Famous People Who Died Young People

Famous People Who Died Young

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I often find these kinds of lists floating around the net, but they are often not very concise and don't include people from all professions and countries. I have done my best to include everyone I can think of who has had a major impact on our lives and has consequently garnered fame. If you think I have missed out anyone fundamental to a complete list, comment and I will add them.

Hopefully, I can make this list into a definitive one. Also, please note there is no ranking system. I have merely added them as I think of them, as opposed to ranking them by fame. My criteria has only one limitation: they must have passed on before 50 years old. Their nationality and reason for being "nationally" famous is irrelevant, as long as they are well known, they are suitable for adding.


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  1. 21
    Bruce Lee died on July 20, 1973 at age 32. He had a brain condition called cerebral edema.

    Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong American martial artist, Hong Kong action film actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, filmmaker, and the founder of Jeet Kune Do. Lee was the son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-Chuen. He is widely considered by commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to be ...more

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    • Age: Died at 33 (1940-1973)
    • Birthplace: USA, California, Chinatown, San Francisco
    • Profession: Martial Arts Instructor, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Martial artist, + more
    • Cause Of Death: Cerebral edema
    • Place Of Death: Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
    • Children: Brandon Lee, Shannon Lee
  2. 22
    Keith Moon died on September 7, 1978 at age 32. He died after ingesting 32 clomethiazole tablets.

    Keith John Moon was an English drummer who played with the English rock band the Who. He was noted for his unique style and his eccentric, often self-destructive behaviour. In 2011, Moon was voted the second-greatest drummer in history by a Rolling Stone readers' poll. His drumming continues to be ...more

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    • Age: Died at 32 (1946-1978)
    • Birthplace: Wembley, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Model, Actor, + more
    • Cause Of Death: Drug overdose
    • Place Of Death: Westminster, London, United Kingdom
    • Children: Amanda Jane Moon DeWolf
  3. 23
    Charlie Parker died on March 12, 1955 when he was 34. His cause of death was listed as lobar pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer.

    Charles Parker, Jr., also known as "Yardbird" and "Bird", was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique and improvisation. Parker introduced ...more

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    • Age: Died at 35 (1920-1955)
    • Birthplace: USA, Kansas City, Kansas
    • Profession: Saxophonist, Musician, Composer
    • Cause Of Death: Perforated ulcer, Lobar pneumonia
    • Place Of Death: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Children: Pree Parker, Baird Parker
  4. 24

    Paul William Walker IV was an American actor. He began his career guest-starring in several television shows such as The Young and the Restless and Touched by an Angel. Walker gained prominence with breakout roles in coming-of-age and teen films such as She's All That and Varsity Blues. In 2001, Walker ...more

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    • Age: Died at 40 (1973-2013)
    • Birthplace: USA, Glendale, California
    • Profession: Film Producer, Model, Actor
    • Cause Of Death: Thermal injury, Traffic collision, Major trauma
    • Place Of Death: Valencia, Santa Clarita, California, United States of America
    • Children: Meadow Walker
  5. 25
    John Coltrane died on July 17, 1967 at age 40. He died from liver cancer.

    John William Coltrane, also known as "Trane", was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and was later at the forefront of free jazz. He organized at least fifty recording sessions as a ...more

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    • Age: Died at 41 (1926-1967)
    • Birthplace: Hamlet, North Carolina, United States of America
    • Profession: Songwriter, Saxophonist, Musician, Bandleader, Composer
    • Cause Of Death: Liver tumour
    • Place Of Death: Huntington, Huntington, New York, United States of America
    • Children: Ravi Coltrane, Oranyan Coltrane, John Coltrane Jr.
  6. 26
    Robert Johnson died on August 16, 1938 at age 27. His cause of death is unknown, but many believe that he was poisoned.

    Robert Leroy Johnson was an American singer-songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians. Johnson's shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have ...more

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    • Age: Died at 27 (1911-1938)
    • Birthplace: Hazlehurst, Mississippi, United States of America
    • Profession: Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Singer
    • Cause Of Death: Poisoning, Murder
    • Place Of Death: Greenwood, Mississippi, United States of America
  7. 27
    Martin Luther King, Jr. died on April 4, 1968 at age 39. He was assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee.

    Martin Luther King is a fictional character in the film Theme of the Traitor and the Hero.more

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    • Age: Died at 39 (1929-1968)
    • Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
    • Profession: Civil rights activist, Writer, Minister of religion
    • Cause Of Death: Assassination by firearm
    • Place Of Death: Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America
    • Children: Yolanda King, Bernice King, Dexter Scott King, Martin Luther King III
  8. 28
    John Belushi died on March 5, 1982 at age 33. His death was due to an overdose of heroin and cocaine.

    John Adam Belushi was an American comedian, actor, and musician. He is best known for his "intense energy and raucous attitude" which he displayed as one of the original cast members of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, in his role in the film Animal House and in his recordings and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 33 (1949-1982)
    • Birthplace: Humboldt Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Comedian, Musician, Screenwriter, Actor
    • Cause Of Death: Heroin overdose
    • Place Of Death: West Hollywood, Hollywood, Florida, United States of America
  9. 29
    Jesus Christ died in 30–33 AD. His death was caused by crucifixion.

    Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity, whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God. Christianity regards Jesus as the awaited Messiah of the Old Testament and refers to him as Jesus Christ, a name that is also used in ...more

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    • Birthplace: Judea
    • Profession: Carpenter, Prophet, Preacher
    • Cause Of Death: Crucifixion
    • Place Of Death: Judea
  10. 30
    Diana, Princess of Wales died on August 31, 1997 at age 36. She died after being involved in a deadly car accident.

    Diana, Princess of Wales, was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, who is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II. Diana was born into an aristocratic British family with royal ancestry as The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer. She was the fourth child of John Spencer, Viscount ...more

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    • Age: Died at 36 (1961-1997)
    • Birthplace: Sandringham, England
    • Profession: Crown Princess
    • Cause Of Death: Traffic collision
    • Place Of Death: Paris, France
    • Children: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry
  11. 31
    Sid Vicious died on February 2, 1979 at age 21. He died of a heroin overdose.

    Sid Vicious, born John Simon Ritchie, later named John Beverley, was an English bass guitarist, drummer and vocalist, most famous as a member of the influential punk group the Sex Pistols, and notorious for his arrest for the murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Vicious joined the Sex Pistols in early ...more

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    • Age: Died at 22 (1957-1979)
    • Birthplace: Lewisham, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Bassist, Songwriter, Musician, Composer, Singer
    • Cause Of Death: Heroin overdose
    • Place Of Death: Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, United States of America
  12. 32
    Anne Frank died in early March 1945 when she was 15 years old.  She died in s Nazi prison camp due to an unknown illness which was enhanced by starvation and deplorable conditions.

    Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank was a diarist and writer. She is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her wartime diary The Diary of a Young Girl has been the basis for several plays and films. Born in the city of Frankfurt in Weimar Germany, she lived most of her life in or near ...more

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    • Age: Died at 16 (1929-1945)
    • Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
    • Profession: Author, Writer, Babysitter
    • Place Of Death: Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Germany
  13. 33
    Marilyn Monroe died on August 5, 1962 at age 36. There are many theories about Monroe's cause of death, but she likely died of a purposeful drug overdose.

    Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s. After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract ...more

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    • Age: Died at 36 (1926-1962)
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Producer, Model, Actor, Singer, Showgirl
    • Cause Of Death: Barbiturate overdose
    • Place Of Death: Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, United States of America
  14. 34
    Michael Hutchence died on November 22, 1997 at age 37. He died after strangling himself with his belt. There is a debate about whether Hutchence intended to commit suicide or if his death was a result of autoerotic asphyxiation.

    Michael Kelland John Hutchence was an Australian musician and actor. He was a founding member, lead singer and lyricist of rock band INXS from 1977 until his death in 1997. Hutchence was a member of short-lived pop rock group Max Q and recorded solo material which was released posthumously. He acted in ...more

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    • Age: Died at 37 (1960-1997)
    • Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
    • Profession: Songwriter, Musician, Actor, Singer
    • Cause Of Death: Suicide
    • Place Of Death: Sydney, Australia
    • Children: Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence Geldof
  15. 35
    George Gershwin died on July 11, 1937 at age 38. He died as a result of complications due to a tumor.

    George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris as well as the opera Porgy and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 39 (1898-1937)
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Songwriter, Pianist, Composer
    • Cause Of Death: Brain tumor
    • Place Of Death: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
  16. 36
    Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy died in 1847 at the age of 38. He had suffered a series of strokes.

    Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. A grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish family. Although initially he was ...more

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    • Age: Died at 38 (1809-1847)
    • Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
    • Profession: Conductor, Pianist, Composer, Violist
    • Cause Of Death: Stroke
    • Place Of Death: Leipzig, Germany
    • Children: Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Karl Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Marie Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Lilli Mendelssohn Bartholdy
  17. 37
    Frederic Chopin died on October 17, 1849 at the age of 39. His cause of death was listed as tuberculosis.

    Fryderyk Chopin is a film score composer.more

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    • Age: Died at 39 (1810-1849)
    • Birthplace: Europe, Sochaczew County, Poland, Masovian Voivodeship, Central Europe, + more
    • Profession: Pianist, Composer
    • Cause Of Death: Tuberculosis
    • Place Of Death: Paris, France
  18. 38
    Franz Schubert died on November 19, 1828 when he was 31 years old. He was diagnosed with typhoid fever.

    Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer. Schubert died at 31 but was extremely prolific during his lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works, seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Appreciation of ...more

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    • Age: Died at 31 (1797-1828)
    • Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Pianist, Composer, Violist, Teacher
    • Cause Of Death: Typhoid fever, Syphilis
    • Place Of Death: Vienna, Austria
  19. 39
    Robert Wadlow died on July 15, 1940 at age 22. His death was related to a parasitic infection.

    Robert Pershing Wadlow also known as the Alton Giant and the Giant of Illinois, is the tallest person in recorded history for whom there is irrefutable evidence. The Alton and Illinois monikers reflect the fact that he was born and grew up in Alton, Illinois. Wadlow reached 8 ft 11.1 in in height and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 22 (1918-1940)
    • Birthplace: Alton, Illinois, United States of America
    • Cause Of Death: Infection
    • Place Of Death: Manistee, Michigan, United States of America
  20. 40
    John F. Kennedy died on November 22, 1963 at age 46. He was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald.

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), also referred to as John F. Kennedy, JFK, John Kennedy or Jack Kennedy, was the 35th President of the United States. He served from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. Major events during his presidency include the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 46 (1917-1963)
    • Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, USA
    • Profession: Politician, Military Officer, Author, Writer
    • Cause Of Death: Assassination
    • Place Of Death: Dallas, Texas, United States of America
    • Children: John F. Kennedy Jr., Caroline Kennedy, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, Arabella Kennedy
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