Died in 1998

Jan 1 Haxhi Lleshi an Albanian military leader and communist politician.
Jan 1 Helen Wills an American tennis player. She has been described as "the first American born woman to achieve international celebrity as an athlete."
Jan 1 Åke Seyffarth a Swedish speed skater who specialised in long distance events. He was born in Stockholm
Jan 2 Sergei Frolov (artist) Kuzmich Frolov - Soviet, Russian realist painter, watercolorist, graphic artist, and art teacher, who lived and worked in Saint Petersburg , a member of the Saint Petersburg Union of Artists , regarded as one of the representatives of the Leningrad school of painting.
Jan 2 Frank Muir an English comedy writer, radio and television personality, and raconteur. His writing and performing partnership with Denis Norden endured for most of their careers. Together they wrote BBC radio's Take It From Here for over 10 years, and then appeared on BBC radio quizzes My Word! and My Music for another 35. Muir became Assistant Head of Light Entertainment at the BBC in the 1960s, and was then London Weekend Television's founding Head of Entertainment. His many writing credits include editorship of The Oxford Book of Humorous Prose
Jan 3 George Shaw (American football) an American football quarterback who played seven seasons in the National Football League.
Jan 4 John Gary an American singer, recording artist, television host, and performer on the musical stage.
Jan 4 Mae Questel an American actress and vocal artist best known for providing the voices for the animated characters Betty Boop and Olive Oyl. She began in vaudeville, and played occasional small roles in films and television later in her career, most notably the role of Aunt Bethany in 1989's National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Jan 5 Ken Forssi an American musician, best known for being the original bass player in the band Love.
Jan 5 David Bairstow an English cricketer, who played for Yorkshire and England as a wicket-keeper. He also played football for his hometown club Bradford City
Jan 5 Sonny Bono an American recording artist and producer, who came to fame in partnership with his second wife Cher, as the popular singing duo Sonny & Cher. He was also mayor of Palm Springs, California from 1988 to 1992, and congressman for California's 44th district from 1994 until his death in a skiing accident while still in office
Jan 6 Georgy Sviridov a Soviet neoromantic composer.
Jan 6 Otto Schmitt an American inventor, engineer, and biophysicist known for his scientific contributions to biophysics and for establishing the field of biomedical engineering. Schmitt also coined the term biomimetics and invented the Schmitt trigger, the cathode follower, the differential amplifier, and the chopper-stabilized amplifier
Jan 7 Richard Hamming an American mathematician whose work had many implications for computer science and telecommunications. His contributions include the Hamming code , the Hamming window, Hamming numbers, sphere-packing and the Hamming distance
Jan 7 Owen Bradley an American record producer who, along with Chet Atkins and Bob Ferguson, was one of the chief architects of the 1950s and 1960s Nashville sound in country music and rockabilly.
Jan 7 Slava Metreveli a Georgian football player and later a football manager.
Jan 7 Vladimir Prelog a Croatian-Swiss organic chemist, winner of the 1975 Nobel Prize for chemistry. Prelog lived and worked in Prague, Zagreb and Zürich during his lifetime
Jan 7 Frank Roberts (diplomat) a British diplomat. He played a key role in British diplomacy in the early years of the Cold War, and in developing Anglo-German relations in the 1960s
Jan 8 Michael Tippett an English composer who rose to prominence during and immediately after the Second World War. In his lifetime he was considered to rank with his contemporary Benjamin Britten as one of the leading British composers of the 20th century. Among his best-known works are the oratorio A Child of Our Time, the orchestral Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli, and the opera The Midsummer Marriage
Jan 8 Max Morris a professional American football and basketball player. He was a consensus All-American in both sports for Northwestern University and later played professional football for the Chicago Rockets and Brooklyn Dodgers of the All-America Football Conference. He also played in the NBA for the Sheboygan Red Skins
Jan 8 Tony Lavelli an American basketball player and musician. He averaged 6.9 points per game during his two-year NBA career while also providing half-time entertainment with his accordion performances
Jan 9 Walter Diemer an accountant and inventor of bubble gum.
Jan 9 Imi Lichtenfeld a Hungarian-born Slovakian martial artist who founded the Krav Maga self-defense system. He was also known as Imi Sde-Or, the Hebrew calque of his name
Jan 9 Kenichi Fukui a Japanese chemist.
Jan 9 Lia Manoliu a Romanian discus thrower who won three Olympic medals, including one gold. She was the first Track & Field athlete to compete at six Olympics
Jan 9 Charito Solis a FAMAS and Gawad Urian award-winning Filipino film actress. Acknowledged as one of the leading dramatic actresses of post-war Philippine cinema, she was tagged either as the "Anna Magnani of the Philippines" or as "the Meryl Streep of the Philippines."
Jan 10 Victor Papanek a designer and educator who became a strong advocate of the socially and ecologically responsible design of products, tools, and community infrastructures. He disapproved of manufactured products that were unsafe, showy, maladapted, or essentially useless. His products, writings, and lectures were collectively considered an example and spur by many designers. Papanek was a philosopher of design and as such he was an untiring, eloquent promoter of design aims and approaches that would be sensitive to social and ecological considerations. He wrote that "design has become the most powerful tool with which man shapes his tools and environments
Jan 11 Klaus Tennstedt a German conductor from Merseburg; he conducted such orchestras as the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Kiel Opera in Northern Germany; North German Radio Orchestra, in Hamburg; the Minnesota Orchestra; and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Jan 11 Georgi Vins a Russian Baptist pastor persecuted by the Soviet authorities for his involvement in a network of independent Baptist churches. Following an agreement between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Vins and his family were expelled from the Soviet Union in 1979 with a group of other dissidents, Alexander Ginzburg, Eduard Kuznetsov, Mark Dymshits and Valentin Moroz in exchange for two convicted spies, Rudolf Chernyaev and Valdik Enger
Jan 12 Ramón Sampedro a Spanish fisherman and writer. Sampedro became a quadriplegic at the age of 25 , following a diving accident, and fought for his right to an assisted suicide for the next 29 years
Jan 12 Roger Clark a British rally driver during the 1960s and '70s, and the first competitor from his country to win a World Rally Championship event when he triumphed at the 1976 RAC Rally.
Jan 13 Bob Martin (singer) an Austrian singer, who was the first participant representing Austria in the 1957 Eurovision Song Contest. The first "Austrian" was Freddy Quinn who represented Germany in 1956. Martin, singing in German "Wohin, kleines Pony?" , placed last in the field of ten. He received three points in total - one from the Netherlands and two from the United Kingdom. He has been especially popular in southern Austria
Jan 15 Boris Tatushin a Soviet football player and manager.
Jan 15 Duncan McNaughton a Canadian athlete, who competed mainly in the high jump. He went on a career in petroleum geology
Jan 15 Junior Wells an American Chicago blues vocalist, harmonica player, and recording artist. Wells, who was best known for his performances and recordings with Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, and Buddy Guy, also performed with Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones, and Van Morrison
Jan 16 Dimitris Horn a Greek theatrical and film performer. He is regarded probably as the greatest Greek actor of modern times
Jan 17 Junior Kimbrough an American blues musician. His best known work included "Keep Your Hands Off Her" and "All Night Long". Music journalist Tony Russell stated "his raw, repetitive style suggests an archaic forebear of John Lee Hooker, a character his music shares with that of fellow North Mississippian L. Burnside"
Jan 18 Georges Coudray a French politician, and a deputy to the French National Assembly for the Popular Republican Movement.
Jan 18 Dan Georgiadis a Greek football player and manager.
Jan 19 Maggie Barnes (supercentenarian) an American supercentenarian. She was a resident of Johnston County, North Carolina. Barnes died from complications following a minor foot infection. Barnes, who was born to a slave and married a tenant farmer, was survived by four children; 11 of her children preceded her in death. Some dispute exists as to her date of birth. Though the 1882 date is written in the family's bible, the 1900 US Census lists her as having been born in 1881, and her marriage license says she was born in 1880. Barnes is the 12th oldest person on record
Jan 19 Carl Perkins an American rockabilly musician who recorded most notably at Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, beginning in 1954. His best-known song is "Blue Suede Shoes"
Jan 20 Alfonso D'Artega a songwriter, conductor, arranger and actor. His song "In the Blue of the Evening", co-written with Tom Adair, was a number one hit for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1943
Jan 20 Bobo Brazil an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Bobo Brazil. Credited with breaking down barriers of racial segregation in professional wrestling, Harris is considered one of the first successful African American professional wrestlers
Jan 21 Jack Lord an American television, film and Broadway actor. He was known for his starring role as Steve McGarrett in the American television program Hawaii Five-O from 1968 to 1980. Lord appeared in feature films earlier in his career, among them Man of the West. He was the first actor to play the recurring character Felix Leiter in No, the first James Bond film
Jan 21 Yoshifumi Kondō a Japanese animator who worked for Studio Ghibli in his last years. He was born in Gosen, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. He worked as an animation director on Anne of Green Gables, Sherlock Hound, Kiki's Delivery Service, Only Yesterday and Princess Mononoke. Kondō directed the animated film Whisper of the Heart, and was expected to become one of the top directors at Studio Ghibli, alongside Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and to become their eventual successor
Jan 23 Victor Pasmore a British artist and architect. He pioneered the development of abstract art in Britain in the 1940s and 1950s
Jan 23 Hilla Limann the President of Ghana from 24 September 1979 to 31 December 1981. Eventually he became a diplomat, and served in Switzerland. Limann, whose original last name was Babini, was born in the northern Ghanaian town of Gwolu in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region to a poor family. He managed to gain an excellent education, and took up an academic career
Jan 23 Mohammad Yusuf (prime minister) the prime minister and foreign minister of Afghanistan from March 10, 1963 to November 2, 1965. He was a technocrat who served under the reign of Mohammed Zahir Shah. He was the first Afghan prime minister not to be part of the royal family. He resigned on October 29, 1965
Jan 24 Walter D. Edmonds an American writer best known for historical novels. One of them, Drums Along the Mohawk , was successfully adapted as a Technicolor feature film in 1939, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert
Jan 24 Nodar Akhalkatsi a professional football manager from Georgia.