458 BC: The Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed when an eagle dropped a live tortoise on him, mistaking his bald head for a stone.
270 BC: The poet and grammarian Philetas of Cos reportedly wasted away and died of insomnia while brooding about the Liar paradox.
207 BC: Chrysippus, a Greek stoic philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after watching his drunken donkey attempt to eat figs.
64 - 67: St Peter was executed by the Romans. According to many sources, he asked not to be crucified in the normal way, but was instead executed on an inverted cross. This is the only recorded instance of this type of crucifixion.
260: According to some accounts, Roman emperor Valerian, after being defeated in battle and captured by the Persians, was used as a footstool by their king Shapur I. After a long period of mistreatment and humiliation, he offered Shapur a huge ransom for his release. In reply, Shapur had molten gold poured down Valerian's throat. He then had the unfortunate emperor skinned and his skin stuffed with straw or dung and preserved as a trophy in the main Persian temple. Only after Persia's defeat in their last war with Rome three and a half centuries later was his skin given a cremation and burial.
415: The ancient philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria was murdered by a mob of Christians by having her skin ripped off with sharp oyster-shells and what remained of her quivering limbs being burned.
 Middle Ages
1016: Edmund II of England was rumoured to have been stabbed in the gut or bowels while he was performing his ablutions.
1277: Pope John XXI was killed in the collapse of his scientific laboratory.
1327: Edward II of England, after being deposed and imprisoned by his Queen consort Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer, was rumored to have been murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus.
1478: George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence reportedly was executed by drowning in a barrel of Malmsey wine. 
1498: Charles VIII, King of France, died on May the 1st while watching a game of Longue paume played below his castle, the Château d'Amboise : he was running along a balcony when his head hit a stone door frame.
 Early Modern Times
1514: György Dózsa, leader of a peasants' revolt in the Kingdom of Hungary, was roasted alive on a white hot iron chair. His captured companions were forced to eat his flesh.
1559: King Henry II of France was killed during a stunt knight's jousting match, when his helmet's soft golden grille gave way to a broken lancetip which pierced his eye and entered his brain.
1601: Tycho Brahe, according to legend, died of complications resulting from a strained bladder at a banquet. It would have been extremely bad etiquette to leave the table before the meal was finished, so he stayed until he became fatally ill. This version of events has since been brought into question as other causes of death (murder by Johannes Kepler or perhaps suicide) have come to the fore.
1671: François Vatel, chef to Louis XIV, committed suicide because his seafood order was late and he couldn't stand the shame of a postponed meal. His body was discovered by an aide, sent to tell him of the arrival of the fish.
1687: Jean-Baptiste Lully, composer, died of a gangrenous abscess after piercing his foot with a staff while he was vigorously conducting a Te Deum. The performance was to celebrate the king's recovery from an illness.
1716: Banda Bahadur, a Sikh military leader, was tortured and executed by gouging his eyes out, followed by slashing his limbs off. The executioner went on to tear his flesh off with red-hot pincers.
1753: Professor Georg Wilhelm Richmann, of Saint Petersburg, Russia, was struck and killed by a globe of ball lightning while observing a storm.
1771: King of Sweden, Adolf Frederick, died of digestion problems on February 12, 1771 after having consumed a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sour cabbage, smoked herring and champagne, which was topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: semla served in a bowl of hot milk. He is thus remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as "the king who ate himself to death."
1799: Constantine Hangerli, Prince of Wallachia, was arrested by a kapucu and a Moor, and immediately executed by being strangled, shot, stabbed, and decapitated in quick succession.
 Modern Age
 19th century
1834: David Douglas, Scottish botanist, fell into a pit trap accompanied by a bull. He was mauled and possibly crushed.
1884: Allan Pinkerton, detective, died of gangrene resulting from having bitten his tongue after stumbling on the sidewalk.
1899: French president Félix Faure died of a stroke while being fellated in his office.
 20th century
1911: Jack Daniel, founder of the Tennessee whiskey distillery, died of blood poisoning six years after receiving a toe injury when he kicked his safe in anger at being unable to remember its combination code.
1916: Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic, died of drowning while trapped under ice. Although the details of his murder are disputed, he was allegedly placed in the water through a hole in the winter ice after having been poisoned, bludgeoned, castrated, and shot multiple times in the head, lung, and liver.
1920: Baseball player Ray Chapman was killed when he was hit in the head by a pitch. He remains the only Major League Baseball player to date to have been killed in a game.
1923: Frank Hayes, jockey, suffered a heart attack during a horse race. The horse, Sweet Kiss, went on to finish first, making Hayes the only deceased jockey to win a race.
1925: Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart, a circus strongman and Jewish folklore hero died during a demonstration in which he drove a spike through five one-inch thick oak boards using only his bare hands when his knee was accidentally pierced. The spike was rusted and caused an infection which led to fatal blood poisoning. He was the subject of the Werner Herzog film, Invincible.
1927: J.G. Parry-Thomas, a British racing driver, was decapitated by his car's drive chain which, under stress, snapped and whipped into the cockpit. He was attempting to break his own Land speed record which he had set the previous year. Despite being killed in the attempt, he succeeded in setting a new record of 171 mph.
1927: Isadora Duncan, dancer, died of accidental strangulation and broken neck when her scarf caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger.
1928: Alexander Bogdanov, a Russian physician, died following one of his experiments, in which the blood of a student suffering from malaria and tuberculosis, L. I. Koldomasov, was given to him in a transfusion.
1933: Michael Malloy, a homeless man, was murdered by gassing after surviving multiple poisonings, intentional exposure and being struck by a car. Malloy was murdered by five men in a plot to collect on life insurance policies they had purchased.
1935: Baseball player Len Koenecke was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher by the crew of an aircraft he had chartered, after provoking a fight with the pilot while the plane was in the air.
1941: Sherwood Anderson, writer, swallowed a toothpick at a party and then died of peritonitis.
1943: Lady be Good, a USAAF B-24 bomber lost its way and crash landed in the Libyan Desert. Mummified remains of its crew, who struggled for a week without water, were not found until 1960.
1943: Critic Alexander Woollcott suffered a fatal heart attack during a on-air discussion about Adolf Hitler.
1944: Inventor and chemist Thomas Midgley, Jr., accidentally strangled himself with the cord of a pulley-operated mechanical bed of his own design.
1947: The Collyer brothers, extreme cases of compulsive hoarders were found dead in their home in New York. The younger brother, Langley, died by falling victim to a booby trap he had set up, causing a mountain of objects, books, and newspapers to fall on him crushing him to death. His blind brother, Homer, who had depended on Langley for care, died of starvation some days later. Their bodies were recovered after massive efforts in removing many tons of debris from their home.
1958: Gareth Jones, actor, collapsed and died while in make-up between scenes of a live television play, Underground, at the studios of Associated British Corporation in Manchester. Director Ted Kotcheff continued the play to its conclusion, improvising around Jones's absence.
1960: Baritone Leonard Warren collapsed on the stage of the New York Metropolitan Opera of a major stroke during a performance of La forza del destino. The last line he sang was "Morir? Tremenda cosa." ("To die? A tremendous thing.")
1960: In the Nedelin disaster, over 100 Soviet missile technicians and officials died when a switch was turned on unintentionally igniting the rocket, including Red Army Marshal Nedelin who was seated in a deck chair just 40 meters away overseeing launch preparations. The events were filmed by automatic cameras.
1967: A flash fire began in the pure oxygen atmosphere during a training exercise inside the unlaunched Apollo 1 spacecraft, killing Command Pilot Virgil I. Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee.
1967 Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die during a space mission after the parachute of his capsule failed to deploy.
1967: Harold Holt, the serving Prime Minister of Australia, vanished while swimming off a beach at Portsea near Melbourne. His body was never found.
1971: Jerome Irving Rodale, an American pioneer of organic farming, died of a heart attack while being interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show. When he appeared to fall asleep, Cavett quipped "Are we boring you, Mr. Rodale?". The show was never broadcast.
1972: Leslie Harvey, guitarist of Stone the Crows was electrocuted on stage by a live microphone.
1974: Christine Chubbuck, an American television news reporter committed suicide during a live broadcast on July 15. At 9:38 AM, 8 minutes into her talk show, on WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida, she drew out a revolver and shot herself in the head.
1975: On 24 March 1975 Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old bricklayer from King's Lynn literally died laughing whilst watching an episode of The Goodies. According to his wife, who was a witness, Mitchell was unable to stop laughing whilst watching a sketch in the episode "Kung Fu Kapers" in which Tim Brooke-Taylor, dressed as a kilted Scotsman, used a set of bagpipes to defend himself from a psychopathic black pudding in a demonstration of the Scottish martial art of "Hoots-Toot-ochaye." After twenty-five minutes of continuous laughter Mitchell finally slumped on the sofa and expired from heart failure.
1976: Keith Relf, former singer for British rhythm and blues band The Yardbirds, died while practicing his electric guitar, electrocuted because the guitar was not properly grounded .
1977: Tom Pryce, a Formula One driver, and a 19-year-old track marshal Jansen Van Vuuren both died at the 1977 South African Grand Prix after Van Vuuren ran across the track beyond a blind brow to attend to another car which had caught fire and was struck by Pryce's car at approximately 170mph. Pryce was hit in the face by the marshal's fire extinguisher and was killed instantly.
1978: Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident, was assassinated by poisoning in London by an unknown assailant who jabbed him in the calf with a specially modified umbrella that fired a metal pellet with a small cavity full of ricin poison.
1978: Janet Parker, a British medical photographer, died of smallpox in 1978, ten months after the disease was eradicated in the wild, when a researcher at the laboratory Parker worked at accidentally released some virus into the air of the building. She is believed to be the last smallpox fatality in history.
1981: A 25-year-old Dutch woman studying in Paris, Renée Hartevelt, was killed and eaten by a classmate, Issei Sagawa, when he invited her to dinner for a literary conversation. The killer was declared unfit to stand trial and extradited back to Japan, where he was released from custody within fifteen months.
1981: Boris Sagal, a motion picture-director, died while shooting the TV miniseries World War III when he walked into the tail-rotor blade of a helicopter and was mortally injured.
1982: Vic Morrow, actor, was decapitated by a helicopter blade during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie, along with two child actors, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen.
1982: Vladimir Smirnov, an Olympic champion fencer, died of brain damage nine days after his opponent's foil snapped during a match, pierced his eyeball and entered his brain.
1983: A diver on the Byford Dolphin oil exploration rig violently exploded when the decompression chamber was accidentally opened, causing explosive decompression.
1983: Tennessee Williams, American playwright, died choking on a bottle cap. He was in a hotel but was too drunk to leave his room or make sufficient noise to attract attention.
1983: Sergei Chalibashvili, a professional diver, died after a diving accident during World University Games. When he attempted a three-and-a-half reverse somersault in the tuck position, he smashed his head on the board and was knocked unconscious. He died after being in a coma for a week.
1984: Jon-Erik Hexum, an American television actor, died after he shot himself in the head with a prop gun during a break in filming. Whether he committed suicide or was simply unaware of the potentially deadly effects of the blank round was not determined.
1987: R. Budd Dwyer, a Republican politician, committed suicide during a televised press conference. Facing a potential 55-year jail sentence for alleged involvement in a conspiracy, Dwyer shot himself in the mouth with a revolver.
1990: Joseph W. Burrus, aged 32, an aspiring magician, decided to perform the "buried alive" illusion in a plastic box covered with cement. The cement crushed the box and he died of asphyxia. 
1990: George Allen, an American football coach, died a month after some of his players dumped a Gatorade bucket on him following a victory (as it is tradition in American Football), resulting in pneumonia.
1993: Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by a prop .44 Magnum gun while filming the movie The Crow. The scene involved the firing of a full-powder blank (full charge of gunpowder, but no bullet) at Brandon's character. Unknown to the film crew/firearms technician, a bullet was already lodged in the barrel.
1996: Sharon Lopatka, an internet entrepreneur from Maryland who alledegly solicited a man via the Internet to torture and kill her for the purpose of sexual gratification. Her killer, Robert Fredrick Glass, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the homicide.
1998: Tom and Eileen Lonergan were stranded while scuba diving with a group of divers off Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The group's boat accidentally abandoned them due to an incorrect head count taken by the dive boat crew. The couple was left to fend for themselves in shark-infested waters. Their bodies were never recovered. The incident is described in the film Open Water.
 21st century
2001: Bernd-Jürgen Brandes was stabbed repeatedly in the neck and then eaten by Armin Meiwes. Before the killing, both men dined on Brandes' severed *****. Brandes had answered an internet advertisement by Meiwes looking for someone for this purpose. Brandes explicitly stated in his will that he wished to be killed and eaten. This is referred to in the song "Mein Teil" by German heavy-metal band Rammstein.
2003: Brian Wells, a pizza delivery man, was killed by a time bomb which was fastened around his neck. He was apprehended by the police after robbing a bank, and claimed he had been forced to do it by three people who had put the bomb around his neck and would kill him if he refused. The bomb then exploded, killing him.
2003: Brandon Vedas died of a drug overdose while engaged in an Internet chat, as shown on his webcam.
2003: Timothy Treadwell, an American environmentalist who had lived in the wilderness among bears for thirteen summers in a remote region in Alaska, was killed and partially consumed by bears, along with his girlfriend Amie Huguenard. The incident is described in Werner Herzog's documentary film Grizzly Man.
2005: Kenneth Pinyan of Seattle died of acute peritonitis after submitting to anal intercourse with a stallion in the town of Enumclaw, Washington. Pinyan had done this before, and he delayed his visit to the hospital for several hours out of reluctance for official cognizance. The case led to the criminalization of bestiality in Washington.
2005: 28-year-old Korean video game addict Lee Seung Seop collapsed in an Internet cafe after playing Starcraft and World of Warcraft for almost 50 consecutive hours.
2006: Steve Irwin, a television personality and naturalist known as The Crocodile Hunter, died when his heart was impaled by a short-tail stingray barb while filming in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. 
2006: Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB operative and Russian expatriate who had been investigating the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, was poisoned by polonium-210, an extremely rare radioactive metalloid.
2006: Mariesa Weber, a 5'3" Florida woman, fell behind a 6' tall bookcase in her family's home and suffocated. She was not discovered for 11 days; her family thought she had been kidnapped. 
2007: Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old woman from Sacramento, died of water intoxication while trying to win a Nintendo Wii in a KDND 107.9 "The End" radio station's "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest, which involved drinking large quantities of water without urinating.