Famous People Who Died At 72

The list of famous people who died at 72 includes Confucius, John Wayne, Leonard Bernstein, Richard Harris, Aleister Crowley. Famous personalities featured on this list, include political leaders, actors, artists and poets and from other domains of life. This list of celebrities who died at 72 includes people from United States, United Kingdom, France & Germany and many more countries.
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 1 
John Wayne
(American Actor Who was a Popular Icon During Hollywood's Golden Age)
John Wayne
77
Birthdate: May 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Winterset, Iowa, United States
Died: June 11, 1979

Famous for his roles in Western films in the mid-20th century, actor John Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades. In a career spanning over half a century, he starred in 142 motion pictures. Upon his death, he came to be recognized as “an enduring icon who symbolized and communicated American values and ideals.”

 2 
Confucius
(Chinese Philosopher and Political Theorist)
Confucius
23
Birthdate: 0551 BC
Birthplace: Lu, Shandong, China
Died: April 11, 0479

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher whose philosophy came to be known as Confucianism. Confucianism is often credited with shaping Chinese communities and East Asian societies. Confucius is considered one of the most influential individuals in the history of mankind as his teachings have had a great impact on people around the world. His philosophy continues to remain influential.

 3 
Richard Harris
(One of Ireland's Greatest Film Actors)
Richard Harris
25
Birthdate: October 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Limerick, Ireland
Died: October 25, 2002

A multitalented personality, Richard Harris was an Irish actor, singer, director and writer. He began as a stage actor and later moved to films. His famous films include This Sporting Life, Camelot, A Man Called Horse, Gladiator and the first two Harry Potter films. He released numerous musical albums, published a poetry book and ventured into film direction with Bloomfield.

 4 
John Locke
(English Philosopher and Physician, Popularly Known as the ‘Father of Liberalism’)
John Locke
36
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 29, 1632
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wrington, Somerset, England
Died: October 28, 1704
John Locke, also known as The Father of Liberalism, was a prominent Enlightenment Age philosopher. A qualified physician, Locke postulated the theory of mind, empiricism, and the idea of tabula rasa. His ideas influenced the social contract theory, the works of Kant and Rousseau, and the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
 5 
William Howard Taft
(27th President of the United States)
William Howard Taft
34
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: September 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: March 8, 1930

The 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft also served as the tenth Chief Justice of the US; he is the only person in the history of the US to have held both the offices. He had a great impact as chief justice and has been regarded as the greatest US chief justices of all time.

 6 
Isaac Asimov
(Writer Best Known for His Hard Science Fiction Novels and Professor of Biochemistry)
Isaac Asimov
47
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 2, 1920
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Petrovichi, Russia
Died: April 6, 1992

Isaac Asimov was an American writer. Best known for his science fiction works, Asimov was regarded as one of the Big Three writers along with Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein. Asimov is credited with influencing most sci-fi writers since the 1950s. Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman stated that one of Asimov's works inspired him to take up Economics.

 7 
Louis Pasteur
(French Chemist and Microbiologist Who Discovered the Principles of Vaccination, Microbial Fermentation and Pasteurization)
Louis Pasteur
28
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: December 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dole, France
Died: September 28, 1895
Considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies, and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. Known as the “father of microbiology,” he also founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris.  
 8 
Walt Whitman
(One of the Most Influential Poets in the American Canon, Regarded as the 'Father of Free Verse')
Walt Whitman
14
Birthdate: May 31, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Hills, New York, United States
Died: March 26, 1892

Walt Whitman was an American poet, journalist, and essayist. Also a humanist, Whitman played a crucial role in the shift between transcendentalism and realism. Often referred to as the father of free verse, Whitman is one of the most influential American poets of all time. Several decades after his death, Walt Whitman's poetry remains influential.

 9 
Charles Lindbergh
(Remembered for Making the First Nonstop Solo Flight Across the Atlantic)
Charles Lindbergh
36
Birthdate: February 4, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: August 26, 1974
Charles Lindbergh shot to fame after completing the first solo, and the longest, trans-Atlantic flight, in 1927. In his later years, his son’s highly publicized kidnapping and murder broke him completely. He also participated in World War II and worked on inventions that made flight navigation and heart surgeries easier.
 10 
Peggy Lipton
(Actress)
Peggy Lipton
19
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: August 30, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: May 11, 2019

Peggy Lipton achieved fame after playing Julie Barnes in the TV series The Mod Squad; her character Julie became a fashion icon. Peggy is also credited with raising her children Kidada and Rashida Jones—both celebrities—after marrying Quincy Jones. Interestingly, Peggy achieved all these after overcoming nervousness and stuttering as a child after being sexually abused by a relative.

 11 
David Carradine
(American Actor Best Known for Playing Martial Arts Roles)
David Carradine
19
Birthdate: December 8, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: June 3, 2009

The quintessential American on-screen martial artist, David Carradine specialized in playing martial arts roles in an illustrious acting career that spanned more than 60 years. Regarded as the bad boy of Hollywood, Carradine was arrested several times throughout his life for offenses involving substance abuse. He died in Bangkok, Thailand due to accidental autoerotic asphyxiation at the age of 72.

 12 
Telly Savalas
5
Birthdate: January 21, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Garden City, New York, United States
Died: January 22, 1994

Telly Savalas was an American singer and actor. He was characterized by his deep, resonant voice and bald head. In a career spanning 40 years, he is best known for her role in the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service   He is also considered  asone of the greatest TV stars ever. As a philhellene and philanthropist, Savalas supported various Hellenic causes.

 13 
Thomas Paine
(Founding Father of the United States)
Thomas Paine
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 29, 1737
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Thetford, England
Died: June 8, 1809

English-born American political activist, philosopher, and revolutionary, Thomas Paine, is credited to have penned some of the most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution. His works inspired the common people of America and motivated them to fight for independence from British rule. He was ostracized for criticizing Christianity and died a lonely man.

 14 
Dmitri Mendeleev
(Inventor of Periodic Table)
Dmitri Mendeleev
10
Birthdate: February 8, 1834
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tobolsk
Died: February 2, 1907
Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev created the Periodic Law and his version of the Periodic Table of Elements that revolutionized the field of chemistry. His table was independent of German chemist Julius Lothar Meyer’s version of the table. Mendeleev also assisted in the development of the first oil refinery in Russia.
 15 
Ferdinand Marcos
(Former President of the Philippines)
Ferdinand Marcos
111
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 11, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, Philippine Islands
Died: September 28, 1989

Ferdinand Marcos served as the tenth president of the Philippines. Marcos' rule was marked by brutality, extravagance, and corruption, making him the most controversial leader of his generation. Deemed a kleptocrat, Marcos' dictatorship caused an economic collapse during which the country suffered greatly. He was removed from power in 1986 after a series of protests called the People Power Revolution.

 16 
Leonard Bernstein
(Composer Whose Best-Known Work is the Broadway Musical 'West Side Story')
Leonard Bernstein
27
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 25, 1918
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 14, 1990

Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, music educator, conductor, pianist, author, and humanitarian. One of the most important cultural personalities of 20th century America, Bernstein influenced many generations of musicians. He is also credited with mentoring famous conductors like John Mauceri, Herbert Blomstedt, Alexander Frey, Marin Alsop, and Edo de Waart among many others.

 17 
Arthur Schopenhauer
(German Philosopher Best Known for His Work ‘The World as Will and Representation’)
Arthur Schopenhauer
20
Birthdate: February 22, 1788
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gdańsk, Poland
Died: September 21, 1860

Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher. He was among the first Western philosophers to affirm important tenets of Indian philosophy, such as denial of the self and asceticism. Schopenhauer's work has had a tremendous posthumous impact on disciplines like science, literature, and philosophy. His work influenced personalities like Albert Einstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sigmund Freud, George Bernard Shaw, and Leo Tolstoy. 

 18 
Lorne Greene
(Actor, Radio Personality and Singer Known for His Role as ‘Ben Cartwright’ in TV Series ‘Bonanza’)
Lorne Greene
59
Birthdate: February 12, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada
Died: September 11, 1987

Canadian actor, radio personality, and singer, Lorne Greene, is remembered for his appearance in the original science-fiction TV series, Battlestar Galactica. As a young man, he studied to become a chemical engineer. However, he quit engineering for a career in entertainment. He was successful both as a radio personality and an actor in a career spanning almost five decades.

 19 
Herman Melville
(Novelist & Short Story Writer of the American Renaissance Period Best Known for His Works 'Moby-Dick' & 'Typee')
Herman Melville
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 1, 1819
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: September 28, 1891

Herman Melville was an American short story writer, novelist, and poet. One of his best-known works, Moby-Dick is widely regarded as one of the great American novels, although it did not garner much attention during his lifetime. Livyatan melvillei, a species of an extinct sperm whale, which was discovered in 2010, was named in his honor.  

 20 
Larry Fine
(Comedian, Actor and Member of the Comedy Team the ‘Three Stooges’)
Larry Fine
9
Birthdate: October 5, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 24, 1975
Louis Feinberg, or Larry Fine, soared to stardom as a member of the comedy group The Three Stooges, appearing in movies such as Disorder in the Court and Men in Black. He was known for his signature frizzy hair and his violin skills. He had previously been a boxer.
 21 
James MacArthur
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Danny Williams’ in the TV Series ‘Hawaii Five-O’)
James MacArthur
7
Birthdate: December 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: October 28, 2010
James MacArthur is best remembered as Danno from Hawaii Five-O. He had also been part of popular Disney movies such as Swiss Family Robinson and Kidnapped. He earned a Theatre World Award for his Broadway appearance in Invitation to a March and a BAFTA nomination for The Young Stranger.
 22 
Ashoka
(Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty)
Ashoka
73
Birthdate: 0304 BC
Birthplace: Pataliputra
Died: 0232 BC
Ashoka the Great of the Maurya Dynasty was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and ruled the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE. Following the death and destruction caused by the Kalinga War, which was part of his expansion plan, he converted to Buddhism and propagated the faith.
 23 
Mileva Marić
(Serbian Physicist, Mathematician and the First Wife of Albert Einstein)
Mileva Marić
11
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: December 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Titel, Serbia
Died: August 4, 1948
Serbian physicist/mathematician Mileva Marić was the first wife of Albert Einstein and the second lady to complete the full program at the mathematics and physics department of Zürich Polytechnic. Experts still debate over whether she had helped Einstein in his initial research. Einstein transferred his Nobel Prize money to her.
 24 
Mako Iwamatsu
7
Birthdate: December 10, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
Died: July 21, 2006

Japanese-American actor Makoto Iwamatsu, or Mako, is remembered for his Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated role of Po-Han in The Sand Pebbles. He also appeared in Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer, and Seven Years in Tibet. He delivered a Tony-nominated performance in Pacific Overtures and co-founded East West Players.

 25 
John Drew Barrymore
13
Birthdate: June 4, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died: November 29, 2004

John Drew Barrymore was an American actor who hailed from the famous Barrymore family of actors, which includes his daughter Drew Barrymore and his half-sister Diana Barrymore. For his contributions to the American television industry, John Drew Barrymore was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 26 
Cilla Black
(Singer)
Cilla Black
8
Birthdate: May 27, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vauxhall, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died: August 1, 2015
Priscilla Maria Veronica White, better known as Cilla Black, is best remembered for her chart-topping hits You're My World and Anyone Who Had a Heart. She had her own show, Cilia, and also acted as a comedy actor. She later presented shows such as Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.
 27 
Frank Sinatra Jr.
(Singer-Songwriter, Actor and Son of Actor Frank Sinatra)
Frank Sinatra Jr.
20
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 10, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Died: March 16, 2016

The son of popular actor and singer Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jr. followed in the footsteps of his father to become a singer-songwriter and conductor. He was kidnapped at age 19 and released two days later. The kidnapping was rumored to be a publicity stunt to promote his singing career, which he established around the same time.

 28 
Angelica Hamilton
(Daughter of Elizabeth Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton)
Angelica Hamilton
7
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 25, 1784
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: United States
Died: February 6, 1857

Angelica Hamilton was the daughter of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of America. She is said to have suffered a mental breakdown in 1801 when her brother Philip was killed in a duel. It is said that she could never recover from the shock and the incident was the main reason for her lifelong mental health issues.

 29 
Mary Travers
(Singer-Songwriter and Member of the Folk Music Group ‘Peter, Paul and Mary’)
Mary Travers
13
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 9, 1936
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: September 16, 2009

Mary Travers was an American singer and songwriter. She was part of Peter, Paul and Mary, one of the most successful and popular folk music groups of the 1960s. Apart from working with the music group, Travers released five solo albums. In 1999, she was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as part of the group.

 30 
El Greco
(Greek Painter, Sculptor and Architect of the Spanish Renaissance)
El Greco
8
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: October 1, 1541
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Heraklion, Greece
Died: April 7, 1614
Artist Doménikos Theotokópoulos never let anyone forget his Greek heritage and almost always signed his art in Greek letters. Popularly known as El Greco, he was a significant figure of the Spanish Renaissance. His best-known works remain The Burial of the Count of Orgaz and The Assumption of the Virgin.
 31 
Henry James
(British Author Who is Regarded as a Key Transitional Figure Between Literary Realism and Literary Modernism)
Henry James
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 15, 1843
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York City, United States
Died: February 28, 1916

Henry James was an author, regarded as one of the greatest novelists ever to write in the English language. One of his novellas titled The Turn of the Screw has been the most analyzed ghost story in the history of English language literature. While his works have been adapted into films, he has been the subject of several other stories.

 32 
Georg Cantor
(Mathematician)
Georg Cantor
18
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: March 3, 1845
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died: January 6, 1918
Georg Cantor is remembered as the man behind the set theory of mathematics. Not known to many, he was a skilled violinist, too. He was one of the first to explore infinity. His final years were riddled with mental ailments, when he believed Shakespeare’s plays were written by Francis Bacon.
 33 
Gertrude Stein
(American Novelist, Poet and Playwright)
Gertrude Stein
21
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 3, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 27, 1946

Gertrude Stein was an American playwright, novelist, poet, and art collector. She is remembered for publishing works about lesbian sexuality, which was considered a taboo at that time. Over the years, Gertrude Stein has been the subject of several works of art. In the 2011 movie Midnight in Paris, Stein was portrayed by Kathy Bates.

 34 
Frank Gorshin
6
Birthdate: April 5, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 17, 2005
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 35 
Douglas Bader
(Royal Air Force Flying Ace During the Second World War)
Douglas Bader
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 21, 1910
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: September 5, 1982

Sir Douglas Bader was a RAF pilot during World War II. Although he lost both his legs in an aerobatics accident in 1931, he recovered and rejoined the RAF. Following the war, he joined the oil industry. The film and book Reach for the Sky details his life.

 36 
Lou Rawls
(R&B Singer Famous for His Luxurious Baritone Singing Voice and Four-Octave Vocal Range)
Lou Rawls
3
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 6, 2006

Lou Rawls was an American singer, composer, record producer, and actor. Rawls sold over 40 million records during his illustrious career. He was also renowned for his charity work; in 2004, he was honored by the popular philanthropic organization United Negro College Fund for his work with the organization for more than 25 years.

 37 
Marcello Mastroianni
(One of Italy's Most Iconic Actors of the 20th Century)
Marcello Mastroianni
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fontana Liri, Lazio, Italy
Died: December 19, 1996

Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni is regarded as his country's biggest film star of all time. Making his debut as an uncredited extra when he was just 14, he worked hard over the decades to become a major film star in his country. He was a big name in international cinema as well. He was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards.

 38 
Bert Lahr
(Actor)
Bert Lahr
2
Birthdate: August 13, 1895
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: December 4, 1967
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 39 
Vasili Arkhipov
(Soviet Naval Officer)
Vasili Arkhipov
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 30, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zvorkovo, Russia
Died: August 19, 1998

Vasili Arkhipov was a Soviet Navy officer who played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. He prevented a Soviet nuclear strike, which could’ve easily caused an all-out nuclear war. He refused to authorize the use of nuclear torpedoes, for which he was posthumously honored with the Future of Life Award by the Future of Life Institute in 2017.

 40 
John Vernon
(Canadian Actor Best Known for His Films: ‘Animal House’, ‘Dirty Harry’ and ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’)
John Vernon
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zehner, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died: February 1, 2005

Born to Polish immigrants, Canadian actor John Vernon made waves in Hollywood with his roles of figures of authority, such as doctors and academics, in films. Known for films such as Animal House and Dirty Harry, he had also lent his voice to many series and video games.

 41 
Tennessee Ernie Ford
(American Singer and Television Host)
Tennessee Ernie Ford
6
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 13, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bristol, Tennessee, United States
Died: October 17, 1991
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 42 
Ambrose Bierce
(Journalist & Writer, soldier)
Ambrose Bierce
11
Birthdate: June 24, 1842
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Meigs County, Ohio, United States
Died: December 1, 1914
 43 
Empress Dowager Cixi
(Empress Dowager of the Qing Dynasty from 1861 to 1908)
Empress Dowager Cixi
17
Birthdate: November 29, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: November 15, 1908

Empress Dowager Cixi was a Chinese regent and empress dowager. From 1861 to 1908, Cixi served as the de facto supreme ruler of the Qing dynasty. She is credited with overseeing a series of moderate reforms called the Tongzhi Restoration, which helped the regime survive for a long period of time. She also supported military and technological reforms.  

 44 
Erich Maria Remarque
(German Writer Best Known for His Novel ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’)
Erich Maria Remarque
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Osnabrück, Germany
Died: September 25, 1970

German novelist Erich Maria Remarque is best remembered for his landmark novel All Quiet on the Western Front. Born in the late 1890s, he was conscripted into the German Imperial Army during World War I. His wartime experiences later motivated him to write what would become his seminal work. He also authored many other poignant novels.

 45 
Kristin Nelson
(American Primitive Painter, Actress and Author)
Kristin Nelson
10
Birthdate: June 25, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Burbank, California, United States
Died: April 27, 2018
Kristin Nelson is remembered for her appearances in films such as The Resurrection of Broncho Billy. She was married to actor/musician Ricky Nelson but later got involved in a bitter custody battle involving their fourth son, Sam. A primitive painter, too, she had published an autobiography interspersed with her paintings. 
 46 
Bobby Heenan
(Wrestling Manager)
Bobby Heenan
7
Birthdate: November 1, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 17, 2017
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 47 
Levi Stubbs
(Baritone Singer)
Levi Stubbs
9
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: June 6, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: October 17, 2008
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 48 
Robert Alda
(Actor)
Robert Alda
6
Birthdate: February 23, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: May 3, 1986
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 49 
Amrish Puri
(Actor)
Amrish Puri
8
Birthdate: June 22, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nawanshahr, Jullundur, Punjab, British India
Died: January 12, 2005
 50 
Erich Ludendorff
(German General, Politician and Military Theorist)
Erich Ludendorff
10
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kruszewnia, Poland
Died: December 20, 1937

German military leader Erich Ludendorff gained fame with the victories at Liège and Tannenberg during World War I. He promoted the theory that Marxists, Jews, and Freemasons were responsible for Germany’s defeat in the war. He later became a military theorist, writing books such as The Total War.