People who died on their birthday

There are some people who died on their birthday, and this is known as the Birthday Effect, and it’s a statistical phenomenon that suggests the chance of mortality rises on or around one’s birthday.

While one Swiss research from 2012 estimated that your odds of dying on the same day you were born were 14 percent greater, there aren’t many renowned individuals who have managed to do so with a few exceptions.

People who died on their birthday

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

For himself, William Shakespeare could not have scripted a more lyrical cycle of life: While the precise date of his birth has long been a point of contention, the general view is that he was born on April 23, 1564, and died at the age of 52 on the same day in 1616. Though the exact cause of his death is unknown—he was said to be in “perfect health” just weeks before his death—an entry in the diary of John Ward, a vicar in the town where Shakespeare was born and died, claimed that “Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting and it seems drank too hard, for Shakespeare died of a fever”.

Walter Diemer

Walter Diemer
Walter Diemer

On his 93rd birthday, January 8, 1998, Walter Diemer, the creator of bubble gum, said goodbye to the land of the living.

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Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman, the Oscar-winning star of Casablanca, was born on August 29, 1915, in Stockholm, Sweden. She died in 1982 in London, 67 years later, following a battle with breast cancer (though the official cause of death was lymphoma complications that came after a breast cancer operation).

Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan
Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan, the author of The Feminine Mystique, was born on February 4, 1921, and died on February 4, 2006. On her 85th birthday, she died of congestive heart failure at her home in Washington, D.C.

Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet
Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet, a jazz saxophone, clarinetist, and composer who was widely overshadowed by Louis Armstrong, actually entered the recording studio a few months before Armstrong. However, Bechet’s reputed rage harmed his career, and it wasn’t until the late 1940s that his achievements were properly appreciated. Fortunately, he lived long enough to see it; he died on May 14, 1959, his 62nd birthday, in Garches, France.

Johnny Longden

Johnny Longden
Johnny Longden

Johnny Longden, a Triple Crown-winning rider who rode Count Fleet to victories in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes in 1943, was born on Valentine’s Day and died on the same day (in 1907 and 2003, respectively).

George “Machine Gun” Kelly

George “Machine Gun” Kelly
George “Machine Gun” Kelly

George “Machine Gun” Kelly, a veteran mobster and bootlegger, got off easy when he died of a heart attack at the age of 59, on his birthday, July 17, 1954. Kelly was detained at the time at Leavenworth.

Levi P. Morton

Levi P. Morton
Levi P. Morton

Benjamin Harrison’s vice president, Levi P. Morton, died of pneumonia on his 96th birthday, May 16, 1920, about 20 years after his former boss.

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Ella Baker

Ella Baker
Ella Baker

Ella Baker was a significant activist who worked with some of the most well-known civil rights activists of the twentieth century, including Martin Luther King, Jr., W. E. B. Du Bois, and Thurgood Marshall, but she mostly kept behind the scenes. On December 13, 1903, she was born in Virginia and died on the same day, 83 years later, in 1986.

Frankie Lons

Frankie Lons
Frankie Lons

Frankie Lons, the mother of R&B singer Keyshia Cole and star of the BET reality series “Frankie & Neffe,” died on her 61st birthday — July 18, 2021.

Allen Drury

Allen Drury
Allen Drury

On September 2, 1998, novelist Allen Drury, who received the Pulitzer Prize for his 1959 political book Advise and Consent, which was based in part on the true-life event of Senator Lester Hunt’s scandal and death, died on his 80th birthday.

Mike Douglas

Mike Douglas
Mike Douglas

In the 1960s and 1970s, Mike Douglas, a Big Band vocalist, found a second career as the jovial presenter of a syndicated daytime chat show that helped expose talents like Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin. He passed away on August 11, 2006, 81 years after his birth.

Max Julien

Max Julien
Max Julien

Max Julien, who played Goldie the pimp opposite Richard Pryor in 1973’s “The Mack,” died on New Year’s Day 2022, which also happened to be his 88th birthday.

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