Famous People Who Died At 39

The list of famous people who died at 39 includes Martin Luther King Jr., Cleopatra, Che Guevara, Malcolm X, Swami Vivekananda. Famous personalities featured on this list, include political leaders, emperors & kings, poets and journalists and from other domains of life. This list of celebrities who died at 39 includes people from United States, United Kingdom, France & Germany 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.
118
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: April 4, 1968

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 
Malcolm X
(Major Figure of American Civil Rights Movement)
Malcolm X
126
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: May 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Died: February 21, 1965

An African-American leader of the civil rights movement, Malcolm X was a vocal spokesman of the Nation of Islam and called upon the blacks to protect themselves from the white, even if it meant adopting violence. His radical views and preaching later evolved and he accepted the possibility of peaceful resolution of racial issues in America.

 3 
Cleopatra
(Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt (51 - 30 BC))
Cleopatra
110
Birthdate: 0069 BC
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: July 31, 0030

The last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the last true pharaoh of Egypt, Cleopatra is described as an extremely beautiful woman who was also intelligent and educated with command over numerous languages. Her romance and military alliances with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony have inspired numerous art works.

 4 
Anna Nicole Smith
(1993 Playmate of the Year)
Anna Nicole Smith
70
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: November 28, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harris County
Died: February 8, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith was one of those Playboy Playmates whose personal lives gained more attention than their professional achievements. She made headlines at the age of 27 when she married the 89-year old J. Howard Marshall. Despite denying media speculation that she married him for his money, she was involved in a legal battle over his property after Howard's death. She died of drug overdose at the age of 39.

 5 
Che Guevara
(Revolutionary)
Che Guevara
204
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 14, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rosario, Argentina
Died: October 9, 1967

Argentine Marxist revolutionary, Che Guevara, was a major figure of the Cuban Revolution. A physician by profession, he developed radical views upon witnessing the injustices in the world and joined Fidel Castro’s revolutionary 26th of July Movement. Assassinated in 1967, he remains both a revered and reviled historical figure.

 6 
Frédéric Chopin
(Polish Composer and Virtuoso Pianist of the Romantic Period)
Frédéric Chopin
23
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: March 1, 1810
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Żelazowa Wola, Poland
Died: October 17, 1849

Romantic Era virtuoso pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin, nicknamed The Poet of the Piano, is remembered as the inventor of the instrumental ballade. The legendary composer mostly created solo piano masterpieces but also experimented with piano concertos and chamber pieces. He was influenced by Bach, Mozart, and Polish folk music.

 7 
Blaise Pascal
(One of the Greatest Mathematicians of All Time Who Invented the Mechanical Calculator)
Blaise Pascal
14
Birthdate: June 19, 1623
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clermont-Ferrand, France
Died: August 19, 1662

Blaise Pascal was a French physicist, mathematician, philosopher, and inventor. A child prodigy, Pascal's work on projective geometry, at the age of 16 is commendable. He is one of the earliest inventors of the mechanical calculator, which he did when he was still a teenager. His work on probability theory influenced the development of social science and modern economics.

 8 
Stonewall Jackson
(One of the Best-Known Confederate Commanders During the American Civil War)
Stonewall Jackson
22
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 21, 1824
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Clarksburg, West Virginia, United States
Died: May 10, 1863

Stonewall Jackson was a commander of the Confederate States Army. He played a major role as a Confederate general in the American Civil War, winning several significant battles in the Eastern Theater of the war. Considered one of the most tactically sound commanders in the history of the US, Jackson was idolized by George Patton, Chesty Puller, and Alexander Vandegrift.

 9 
Emiliano Zapata
(Leading Figure in the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920)
Emiliano Zapata
15
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 8, 1879
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Anenecuilco, Mexico
Died: April 10, 1919
Emiliano Zapata was a key figure in the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 and led the agrarian movement known as Zapatismo. As the leader of the Liberation Army of the South, he contributed to the fall of Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz and later fought against Venustiano Carranza.
 10 
Dennis Wilson
(musician)
Dennis Wilson
8
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 4, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Inglewood, California, United States
Died: December 28, 1983
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 11 
Dylan Thomas
(Poet & Writer)
Dylan Thomas
13
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 27, 1914
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Swansea
Died: November 9, 1953

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh writer and poet who published popular poems, such as Do not go gentle into that good night, which was popularized in the 2014 movie, Interstellar, where Michael Caine's character recites the poem throughout the film. Dylan Thomas achieved tremendous popularity during his lifetime and remains popular after his untimely death at the age of 39.

 12 
Jessi Combs
(American Professional Racer, Television Personality, and Metal Fabricator)
Jessi Combs
14
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 27, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rockerville, South Dakota, United States
Died: August 27, 2019

Professional racer, TV personality and metal fabricator, Jessi Combs, is remembered for setting a women's land speed class record (four wheels) in 2013. She was known as "the fastest woman on four wheels.” As a TV presenter, she co-hosted over 90 episodes of the Spike TV show, Xtreme 4x4. She died in a car crash while racing in 2019. 

 13 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(Theologian Known for His Staunch Resistance to the Nazi Dictatorship)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
4
Birthdate: February 4, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: April 9, 1945
Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer is remembered for his anti-Nazi stance, for establishing the Confessing Church, and for authoring the book The Cost of Discipleship. He was sent to the Flossenbürg concentration camp after being imprisoned for a year. He was eventually hanged after being charged of plotting to assassinate Hitler.
 14 
Andy Whitfield
(Best Known for His Role in the TV Series ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’)
Andy Whitfield
9
Birthdate: October 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Amlwch, Anglesey, Wales
Died: September 11, 2011

Welsh actor, Andy Whitfield, gained international fame for his leading role in the Starz television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. A qualified engineer, he quit his corporate job to act in TV shows. He became popular within a few years and began acting in films as well. Tragically, he became ill with cancer and died at the age of 39. 

 15 
Dinah Washington
(Singer)
Dinah Washington
2
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 29, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States
Died: December 14, 1963
 16 
Thomas Andrews
(Businessperson, Naval Architect)
Thomas Andrews
8
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: February 7, 1873
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Comber, County Down, Ireland
Died: April 15, 1912
 17 
Colin McRae
(Scottish Rally Driver: The First British Driver to Win the World Rally Championship Drivers' Title)
Colin McRae
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lanark, Scotland
Died: September 15, 2007

Colin McRae was a British rally driver who won the British Rally Championship title in 1991 and 1992. In 1995, he became the youngest person and the first British driver to win the World Rally Championship Drivers' title. Colin McRae's career was cut short by his sudden demise in 2007 when he was killed in a helicopter crash. 

 18 
Fats Waller
(Jazz Pianist)
Fats Waller
8
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 21, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 15, 1943
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 19 
Pedro Infante
(Actor, Singer, Film actor, Carpenter)
Pedro Infante
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 18, 1917
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mazatlán
Died: April 15, 1957

Once a matinee idol in Mexico, Pedro Infante is remembered for his blockbuster hits such as Nosotros los pobres and Los tres García. He loved flying planes, using the pseudonym Captain Cruz and eventually died in a plane crash. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Bear for his performance in Tizoc.

 20 
John Garfield
8
Birthdate: March 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City
Died: May 21, 1952
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 21 
Bernhard Riemann
(Mathematician)
Bernhard Riemann
12
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: September 17, 1826
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Breselenz
Died: July 20, 1866

Bernhard Riemann was a German mathematician best remembered for his contributions to number theory, analysis, and differential geometry. His paper on the prime-counting function, which was published in 1859, is considered one of the most influential papers in the history of analytic number theory. Riemann is widely regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians ever.

 22 
Pier Angeli
(Italian Actress, Singer and Model)
Pier Angeli
8
Birthdate: June 19, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cagliari, Italy
Died: September 10, 1971

Best known for her title role in the film Teresa, Pier Angeli had stepped into showbiz at the tender age of 16. The Golden Globe-winning actor also appeared in films such as Flame and the Flesh and The Silver Chalice. She died of a barbiturate overdose at 39.

 23 
J. D. Tippit
(Police officer)
J. D. Tippit
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 18, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Annona, Texas, United States
Died: November 22, 1963
 24 
Baji Rao I
(Peshwa of Maratha Empire from 1720 to 1740)
Baji Rao I
6
Birthdate: August 18, 1700
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sinnar, Maharashtra, India
Died: April 28, 1740

Baji Rao I was a peshwa, or chief minister, of the Maratha empire in India. His conquests led a massive blow to the Mughal Empire. In spite of being married to Kashibai, he took a second wife, half-Muslim Mastani, a story that was retold in several movies later.

 25 
Blaze Foley
(Singer-songwriter)
Blaze Foley
4
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Malvern, Arkansas, United States
Died: February 1, 1989
 26 
Ashley Massaro
(American Professional Wrestler, Reality TV Contestant and Model)
Ashley Massaro
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 26, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: May 16, 2019
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 27 
Viola Liuzzo
(Civil Rights Activist)
Viola Liuzzo
3
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: April 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: California, Pennsylvania
Died: March 25, 1965
 28 
Tom Thomson
(Artist)
Tom Thomson
5
Birthdate: August 5, 1877
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Claremont, Pickering, Canada
Died: July 8, 1917

Tom Thomson was a Canadian artist best remembered for producing some of Canada's most iconic works, namely The West Wind and The Jack Pine. Thomson's work has had a profound influence on Canadian art and he is often regarded as an unofficial member of the famous Group of Seven as he died shortly before the establishment of the iconic group.

 29 
Brenda Fassie
(Singer)
Brenda Fassie
3
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 3, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Langa
Died: May 9, 2004

Brenda Fassie was a South African dancer, singer, songwriter, and activist. Renowned for her bold on-stage antics, Fassie earned the nickname Madonna of The Townships. Also dubbed the Queen of African Pop, Brenda Fassie won five South African Music Awards and three Kora Awards during her illustrious career. She was also named in the Top 100 Great South Africans list.

 30 
Klaus Nomi
(German Countertenor Known for His Wide Vocal Range and an Unusual, Otherworldly Stage Persona)
Klaus Nomi
6
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 24, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Immenstadt, Germany
Died: August 6, 1983

Klaus Nomi was a German countertenor with a wide vocal range. He wore heavy makeup, unusual costumes, and a highly stylized signature hairdo. He had an otherworldly stage persona that was unique to him. His music was also considered unusual. He suffered from AIDS and was one of the earliest musicians known to die of the illness.  

 31 
Louis VIII of France
(King of France)
Louis VIII of France
1
Birthdate: September 5, 1187
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 8, 1226

Louis VIII of France, or The Lion, ruled France as its king for a little over 3 years. After being invited by the rebellious barons who went against King John of England, Louis invaded England and even gained control of much of it but was later defeated at sea.

 32 
Sir Henry Percy
(English rebel)
Sir Henry Percy
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 20, 1364
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Warkworth, United Kingdom
Died: July 21, 1403
 33 
Flannery O'Connor
(Novelist)
Flannery O'Connor
7
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: March 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, United States
Died: August 3, 1964
 34 
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, 1961
 35 
Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf
(Won a People Magazine Online Poll Asking the Public to Vote for the Most Beautiful Person in the World)
Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: April 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 4, 2001

Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf was an American entertainer who achieved popularity by appearing on The Howard Stern Show as part of the show's Wack Pack. He gained national attention in 1998 when he won an online poll conducted by People magazine to determine the Most Beautiful People as part of the run-up promotion for People's 50 Most Beautiful People issue.

 36 
Shad Gaspard
(American Professional Wrestler and Actor)
Shad Gaspard
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 13, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: May 17, 2020
Height: 6'7" (201 cm)
 37 
Barbara Lee Payton
3
Birthdate: November 16, 1927
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cloquet, Minnesota, United States
Died: May 8, 1967
 38 
Craig Heyward
(American Football Player)
Craig Heyward
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey, United States
Died: May 27, 2006
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 39 
Lucrezia Borgia
(Duchess Consort of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio (1505 - 1519))
Lucrezia Borgia
8
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: April 18, 1480
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Subiaco, Italy
Died: June 24, 1519
Spanish-Italian noblewoman Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, ruled as the governor of Spoleto. She was part of many politically motivated marriages. She has been portrayed as the femme fatale in many movies and novels. Dosso Dossi’s Portrait of a Youth is the only credible portrait of Lucrezia.
 40 
Josiah
(King of Judah)
Josiah
2
Birthdate: 0648 BC
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: 0609 BC
Josiah, whose name means Healed of the Lord, became the king of Judah at the tender age of 8. Apart from compiling major Hebrew scriptures, Josiah destroyed all pagan placed of worship. Though he isn’t mentioned anywhere apart from the Bible, historians believe he very much existed.
 41 
Ellison Onizuka
(Astronaut, engineer, and USAF test pilot from Kealakekua, Hawaii, who successfully flew into space with the Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-51-C)
Ellison Onizuka
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: June 24, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kealakekua, Hawaii, United States
Died: January 28, 1986
 42 
Mihai Eminescu
(The National Poet of Romania and a Major Figure of Romanticism)
Mihai Eminescu
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 15, 1850
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Botoșani, Romania
Died: June 15, 1889

Considered the national poet of Romania, Mihai Eminescu was a major figure of Romanticism in Romanian literature. Starting as an editor for the paper Timpul, he later penned iconic poems such as Luceafărul, or The Evening Star, and stories such as Sărmanul Dionis and Cezara. He, unfortunately, died in a mental asylum.

 43 
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia
(Russian Noble and Youngest Son of Emperor Alexander III of Russia)
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 4, 1878
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tsentralny District, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: June 13, 1918

Son of Alexander III, the emperor of Russia, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich refused to accept the throne unless Russians were allowed to decide if they wanted the monarchy or a republic. Both Michael and his British secretary, Nicholas Johnson, were arrested and shot to death during the Russian Revolution.

 44 
George Herbert
(Poet recognized as one of the foremost British devotional lyricists)
George Herbert
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 3, 1593
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montgomery, Wales
Died: March 1, 1633

George Herbert was an orator, poet, and priest of the Church of England. Although he is regarded as one of the most important British devotional lyricists, Herbert's poetry is often associated with the works of popular metaphysical poets. He was also a collector of proverbs and his collection was published in 1640.

 45 
Babak Khorramdin
(Iranian Revolutionary Leader)
Babak Khorramdin
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 1, 0798
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Azerbaijan, Iran
Died: January 7, 0838

Babak Khorramdin was an Iranian revolutionary leader of the Iranian Khorram-Dinān, a local freedom movement fighting the Abbasid Caliphate. The rebellion spearheaded by Babak spread to the western and central parts of Iran and lasted for two decades before it was suppressed.  Babak was betrayed by one of his own men and put to death by the Abbasid Caliph.   

 46 
Evangelista Torricelli
0
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: October 15, 1608
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Faenza
Died: October 25, 1647

Evangelista Torricelli, a student of Galileo, later made a name for himself as a physicist and a mathematician with his invention of the barometer. He also laid down the Torricelli’s theorem and discovered the Torricellian vacuum. The torr, a unit of pressure, bears his name.

 47 
William McMaster Murdoch
(British Sailor Who Was the First Officer on the ‘RMS Titanic’)
William McMaster Murdoch
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dalbeattie, Scotland
Died: April 15, 1912

Scottish sailor William McMaster Murdoch was the First Officer on the RMS Titanic. The officer in charge on the bridge when the ship collided with an iceberg, he was one of the more than 1,500 casualties when the ship sank. He died under mysterious circumstances, and it is rumored that he died by suicide shortly after the collision. 

 48 
Saint James the Great
(Saint)
Saint James the Great
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0005 AD
Birthplace: Bethsaida, Israel
Died: 0044 AD
 49 
Francisco I. Madero
(37th President of Mexico)
Francisco I. Madero
7
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 30, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Parras de la Fuente, Mexico
Died: February 22, 1913

Apart from being the president of Mexico, Francisco I. Madero was also a social reformist. Born into an affluent landowning family, Madero grew up to challenge the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and was one of the initiators of the Mexican Revolution. He was assassinated in a right-wing coup.

 50 
Wild Bill Hickok
(Gunfighter, Law enforcement officer)
Wild Bill Hickok
7
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: May 27, 1837
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Illinois, United States
Died: August 2, 1876
Wild Bill Hickok was a Kansas sheriff and later became a Western folk hero, famous for his gunfights. He was a Union Army spy during the American Civil War. He was shot dead while playing poker. His last hand of cards came to be known as “the dead man's hand.”