List of Famous people who died in 1940
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and short-story writer. He was best known for his novels depicting the flamboyance and excess of the Jazz Age—a term which he popularized. During his lifetime, he published four novels, four collections of short stories, and 164 short stories. Although he temporarily achieved popular success and fortune in the 1920s, Fitzgerald only received wide critical and popular acclaim after his death. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.
Robert Pershing Wadlow, also known as the Alton Giant and the Giant of Illinois, was an American man who was the tallest person in recorded history for whom there is irrefutable evidence. He was born and raised in Alton, Illinois, a small city near St. Louis, Missouri.
Gerda Marie Fredrikke Wegener was a Danish illustrator and painter. Wegener is known for her fashion illustrations and later her paintings that pushed the boundaries of gender and love of her time. These works were classified as "lesbian erotica" at times and many were inspired by her partner, the transgender woman Lili Elbe. Wegener employed these works in the styles of Art Nouveau and later Art Deco.
Arthur Neville Chamberlain was a British politician of the Conservative Party who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. He is best known for his foreign policy of appeasement, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement on 30 September 1938, conceding the German-speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany. Following the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, which marked the beginning of World War II, Chamberlain announced the declaration of war on Germany two days later and led the United Kingdom through the first eight months of the war until his resignation as prime minister on 10 May 1940.
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, nicknamed "Old Gimlet Eye", was a senior United States Marine Corps officer who fought in both the Mexican Revolution and World War I. Butler was, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler later became an outspoken critic of American wars and their consequences. Butler also exposed an alleged plan to overthrow the United States government.
Paul Klee was a Swiss-born German artist. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually deeply explored color theory, writing about it extensively; his lectures Writings on Form and Design Theory, published in English as the Paul Klee Notebooks, are held to be as important for modern art as Leonardo da Vinci's A Treatise on Painting for the Renaissance. He and his colleague, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, both taught at the Bauhaus school of art, design and architecture in Germany. His works reflect his dry humor and his sometimes childlike perspective, his personal moods and beliefs, and his musicality.
Udham Singh was an Indian revolutionary belonging to the Ghadar Party, best known for his assassination in London of Michael O'Dwyer, the former lieutenant governor of the Punjab in India, on 13 March 1940. The assassination was done in revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919, for which O'Dwyer was responsible. Singh was subsequently tried and convicted of murder and hanged in July 1940. While in custody, he used the name Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, which represents the three major religions of Punjab and his anti-colonial sentiment.
Lev Davidovich Bronstein, better known as Leon Trotsky, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary, political theorist and politician. Ideologically a communist, he developed a variant of Marxism known as Trotskyism.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. ONH was a Jamaican political activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator. He was the founder and first President-General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League, through which he declared himself Provisional President of Africa. Ideologically a black nationalist and Pan-Africanist, his ideas came to be known as Garveyism.
Komuram Bheem was an Indian tribal leader who fought against the Asaf Jahi dynasty for the liberation of Hyderabad. Komuram Bheem fought against the feudal landlords during the Nizam's rule in a guerrilla campaign. He defied courts, laws, and any other form of Nizam authority, living off the sustenance of the forest. He took up arms against Nizam's soldiers, who he fought until his last breath.
The Mortara case was an Italian cause célèbre that captured the attention of much of Europe and North America in the 1850s and 1860s. It concerned the Papal States' seizure of a six-year-old boy named Edgardo Mortara from his Jewish family in Bologna, on the basis of a former servant's testimony that she had administered an emergency baptism to the boy when he fell ill as an infant. Mortara grew up as a Catholic under the protection of Pope Pius IX, who refused his parents' desperate pleas for his return, and eventually became a priest. The domestic and international outrage against the pontifical state's actions may have contributed to its downfall amid the unification of Italy.
Charles Freer Andrews
Charles Freer Andrews was a priest of the Church of England and an activist for Indian independence. A Protestant Christian missionary, educator and social reformer in India, he became a close friend of Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi and identified with the Indian liberation struggle. He was instrumental in convincing Gandhi to return to India from South Africa, where Gandhi had been a leading light in the Indian civil rights struggle.
J. J. Thomson
Sir Joseph John Thomson was a British physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics, credited with the discovery of the electron, the first subatomic particle to be discovered.
Emma Goldman was an anarchist political activist and writer. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
Olga Boznańska was a Polish painter of the turn of the 20th century. She was a notable female painter in Poland and Europe, and was stylistically associated with the French impressionism, though she rejected this label.
Spyridon Louis, commonly known as Spyros Louis, was a Greek water-carrier who won the first modern-day Olympic marathon at the 1896 Summer Olympics. Following his victory, he was celebrated as a national hero.
Ernest Edward Mills Joyce AM was a Royal Naval seaman and explorer who participated in four Antarctic expeditions during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, in the early 20th century. He served under both Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton. As a member of the Ross Sea party in Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, Joyce earned an Albert Medal for his actions in bringing the stricken party to safety, after a traumatic journey on the Great Ice Barrier. He was awarded the Polar Medal with four bars, one of only two men to be so honoured, the other being his contemporary, Frank Wild.
Henry Ossian Flipper
Henry Ossian Flipper was an American soldier, engineer, former slave and in 1877, the first African American to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, earning a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He was also an author who wrote about scientific topics and his life experiences.
William Edgar Borah was an outspoken Republican United States Senator, one of the best-known figures in Idaho's history. A progressive who served from 1907 until his death in 1940, Borah is often considered an isolationist, because he led the Irreconcilables, senators who would not accept the Treaty of Versailles, Senate ratification of which would have made the U.S. part of the League of Nations.
Robert Sengstacke Abbott
Robert Sengstacke Abbott was an American lawyer, newspaper publisher and editor. Abbott founded The Chicago Defender in 1905, which grew to have the highest circulation of any black-owned newspaper in the country. An early adherent of the Baháʼí Faith in the United States, Abbott founded the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic in August 1929. The parade, which has developed into a celebration for youth, education and African–American life in Chicago, Illinois; Is the second largest parade in the United States.