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Famous People Who Died on Their Birthdays

Pushpa Duddukuri
What do William Shakespeare, Ingrid Bergman, Betty Friedan, and Sam Bass have in common? Well, they all died on their birthday. This post lists out some of the famous people who passed away on the date on which they were born.

Fact or Fiction?

A study that was published in the Annals of Epidemiology, claims that you are 13.8% more likely to die on your birthday. This study was conducted by analyzing 2.4 millions deaths over a span of 40 years.
Birthdays are celebrated all around the world, and why not, after all, you came into this world on that day. But sometimes, your supposedly Big day don't go as planned. You might get a crappy birthday present or have a lousy time on that very day.
And you might think, things can't be worse than this. Alas! You turn out to be wrong. However, there were individuals who had way worse birthday than any of us. They had an appointment with the Grim Reaper on their special day. For obvious reasons, that was the last time when they met anyone.
In this story, we have listed out some famous people who demised on their birthdays, and made it easier for their biographers to calculate their age.

Happy Death-day Club

William Shakespeare
Born: April 23, 1564
Died: April 23, 1616
As far as spooky goes, dying on your birthday definitely makes the cut. However, Shakespeare's death takes the spookiness one notch up as its details are still shrouded in mystery.
Though a lot is known about Shakespeare's works, little is known with certainty about his life or death. It was reported that he died due to outbreak of typhus. However, there were also rumors of 'drinking too much' that was believed to have ultimately ended his life.

Ingrid Bergman

Born: August 29, 1915
Died: August 29, 1982

An actress who won the Oscar 3 times, Ingrid Bergman unfortunately gained more fame for her affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini. Bergman was known for playing the good girl to perfection.
After playing a nun in The Bells of St. Mary's and a saint in Joan of Arc, it was a rude shock for her fans when she gave birth to a lovechild of Roberto Rossellini, especially when both were married to other people. The US Senate even named her "Hollywood's apostle of degradation".
Around 38,000 articles were published in various newspapers about her high-profile affair. Eventually, the public opinion about her, changed. In later years of her life, she bravely battled breast cancer. However, her eight-year-long struggle with cancer ended on her 67th birthday in London.

Betty Friedan

Born: February 4, 1921
Died: February 4, 2006

Her book, Feminine Mystique (1963), paved path for several women and prompted them to explore the idea of women stepping out of their traditional roles and finding personal fulfillment.
Her book instantly became a sensation and played a vital role in spurring second-wave feminism. In 2006, she died of heart failure in Washington D.C. on her birthday.

Johnny Longden

Born: February 14, 1907
Died: February 14, 2003

Johnny Longden a.k.a. The Pumper, is known for riding 6,032 winning horses (a world record at a time).
He is the only man in history to ride and train the Kentucky Derby winner. He enjoyed a remarkably long career and succumbed to a stroke on his 96th birthday. He was survived by his third wife, along with a son and daughter.

Allen Drury

Born: September 2, 1918
Died: September 2, 1998

A reporter from the New York Times, Allen Drury used his insights into the inner workings of the Capital of the United States, to pen down his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Advise and Content.
His novel instantly became a bestseller and prompted him to switch his career to a full-time novelist. He once famously quipped that the best way to deal with critics was to sentence them to an "eternity of reading their own writings".

Swede Risberg

Born: October 13, 1894
Died: October 13, 1975

Before his name was tarnished by the infamous Black Sox scandal, Swede Risberg was an upcoming star of his team. However, the scandal marred his career and rest of his life. In 1919 World series, eight of Chicago White Sox players threw away the game to Cincinnati Reds after accepting bribes from gamblers.
The word of the fix got out and the players were barred from playing baseball for life. Risberg returned to his quiet dairy farm life after his career ended. He passed away in a convalescent home in Red Bluff, California on his 81st birthday.

Lawrence Oates

Born: March 17, 1880
Died: March 17, 1912

"I am just going outside and may be some time." These were the famous last words of Antarctic explorer, Captain Lawrence Oates who walked out of his tent into a blizzard, never to be seen again.
He was suffering from gangrene and frost bite. A part of ill-fated expedition to South Pole in 1912, Capt. Oates is remembered for the act of self-sacrifice when he chose his death to save his comrades as he believed he was slowing them down.

Sam Bass

Born: July 21, 1851
Died: July 21, 1878

Sam Bass, the famous American western outlaw who died at the hands of the Texas Rangers, was orphaned at a tender age. He drifted to Texas where he met Joel Collins and both of them went on a spree of robbing stagecoaches.
They, along with four others, managed to raid Union Pacific train and bagged gold coins worth $65,000. Bass kept eluding the Rangers until one of his old cronies tipped off the authorities, which resulted in a shootout. He was fatally injured in the gun battle and succumbed to his death on his 27th birthday, two days later.

Elizabeth of York

Born: February 11, 1466
Died: February 11, 1503
Born to King Edward IV and his queen, Elizabeth of York led a safe, secure life till her father's death. Things began to take a bad turn after the death of King Edward IV. When two of her young brothers disappeared, a Lancastrian rebellion against the Yorkist King Richard III which led to the usurpation of the throne.
Later, Elizabeth of York was married to the Lancastrian King Henry VII to cement the relations between Yorks and Lancastrians. On her 37th birthday, Elizabeth of York died after giving birth to her eighth child - premature girl.

Fran Warren

Born: March 4, 1926
Died: March 4, 2013

Fran Warren, passed away peacefully on her 87th birthday. She was born as Frances Wolfe into a Jewish family; however, Billy Eckstine convinced her to change it to 'Fran Warren' for her performances.
She is widely known for her big hit A Sunday Kind of Love with Claude Thornhill in 1947. Her career suffered a low point when she was arrested for possession of marijuana. Between 1979 and 1982, she joined other musicians in a revue.

And There Were Others

Hendrick de Keyser ~ Dutch sculptor, architect ~ (May 15, 1565 - May 15, 1621)

Grace Bradley ~ American actress ~ (September 21, 1913 - September 21, 2010)
Etienne Dolet ~ French scholar, translator, printer ~ (August 3, 1509 - August 3, 1546)

Diane Shalet ~ American Broadway and television character actress ~ (February 23, 1935 - February 23, 2006)
Corrie ten Boom ~ Author ~ (April 15, 1892 - April 15, 1983)

Barry Bremen ~ Sports impersonator ~ (June 30, 1947 - June 30, 2011)

Marcel Broodthaers ~ Belgian poet ~ (January 28, 1924 - January 28, 1976)
Maury Chaykin ~ American-Canadian actor ~ (July 27, 1949 - July 27, 2010)

Andrew D. Chumbley ~ Magician, writer, poet, artist ~ (September 15, 1967 - September 15, 2004)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. ~ American lawyer, politician, businessman ~ (August 17, 1914 - August 17, 1988)
So, there you have it; these are some people who exited from this world on their birthday. There is something very neat and clean about dying Captain Lawrence Oates on your birthday, even though it's just a mere coincidence. But then, as Emma Bull said, "Coincidence is the word we use when we can't see the levers and pulleys".