The Quick 10: 10 People Who Died on Their Birthdays
Something about dying on your birthday seems very neat and tidy to me. Despite this, not many people seem to manage it. But here are 10 who did:
1. Ingrid Bergman was born on August 29, 1915, in Stockholm, Sweden, She died 67 years later in 1982 in London after battling breast cancer (the official cause of death was lymphoma complications that came after a breast cancer operation).
2. Betty Friedan, the author of The Feminine Mystique, was born on February 4, 1921, and died on the same day in 2006. She was 85 when she was claimed by congestive heart failure.
3. Walter Diemer, the inventor of bubble gum, went "pop!" on his 93rd birthday on January 8, 1998. I apologize for the bad pun.
4. George "Machine Gun" Kelly was gunned down by, um, a heart attack. Sorry, I guess I can't turn all of them into stupid jokes. He was exactly 59 years old, dying on his July 17 birthday in 1954. Kelly was incarcerated at Leavenworth at the time.
5. Levi P. Morton, Benjamin Harrison's vice president, died of pneumonia on his 96th birthday. He was alive from May 16, 1824 to May 16, 1920. That's a pretty good run, if you ask me.
6. Johnny Longden was born on and died on Valentine's Day: 1907-2003. He was a Triple Crown-winning jockey in 1943, taking home the wins at the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes while riding Count Fleet.
7. Kamehameha V, King of Hawaii, died on his 42nd birthday on December 11, 1872.
8. Allen Drury, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, died on his 80th birthday on September 2, 1998. The book that won him the Pulitzer, by the way, was his 1959 political novel Advise and Consent, based partially on the true-life story of the scandal and suicide of Senator Lester Hunt.
9. Swede Risberg of the 1919 Black Sox Scandal died on October 13, 1975, his 81st birthday.
10. Jean Felix Piccard. Name sound familiar? It's because he and his twin brother Auguste Piccard were the inspirations for the name of Star Trek's Jean-Luc Picard. Jean's inventions have been used in building aircrafts, spacecrafts and balloons (see picture at left). He died on his (and his brother's) birthday on January 28, 1963 at the age of 79. Auguste had died the year before on March 24.
A few who were close but didn't quite make it: Telly Savalas was over by a day; he died of prostate cancer on January 22, 1994, the day after his birthday. Marvin Gaye was short by one day; he would have been 45 if his dad hadn't killed him the day before. Everyone's favorite Golden Girl and Sylvester Stallone co-star, Estelle Getty, died three days short of her 85th birthday last year, and Julia Child missed her 91st birthday by just two days in 2004.