Died in 1959

Jan 2 Alfred Dunhill an English tobacconist and inventor. He is the progenitor of the Dunhill luxury goods company and the Dunhill branded tobacco products from British American Tobacco
Jan 3 Edwin Muir an Orcadian poet, novelist and translator, born on a farm in Deerness on the Orkney Islands. He is remembered for his deeply felt and vivid poetry in plain language with few stylistic preoccupations and his extensive translations of Franz Kafka's works
Jan 5 Adolpho Ducke a notable entomologist, botanist and ethnographer specializing in Amazonia. According to family records, he was an ethnic German with roots in Trieste Austro-Hungary. German was his first language; that is, the German commonly spoken in Trieste in the 19th century. Most of his books were written in German
Jan 5 Karo Halabyan an Soviet Armenian architect. He was Honoured promoter of the Art of Armenian SSR
Jan 7 Boris Lavrenyov a Soviet Russian writer and playwright.
Jan 8 Magdolna Purgly the wife of Admiral Miklós Horthy.
Jan 9 Jack Kirwan a former Irish footballer and coach. As a football player, he was described as an out and out winger with good pace and skills, playing as an outside-left for, among others, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Ireland. He had previously played gaelic football for Dublin. As a football coach he became the first professional manager of Dutch side Ajax. He was the last survivor of the Tottenham team that won the 1901 FA Cup
Jan 10 Gustav Schröder best known for attempting to save 937 German Jews, who were passengers on his ship, the MS Louis, from the Nazis in 1939.
Jan 10 Michael Grzimek a German zoologist, conservationalist and filmmaker.
Jan 12 Edvard Eriksen a Danish-Icelandic sculptor. He is best known as the creator of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen 1909-1913
Jan 12 Karl Jordan a German entomologist.
Jan 14 Eivind Berggrav a Norwegian Lutheran bishop. As Primate of the Church of Norway , Berggrav became known for his unyielding resistance against the Nazi occupation of Norway during World War II
Jan 16 Phan Khôi an intellectual leader who inspired a North Vietnamese variety of the Chinese Hundred Flowers Campaign, in which scholars were permitted to criticize the Communist regime, but for which he himself was ultimately persecuted by the Communist Party of Vietnam.
Jan 21 Carl Switzer an American actor, professional dog breeder and hunting guide.
Jan 21 Cecil B. DeMille an American film director and film producer in both silent and sound films.
Jan 21 Pasha Angelina a celebrated Soviet udarnik and Stakhanovite at the time of the first Five Year Plans. She was glorified as one of the first female tractor-operators in the USSR and was made a symbol of the technically educated female Soviet worker
Jan 22 Jules Favre (naturalist) a Swiss zoologist, mycologist and geologist. He was the curator of the Natural History Museum of Geneva from 1915 to 1952
Jan 22 Mike Hawthorn a British racing driver. Born in Mexborough, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, and educated at Ardingly College, West Sussex, he made his racing debut in 1950. Hawthorn became the United Kingdom's first Formula One World Champion driver when he won the Formula One Championship in 1958, and immediately announced his retirement, having been profoundly affected by the death of his team-mate and friend Peter Collins two months earlier in the German Grand Prix. Hawthorn died in a road accident six months later
Jan 25 Arthur Samuel Allen an Australian soldier. During World War II he reached the rank of Major General and commanded Allied forces in the Syria-Lebanon and New Guinea campaigns. Allen was frequently referred to during World War II by the nickname "Tubby"; an indication of his stocky build and the affection with which he was regarded by both soldiers and the Australian public
Jan 26 Bruno Gröning a German mystic who gave lectures on faith healings. He was active in Germany in the 1940s and 1950s after World War II
Jan 28 Yosef Sprinzak a leading Zionist activist in the first half of the 20th century, an Israeli politician, and the first Speaker of the Knesset, a role he held from 1949 until his death in 1959.
Jan 28 Walter Beall an American baseball player who played for the New York Yankees on several championship teams in the 1920s.
Jan 30 Therese Schnabel a German contralto. She was best known for her interpretations of Lieder. She married pianist Artur Schnabel in 1905
Jan 30 Oszkár Abay-Nemes a Hungarian swimmer who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics.
Feb 1 Madame Sul-Te-Wan an American stage, film and television actress. The daughter of freed slaves, she began her career in entertainment touring the east coast with various theatrical companies and moved to California to become a member of the fledgling film community. She became known as a character actress, appeared in high profile films such as Birth of a Nation and Intolerance , and easily navigated the transition to the "talkies."
Feb 2 Alexander Rueb a Dutch lawyer, diplomat, and chess official.
Feb 3 The Big Bopper Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson, , commonly known as The Big Bopper, was an American musician and songwriter, whose big voice and exuberant personality made him an early rock and roll star. He is best known for his 1958 recording of "Chantilly Lace"
Feb 3 Vincent Astor a businessman and philanthropist and a member of the prominent Astor family.
Feb 3 Servillano Aquino a Filipino general during the Philippine Revolution against Spain , and the Philippine-American War. He served as a delegate to the Malolos Congress and was the grandfather of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr.. He is the great-grandfather of Benigno Aquino III, the current President of the Philippines
Feb 3 Roger Peterson (pilot) a 21-year-old pilot of the aircraft whose crash took the lives of rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson as well as himself. The event came to be known as "The Day the Music Died"
Feb 3 Sidney Robinson (athlete) an early twentieth century English middle-distance athlete who specialised in the steeplechase.
Feb 3 Buddy Holly an American musician and singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll. Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death in an airplane crash, Holly is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll." His works and innovations inspired and influenced contemporary and later musicians, notably the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Costello, and exerted a profound influence on popular music. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Holly number 13 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time
Feb 3 Ritchie Valens an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens' recording career lasted eight months, as it abruptly ended when he was killed in a plane accident
Feb 4 Una O'Connor (actress) an Irish actress who worked extensively in theatre before becoming a notable character actress in film. She often portrayed comical wives, housekeepers and servants
Feb 5 Curt Sachs a German-born but American-domiciled musicologist. He was one of the founders of modern organology , and is probably best remembered today for co-authoring the Sachs-Hornbostel scheme of musical instrument classification with his fellow scholar Erich von Hornbostel
Feb 6 Frank Riseley a British male tennis player who was active in the early 20th century.
Feb 7 Nap Lajoie an American professional baseball second baseman and player-manager. He played in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Athletics , and Cleveland Naps between 1896 and 1916. He managed the Naps from 1905 through 1909
Feb 7 Guitar Slim a New Orleans blues guitarist, from the 1940s and 1950s, best known for the million-selling song, produced by Johnny Vincent at Specialty Records, "The Things That I Used to Do". It is a song that is listed in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Slim had a major impact on rock and roll and experimented with distorted overtones on the electric guitar a full decade before Jimi Hendrix
Feb 7 Daniel François Malan more commonly known as F. Malan, was the Prime Minister of South Africa from 1948 to 1954. He is seen as a champion of Afrikaner nationalism. His National Party government came to power on the program of apartheid and began its comprehensive implementation
Feb 8 Daniel Soubeyran a French rower who competed in the 1900 Summer Olympics.
Feb 8 William J. Donovan a United States soldier, lawyer, intelligence officer and diplomat. Donovan is best remembered as the wartime head of the Office of Strategic Services , a precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, during World War He is also known as the "Father of American Intelligence" and the "Father of Central Intelligence"
Feb 9 Karl Mauss med. dent. Karl Mauss was one of the most distinguished tank commanders of the Wehrmacht during World War He was a lieutenant general and commander of the 7th Panzer Division, and one of only 27 ever to receive the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade the Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership
Feb 11 Marshall Teague an American race car driver.
Feb 12 George Antheil an American avant-garde composer, pianist, author and inventor whose modernist musical compositions explored the modern sounds – musical, industrial, mechanical – of the early 20th century.
Feb 13 William Axt an American composer of nearly two hundred film scores.
Feb 14 Baby Dodds a jazz drummer born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is regarded as one of the very best jazz drummers of the pre-big band era, and one of the most important early jazz drummers. He varied his drum patterns with accents and flourishes, and he generally kept the beat with the bass drum while playing buzz rolls on the snare. Some of his early influences included Louis Cottrell, Sr., Harry Zeno, Henry Martin, and Tubby Hall. Dodds was among the first drummers to be recorded who improvised while performing
Feb 15 Owen Willans Richardson a British physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1928 for his work on thermionic emission, which led to Richardson's Law.
Feb 17 Kathryn Adams an American silent film actress.
Feb 17 Anthony Michell an Australian mechanical engineer of the early 20th century.
Feb 19 Willard Miller a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Spanish-American War.