Died in 1979

Jan 1 Vasantrao Naik an Indian politician who served as Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 1963 until 1975. To this date, he remains as the longest serving chief minister of Maharashtra. Also, he had a credit to return to power after completion of full five years which could not be possible for any other chief minister in Maharashtra, He was born in Gavli, Pusad in 1913. His experience in grassroots politics made him a responsible legislator. He was a staunch supporter of Yashwantrao Chavan
Jan 3 Conrad Hilton an American hotelier and the founder of the Hilton Hotels chain.
Jan 3 Gilbert Dussier a footballer from Luxembourg.
Jan 3 Carol Holloway an American actress of the silent film era. She appeared in 117 films between 1914 and 1941. She was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts and died in California
Jan 5 Charles Mingus a highly influential American jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader. Mingus's compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop and drew heavily from black gospel music while sometimes drawing on elements of Third Stream, free jazz, and classical music. Yet Mingus avoided categorization, forging his own brand of music that fused tradition with unique and unexplored realms of jazz. He once cited Duke Ellington and church as his main influences
Jan 5 Bruno E. Jacob a professor at Ripon College in Wisconsin and founder of the National Forensic League. He served as the League's Executive Secretary from 1925 until his retirement in 1969. Karl Mundt, who is best remembered as a Senator from South Dakota, was the League's President from 1932 until 1971
Jan 5 Billy Bletcher an American silent film and voice actor, and comedian.
Jan 8 Sara Carter an American Country music musician, singer and songwriter. Remembered mostly for her deep, distinctive, mature singing voice, she was the lead singer on most of the recordings of the historic Carter Family act in the 1920s and 1930s. In her earliest recordings her voice was pitched very high
Jan 8 Yuen Siu-tien a Chinese martial arts film actor in the late 1970s. Yuen is perhaps best known as Beggar So in three films: Drunken Master, Story of Drunken Master and his final film Dance of the Drunk Mantis. He starred in several films with film actors like Jackie Chan and under the direction of his real life son Yuen Woo-ping
Jan 9 Pier Luigi Nervi an Italian engineer. He studied at the University of Bologna and qualified in 1913. Nervi taught as a professor of engineering at Rome University from 1946-61. He is widely known as a structural engineer and an architect, and for his innovative use of reinforced concrete
Jan 9 Avery Claflin an American composer, although he studied law and business, later pursuing a career in banking. He served as president for the French American Banking Corp
Jan 9 Leandro Remondini an Italian association football player and manager.
Jan 10 Amshey Nurenberg a Ukrainian, Russian and Soviet painter, graphic artist, art critic, and memoirist.
Jan 11 Jack Soo a Japanese American actor. He is best known for his role as Detective Nick Yemana on the television sitcom Barney Miller
Jan 11 Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler a German-born art historian, art collector, and one of the premier French art dealers of the 20th century. He became prominent as an art gallery owner in Paris beginning in 1907 and he was among the first champions of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Cubism
Jan 12 Aleksandr Stolper a Russian/Soviet film director and screenwriter. He directed 14 films between 1940 and 1977. Aleksandr Stolper was awarded Stalin Prize in 1949 and 1951 and received honorary title People's Artist of the USSR in 1977
Jan 13 Gustave Wuyts a Belgian tug of war and shot puter.
Jan 13 Marjorie Lawrence an Australian soprano, particularly noted as an interpreter of Richard Wagner's operas. She was the first soprano to perform the immolation scene in Götterdämmerung by riding her horse into the flames as Wagner had intended. She was afflicted by polio from 1941. Her autobiography was filmed in 1955 as Interrupted Melody, with Eleanor Parker acting the role and Eileen Farrell singing for her. Lawrence later served on the faculty of the School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Jan 13 Donny Hathaway an American jazz, blues, soul, and gospel vocalist and musician. Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in 1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, "The Ghetto, Part I" in early 1970, Rolling Stone magazine "marked him as a major new force in soul music." His collaborations with Roberta Flack scored high on the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the duet, "Where Is the Love" in 1973. At the height of his career Hathaway was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was known to not take his prescribed medication regularly enough to properly control his symptoms. On January 13, 1979, Hathaway's body was found outside the luxury hotel Essex House in New York City; his death was ruled a suicide
Jan 14 Thomas DeSimone a Sicilian-American gangster and associate of the Lucchese crime family in New York. DeSimone was a grandson and nephew of Los Angeles mob bosses, Rosario DeSimone and Frank DeSimone, respectively. He was married to Angelica "Cookie" Spione, but had many mistresses, including Theresa Ferrara. In Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas, the character Tommy DeVito is based on DeSimone
Jan 15 Paul Conrath a German General der Fallschirmtruppe during World War II and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.
Jan 16 Ted Cassidy an American actor who performed in numerous television shows and films. Noted for his tall stature at 6 feet 9 inches , he tended to play unusual characters in offbeat or science-fiction series such as Star Trek and I Dream of Jeannie. He is perhaps best known for the role of Lurch on The Addams Family
Jan 16 Peter Butterworth an English comedy actor and comedian, best known for his appearances in the Carry On series of films. He was also a regular on children's television and radio and appeared in 2 early adventures of Doctor Who in 1965 as the Meddling Monk. He was married to the actress and impressionist Janet Brown
Jan 16 André Couder a French optician and astronomer.
Jan 16 August Heissmeyer a leading member of the After World War II, Heissmeyer was sentenced to a prison term as a war criminal. His nephew, Kurt Heissmeyer, an SS physician, was as well
Jan 18 Valentin Zubkov a Soviet film actor.
Jan 18 Joseph Hansen (socialist) an American Trotskyist and leading figure in the Socialist Workers Party.
Jan 18 Maurice Challe a French general during the Algerian War, one of four generals who took part in the Algiers putsch.
Jan 20 Gustav Winckler a popular Danish singer, composer and music publisher. He grew up in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen and started his career as a decorator
Jan 21 Aleksei N. Leontiev a Soviet developmental psychologist, and the founder of activity theory.
Jan 22 Yervand Kochar a prominent sculptor and artist of the twentieth century, founder of Painting in Space.
Jan 22 Milo Butler a Bahamian administrator. He was appointed as the first Bahamian Governor-General on the recommendation of Lynden Pindling, prime minister of The Bahamas and leader of the Progressive Liberal Party , of which he was also a member. He was Governor General from 1973 until his death in Nassau in 1979. He is commemorated with a statue located in downtown Nassau across from the Parliament House and his portrait is on the Bahamas $20 note
Jan 22 Ali Hassan Salameh the chief of operations—code name Abu Hassan—for Black September, the organization responsible for the 1972 Munich massacre and other attacks. He was also the founder of Force 17. He was assassinated by Mossad in January 1979
Jan 22 Carl Miller (actor) an American film actor. He appeared in 44 films between 1917 and 1942
Jan 24 Johannes de Klerk a South African politician. He was the father of Frederik Willem de Klerk, the last State President of South Africa
Jan 25 Duchess Anastasia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Alexandrine Cecile Marie Luise Wilhelmine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Anastasia was the youngest child and youngest daughter of Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and his wife Princess Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland
Jan 26 Nelson Rockefeller an American businessman, philanthropist, public servant, and politician. He served as the 41st Vice President of the United States under President Gerald Ford, and as the 49th Governor of New York. He also served in the administrations of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt regarding Latin America and Dwight Eisenhower regarding welfare programs. A member of the wealthy Rockefeller family, he was also a noted art collector, as well as administrator of Rockefeller Center
Jan 26 Pyotr Gavrilov a Soviet officer known as the hero of the Defense of Brest Fortress.
Jan 26 Bart McGhee an American soccer forward who typically played left wing forward. He played for the United States men's national soccer team at the 1930 FIFA World Cup, and scored the second goal in World Cup history against Belgium. He was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1986
Jan 27 Qalandar Baba Auliya the title of the Sufi mystic Sayyed Muhammad Azeem Barkhiyya , the founder of the Azeemia Order of Sufis. He was given the honorifics Abdal-i-Haq and Hasn-e-Ukhra
Jan 27 Victoria Ocampo an Argentine writer and intellectual, described by Jorge Luis Borges as La mujer más argentina. Best known as an advocate for others and as publisher of the legendary literary magazine Sur, she was also a writer and critic in her own right and one of the most prominent South American women of her time. Her sister, Silvina Ocampo, a writer also, was married to Adolfo Bioy Casares
Jan 27 Ramón José Castellano the Argentinian Archbishop of Córdoba, known to have ordained to the Catholic priesthood Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., who later became Pope Francis.
Jan 27 Arthur Dunkelblum a Belgian chess master.
Jan 28 Hans Scherfig a renowned Danish author and artist.
Jan 28 Eileen Shanahan one of the small number of Irish women poets. Her best-known poem, The Three Children , has been republished five times since its original publication in the The Atlantic Monthly in 1929, and was included in the Oxford Book of Irish Verse
Jan 28 Akiyoshi Umekawa a Japanese mass murderer who killed a woman on December 16, 1963 and shot dead four people on January 26, 1979. Mass media also used a number of aliases, including Teruyoshi Umekawa, Terumi Umekawa, Akimi Umekawa and Akemi Umekawa. He was one of the rare criminals who was shot dead by Japanese police
Jan 29 Reginald Delargey the Roman Catholic Bishop of Auckland and later the Cardinal Archbishop of Wellington and Metropolitan of New Zealand. His title was Cardinal-Priest of Immacolata al Tiburtino
Jan 29 Yusuke Hagihara a Japanese astronomer noted for his contributions to celestial mechanics.
Feb 1 George Falcke a Danish gymnast who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics.
Feb 1 June Miller the much-written-about and discussed second wife of Henry Miller.