Died in 1972

Jan 1 Charles Schneeman an American illustrator of science fiction.
Jan 1 Maximus V of Constantinople an Orthodox Christian bishop. He was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1946 until 1948
Jan 1 Maurice Chevalier a French actor, Cabaret singer and entertainer. He is perhaps best known for his signature songs, including Louise, Mimi, Valentine, and Thank Heaven for Little Girls and for his films, including The Love Parade and The Big Pond. His trademark attire was a boater hat, which he always wore on stage with a tuxedo
Jan 2 Lillian Moller Gilbreth an American psychologist and industrial engineer. One of the first working female engineers holding a Ph.D., she is held to be the first true industrial/organizational psychologist. She and her husband Frank Bunker Gilbreth, were efficiency experts who contributed to the study of industrial engineering in fields such as motion study and human factors. The books Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes tell the story of their family life with their twelve children, and describe how they applied their interest in time and motion study to the organization and daily activities of such a large family
Jan 2 Theodore Wade-Gery a classical scholar, historian and epigrapher, and Wykeham Professor of Ancient History in the University of Oxford.
Jan 3 Frans Masereel a Flemish painter and graphic artist who worked mainly in France. He is known especially for his woodcuts. His greatest work is generally said to be the wordless novel Mon Livre d'Heures. He completed over 20 other wordless novels in his career. Masereel's woodcuts strongly influenced the work of Lynd Ward and later graphic artists such as Clifford Harper and Eric Drooker. There is a Frans Masereel Centre in the village of Kasterlee in Belgium
Jan 3 Mohan Rakesh one of the pioneers of the Nai Kahani literary movement of the Hindi literature in the 1950s. He wrote the first modern Hindi play, Ashadh Ka Ek Din , which won a competition organised by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. He made significant contribution to novel, short story, travelogue, criticism, memoirs and drama
Jan 6 Chen Yi (general) a Chinese communist military commander and politician. He served as Mayor of Shanghai from 1949 to 1958 and as Foreign Minister of China from 1958 to 1972
Jan 6 Samuel McLaughlin an influential Canadian businessman and philanthropist. He started the McLaughlin Motor Car in 1904, one of the first major automobile manufacturers in Canada, which evolved into General Motors of Canada
Jan 7 Eftichia Papagianopoulos a Greek lyricist.
Jan 7 John Berryman an American poet and scholar, born in McAlester, Oklahoma. He was a major figure in American poetry in the second half of the 20th century and was considered a key figure in the Confessional school of poetry. His best-known work is The Dream Songs
Jan 8 Wesley Ruggles an American film director.
Jan 8 Kenneth Patchen an American poet and novelist. He experimented with different forms of writing and incorporated painting, drawing, and jazz music into his works, which were often compared with those of William Blake and Walt Whitman. Patchen's biographer wrote that he "developed in his fabulous fables, love poems, and picture poems a deep yet modern mythology that conveys a sense of compassionate wonder amidst the world's violence." Along with his friend and peer Kenneth Rexroth, he was a central influence over the San Francisco Renaissance and the Beat Generation
Jan 9 Ted Shawn one of the first notable male pioneers of American modern dance. Along with creating Denishawn with former wife Ruth Denis he is also responsible for the creation of the well known all-male company Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers. With his innovative ideas of masculine movement, he is one of the most influential choreographers and dancers of his day. He is also the founder and creator of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts, and "was knighted by the King of Denmark for his efforts on behalf of the Royal Danish Ballet"
Jan 9 Liang Sicheng a Chinese architect. Liang Sicheng returned to China from the United States after studying at the University of Pennsylvania. His wife was Chinese architect and poet Lin Huiyin
Jan 10 Aksel Larsen a Danish politician who was chairman of the Communist Party of Denmark and chairman and founder of the Socialist People's Party. Larsen became leader of the Communist Party in 1932, and was elected to the Danish Parliament in 1932. Together with other Danish communists Larsen had to go into hiding in 1941 when the Danish police began arresting all party members
Jan 11 Padraic Colum an Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer, playwright, children's author and collector of folklore. He was one of the leading figures of the Irish Literary Revival
Jan 12 Henri Pieck a Dutch architect, painter and graphic artist.
Jan 12 František Čáp a Czech film director and screenwriter. He directed 32 films between 1939 and 1970
Jan 14 Horst Assmy a German footballer. Assmy played in East Germany, and won 12 caps for the national team, scoring 4 goals, before defecting to the west in 1959
Jan 14 Frederick IX of Denmark King of Denmark from 1947 to 1972.
Jan 14 George Gee (ice hockey) a professional ice hockey player in the National Hockey League. George died in 1972 while playing for the Detroit Red Wings oldtimers. In between the 2nd and 3rd period of a game, Gee went outside to smoke a cigarette, and while smoking, he had a severe heart attack and died
Jan 15 Daisy Ashford most famous for writing The Young Visiters, a novella concerning the upper class society of late 19th century England, when she was just nine years old. The novella was published in 1919, preserving her juvenile spelling and punctuation. She wrote the title as "Viseters" in her manuscript, but it was published as "Visiters"
Jan 16 Teller Ammons the 28th Governor of Colorado from 1937 to 1939.
Jan 16 Ross Bagdasarian Sr. an American pianist, singer, songwriter, actor and record producer of Armenian descent. He was better known by the stage name David Seville. Bagdasarian was the creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks
Jan 16 Irène Tunc a French actress and model. She was crowned Miss France in 1954. She was the wife of film director Alain Cavalier and she died in a car crash in 1972. She appeared in 35 films and television shows between 1955 and 1971
Jan 17 Betty Smith an American author.
Jan 19 Mohammad Daoud Al-Abbasi appointed Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the military government in Jordan during the events of Black September in Jordan in 1970.
Jan 19 Michael Rabin (violinist) an American violinist. He was one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century. His fame has continued despite his death at the age of 35
Jan 20 Franz Hellens a prolific Belgian novelist, poet and critic. Although of Flemish descent, he wrote entirely in French, and lived in Paris from 1947 to 1971
Jan 21 Nicolas Florine an engineer that built the first tandem rotor helicopter to fly freely in Belgium in 1933. He was born in Batumi, Georgia
Jan 21 Oliver Lyttelton 1st Viscount Chandos a British businessman who was brought into government during the Second World War, holding a number of ministerial posts.
Jan 22 Boris Zaytsev (writer) a Russian prose writer and dramatist, and a member of the Moscow literary group Sreda.
Jan 22 Martin Unrein a general officer of the German Army during the Second World War.
Jan 23 Big Maybelle an American R&B singer and pianist. Her 1956 hit single "Candy" received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999
Jan 23 Maxwell Armfield an English artist, illustrator and writer.
Jan 23 Alexey Alexandrovich Glagolev Ukrainian Orthodox priest, honoured as one of the Righteous among the Nations.
Jan 24 Gyula Bóbis a Hungarian wrestler and Olympic champion in Freestyle wrestling.
Jan 25 Erhard Milch a German field marshal who oversaw the development of the Luftwaffe as part of the re-armament of Germany following World War I, and served as founding Director of Deutsche Luft Hansa.
Jan 25 Yefim Trotsenko a Soviet military leader.
Jan 26 Arthur Fulton a British sport shooter, who competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics and 1912 Summer Olympics.
Jan 26 Stanisław Łapiński a Polish film actor. He appeared in more than 20 films between 1931 and 1966
Jan 27 Mahalia Jackson an American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as "The Queen of Gospel". She became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist. She was described by entertainer Harry Belafonte as "the single most powerful black woman in the United States". She recorded about 30 albums during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen "golds"—million-sellers
Jan 27 Richard Courant a German mathematician. He is best known by the general public for the book What is Mathematics?, co-written with Herbert Robbins, which was praised by Albert Einstein:
Jan 28 Dino Buzzati an Italian novelist, short story writer, painter and poet, as well as a journalist for Corriere della Sera. His worldwide fame is mostly due to his novel Il deserto dei Tartari, translated into English as The Tartar Steppe, but he is also known for his well received collections of short stories
Jan 28 Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Princess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg by birth and a member of the House of Solms Baruth and Countess of Solms Baruth through her marriage to Count Hans of Solms-Baruth.
Jan 28 Carl Anders a highly decorated Generalmajor in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded several infantry divisions. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Carl Anders was captured in 1945 by Soviet troops and was held until 1955
Jan 28 Aleksey Nikanchikov a Soviet fencer. He won a silver medal in the team épée event at the 1968 Summer Olympics
Jan 30 Pavel Roman a Czech figure skater. Together with his sister Eva Romanová he won four World Figure Skating Championships titles in ice dancing
Jan 31 Mahendra of Nepal King of Nepal from 1955 to 1972.