Third Reich.
 33 
Raymond Bailey
(Actor)
Raymond Bailey
3
Birthdate: May 6, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, USA
Died: April 15
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 34 
Vladimir Vysotsky
(Best Known for His Unique Singing Style and Lyrics and an Influential Figure in Soviet Culture)
Vladimir Vysotsky
6
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: July 25

A Soviet cultural icon, singer Vladimir Vysotsky was known for his social commentary in his songs. In his early years, he quit engineering to study acting. He later ruled the stage as an actor, before stepping into music. He even distributed his recordings after being banned in the country.

 35 
Mohammed Rafi
(One of India's Greatest and Most Influential Playback Singers)
Mohammed Rafi
20
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 24, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Amritsar, Punjab, India
Died: July 31
Legendary Indian playback singer Mohammed Rafi was known for his versatility. The winner of one National Film Award and four Filmfare awards, Rafi often collaborated with ace composer S.D. Burman. He also received the Padma Shri and sang in countless Indian and foreign languages, including Arabic, Persian, and Dutch.
 36 
Bobby Van
(Actor)
Bobby Van
5
Birthdate: December 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Died: July 31
 37 
Erich Fromm
(German Social Psychologist and Psychoanalyst & One of the Founders of The 'William Alanson White Institute')
Erich Fromm
6
Birthdate: March 23, 1900
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: March 18

Erich Fromm was a German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, and socialist. A German Jew, he fled the Nazi regime and settled in the United States. He was a co-founder of  The William Alanson White Institute and was associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory. He is best remembered for authoring the book Escape from Freedom.

 38 
Darby Crash
(Singer)
Darby Crash
3
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 26, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles County, California, USA
Died: December 7
 39 
David A. Johnston
(American Volcanologist Who was Caught in the Midst of the Eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980)
David A. Johnston
1
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: December 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 18

David A. Johnston was an American volcanologist who was caught in the midst of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. Johnston was killed during the eruption and his body was never found. David A. Johnston's life and career have inspired several documentaries, docudramas, and films.

 40 
Seretse Khama
(Politician)
Seretse Khama
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Serowe, Botswana
Died: July 13
 41 
Romain Gary
(French Diplomat & Novelist)
Romain Gary
8
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: May 21, 1914
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vilnius, Republic Of Lithuania
Died: December 2

Romain Gary was a French novelist, diplomat, and film director of Jewish origin. He also served as an aviator during World War II. One of France’s most popular and prolific writers, he is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt twice. He had a troubled personal life and died of suicide in 1980.

 42 
Cecil Beaton
(British Photographer and Costume Designer)
Cecil Beaton
2
Listed In: Photographers
Birthdate: January 14, 1904
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: January 18

Cecil Beaton was a British war, portrait, and fashion photographer. A multi-talented personality, Beaton is also known for his work as a painter, diarist, interior designer, and costume designer. Cecil Beaton worked with popular publications like Vogue before becoming a leading war photographer. His work as a costume designer for the theatre and films earned him Oscars and Tony Awards.  

 43 
Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia
(Former Duchess Consort of Brunswick (1913 - 1918))
Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 13, 1892
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: December 11

The only daughter of German emperor Wilhelm II, Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia became II Guard Hussar Regiment’s colonel-in-chief. She later became the Duchess consort of Brunswick by her marriage to Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick. Her memoirs were collated and published as The Kaiser’s Daughter.

 44 
Dick Haymes
(One of the Most Popular Male Vocalists of the 1940s and Early 1950s)
Dick Haymes
2
Birthdate: September 13, 1918
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died: March 28

Dick Haymes was an Argentinian-Irish singer and actor whose popularity reached its peak during the 1940s and early 1950s. Haymes led a lavish lifestyle and was also popular among women; he was married six times to actresses and models like Joanne Dru, Rita Hayworth, and Nora Eddington. Haymes declared bankruptcy during early 1960s and experienced financial problems later in life.

 45 
Hugh Griffith
(Actor)
Hugh Griffith
3
Birthdate: May 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Marian-glas, Wales
Died: May 14
 46 
Joy Adamson
(Naturalist and Author of the Book 'Born Free', Which Documents Her Experience In Raising a Lion Club)
Joy Adamson
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 20, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Opava, Czechia
Died: January 3

Best known for her iconic book Born Free, which describes her experiences of raising a lion cub named Elsa, Joy Adamson was a noted Austro-Hungarian wildlife conservationist. She excelled in music and medicine in her younger days and later settled in Kenya with her third husband, conservationist George Adamson.

 47 
Dixie Dean
(Footballer)
Dixie Dean
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 22, 1907
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birkenhead, England
Died: March 1
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 48 
Graham Sutherland
(Painter, Artist)
Graham Sutherland
0
Birthdate: August 24, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Streatham
Died: February 17
 49 
Elston Howard
(Baseball player)
Elston Howard
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: December 14
 50 
Douglas Kenney
(Screenwriter)
Douglas Kenney
6
Birthdate: December 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Died: August 27