The following is a list of notable world figures who died on May 12th.

  1. 1003 - Pope Silvester II
  2. 1012 - Pope Sergius IV
  3. 1382 - Queen Joan I of Naples (b. 1327)
  4. 1399 - Demetrius I Starshiy (killed in battle) (b. 1327)
  5. 1465 - Thomas Palaeologus, Despot of the Despotate of Morea
  6. 1634 - George Chapman, English writer
  7. 1641 - Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, English statesman (b. 1593)
  8. 1684 - Edme Mariotte, French physicist and priest
  9. 1699 - Lucas Achtschellinck, Flemish painter (b. 1626)
  10. 1700 - John Dryden, English writer (b. 1631)
  11. 1708 - Adolf Friedrich II of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (b. 1658)
  12. 1748 - Thomas Lowndes, English astronomer (b. 1692)
  13. 1759 - Lambert-Sigisbert Adam, French sculptor (b. 1700)
  14. 1784 - Abraham Trembley, Swiss naturalist (b. 1710)
  15. 1792 - Charles Simon Favart, French dramatist (b. 1710)
  16. 1796 - Johann Peter Uz, German poet (b. 1720)
  17. 1801 - Nicholas Repnin, Russian statesman (b. 1734)
  18. 1845 - János Bacsanyi, Hungarian poet (b. 1763)
  19. 1856 - Jacques Philippe Marie Binet, French mathematician (b. 1786)
  20. 1859 - Sergei Aksakov, Russian writer (b. 1791)
  21. 1860 - Charles Barry, English architect (b. 1795)
  22. 1864 - J. E. B. Stuart, American soldier from Virginia and a Confederate Army general (b. 1833)
  23. 1867 - Friedrich William Eduard Gerhard, German archaeologist (b. 1795)
  24. 1871 - Anselme Payen, French physicist (b. 1795)
  25. 1876 - Georgi Benkovski, Bulgarian revolutionary, brutally killed by the Turks (b. 1843)
  26. 1884 - Bedrich Smetana, Czech composer (b. 1824)
  27. 1889 - John Cadbury, English chocolate entrepreneur (b. 1801)
  28. 1907 - Joris-Karl Huysmans, French author (b. 1848)
  29. 1925 - Amy Lowell, American poet (b. 1874)
  30. 1931 - Eugène Ysaÿe, Belgian violinist (b. 1858)
  31. 1935 - Józef Pilsudski, Polish statesman (b. 1867)
  32. 1944 - Max Brand, American author (b. 1892)
  33. 1944 - Q, British writer (b. 1863)
  34. 1956 - Louis Calhern, American actor (b. 1895)
  35. 1957 - Erich von Stroheim, film director and actor (b. 1885)
  36. 1963 - Bobby Kerr, Canadian runner (b. 1882)
  37. 1967 - John Masefield, British writer (b. 1878)
  38. 1970 - Nelly Sachs, German writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1891)
  39. 1971 - Heinie Manush, baseball player (b. 1901)
  40. 1985 - Jean Dubuffet, French painter (b. 1901)
  41. 1986 - Elisabeth Bergner, Austrian actress (b. 1897)
  42. 1990 - Chen Kenmin, Japanese chef (b. 1912)
  43. 1992 - Robert Reed, American actor (b. 1932)
  44. 1994 - Erik Erikson, German psychoanalyst (b. 1902)
  45. 1994 - John Smith, British politician (b. 1938)
  46. 1995 - Mia Martini, Italian singer (b. 1947)
  47. 1999 - Saul Steinberg, Romanian-American cartoonist (b. 1914)
  48. 2000 - Adam Petty, American race car driver (b. 1980)
  49. 2001 - Perry Como, American singer (b. 1912)
  50. 2002 - Erich Kulas, ECW Wrestler (Mass Transit)
  51. 2003 - Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French UN High Commissioner for Refugees (b. 1933)
  52. 2005 - Martin Lings, English Islamic scholar (b. 1909)
  53. 2005 - Monica Zetterlund, Swedish actress and singer (b. 1937)
  54. 2006 - Gillespie V. Montgomery, former U.S. representative from Mississippi (b. 1920)