Died in 2009

Jan 1 Nizar Rayan a top Hamas leader who served as a liaison between the Palestinian organization's political leadership and its military wing. Also a professor of Islamic law, he became a top clerical authority within Hamas after the death of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 2004. Rayan was a strong advocate between 1994 and 2004 or 2005 of suicide attacks on Israel, and his son killed himself on one such mission. Rayan and most of his family were killed in an Israeli airstrike during the Gaza War
Jan 1 Helen Suzman a liberal South African anti-apartheid activist and politician.
Jan 1 Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan a fugitive wanted in the United States as a participant in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings. He was alleged to have purchased the Toyota and Nissan trucks used in the attacks, flying out of Nairobi to Karachi, Pakistan five days before the assault was launched. Swedan was on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list since its inception in October 2001. He was born in Mombasa, Kenya
Jan 1 Edmund Purdom a British actor.
Jan 1 Aarne Arvonen Armas "Arska" Arvonen was, at age 111, a Finnish supercentenarian, the all-time oldest living male person in Finland. He was the third-oldest man in Europe since the death of 110-year-old Frenchman Aimé Avignon, on 23 August 2007. He also became the seventh-oldest man in the world upon the death of American George Francis on 27 December 2008
Jan 1 Claiborne Pell a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, serving six terms from 1961 to 1997, and was best known as the sponsor of the Pell Grant, which provides financial aid funding to American college students. A member of the Democratic Party, he was Rhode Island's longest serving senator
Jan 1 Johannes Mario Simmel also known as M. Simmel, was an Austrian writer
Jan 2 Nick Scandone an American yachtsman who narrowly missed participating on the U.S. team at the 1992 Summer Olympics and won a gold medal as a paralympian at the 2008 Summer Games.
Jan 2 Ian Greaves an English football player and manager. He was born in Crompton, Lancashire. He won a League Championship medal and an FA Cup runners-up medal while playing full-back for Manchester United between 1953 and 1960. He was not with the United team when eight of their players died in the Munich air disaster on 6 February 1958, as he was ruled out by injury. He was the first player to occupy the left-back position at United after the death of captain Roger Byrne at Munich
Jan 2 Tony Gregory an Irish independent politician and a Teachta Dála for the Dublin Central constituency from 1982 to 2009.
Jan 2 Maria de Jesus a Portuguese supercentenarian who was the world's oldest verified living person for 37 days, until her death at 115 years 114 days. She assumed this status after the 26 November 2008 death of American Edna Parker, who was 115 years 220 days old. On 25 January 2007, aged 113 years 137 days, she moved into the top 100 verified oldest people ever. The following year, on 11 June 2008, at age 114 years 275 days, she surpassed Maria do Couto Maia-Lopes as the oldest verified Portuguese person ever
Jan 2 Inger Christensen a Danish poet, novelist, essayist and editor considered the foremost Danish poetic experimentalist of her generation.
Jan 2 Valentina Giovagnini an Italian pop singer, active between 2001 and 2009. She was born in Arezzo, Italy
Jan 3 Charles Camilleri a Maltese composer, who had long been acknowledged as Malta's national composer.
Jan 3 Ulf G. Lindén a Swedish entrepreneur, owner and president of the Lindén group. The Lindén group is the majority owner of Becker
Jan 3 Betty Freeman an American philanthropist and photographer.
Jan 3 Olga San Juan an American actress, dancer and comedian, mainly active in films during the 1940s.
Jan 3 Hisayasu Nagata a Japanese politician born in Nagoya City in Aichi Prefecture.
Jan 3 Pat Hingle an American actor.
Jan 4 Ivan Gubijan a Yugoslav athlete who competed for the former Yugoslavia in the hammer throw at the 1948 Summer Olympics. After WWII, he came to Belgrade and joined the "Partizan" athletic club
Jan 4 Anatoly Petrovich Andriyashev a Soviet Russian ichthyologist, marine biologist, and zoogeographist, notable for his studies of marine fauna of the Arctic and the Northern Pacific.
Jan 4 Vladimir Repev a Soviet/Russian handball player who competed in the 1980 Summer Olympics. In 1980 he won the silver medal with the Soviet team. He played one match
Jan 4 Giselle Salandy an unbeaten world-class female boxer from Trinidad and Tobago. She is ranked as the #1 female light middleweight boxer all-time by the Boxrec. She died in a car-accident on 4 January 2009
Jan 4 Lei Clijsters a Belgian professional footballer, who played as a central defender.
Jan 4 Gert Jonke an Austrian poet, playwright and novelist.
Jan 5 Griffin Bell an American lawyer and former United States Attorney General. He served as the nation's 72nd Attorney General during the Jimmy Carter administration. He was an attorney with the law firm King & Spalding
Jan 5 Ned Tanen an American film studio executive behind films that included American Graffiti and Animal House.
Jan 5 Adolf Merckle an entrepreneur and one of the richest people in Germany.
Jan 5 Sam Taylor (blues musician) an American jump blues musician and songwriter.
Jan 6 John Scott Martin an English actor born in Toxteth, Liverpool, Lancashire. He made many film, stage and television appearances, but one of his most famous, though unseen, roles was as a Dalek operator in the long-running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who
Jan 6 Manuela Fernández-Fojaco the fifth-oldest living person, the oldest person in Europe and the oldest living person in Spain at the time of her death, at the age of 113 years, 202 days. She is the fifth oldest Spanish person and fourth oldest Spanish woman ever
Jan 6 Cheryl Holdridge an American actress, best known as an original cast member of The Mickey Mouse Club.
Jan 6 Ron Asheton an American guitarist and co-songwriter with Iggy Pop for the rock band the Stooges. He formed the Stooges along with Pop and his brother, drummer Scott Asheton, and bassist Dave Alexander. Asheton, once ranked as number 29 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. is currently ranked at number 60
Jan 6 Maria Dimitriadi a Greek singer. She was considered a "total voice" and one of the most renowned performers of the songs of Mikis Theodorakis and Thanos Mikroutsikos. Dimitiradi primarily connected with political left-wing songs during the Junta and Metapolitefsi era in Greece, but she also experimented with other styles and genres, of a more lyrical tone
Jan 6 John Street (snooker referee) a professional snooker referee.
Jan 8 Lasantha Wickrematunge a prominent Sri Lankan high-profile anti-government Journalist, Politician and Human Rights Activist who was assassinated in January 2009.
Jan 8 Ljubica Sokić a Serbian painter. She was born in Bitola
Jan 8 Irène Mélikoff a Russian-born French Turkologist with Azerbaijani ancestry. She was born in Petrograd, Russian Empire
Jan 8 Don Galloway an American actor of stage, film and television, a political libertarian and journalist, perhaps best known for his role as Raymond Burr's protégé, Detective Sergeant Ed Brown, on the long-running crime drama Ironside. He reprised the role for a made-for-TV "reunion" film in 1993
Jan 8 Richard John Neuhaus a prominent Christian cleric and writer. Born in Canada, Neuhaus moved to the United States where he became a naturalized United States citizen. He was the founder and editor of the monthly journal First Things and the author of several books, including The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America , The Catholic Moment: The Paradox of the Church in the Postmodern World , and Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth. A staunch defender of the Roman Catholic Church's teachings on abortion and other life issues, he served as an unofficial adviser to President George Bush on bioethical issues
Jan 9 Rob Gauntlett an English adventurer, explorer and motivational speaker. In 2006 he became the youngest British climber to summit Everest
Jan 9 Kaarle Ojanen a Finnish chess player. Born in Helsinki in 1918, he became a Finnish National Master in 1938 and was the leading Finnish player between Eero Böök and Heikki Westerinen. He was perhaps best known for defeating world championship candidate, grandmaster Paul Keres, at Helsinki, 1960
Jan 9 T. Llew Jones a Welsh language writer who, over a writing career of more than 50 years, was one of the most prolific and popular authors of children's books in Welsh. He wrote, and was generally known, as Llew Jones
Jan 9 René Herms a German middle distance runner who specialised in the 800 metres.
Jan 9 Dave Dee an English singer-songwriter, musician, A&R manager, fundraiser and businessman. He was the frontman for 1960s pop band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
Jan 10 Bill Stone one of the last five First World War veterans who served in the United Kingdom's armed forces and one of the last two seamen worldwide, along with Claude Choules. They were also the last two to also serve in the Second World War, although Stone saw action only in the Second World War as he was still in training when the First World War ended
Jan 10 Jean Pelletier a Canadian politician, who served as the 37th mayor of Quebec City, Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister's Office, and chairman of Via Rail. He was a leading organizer of the Liberal Party of Canada
Jan 10 Liliana Lozano a Colombian actress and beauty queen, and was the girlfriend of drug lord Leonidas Vargas. Lozano won a national beauty contest at the Carnival in Colombia in 1995. She started her television career as a game show presenter, and eventually acted on such shows as Pasión de Gavilanes and La Dama de Troya. On January 10, 2009, Lozano was found dead in Pradera along with Fabio Vargas, the brother of Leonidas Vargas. Both were tortured and shot to death, which authorities said could have been retaliation from drug dealers
Jan 11 Milan Rúfus a Slovak poet, essayist, translator, children's writer and academic.
Jan 11 Shigeo Fukuda a sculptor, graphic artist and poster designer who created optical illusions. His art pieces usually portray deception, such as Lunch With a Helmet On, a sculpture created entirely from forks, knives, and spoons, that casts a detailed shadow of a motorcycle