Died in 1980

Jan 1 Pietro Nenni an Italian socialist politician, the national secretary of the Italian Socialist Party and lifetime Senator since 1970. He was a recipient of the Stalin Peace Prize in 1951. He was a central figure of the Italian left from the 1920s to the 1960s
Jan 1 Gumercindo Gómez a Bolivian football Forward.
Jan 1 Adolph Deutsch a composer, conductor and arranger. He was born in London, England
Jan 3 Amos Milburn an African-American rhythm and blues singer and pianist, popular during the 1940s and 1950s. He was born and died in Houston, Texas
Jan 3 Joy Adamson a naturalist, artist, and author best known for her book, Born Free, which describes her experiences raising a lion cub named Elsa. Born Free was printed in several languages, and made into an Academy Award-winning movie of the same name. In 1977, she was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art
Jan 3 George Sutherland Fraser a Scottish poet, literary critic and academic.
Jan 3 Lucien Buysse a Belgian cyclist and a champion of the Tour de France.
Jan 4 Axel Henry Hansen a Norwegian gymnast who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics.
Jan 4 Shohachi Ishii a Japanese wrestler and Olympic champion in Freestyle wrestling.
Jan 6 Raymond Mays an auto racing driver and entrepreneur from Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.
Jan 6 Georgeanna Tillman an American singer and an original member of the Motown girl group The Marvelettes.
Jan 7 Larry Williams an American rhythm and blues and rock and roll singer, songwriter, producer, and pianist from New Orleans, Louisiana. Williams is best known for writing and recording some rock and roll classics from 1957 to 1959 for Specialty Records, including "Bony Moronie", "Short Fat Fannie", "High School Dance" , "Slow Down", "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" , "Bad Boy" and "She Said Yeah". John Lennon was a fan, and the Beatles and several other British Invasion groups covered several of his songs
Jan 7 Yocheved Bat-Miriam an Israeli poet. She is unusual among Hebrew poets in expressing nostalgia for the landscapes of the country of her birth. Yocheved migrated to British Palestine, later to be called Israel, in 1928. Her first book of poetry, Merahok was published in 1929. In 1948, her son from her second marriage to writer Haim Hazaz died in the Israeli War of Independence
Jan 8 Tryggve Gran a Norwegian aviator, explorer and author. He was the skiing expert on the 1910–13 Scott Antarctic Expedition and was the first person to fly across the North Sea
Jan 8 John Mauchly an American physicist who, along with Presper Eckert, designed ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic digital computer, as well as EDVAC, BINAC and UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer made in the United States.
Jan 8 Władysław Turowicz Air Commodore Władysław Józef Marian Turowicz , , , , , Sitara-i-Imtiaz, usually referred to as Air Cdre. J. Turowicz, was a prominent and noted Polish-Pakistani military scientist and an aeronautical engineer
Jan 9 Juhayman al-Otaybi a religious activist and militant who led the takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam's holiest site, to protest against the Saudi monarchy and their ruling, in the last months of 1979.
Jan 10 George Meany William George Meany led labor union federations in the United States. As an officer of the American Federation of Labor, he represented the AFL on the National War Labor Board during World War II
Jan 10 Hughie Critz an American second baseman in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1920s and the New York Giants in the 1930s.
Jan 10 Bo Rein an American football and baseball player and football coach. He was a two-sport athlete at Ohio State University and served as the head football coach at North Carolina State University from 1976 to 1979, compiling a record of 27–18–1. Following the 1979 season, Rein had assumed the role as head coach at Louisiana State University, but was killed in an aircraft accident in January 1980 before he ever coached a game there. Rein is the namesake of football player awards at Ohio State and NC State
Jan 11 Celia Sánchez a participant of the Cuban Revolution and a close friend, and consort of Fidel Castro.
Jan 11 Barbara Pym an English novelist. In the 1950s she wrote a series of social comedies, of which the best known are Excellent Women and A Glass of Blessings. In 1977 her career was revived when the biographer David Cecil and the poet Philip Larkin both nominated her as the most under-rated writer of the century. Her novel Quartet in Autumn was nominated for the Booker Prize that year, and she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
Jan 11 Erwin Otto Marx a German electrical engineer who invented the Marx generator, a device for producing high voltage electrical pulses.
Jan 12 Finn Ronne a Norwegian-born U.S. Antarctic explorer
Jan 13 Andre Kostelanetz a popular orchestral music conductor and arranger, one of the pioneers of easy listening music.
Jan 14 Robert Ardrey an American playwright and screenwriter who returned to his academic training in anthropology and the behavioral sciences in the 1950s.
Jan 16 Naum Sorkin a Soviet military officer and diplomat.
Jan 17 Barbara Britton an American film and television actress. She is best known for her Western film roles opposite Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Gene Autry, and for her two-year tenure as inquisitive amateur sleuth Pam North on the television series and Mrs. North
Jan 18 Cecil Beaton an English fashion, portrait and war photographer, diarist, painter, interior designer and an Academy Award-winning stage and costume designer for films and the theatre. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970
Jan 19 William O. Douglas Orville Douglas served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Nominated by President Franklin Roosevelt, Douglas was confirmed at the age of 40, one of the youngest justices appointed to the court. His term, lasting 36 years and 209 days , is the longest term in the history of the Supreme Court
Jan 19 Richard Franko Goldman a conductor, educator, author, music critic, and composer.
Jan 20 Grigoriy Nosko a Soviet footballer who represented FC Dzerzhynets Voroshylovgrad as a midfielder and became the champion of the Ukrainian SSR in 1938.
Jan 20 William Roberts (painter) a British painter of groups of figures and portraits, and was a war artist.
Jan 22 A. D. Lublinskaya a Russian scholar specialising in the history of seventeenth-century France, among other things.
Jan 23 Giovanni Michelotti one of the most prolific designers of sports cars in the 20th century. His notable contributions were for Ferrari, Lancia, Maserati and Triumph marques. He was also associated with truck designs for Leyland Motors, and with designs for British Leyland after the merger of Leyland and BMC
Jan 23 Ernst Ocwirk an Austrian football player and coach. He is regarded as one of the greatest Austrian footballers of all time
Jan 23 Shōjirō Iida a general in the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II.
Jan 24 Lil Dagover a German stage, film and television actress whose career spanned nearly six decades.
Jan 24 Stanislav Neuhaus a Soviet-Russian classical pianist.
Jan 25 Amir Kumar an Indian field hockey player who won a gold medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics and the 1956 Summer Olympics.
Jan 25 Queenie Watts an English actress and singer of film and television.
Jan 26 Justas Paleckis a Lithuanian journalist and politician. He was acting president of Lithuania after the Soviet invasion while Lithuania was still ostensibly independent, in office from 17 June – 3 August 1940. He then remained as the nominal head of state of the Lithuanian SSR until 1967
Jan 26 Georgi Karaslavov a Bulgarian writer born in the Debar district of the town of Parvomay in Plovdiv Province. Several of his novels, including Snaha, Tatul, and Selkor, were made into films
Jan 26 Harry Hemley Plaskett a Canadian astronomer who made significant contributions to the fields of solar physics, astronomical spectroscopy and spectrophotometry. From 1932 to 1960, he served as the Savilian Professor of Astronomy at the University of Oxford, and in 1963 was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
Jan 26 Simon Kapwepwe the first vice-president of Zambia from 1967 to 1970.
Jan 27 Rudolf Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff an officer in the German Army. He attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler by suicide bombing in March 1943; the plan failed but he was undetected. In April 1943 he discovered the mass graves of the Soviet-perpetrated Katyn massacre
Jan 28 Erle C. Kenton an American film director. He directed 131 films between 1916 and 1957. He was born in Norborne, Missouri and died in Glendale, California from Parkinson's disease
Jan 29 Jimmy Durante an American singer, pianist, comedian, and actor. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, New York accent, comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and prominent nose helped make him one of America's most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s. He often referred to his nose as the Schnozzola , and the word became his nickname
Jan 30 Professor Longhair a New Orleans blues singer and pianist. Professor Longhair is noteworthy for having been active in two distinct periods, both in the heyday of early rhythm and blues, and in the resurgence of interest in traditional jazz after the founding of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
Feb 1 Gastone Nencini an Italian road racing cyclist who won the 1960 Tour de France and the 1957 Giro d'Italia.