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Famous Poisoning Deaths

Updated June 14, 2019 218.2k views50 items

The list of famous people who died of poisoning includes all the notable people who met their end at the hands of a poison. Death due to poison could not be detected in earlier ages and so was the most popular method used to kill people, resulting in many famous poisoning cases. Only in the recent past, has the cause of death by poison been detectable through autopsy.

What famous people were poisoned to death? Did you know, in the previous centuries, most poison victims died of arsenic poisoning? These famous poisonings are the stuff of legends and have happened throughout history. From cyanide poisonings to other methods, here is a list of all famous people who were poisoned and killed. This list includes all famous poisoning victims and can be sorted by any column.
  • Alan Turing

    Dec. at 42 (1912-1954)

    BirthplaceMaida Vale, London, United Kingdom


    British mathematician; Apparently committed suicide by injecting an apple with cyanide and taking a bite.

    Alan Mathison Turing (; 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. Turing was highly influential in...  more
  • Adolf Hitler

    Dec. at 56 (1889-1945)

    BirthplaceBraunau am Inn, Austria


    Cyanide and gunshot simultaneously before capture
    Adolf Hitler (German: [ˈadɔlf ˈhɪtlɐ] (listen); 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; NSDAP). He rose to...  more
  • Cleopatra

    Dec. at 39 (68 BC-29 BC)

    BirthplaceAlexandria, Egypt


    Poisoned herself with an asp's bite

    Cleopatra VII Philopator (Koinē Greek: Κλεοπᾰ́τρᾱ Φιλοπάτωρ, romanized: Kleopátrā Philopátōr; 69 – 10 or 12 August 30 BC) was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, nominally...  more
  • Greek philosopher. According to Plato, sentenced to kill himself by drinking poison hemlock

    Socrates (; Ancient Greek: Σωκρᾰ́της, romanized: Sōkrátēs, [sɔːkrátɛːs]; c. 470 – 399 BC) was a classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as...  more
  • Heinrich Himmler

    Dec. at 45 (1900-1945)

    BirthplaceMunich, Germany


    Leader of the Nazi Schutzstaffel
    Heinrich Luitpold Himmler (German: [ˈhaɪnʁɪç ˈluːɪtˌpɔlt ˈhɪmlɐ] (listen); 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945) was Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (Protection Squadron; SS), and a leading member of the...  more
  • Hermann Göring

    Leader of the Nazi Luftwaffe; suicide by cyanide capsule, long after being captured and only hours before his hanging was to take place
  • Juan Ponce de Leön

    Juan Ponce de León (Spanish pronunciation: [xwam ˈponθe ðe leˈon]; 1474 – July 1521), commonly known as Ponce de León (, also UK: , US: ), was a Spanish explorer and conquistador known for leading...  more
  • Erwin Rommel

    Dec. at 53 (1891-1944)

    BirthplaceHeidenheim an der Brenz, Germany


    German general
    Johannes Erwin Eugen Rommel (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) was a German general and military theorist. Popularly known as the Desert Fox, he served as field marshal in the Wehrmacht (Defense...  more
  • Ibn al-Khattab

    Dec. at 33 (1969-2002)

    BirthplaceSaudi Arabia


    A Sunni Jihadi fighter, died from a poisoned letter sent by Russian FSB agency
    Samir Saleh Abdullah (Arabic: سامر صالح عبد الله‎; 14 April 1969 – 20 March 2002), more commonly known as Ibn al-Khattab or Emir Khattab (also transliterated as Amir Khattab and Ameer Khattab,...  more
  • Ali ibn Abi Talib

  • Demosthenes

    Dec. at 62 (383 BC-321 BC)

    BirthplaceAthens, Greece


    Athenian politician
    Demosthenes (; Greek: Δημοσθένης Dēmosthénēs; Attic Greek: [dɛːmosˈtʰenɛːs]; 384 – 12 October 322 BC) was a Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant...  more
  • Love Canal

    Buried toxic waste was covered and used as a building site for housing and school in Niagara Falls, New York, resulting in claims of chronic poisoning and a massive environmental cleanup.
  • Alexander Litvinenko

    Dec. at 44 (1962-2006)

    BirthplaceRussia, Voronezh


    Russian ex-spy and investigator, died three weeks after being poisoned by radioactive polonium-210
    Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ва́льтерович Литвине́нко, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ˈvaltɨrəvʲɪtɕ lʲɪtvʲɪˈnʲɛnkə]; 30 August 1962 or 4 December 1962 by father's account – 23 November...  more
  • Pope Clement VII

    Dec. at 56 (1478-1534)

    BirthplaceFlorence, Italy


    Ate the death cap mushroom
    Pope Clement VII (Italian: Papa Clemente VII; Latin: Clemens VII) (26 May 1478 – 25 September 1534), born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States...  more
  • Eva Hitler

    Eva Anna Paula Hitler (née Braun; 6 February 1912 – 30 April 1945) was the longtime companion of Adolf Hitler and, for less than 40 hours, his wife. Braun met Hitler in Munich when she was a...  more
  • Marshall Applewhite

    Dec. at 66 (1931-1997)

    BirthplaceSpur, Texas


    Cult suicide
    Marshall Herff Applewhite Jr. (May 17, 1931 – March 26, 1997), also known as Do, among other names, was an American cult leader who founded what became known as the Heaven's Gate religious group and...  more
  • Olive Thomas

    Dec. at 26 (1894-1920)

    BirthplaceCharleroi, Pennsylvania, United States of America


    Silent film actress, accidentally ingested a large dose of mercury bichloride
    Olive Thomas (born Oliva R. Duffy; October 20, 1894 – September 10, 1920) was an American silent-film actress and model. Thomas began her career as an illustrator's model in 1914, and moved on to the...  more
  • Georgi Markov

    Dec. at 49 (1929-1978)

    BirthplaceVitosha, Sofia, Bulgaria


    Bulgarian dissident; Assassinated in London with ricin

    Georgi Ivanov Markov (Bulgarian: Георги Иванов Марков; 1 March 1929 – 11 September 1978) was a Bulgarian dissident writer. Markov originally worked as a novelist and playwright in his native country,...  more
  • Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor

    Dec. at 55 (1685-1740)

    BirthplaceHofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria


    Ate poisonous mushrooms
    Charles VI (1 October 1685 – 20 October 1740; German: Karl VI., Latin: Carolus VI) succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia (as Charles II), King of Hungary and...  more
  • Stepan Bandera

    Dec. at 50 (1909-1959)

    BirthplaceStaryi Uhryniv


    Poisoned by a cyanide capsule shot from a gun by KGB agents
    Stepan Andriyovych Bandera (Ukrainian: Степан Андрійович Бандера, Polish: Stepan Andrijowycz Bandera; 1 January 1909 – 15 October 1959) was a head of a militant wing of the Ukrainian independence...  more
  • Odilo Globocnik

    Dec. at 41 (1904-1945)

    BirthplaceTrieste, Italy


    D. 1945
    Odilo Globočnik (21 April 1904 – 31 May 1945) was an Austrian war criminal. He was a member of the National Socialist German Worker's Party and later a high-ranking leader of the Schutzstaffel. As...  more
  • Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz

    Umayyad caliph
  • Musa al-Kadhim

    Dec. at 54 (745-799)

    BirthplaceMedina, Saudi Arabia


    Shia Imam
    Mūsá ibn Ja‘far al-Kāzim (Arabic: موسى بن جعفر الكاظم‎), also called Abūl-Hasan, Abū Abd Allah, Abū Ibrāhīm, and al-Kāzim (the one who controls his anger), was the seventh Shiite Imam after his...  more
  • Constantine II, Prince of Armenia

    D. 1129
    Constantine II (Armenian: Կոստանդին Բ), also Kostandin II, (unknown – after February 17, 1129) was the fourth lord of Armenian Cilicia or “Lord of the Mountains” (1129/1130). The Chronique Rimée de...  more
  • Margaret Drummond

    Dec. at 26 (1475-1501)


    Mistress of King James IV of Scotland
    Margaret Drummond (c. 1475 – 1501) was a daughter of John Drummond, 1st Lord Drummond, and a mistress of King James IV of Scotland. She was a great-great-great-great-niece of the Margaret Drummond...  more