Birthdays are usually a day to celebrate life, but for some notable individuals, they can mean saying goodbye to the world.
Most of these esteemed figures died at advanced ages of various illnesses or natural causes. There are certainly exceptions, however. The great Renaissance artist Raphael died at 37 from mysterious causes. William Shakespeare survived the bubonic plague ravaging Europe but then died at 52 from a fever that rapidly came on after drinking with companions.
Some celebrated people who died on their birthdays were admirable for their accomplishments, including a Dutch watchmaker who was a member of the Dutch Resistance during World War II and an agricultural scientist who helped revolutionize American agriculture. Others are more infamous than famous – like gangster Machine Gun Kelly or a member of the Chicago White Sox that helped the team throw the 1919 World Series.
Our list also includes actors and singers, some of whom died long after their glory days. (In contrast, these are some movie and TV stars who died far too young)
These famous people who died on their birthdays – a random assortment over many centuries and in many different fields – share an odd footnote in their notable lives. For a more pleasant list of natal coincidences, see our list of famous people born on major holidays.
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