To establish an effective nomogram for predicting in-hospital mortality of COVID-19, a retrospective cohort study was conducted in two hospitals in Wuhan, China, with a total of 4,086 hospitalized COVID-19 cases. All patients have reached therapeutic endpoint (death or discharge). First, a total of 3,022 COVID-19 cases in Wuhan Huoshenshan hospital were divided chronologically into two sets, one (1,780 cases, including 47 died) for nomogram modeling and the other (1,242 cases, including 22 died) for internal validation. We then enrolled 1,064 COVID-19 cases (29 died) in Wuhan Taikang-Tongji hospital for external validation. Independent factors included age (HR for per year increment: 1.05), severity at admission (HR for per rank increment: 2.91), dyspnea (HR: 2.18), cardiovascular disease (HR: 3.25), and levels of lactate dehydrogenase (HR: 4.53), total bilirubin (HR: 2.56), blood glucose (HR: 2.56), and urea (HR: 2.14), which were finally selected into the nomogram. The C-index for the internal resampling (0.97, 95% CI: 0.95-0.98), the internal validation (0.96, 95% CI: 0.94-0.98), and the external validation (0.92, 95% CI: 0.86-0.98) demonstrated the fair discrimination ability. The calibration plots showed optimal agreement between nomogram prediction and actual observation. We established and validated a novel prognostic nomogram that could predict in-hospital mortality of COVID-19 patients.