Birthdays in History on April 17

  • 1278 Michael IX Palaeologus, co-ruling Eastern Roman Emperor (d. 1320)
  • 1539 Tobias Stimmer, Swiss painter/cartoonist (Comedia)
  • 1573 Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria (d. 1651)
  • 1586 John Ford, English dramatist ('Tis Pity She's a Whore)
  • 1598 Giovanni Riccioli, Italian astronomer (d. 1671)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1620 Marguerite Bourgeoys, French founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame (first Canadian saint), born in Troyes, France (d. 1700)

First Canadian Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys
First Canadian Saint
Marguerite Bourgeoys
  • 1622 Henry Vaughan, English poet (Silex Scintillans)
  • 1644 Abraham Jansz Storck, painter, baptized
  • 1666 Francois Valentijn, Dutch vicar/writer
  • 1676 Frederik I, van Hessen Kassel, King of Sweden (1720-51)
  • 1699 Robert Blair, Scottish poet (Grave)
  • 1710 Henry Erskine, 10th Earl of Buchan, British Freemason (d. 1767)
  • 1734 Taksin, King of Thailand (d. 1782)
  • 1741 Samuel Chase, judge (signed Declaration of Independence)
  • 1750 François de Neufchâteau, French statesman and intellectual figure (d. 1828)
  • 1788 Joseph Gilbert Totten, Bvt Major General (Union Army), (d. 1864)
  • 1794 Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, German botanist (d. 1868)
  • 1798 Étienne Bobillier, French mathematician (d. 1840)
  • 1809 Philip St George Cocke, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1861)
  • 1813 Henry Washington Benham, Bvt Major General (Union Army), (d. 1884)
  • 1816 Thomas Hazlehurst, English Methodist chapel builder (d. 1876)
  • 1827 French C Baeckelmans, Flemish architect (St Amanduskerk, Antwerp)
  • 1837 J. P. Morgan, American banker/CEO (US Steel Corporation), born in Hartford, Connecticut
  • 1842 Maurice Rouvier, French statesman (d. 1911)
  • 1845 Isabel Barrows, US, editor/penologist (Conference on Negro Question)
  • 1849 William R. Day, American diplomat and Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (d. 1923)
  • 1863 Augustus Edward Hough Love, English mathematician (d. 1940)
  • 1865 Ursula Julia Ledochowska, Polish-Austrian Catholic saint (d. 1939)
  • 1866 Ernest Starling, British physiologist (d. 1927)
  • 1868 Charles R Gallas, Dutch lexicographer (French dictionary)
  • 1869 Johannes M Meulenhoff, Dutch publisher
  • 1870 Ray Stannard Baker, US, journalist (Puliter Prize 1940)
  • 1876 Ian Hay, Scotland, novelist/playwright (PIp, Carrying On)
  • 1877 Matsudaira Tsuneo, Japanese diplomat (d. 1949)
  • 1881 Anton Wildgans, writer
  • 1884 Leo Frank, American convict, hanged in 1915 by a lynch mob
  • 1885 Karen Blixen-Finecke, [pen name Isak Dinesen], Danish writer (Out of Africa)
  • 1892 Jean PJC Haesaert, Flemish lawyer/sociologist
  • 1897 Antonius F "Anton" Coolen, Dutch author (Village by the River)
  • 1897 Thornton N Wilder, US, novelist/playwright (Our Town)
  • 1899 Vincent Wigglesworth, entomologist
  • 1901 George Keyt, Sri Lankan painter, born in Ceylon (d. 1993)
  • 1902 Jaime Torres Bodet, Mexican politician (d. 1974)
  • 1906 M Rooi, editor-in-chief (New Rotterdam Daily)
  • 1906 Sidney R. Garfield, American physician (d. 1984)
  • 1909 Alain Emile Louis Marie Poher, politician
  • 1909 Humphrey Sims Moore, pacifist/journalist
  • 1911 Jean-Pierre Herve Bazin, writer
  • 1911 Mikhail Botvinnik, of USSR, world chess champion (1948-63)
  • 1912 Isador Caplan, lawyer/Aldeburgh Festival Pioneer
  • 1914 George W. Davis, American art director (d. 1984)
  • 1915 Joe Foss, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, American fighter ace (Medal of Honor-1943) and politician (d. 2003)
  • 1916 Azijn Banana, [Oscar Enau], Antillean publicist
  • 1916 David Stafford-Clark, psychiatrist
  • 1916 Donald Gibson, British vice-admiral
  • 1916 Ryoei Saito, businessman
  • 1916 Sirimavo Bandaranaike, world's 1st woman PM (Sri Lanka, 1960..77)
  • 1916 Vinegar Banana, [Oscar Enau], Antillean publicist
  • 1917 Bill Clements, American politician
  • 1919 Gilles Lamontagne, French Canadian politician
  • 1920 Bengt N Anderberg, Swedish poet/writer (Kain)
  • 1920 Joan "Maudie" Warburton, painter
  • 1921 Donald Barron, CEO (Midland Bank)
  • 1923 Lindsay Anderson, Bangalore India, director (Thursday's Children)
  • 1923 Lloyd Biggle Jr, US, sci-fi author (Silence is Deadly)
  • 1923 Norman Potter, cabinetmaker designer/writer
  • 1924 Patrick Sergeant, founder (Euromoney Publications)
  • 1924 Althea T L Simmons, human rights activist/chief lobbyist (NAACP)
  • 1925 Anne Harris, CEO (National Federation of Women's Institutes)
  • 1925 John Yates, bishop (Lambeth England)
  • 1926 Arthur Hockaday, director-Gen (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
  • 1926 G M Hughes, professor/zoologist
  • 1926 Michael Vernon, CEO (RNLI)
  • 1928 Cynthia Ozick, US, author (Pagan Rabbi & Other Stories)
  • 1929 Eileen Stamers-Smith, headmistress (Malvern Girls' College)
  • 1929 Lady (James) Mellon, CEO (Volunteer Development Scotland)
  • 1931 Joan Clague, director of nursing services (Marie Curie Foundation)
  • 1931 John Chalstrey, alderman/Lord Mayor (London)
  • 1931 Joyce Molyneux, British chef and author
  • 1931 Ruth Etchells, principal (St John's College-Durham)
  • 1932 Han J A Hansen [Jansen], Dutch journalist (King Comes!)
  • 1932 Ramsay Melhuish, diplomat
  • 1933 Penelope Lively, writer
  • 1937 Brian Sedgemore, British MP
  • 1937 Daffy Duck, animated character
  • 1937 Eduard N Stepanov, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1937 Terry Dicks, British MP
  • 1937 Ferdinand Piëch, Austrian-German automotive engineer and executive
  • 1938 David Dilks, vice-chancellor (Hull U)
  • 1938 K M P O'Brien, archbishop (St Andrews & Edinburgh)
  • 1938 Ben Barnes, American politician
  • 1938 Kerry Wendell Thornley, co-founder of Discordianism
  • 1941 Max Stafford-Clark, artistic director (Royal Court Theatre)
  • 1942 Mario Brenta, writer/director (Maicol, Barnabo of the Mountains)
  • 1945 Vincent A M van der Burg, Dutch MP (CDA)
  • 1946 J R Baines, professor (Egyptologist)
  • 1952 Željko Ražnatović, Serbian warlord (d. 2000)
  • 1955 Pete Shelley, vocal/guitar (Buzzcocks-Going Steady, Love Bites)
  • 1955 Peter Michalke, journalist
  • 1956 Faye Young, WBL forward (NY Stars, NJ Stars)
  • 1956 Kaye Young, WBL forward (NY Stars, NJ Stars)
  • 1956 Pillow, [Therese Joan Bell], California, bodybuilder (Gold Classic 1983)
  • 1957 Nick Hornby, English author
  • 1958 Sergei Yuriyevich Vozovikov, Russian major/cosmonaut
  • 1961 Frank J. Christensen, American labor leader
  • 1964 Raye Hollit, American Gladiator (Zap)
  • 1965 Yoshiki Kuroda, Japanese urban planner
  • 1967 Birgitta Jonsdottir, Icelandic politician, Head of the Pirate Party, born in Reykjavík
  • 1968 Maurits, Prince of Netherlands
  • 1977 Sizzla, Jamaican dancehall artist