Died On December 20th

Discover the most famous people who died on December 20. The list includes people like Debbie Reynolds, Carl Sagan, John Steinbeck, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Alan Lloyd Hodgkin. Famous personalities featured on this list, include political leaders, novelists, journalists and soldiers and from other domains of life. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, Germany & Spain and many more countries.
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 1 
Brittany Murphy
70
Birthdate: November 10, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: 2009

Britanny Murphy was an American singer and actress. She received critical acclaim for playing important roles in films like 8 Mile before leaving for heavenly abode due to pneumonia at age 32. A month after her demise, her mother and widower established a charitable fund called The Brittany Murphy Foundation, which aimed at aiding children's arts education and cancer research.

 2 
Carl Sagan
(Astronomer and Planetary Scientist Best Known for His Scientific Contribution in Research on Extraterrestrial Life)
Carl Sagan
32
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: November 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: 1996
Pulitzer- and Emmy-winning astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan was best known for co-writing the TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. His novel Contact was adapted into a film. He was known for his extensive research on extra-terrestrial life, had taught at major universities, and written countless papers and science books.
 3 
John Steinbeck
(American Writer and Winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature)
John Steinbeck
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 27, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Salinas, California, United States
Died: 1968

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.

 4 
Bobby Darin
(Pop vocalist who released the hits "Mack the Knife," "Dream Lover," and "Beyond the Sea.")
Bobby Darin
6
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Harlem, New York, United States
Died: 1973
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 5 
Roy O. Disney
(Co-Founder of Walt Disney Company)
Roy O. Disney
9
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: June 24, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: 1971

Roy Oliver Disney, older brother of Walt Disney, co-founded The Walt Disney Company and was its first CEO. He had also served in the U.S. Navy and had been a banker. He postponed his retirement plans following the death of Walt Disney and supervised the completion of Walt Disney World.

 6 
Madge Sinclair
7
Birthdate: April 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: 1995

The Kingston-born American actress, who began her career with the New York Shakespearean Festival, acted in a number films and television series and won Primetime Emmy Award for her role in the crime drama Gabriel's Fire. Madge Sinclair was also a voice artist in the famous animated film The Lion King, released a year before she succumbed to leukaemia.

 7 
Elsa Einstein
(Albert Einstein's Wife)
Elsa Einstein
7
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 18, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hechingen, Germany
Died: 1936

Elsa Einstein was the second wife of Albert Einstein. She is best remembered for her relationship with Albert Einstein as the latter started a relationship with Elsa, who also happens to be his cousin, while he was still married to Mileva Marić. Elsa Einstein was instrumental in the Einsteins building their summer house in 1929.

 8 
Steve Landesberg
2
Birthdate: November 23, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
Died: 2010
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 9 
Kangxi Emperor
(Emperor of the Qing Dynasty from 1661 to 1722)
Kangxi Emperor
6
Birthdate: May 4, 1654
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: 1722
Son of emperor Shunzhi and empress Xiaokang, Xuanye, or the Kangxi Emperor, was the Qing dynasty’s third emperor. Apart from signing the Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia, he crushed the revolt of the three warlords, known as the Rebellion of Wu Sangui. He was also known to be a workaholic.
 10 
Erich Ludendorff
(German General, Politician and Military Theorist)
Erich Ludendorff
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kruszewnia, Poland
Died: 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.

 11 
Foster Brooks
(Actor)
Foster Brooks
10
Birthdate: May 11, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Died: 2001
 12 
Arthur Rubinstein
(One of the Greatest Pianists and Chopin Interpreters of His Time)
Arthur Rubinstein
4
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland
Died: 1982

Arthur Rubinstein was a Polish-American pianist counted amongst the greatest pianists of all time. He had an extensive career spanning eight decades, during which he earned much international acclaim. He played music performed by several illustrious composers and is especially remembered for his interpretation of Chopin’s music. Renowned pianists François-René Duchâble and Avi Schönfeld were his students. 

 13 
Vitellius
(Roman emperor)
Vitellius
6
Birthdate: September 24, 0015
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0069
 14 
Hank Snow
(Country Singer Best Known for Songs: 'I’m Moving On' and 'The Golden Rocket')
Hank Snow
3
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 9, 1914
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, Canada
Died: 1999

Hank Snow was a Canadian-American country music artist who had an extensive career spanning half a century. He rose to fame in the 1950s and released around 140 albums during his career. He endured extreme difficulties as a youngster and sought solace in music, eventually becoming one of the most influential artists in all of country music. 

 15 
Stanley Milgram
(Psychologist, University teacher, Sociologist)
Stanley Milgram
1
Birthdate: August 15, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 1984

Social psychologist Stanley Milgram was inspired by the suffering of the Jews during the Holocaust to understand what drove people to harm others, and thus created his Milgram experiment. He also taught at prestigious institutes such as Harvard and Yale. His studies also included the six degrees of separation concept.

 16 
Louis, Dauphin of France
(Princes)
Louis, Dauphin of France
0
Birthdate: September 4, 1729
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palace of Versailles, Paris, France
Died: 1765
 17 
Junior Johnson
(American Stock Car Race Driver)
Junior Johnson
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 28, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ronda, North Carolina, United States
Died: 2019
 18 
Arnold Stang
(Actor)
Arnold Stang
0
Birthdate: September 28, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, USA
Died: 2009
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 19 
Stefan Dušan
(Emperor of the Serbian Empire)
Stefan Dušan
2
Birthdate: July 26, 1308
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Serbia
Died: 1355

Stefan Dušan reigned as the King of all Serbian and Maritime Lands from 1331 to 1346. He then reigned as the Emperor of the Serbian Empire from 16 April 1346 until his death on 20 December 1355. Stefan Dušan was counted among the most powerful monarchs of his generation as he had conquered a major part of southeast Europe.

 20 
Robert Mulligan
(Director)
Robert Mulligan
0
Birthdate: August 23, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: 2008
 21 
Léopold Sédar Senghor
(1st President of Senegal)
Léopold Sédar Senghor
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Joal Fadiout, Senegal
Died: 2001

Léopold Sédar Senghor was a Senegalese cultural theorist, poet, and politician. He was Senegal's first president, a position in which he served from 1960 to 1980. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent African intellectuals, Senghor is credited with founding the Senegalese Democratic Bloc party. Senghor received many awards, including the African Studies Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.

 22 
Max Robinson
(Broadcaster)
Max Robinson
0
Birthdate: May 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Died: 1988
 23 
Moss Hart
(American Playwright, Librettist and Theater Director)
Moss Hart
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 24, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: 1961
 24 
Katharina von Bora
(Wife of German Reformer Martin Luther)
Katharina von Bora
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 29, 1499
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lippendorf, Neukieritzsch, Germany
Died: 1552

Katharina von Bora was a former nun, whose marriage with German professor of theology, priest, Augustinian monk, author and composer Martin Luther, a seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation, set a model for clerical marriage, permitting Protestant clergy to marry. She is often regarded to have played a key role in Reformation as she helped in defining Protestant family life.

 25 
Dean Rusk
(Politician)
Dean Rusk
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 9, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cherokee County, Georgia, U.S.
Died: 1994
 26 
Fritz Pfeffer
(Physician)
Fritz Pfeffer
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: April 30, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gießen
Died: 1944

Known as Albert Dussel in Anne Frank’s diary, Fritz Pfeffer was a successful Jewish dentist who had hid along with Anne Frank and her family in the Secret Annex during the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands. Initially deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, he later died at the Neuengamme concentration camp.

 27 
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: 1968

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. 

 28 
Ambroise Paré
(French Barber Surgeon and a Pioneer in Surgical Techniques)
Ambroise Paré
0
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: 1510 AD
Birthplace: Laval, France
Died: 1590

Ambroise Paré was a French surgeon remembered for his service as barber surgeon for Henry II, Henry III, Charles IX, and Francis II. Regarded as one of the fathers of surgery, Paré is also considered a pioneer in surgical techniques. He specialized in battlefield medicine and in the treatment of wounds. Ambroise Paré is credited with inventing several surgical instruments.

 29 
Juzo Itami
(Actor)
Juzo Itami
2
Birthdate: May 15, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kyoto, Japan
Died: 1997
 30 
Michele Morgan
(Actress)
Michele Morgan
0
Birthdate: February 29, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: 2016
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 31 
Benigno Aquino Sr.
(Filipino Politician Who Led the Fascist KALIBAPI Party)
Benigno Aquino Sr.
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 3, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Concepcion, Tarlac, Philippines
Died: 1947

Filipino politician Benigno Aquino, Sr., or Igno, led the fascist KALIBAPI party, which was the only Filipino political party during the Japanese occupation. He had held several significant political positions, including that of the vice-president of the Philippines. He was also the 6th Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines.

 32 
Pope Zephyrinus
(Bishop of Rome (199 to 217))
Pope Zephyrinus
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0217

The bishop of Rome from 199 to 217, Pope Zephyrinus faced strong opposition from Roman priest St. Hippolytus, who began the first schism of the Christian Church. Ironically, the only source of information on Zephyrinus is Hippolytus’s Philosophoumena. He is remembered for combating heresies.

 33 
Émile Loubet
(President of France from 1899 to 1906, 45th Prime Minister of France)
Émile Loubet
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 30, 1838
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Marsanne, France
Died: 1929

A qualified lawyer and a skilled orator, Émile Loubet had been the mayor of Montélimar, before becoming the prime minister and then the president of France. He was responsible for improving France’s relationship with Britain. He also accelerated the separation of the Church and the French government.

 34 
Simone Beck
(Author)
Simone Beck
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 7, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Normandy, France
Died: 1991
 35 
Dawn Steel
(Film producer)
Dawn Steel
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 19, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York (state) New York, United States
Died: 1997
 36 
Robert Knox
(Military physician)
Robert Knox
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 4, 1791
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: 1862
 37 
Prince Moulay Abdallah of Morocco
(Hassan II of Morocco's Brother)
Prince Moulay Abdallah of Morocco
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rabat, Morocco
Died: 1983
 38 
Adrian Mitchell
1
Birthdate: October 24, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hampstead Heath
Died: 2008
 39 
James Hilton
(English Novelist and Screenwriter, Best Known for His Novels 'Lost Horizon', 'Goodbye', 'Mr. Chips' and 'Random Harvest')
James Hilton
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 9, 1900
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leigh, United Kingdom
Died: 1954

James Hilton was an English novelist and screenwriter. Many of his books such as Lost Horizon, Knight Without Armour, We Are Not Alone, The Story of Dr. Wassell, and Rage in Heaven were adapted into films. A well-known screenwriter in Hollywood, James Hilton received the prestigious Academy Award for his work in Mrs. Miniver in 1942.

 40 
Fazle Hasan Abed
(Social Worker)
Fazle Hasan Abed
6
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: April 27, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baniachong, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died: 2019

Fazle Hasan Abed was a Bangladeshi social worker credited with founding one of the largest non-governmental organizations in the world, BRAC. For his significant contributions to social development, Abed was honored with many national and international awards, including the Laudato Si' Award and LEGO Prize. In 2014 and 2017, he was included in Fortune magazine's World's 50 Greatest Leaders list.

 41 
Dmitry Ustinov
(Politician)
Dmitry Ustinov
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 30, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Samara, Russia
Died: 1984
 42 
Emil Artin
(Austrian Mathematician Best Known for His Work on Algebraic Number Theory)
Emil Artin
1
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: March 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: 1962

Considered a pioneer in the field of abstract algebra, Austro-German mathematician Emil Artin reached great heights in academics in spite of losing his father to syphilis at age 8. He's best remembered for his contribution to the class field theory and his theorems and concepts such as the Artin rings.

 43 
Esther Peterson
(Women's advocate)
Esther Peterson
2
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: December 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Provo, Utah, United States
Died: 1997
 44 
Denise Levertov
(Poet)
Denise Levertov
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 24, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ilford, England
Died: 1997
 45 
Mignon McLaughlin
(Journalist)
Mignon McLaughlin
0
Listed In:
Birthdate: June 6, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: 1983
 46 
Alan Lloyd Hodgkin
(English Physiologist and Biophysicist, Winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Alan Lloyd Hodgkin
0
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: February 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Banbury, Oxfordshire, England
Died: 1998

Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist Alan Lloyd Hodgkin is remembered for his research on the chemical processes related to nerve impulses. As a child, he was also interested in ornithology. He also taught at Cambridge and was a research professor at the Royal Society. He was knighted for his achievements.

 47 
Walter Page
(Former Jazz multi-instrumentalist best known for his groundbreaking work as a double bass player with Walter Page's Blue Devils and the Count Basie Orchestra)
Walter Page
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: February 9, 1900
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gallatin, Missouri, United States
Died: 1957
 48 
Princess Alexandrine of Baden
(Aristocrat)
Princess Alexandrine of Baden
1
Birthdate: December 6, 1820
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Karlsruhe, Germany
Died: 1904
 49 
Roland Matthes
(German Swimmer)
Roland Matthes
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 17, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pößneck, Germany
Died: 2019

Roland Matthes was a German swimmer famous as the most successful backstroke swimmer of all time. He swam 19 world and 21 European records in various backstroke,  freestyle, butterfly, and medley events between April 1967 and August 1974. After retiring from swimming, he studied medicine at the University of Jena and became an orthopedic surgeon.

 50 
John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen
(Count of Nassau-Siegen)
John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 17, 1604
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dillenburg, Germany
Died: 1679