The following is a list of notable world figures who died on December 16th.

  1. 705 - Empress Wu of Zhou (China; b. 625)
  2. 714 - Pippin of Herstal, Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia
  3. 999 - Saint Adelaide of Italy (b. 931)
  4. 1325 - Charles of Valois, son of Philip III of France (b. 1270)
  5. 1379 - John Fitzalan, Marshal of England
  6. 1470 - John II, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1425)
  7. 1515 - Afonso de Albuquerque Portuguese naval general (b. 1453)
  8. 1598 - Yi Sun-sin, Korean admiral (b. 1545)
  9. 1669 - Nathaniel Fiennes, English politician
  10. 1687 - William Petty, English scientist and philosopher (b. 1623)
  11. 1751 - Leopold II of Anhalt-Dessau, Prussian general (b. 1700)
  12. 1765 - Peter Frederick Haldimand, Swiss military officer and surveyor
  13. 1774 - François Quesnay, French economist (b. 1694)
  14. 1783 - Johann A. Hasse, German composer (b. 1699)
  15. 1783 - Sir William James British naval commander (b. 1720)
  16. 1809 - Antoine François, comte de Fourcroy, French chemist (b. 1755)
  17. 1859 - Wilhelm Grimm, German writer and folklorist (b. 1786)
  18. 1898 - Pavel Tretyakov, Russian businessman and art collector (b. 1832)
  19. 1914 - Ivan Zajc, Croatian composer (b. 1832)
  20. 1916 - Grigori Rasputin, Russian monk (b. 1869)
  21. 1921 - Camille Saint-Saëns, French composer (b. 1835)
  22. 1922 - Gabriel Narutowicz, first President of Poland (b. 1865)
  23. 1928 - Elinor Wylie, American poet and writer (b. 1885
  24. 1935 - Thelma Todd, American actress (b. 1905)
  25. 1945 - Giovanni Agnelli, Italian automobile manufacturer (b. 1866)
  26. 1945 - Fumimaro Konoye, Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1891)
  27. 1949 - Sidney Olcott, Canadian film director (b. 1873)
  28. 1956 - Nina Hamnett, British artist (b. 1890)
  29. 1965 - W. Somerset Maugham, British writer (b. 1874)
  30. 1976 - Réal Caouette, French Canadian politician (Social Credit Party of Canada) (b. 1917)
  31. 1977 - Risto Jarva, Finnish filmmaker (b. 1934)
  32. 1980 - Colonel Harland Sanders, American fast food entrepreneur (b. 1890)
  33. 1980 - Hellmuth Walter, German engineer and inventor (b. 1900)
  34. 1982 - Colin Chapman, British engineer and automobile manufacturer, founder of Lotus Cars (b. 1928)
  35. 1984 - Debs Garms, baseball player (b. 1907)
  36. 1985 - Paul Castellano, American mafioso (b. 1915)
  37. 1985 - Thomas Bilotti, American mafioso (b. 1940)
  38. 1988 - Sylvester James, American R&B singer, disco performer (b. 1948)
  39. 1989 - Lee Van Cleef, American actor (b. 1925)
  40. 1989 - Aileen Pringle, American actress (b. 1895)
  41. 1989 - Silvana Mangano, Italian actress (b. 1930)
  42. 1990 - Douglas Campbell, American pilot (b. 1896)
  43. 1993 - Moses Gunn, American actor (b. 1929)
  44. 1993 - Tanaka Kakuei, Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1918)
  45. 1995 - Mariele Ventre, Italian choir director (b. 1939)
  46. 1995 - Johnny Moss, American poker player (b. 1907)
  47. 1996 - Quentin Bell, British art historian (b. 1910)
  48. 1997 - Nicolette Larson, American singer (b. 1952)
  49. 2001 - Stuart Adamson, British musician (b. 1958)
  50. 2003 - Robert Stanfield, Premier of Nova Scotia (b. 1914)
  51. 2003 - Gary Stewart, American musician, singer and songwriter (b. 1945)
  52. 2004 - Ted Abernathy, American baseball player (b. 1933)
  53. 2005 - Kenneth Bulmer, British author (b.1921)
  54. 2005 - John Spencer, American actor (b. 1946)
  55. 2006 - Pnina Salzman, Israeli pianist
  56. 2006 - Taliep Petersen, South African singer and composer (b. 1950)