Alexander Selkirk (1676-1721)

Death: 13th December 1721
Location: Buried at Sea
Cause of Death: Yellow Fever


Scottish sailor who spent more than four years as a castaway after being marooned on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific Ocean. The island, Más a Tierra, is in the uninhabited archipelago of Juan Fernández, 670km off the coast of Chile. By the time he was rescued, he had become adept at hunting and making use of the resources found on the island. His story of survival was widely publicised when he returned home, and likely became a source of inspiration for writer Daniel Defoe's fictional Robinson Crusoe.  
Selkirk was serving as master's mate on board HMS Weymouth, engaged in an anti-piracy patrol off the west coast of Africa, when he died on 13 December 1721, succumbing to the yellow fever that plagued the voyage. He was buried at sea. 
On 1 January 1966 Chilean President Eduardo Frei Montalva renamed Más a Tierra Robinson Crusoe Island, after Defoe's fictional character, in order to attract tourists. At the same time, the larger of the two main Juan Fernández Islands known as Más Afuera became Alejandro Selkirk Island, although Selkirk probably never saw that island as it is located 180 km (110 mi) to the west.

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)

Death: 3rd December 2000
Location: Lincoln Cemetery, Blue Island, Cook County, Illinois, United States(Section TLA)
Cause of death: Cancer

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American poet. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950 and was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968 and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985.
Brooks' first book of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville (1945) earned instant critical acclaim. She received her first Guggenheim Fellowship and was included as one of the “Ten Young Women of the Year” in Mademoiselle magazine. With her second book of poetry, Annie Allen (1950), she became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Edmond Rostand (1868-1918)

Death: 2nd December 1918
Location: Cimetière Saint-Pierre, Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France
Cause of death: 1918 Flu pandemic



French poet and dramatist. He is associated with neo-romanticism, and is best known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac (1897). In 1901, Rostand became the youngest writer to be elected to the Académie française.

Elisabeth Eybers (1915-2007)

Death: 1st December 2007
Location: Zorgvlied Cemetery, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

South African poet who wrote mainly in Afrikaans. She became the first Afrikaans woman to win the Hertzog Prize for poetry in 1934. She won the prize again in 1971. Her work has received many other awards in both South Africa and the Netherlands, including the Constantijn Huygens Prize in 1978 and the P. C. Hooft Award in 1991.

Jack Hemingway (John Hadley Nicanor Hemingway) (1923-2000)

Death: 1st December 2000
Location: Ketchum Cemetery, Ketchum, Blaine County, Idaho, United States
Cause of death: Complications following heart surgery

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Canadian-American fly fisherman, conservationist and writer. He was born in Toronto, Canada, the only child of American writer Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley Richardson. He would later gain two half-brothers, Patrick and Gregory, from Hemingway's marriage to Pauline Pfeiffer. Jack was named for his mother and for Spanish matador Nicanor Villalta y Serrés whom his father admired. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas were his godparents. 
Throughout his life, Jack Hemingway was an avid fly fisherman. He fished "most of North America's great trout streams" and several of the world's best salmon rivers, such as the Lærdalselvi River in Norway. A long-time resident of Idaho, he was a commissioner on the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. Idaho's trout stocks increased as a result of Hemingway's success in getting the state to adopt a catch and release fishing law.
He helped finish A Moveable Feast (1964)—his father's memoir of life in 1920s Paris—which was published three years after his father's death. Hemingway published an autobiography, Misadventures of a Fly Fisherman: My Life With and Without Papa, in 1986. A second volume of autobiography was released posthumously in 2002: A Life Worth Living: The Adventures of a Passionate Sportsman.