DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Miguel de Cervantes (aged 68)
Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616 NS) was a Spanish writer who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world’s preeminent novelists. His novel Don Quixote has been translated into over 140 languages and dialects; it is, after the Bible, the most-translated book in the world.
DEATH: Cervantes died in Madrid on 22 April 1616 and was buried the next day, 23 April. The cause of his death, according to Antonio López Alonso, a modern physician who has examined the surviving documentation, was type 2 diabetes, a result of a cirrhosis of the liver. This is the best explanation for the intense thirst he complained of. The cirrhosis was not caused by alcoholism; Cervantes was too productive, especially in his final years, to have been an alcoholic. For many years, some references listed 23 April 1616 as the date of his death, and that is still the date when his death is widely commemorated (along with that of William Shakespeare, though the date for Cervantes was according to the Gregorian Calendar while the date for Shakespeare was according to the Julian Calendar, and therefore 10 days later in real time).