The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Politicians: Death at Sports or Recreation

Very incomplete list!

in chronological order

  George Washington Aldridge (1856-1922) — also known as George W. Aldridge; "The Boss"; "The Big Fellow" — of Rochester, Monroe County, N.Y. Born in Michigan City, LaPorte County, Ind., December 28, 1856. Republican. Manufacturer; mayor of Rochester, N.Y., 1894; New York State Superintendent of Public Works, 1895-99; delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1896, 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1916, 1920; candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 32nd District, 1910; U.S. Collector of Customs, 1921-22; died in office 1922. Member, Freemasons; Sons of the American Revolution; Odd Fellows; Elks; Knights of Pythias. Died suddenly, from a heart attack or stroke, while golfing at the Biltmore Country Club, near Rye, Westchester County, N.Y., June 13, 1922 (age 65 years, 167 days). Interment at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Rochester, N.Y.
  Presumably named for: George Washington
  Relatives: Married to Mary Mack.
  Cross-reference: Hiram H. Edgerton
  Epitaph: "An expression of sorrow and farewell to a great leader and a true friend."
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Oliver Ames Spencer (1860-1923) — also known as Oliver A. Spencer — of Seattle, King County, Wash. Born in Indianapolis, Marion County, Ind., February 8, 1860. Banker; Consular Agent for Italy in Seattle, Wash., 1890-1903. Just after finishing a game of golf, he collapsed and died, from heart disease or apoplexy, in Seattle, King County, Wash., September 8, 1923 (age 63 years, 212 days). Interment at Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, Wash.
  Relatives: Son of Oliver Morris Spencer and Mary Magdalene (De Steigner) Spencer; married, January 17, 1894, to Irene Caroline Lovelace; married, July 21, 1922, to Anna Knights (Lord) LeFevre; married 1923 to Constance Leontine May Cross.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
Herbert F. Lemp Herbert F. Lemp (1884-1927) — of Boise, Ada County, Idaho. Born in Boise, Ada County, Idaho, June 24, 1884. Mayor of Boise, Idaho, 1927; died in office 1927. Injured in a polo accident, and died a few years later, Boise, Ada County, Idaho, May 6, 1927 (age 42 years, 316 days). Burial location unknown.
  Image source: City of Boise
  Thomas F. Larkin (c.1872-1928) — of Yonkers, Westchester County, N.Y. Born about 1872. Democrat. Contractor; business partner of James J. Lynch; mayor of Yonkers, N.Y., 1928; died in office 1928; delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1928. Died, of apoplexy, while playing golf, at the 13th tee of the Briarcliff Lodge golf course, in Briarcliff Manor, Westchester County, N.Y., July 25, 1928 (age about 56 years). Interment at St. Mary's Cemetery, Yonkers, N.Y.
  Larkin Plaza (also known as Dock Street), in Yonkers, New York, is named for him.
  Charles Blakeslee Law (1872-1929) — also known as Charles B. Law — of Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y. Born in Hannibal, Oswego County, N.Y., February 5, 1872. Republican. Lawyer; U.S. Representative from New York 4th District, 1905-11; defeated, 1910; state court judge in New York, 1916; candidate for Justice of New York Supreme Court 2nd District, 1924. Baptist. Member, Union League. Died while swimming (presumably drowned) at his summer home on Kattskill Bay, near Lake George, Warren County, N.Y., September 15, 1929 (age 57 years, 222 days). Interment at Maple Grove Cemetery, Jordan, N.Y.
  Relatives: Son of Eli B. Law and Mary Louisa (Payne) Law; married, November 20, 1901, to Ilma Best.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Edward Livingston Robertson (1876-1937) — also known as Edward L. Robertson — of Syracuse, Onondaga County, N.Y. Born in St. Louis, Mo., September 23, 1876. Republican. Lawyer; Justice of New York Supreme Court 5th District, 1935-37; died in office 1937. Episcopalian. Member, Chi Phi. Attended a Cornell v. Syracuse football game, and died shortly afterwards, from a cerebral hemorrhage, in his car, on the Cornell University campus, in Ithaca, Tompkins County, N.Y., October 16, 1937 (age 61 years, 23 days). Burial location unknown.
  Presumably named for: Edward Livingston
  Relatives: Son of Charles Robertson and Rebecca (Duane) Robertson; married to Elizabeth Comstock.
  Clarence A. Dahle (1894-1949) — also known as "Whiff" — of Duluth, St. Louis County, Minn. Born in Spokane, Spokane County, Wash., January 22, 1894. Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; lawyer; member of Minnesota state house of representatives District 57, 1933-36; member of Minnesota state senate 57th District, 1937-49; died in office 1949. Episcopalian. Member, Delta Tau Delta; Freemasons; Elks. During a fishing trip, he drowned while swimming off an island in Lake Kabetogama, St. Louis County, Minn., July 26, 1949 (age 55 years, 185 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Married 1922 to Helen C. Jenswold.
  See also Minnesota Legislator record
  Robert Lane Anderson (1907-1951) — of Marion, Smyth County, Va. Born in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, August 16, 1907. Democrat. Newspaper editor and publisher; delegate to Virginia convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933; served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; mayor of Marion, Va., 1948-51; died in office 1951. Member, Kiwanis. Died, from a heart attack while golfing, in Marion, Smyth County, Va., June 7, 1951 (age 43 years, 295 days). Interment at Rose Lawn Cemetery, Marion, Va.
  Relatives: Son of Sherwood Anderson and Cornelia Pratt (Lane) Anderson; married to Mary Chryst.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Julian Power Alexander (1887-1953) — also known as Julian P. Alexander — of Meridian, Lauderdale County, Miss.; Jackson, Hinds County, Miss. Born in Jackson, Hinds County, Miss., December 7, 1887. Lawyer; U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, 1919-21; circuit judge in Mississippi, 1934-39; justice of Mississippi state supreme court, 1941-53; died in office 1953. Presbyterian. Member, Freemasons; Shriners; Rotary; American Bar Association; Newcomen Society; Kappa Sigma. Died, from coronary thrombosis, while a spectator at the Sugar Bowl football game, in Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, La., January 1, 1953 (age 65 years, 25 days). Interment at Cedarlawn Cemetery, Jackson, Miss.
  Relatives: Son of Charlton Henry Alexander and Matilda (MacMillan) Alexander; married, December 16, 1913, to Corabel Wharton Roberts.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Van Heflin (1910-1971) — also known as Emmett Evan Heflin Jr. — of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Calif. Born in Walters, Cotton County, Okla., December 13, 1910. Democrat. Actor; served in the U.S. Army during World War II; speaker, Democratic National Convention, 1948. Irish and French ancestry. Member, Phi Delta Theta. Suffered a heart attack while swimming, and died six weeks later, in Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Calif., July 23, 1971 (age 60 years, 222 days). Cremated; ashes scattered in North Pacific Ocean.
  Relatives: Son of Emmett Evan Heflin and Fanny Bleecker (Shippey) Heflin; married, May 16, 1942, to Frances E. Neal.
  See also Wikipedia article — Internet Movie Database profile — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Fulton Freeman (1915-1974) — of Pasadena, Los Angeles County, Calif. Born in Pasadena, Los Angeles County, Calif., May 17, 1915. Foreign Service officer; U.S. Vice Consul in Mexico City, 1939; U.S. Ambassador to Colombia, 1961-64; Mexico, 1964-69. Suffered heart attack while playing golf, and died, in Carmel, Monterey County, Calif., December 14, 1974 (age 59 years, 211 days). Burial location unknown.
  See also U.S. State Dept career summary
  Renz L. Jennings (1899-1983) — also known as Lorenzo Jennings — of Phoenix, Maricopa County, Ariz. Born in Taylor, Navajo County, Ariz., August 5, 1899. Democrat. Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; lawyer; member of Arizona state house of representatives, 1931-32; Maricopa County Attorney, 1933-34; candidate for U.S. Senator from Arizona, 1934, 1964; candidate for U.S. Representative from Arizona, 1942; superior court judge in Arizona, 1949-60; justice of Arizona state supreme court, 1960-64; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arizona, 1960, 1968 (alternate). Mormon. Member, Eagles; Moose; Woodmen of the World. Suffered a heart attack in his swimming pool, and drowned, in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Ariz., February 11, 1983 (age 83 years, 190 days). Interment at Phoenix Memorial Park & Mortuary, Phoenix, Ariz.
  Relatives: Son of Cyrus Morgan Jennings and Hannah Jane (Hansen) Jennings; brother of Irving Anthony Jennings; married 1927 to Leola Lesueur; father of Renz D. Jennings; second cousin four times removed of Jonas Mapes; third cousin twice removed of George Hammond Parshall; third cousin thrice removed of David Parshall Mapes and George Mortimer Beakes.
  Political families: Mapes-Jennings-Denby-Harrison family of New York and Arizona; Bache-Dallas family of Pennsylvania and New York (subsets of the Four Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial — OurCampaigns candidate detail
  Townsend F. Beaman (1906-1983) — also known as Towny Beaman — of Summit Township, Jackson County, Mich. Born in Vandercook Lake, Jackson County, Mich., May 12, 1906. Republican. Lawyer; candidate for Michigan state senate 19th District, 1974. Methodist. Suffered a heart attack while golfing at the Country Club of Jackson, and died soon after, at Foote Hospital West, Jackson, Jackson County, Mich., June 12, 1983 (age 77 years, 31 days). Cremated.
  James Benjamin Payton (1943-1994) — also known as James Payton — of Sylacauga, Talladega County, Ala. Born June 12, 1943. Mayor of Sylacauga, Ala., 1984-94; died in office 1994. Drowned while swimming to retrieve a radio-controlled miniature boat, in Lake Howard, Sylacauga, Talladega County, Ala., July 28, 1994 (age 51 years, 46 days). Interment at Fort Williams Cemetery, Sylacauga, Ala.
  Relatives: Son of W. Ross Payton.
  Epitaph: "His memory is blessed."
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  William Austin Meehan (1924-1994) — also known as Billy Meehan — of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa. Born in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa., December 4, 1924. Republican. Lawyer; delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1956; general counsel and Republican political boss of Philadelphia, 1961-94. Died, from heart disease, while playing golf in Royersford, Montgomery County, Pa., September 13, 1994 (age 69 years, 283 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Austin Meehan.
  Angier Biddle Duke (1915-1995) — of Tuxedo Park, Orange County, N.Y.; Manhattan, New York County, N.Y. Born in Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., November 30, 1915. Major in the U.S. Army during World War II; U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, 1952-53; Spain, 1965-68; Denmark, 1968-69; Morocco, 1979-81. Member, Council on Foreign Relations. Chancellor of Southampton College. Hit by a car while rollerblading, and died as a result, in Southampton, Suffolk County, Long Island, N.Y., April 29, 1995 (age 79 years, 150 days). Entombed at Maplewood Cemetery, Durham, N.C.
  Relatives: Son of Angier Buchanan Duke and Cordelia Drexel (Biddle) Duke; married 1937 to Priscilla St. George; married to Margaret Screven White; married 1952 to Maria-Luisa de Aranal; married 1962 to Robin Chandler Lynn and Robin Chandler Duke; nephew of Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle Jr.; great-grandson of Malbourne Addison Angier; second great-grandnephew of Charles John Biddle; third great-grandnephew of James Biddle, John Biddle (1792-1859) and Richard Biddle; fourth great-grandson of Charles Biddle; fourth great-grandnephew of Edward Biddle; first cousin once removed of Pearl McMannen Duke (who married Nathan Lynn Bachman) and Doris Duke; first cousin four times removed of James Stokes Biddle; first cousin six times removed of John Scull; second cousin thrice removed of John Biddle (1859-1936); second cousin four times removed of Edward MacFunn Biddle; second cousin five times removed of Charles Willing Byrd; third cousin of William Bradley Umstead; fourth cousin once removed of Julia Grimmet Fortson.
  Political families: Harrison-Randolph-Marshall-Cabell family of Virginia; Biddle-Randolph family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Umstead-Grimmet-Byrd family of Durham, North Carolina (subsets of the Four Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also U.S. State Dept career summary — NNDB dossier — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Pamela Harriman (1920-1997) — also known as Pamela Beryl Digby; Pamela Churchill; Pamela Hayward — Born in Farnborough, Hampshire, England, March 20, 1920. Naturalized U.S. citizen; U.S. Ambassador to France, 1993-97, died in office 1997. Female. Catholic. Suffered a stroke while swimming in the pool at the Paris Ritz Hotel, and died at the American Hospital, near Paris, France, February 5, 1997 (age 76 years, 322 days). Interment at Arden Farm Graveyard, Arden, N.Y.
  Relatives: Daughter of Edward Kenelm Digby and Constance Pamela Alice (Bruce) Digby; married, September 27, 1971, to William Averell Harriman; married, October 4, 1939, to Randolph Churchill (son of Winston Churchill); married, May 4, 1960, to Leland Hayward (grandson of Monroe Leland Hayward).
  Political families: Whitney-Nye-Lincoln-Hay family of Massachusetts; Harriman family of Arden, New York (subsets of the Four Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also Wikipedia article — U.S. State Dept career summary — NNDB dossier — Internet Movie Database profile
  Books about Pamela Harriman: Sally Bedell Smith, Reflected Glory : The Life of Pamela Churchill Harriman
  Critical books about Pamela Harriman: Christopher Ogden, Life of the Party : The Biography of Pamela Digby Churchill — Darwin Porter & Danforth Prince, The Kennedys: All the Gossip Unfit for Print
  Sonny Bono (1935-1998) — also known as Salvatore Philip Bono; Sonny Christie; Ronny Sommers; Prince Carter — of Palm Springs, Riverside County, Calif. Born in Detroit, Wayne County, Mich., February 16, 1935. Republican. Songwriter, actor, member of the Sonny & Cher singing and comedy duo;; restaurant owner; mayor of Palm Springs, Calif., 1988-92; candidate for U.S. Senator from California, 1992; U.S. Representative from California 44th District, 1995-98; died in office 1998. Catholic or Scientologist. Italian ancestry. Killed in a skiing accident, South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, Calif., January 5, 1998 (age 62 years, 323 days). Interment at Desert Memorial Park, Cathedral City, Calif.
  Relatives: Son of Santo Bono and Zena 'Jean' (DiMercurio) Bono; married 1954 to Donna Rankin; married, October 27, 1964, to Cherilyn Sarkasian 'Cher' LaPiere; married 1981 to Susie Coelho; married 1986 to Mary Whitaker (who later married Connie Mack IV).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier — Internet Movie Database profile
  Books by Sonny Bono: And the Beat Goes On
  Marshall Green (1916-1998) — of Washington, D.C. Born in Holyoke, Hampden County, Mass., January 27, 1916. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; Foreign Service officer; U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong, 1961-63; U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, 1965-69; Australia, 1973-75; Nauru, 1974-75. Suffered a heart attack while playing golf, and died soon after at Suburban Hospital, Chevy Chase, Montgomery County, Md., June 6, 1998 (age 82 years, 130 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Addison Loomis Green and Gertrude (Metcalf) Green; married, February 14, 1942, to Lispenard Seabury Crocker (daughter of Edward Savage Crocker II).
  Political family: Green-Crocker family of Holyoke, Massachusetts.
  See also U.S. State Dept career summary
  Jerry Thomas Twiggs (1933-2000) — also known as Jerry Twiggs — of Idaho. Born in Thomas, Bingham County, Idaho, March 25, 1933. Farmer; member of Idaho state senate, 1985-2000; died in office 2000. Mormon. Member, Lions. Died of a heart attack while jogging, in Boise, Ada County, Idaho, January 10, 2000 (age 66 years, 291 days). Interment at Riverside-Thomas Cemetery, Blackfoot, Idaho.
  Richard Nevins (1921-2001) — also known as Dick Nevins — of Pasadena, Los Angeles County, Calif. Born in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Calif., April 21, 1921. Democrat. Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1956, 1960, 1964. Died, in a bodysurfing accident, on the beach at Oceanside, San Diego County, Calif., July 29, 2001 (age 80 years, 99 days). Burial location unknown.
  Thomas Laurence Gadola (1933-2003) — also known as Thomas L. Gadola — of Grand Blanc, Genesee County, Mich. Born January 6, 1933. Lawyer; probate judge in Michigan, 1977-2003. Died while attending a University of Michigan football game, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Mich., September 27, 2003 (age 70 years, 264 days). Interment at Evergreen Cemetery, Grand Blanc, Mich.
  Relatives: Son of Paul Victor Gadola; brother of Paul Victor Gadola Jr..
  Political family: Gadola family of Flint, Michigan.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Dolores Dee Bielecki (1933-2006) — also known as Dee Bielecki; Rose Bielecki — of Oconee County, S.C. Born March 29, 1933. Democrat. School teacher; college professor; delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 2000. Female. At a charity golf tournament, she fell, struck her head, was hospitalized, and died from the injury six weeks later, in Greenville, Greenville County, S.C., July 8, 2006 (age 73 years, 101 days). Burial location unknown.
"Enjoy the hospitable entertainment of a political graveyard."
Henry L. Clinton, Apollo Hall, New York City, February 3, 1872
The Political Graveyard

The Political Graveyard is a web site about U.S. political history and cemeteries. Founded in 1996, it is the Internet's most comprehensive free source for American political biography, listing 320,919 politicians, living and dead.
  The coverage of this site includes (1) the President, Vice President, members of Congress, elected state and territorial officeholders in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories; and the chief elected official, typically the mayor, of qualifying municipalities; (2) candidates at election, including primaries, for any of the above; (3) all federal judges and all state appellate judges; (4) certain federal officials, including the federal cabinet, diplomatic chiefs of mission, consuls, U.S. district attorneys, collectors of customs and internal revenue, members of major federal commissions; and political appointee (pre-1969) postmasters of qualifying communities; (5) state and national political party officials, including delegates, alternate delegates, and other participants in national party nominating conventions; (6) Americans who served as "honorary" consuls for other nations before 1950. Note: municipalities or communities "qualify", for Political Graveyard purposes, if they have at least half a million person-years of history, inclusive of predecessor, successor, and merged entities.  
  The listings are incomplete; development of the database is a continually ongoing project.  
  Information on this page — and on all other pages of this site — is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. Users are advised to check with other sources before relying on any information here.  
  The official URL for this page is: https://politicalgraveyard.com/death/sports.html.  
  Links to this or any other Political Graveyard page are welcome, but specific page addresses may sometimes change as the site develops.  
  If you are searching for a specific named individual, try the alphabetical index of politicians.  
Copyright notices: (1) Facts are not subject to copyright; see Feist v. Rural Telephone. (2) Politician portraits displayed on this site are 70-pixel-wide monochrome thumbnail images, which I believe to constitute fair use under applicable copyright law. Where possible, each image is linked to its online source. However, requests from owners of copyrighted images to delete them from this site are honored. (3) Original material, programming, selection and arrangement are © 1996-2023 Lawrence Kestenbaum. (4) This work is also licensed for free non-commercial re-use, with attribution, under a Creative Commons License.
Site information: The Political Graveyard is created and maintained by Lawrence Kestenbaum, who is solely responsible for its structure and content. — The mailing address is The Political Graveyard, P.O. Box 2563, Ann Arbor MI 48106. — This site is hosted by HDL. — The Political Graveyard opened on July 1, 1996; the last full revision was done on March 8, 2023.

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