The following is a list of notable world figures who died on December 20th.

  1. 217 - Pope Zephyrinus
  2. 860 - King Ethelbald of Wessex
  3. 910 - Alfonso III of Leon
  4. 1022 - Elvira Mendes, wife of Alfonso V of Castile (b. 996)
  5. 1355 - Stefan Dušan, Serb king and tsar (b. circa 1308)
  6. 1494 - Matteo Maria Boiardo, Italian poet
  7. 1524 - Thomas Linacre, English scholar and physician
  8. 1539 - Johannes Lupi, Flemish composer
  9. 1590 - Ambroise Paré, French physician (b. 1510)
  10. 1722 - Kangxi Emperor of China (b. 1654)
  11. 1723 - Augustus Quirinus Rivinus (b. 1652)
  12. 1740 - Richard Boyle, 2nd Viscount Shannon, English military officer and statesman (b. 1675)
  13. 1768 - Carlo Innocenzio Maria Frugoni, Italian poet (b. 1692)
  14. 1783 - Antonio Soler, Spanish composer (b. 1729)
  15. 1812 - Sacagawea, Shoshone guide for the Lewis and Clark Expedition
  16. 1917 - Lucien Petit-Breton, Argentine-French cyclist (b. 1882)
  17. 1921 - Hans Hartwig von Beseler, German general (b. 1850)
  18. 1929 - Émile Loubet, 7th President of France (b.1838)
  19. 1935 - Martin O'Meara, Australian soldier (b. 1882)
  20. 1937 - Erich Ludendorff, German general (b. 1865)
  21. 1941 - Igor Severyanin, Russian poet (b. 1887)
  22. 1954 - James Hilton, American author (b. 1900)
  23. 1956 - Ramon Carrillo, Argentine neuroscientist and Public Health minister (b. 1906)
  24. 1961 - Moss Hart, American dramatist (b. 1904)
  25. 1961 - Earle Page, eleventh Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1880)
  26. 1968 - John Steinbeck, American writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1902)
  27. 1973 - Luis Carrero Blanco, Prime Minister of Spain (assassinated) (b. 1903)
  28. 1973 - Bobby Darin, American singer (b. 1936)
  29. 1974 - André Jolivet, French composer (b. 1905)
  30. 1976 - Richard J. Daley, Mayor of Chicago (b. 1902)
  31. 1982 - Arthur Rubinstein, Polish-born pianist (b. 1887)
  32. 1984 - Gonzalo Márquez, Venezuelan Major League Baseball player (b. 1946)
  33. 1986 - Joe DeSa, baseball player (b. 1959)
  34. 1988 - Alphonse Ouimet, Canadian television pioneer, president of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (b. 1908)
  35. 1989 - Kurt Böhme, German bass (b. 1908)
  36. 1991 - Simone Beck, French chef (b. 1904)
  37. 1994 - Dean Rusk, United States Secretary of State (b. 1909)
  38. 1996 - Carl Sagan, American astronomer and writer (b. 1934)
  39. 1997 - Denise Levertov, English-born poet (b. 1923)
  40. 1997 - Juzo Itami, Japanese actor and director (b. 1933)
  41. 1998 - Irene Hervey, American actress (b. 1910)
  42. 1998 - Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, British scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1916)
  43. 1999 - Hank Snow, Canadian singer (b. 1914)
  44. 1999 - Riccardo Freda, Italian film director (b. 1909)
  45. 2000 - Mirza Ghulam Hafiz, Indian statesman, politician, and philanthropist (b. 1920)
  46. 2001 - Foster Brooks, American actor and comedian (b. 1912)
  47. 2001 - Léopold Sédar Senghor, first President of Senegal (b. 1906)