Birthdays in History on May 17

  • 1155 Jien, Japanese poet and historian (d. 1225)
  • 1443 Edmund, Earl of Rutland, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of England
  • 1451 Engelbert II, earl of Nassau-Dillenburg-Dietz/viceroy of Luxembourg

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1490 Albert of Prussia, 1st Duke of Prussia, born in Ansbach (d. 1568)

Duke of Prussia Albert of Prussia
Duke of Prussia
Albert of Prussia
  • 1551 Martin Delrio, Flemish theologian and occultist (d. 1608)
  • 1576 Ferdinand van Apshoven, the Older, Flemish painter, baptized
  • 1628 Archduke Ferdinand Charles of Austria, Regent of the Tyrol (d. 1662)
  • 1682 Bartholomew Roberts, Welsh pirate (d. 1722)
  • 1691 Antoine Court, French reformed theologist
  • 1706 Andreas Felix von Oefele, German historian and librarian (d. 1780)
  • 1718 Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, English diplomat and politician (d. 1778)
  • 1741 John Penn, US attorney (signed Declaration of Independence) [OS=May 6]
  • 1743 Seth Warner, American revolutionary leader (d. 1784)
  • 1749 Edward Jenner, English physician, father of immunology, pioneered smallpox vaccinations, born in Berkeley (d. 1823)
  • 1758 John St Aubyn, British fossil collector (d. 1839)
  • 1768 Caroline, Brunswick, Queen Consort of King George IV
  • 1768 Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, English general (d. 1854)
  • 1794 Anna Brownell Jameson, writer, born in Dublin, Ireland
  • 1796 Martinus J Niewindt, bishop of Curacao (advocate for fair treatment and abolition of slavery)
  • 1803 Robert Smith Surtees, novelist
  • 1804 Ottho G Heldring, Dutch vicar/reformer (Heldring Institutions)
  • 1812 Joseph Warren Revere, Brigadier General (Union volunteers), (d. 1880)
  • 1821 Sebastian Kneipp, German naturopathist (d. 1897)
  • 1836 Joseph Norman Lockyer, discoverer (Helium)/founder (Nature magazine)
  • 1836 Wilhelm Steinitz, Austria, world chess champion (1866-94)
  • 1836 Virginie Loveling, Belgian writer and poet (d. 1923)
  • 1844 Julius Wellhausen, German biblical scholar (d. 1918)
  • 1846 Edmund Bishop, English secretary of Thomas Carlyle
  • 1867 Gerrit Mannoury, Dutch mathematician/philosopher
  • 1868 Horace Elgin Dodge, American automobile manufacturer (d. 1920)
  • 1871 Henricus P Bremmer, art historian (Modern Kunstwerken)
  • 1873 Dorothy Miller Richardson, Abingdon Berkshire, novelist
  • 1873 Henri Barbusse, Asnieres France, novelist (Le Feu)
  • 1879 Simon Petlyura, Ukrainian independence fighter (d. 1926)
  • 1886 Alfonso XIII of Spain (d. 1941)
  • 1889 Alfonso Reyes, Mexican poet/historian/diplomat (Higenia Cruel)
  • 1891 Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife (d. 1959)
  • 1893 Frederick McKinley Jones, American inventor (developments in refrigeration), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1961)
  • 1896 Hannah Tillich, writer
  • 1897 Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1981)
  • 1898 Alfred Joseph Casson, Canadian painter (d. 1992)
  • 1903 Douglas Packard, British Lt General
  • 1906 Eric Mensforth, president (Westland Aircraft)
  • 1907 Charles Cawley, British chief scientist/minister of power
  • 1909 Edward Playfair, British senior civil servant
  • 1911 Knut Anders Haukfield, SOE Operative
  • 1912 Archibald Cox, special prosecutor (Watergate)
  • 1913 Alec Ogilvie, CEO (Powell Duffryn)
  • 1913 Lord Hirshfield, chartered accountant
  • 1915 Joseph D Craggs, electrical engineer
  • 1916 Cornelis A Eman, Aruban politician
  • 1916 John Hinde, photographer/circus promoter
  • 1919 Merle Miller, American biographer (d. 1986)
  • 1920 Harriet Van Horne, columnist/panelist (Leave it to Girls), born in Syracuse, New York
  • 1921 Dennis Brain, french-hornist (Serenade), born in London, England
  • 1921 John Garlick, British senior civil servant
  • 1923 Michael Beetham, Marshal (RAF)
  • 1923 Miles Wingate, deputy master (Trinity House)
  • 1924 Lord Tombs, CEO (Rolls Royce)
  • 1924 Thomas Baird, vice-admiral
  • 1926 Cicely Berry, voice director (Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • 1926 David Young, Lt-Gen/CEO (Cairn Tech)
  • 1926 David Ogilvy, Earl of Airlie, Scottish peer, Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth, born in London
  • 1926 Geoffrey Caston, vice chancellor (U of South Pacific)
  • 1927 Ronald Halstead, deputy CEO (British Steel)
  • 1928 Donald Cameron Watt, historian
  • 1928 Ian Griggs, bishop (Ludlow)
  • 1928 Vivian Moses, biotechnologist
  • 1929 Raymond Hide, geophysicist
  • 1929 George Weinberg, American psychotherapist (coined "homophobia"), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1932 Arthur Jones, principal (Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester)
  • 1932 Colin Hope, British industrialist (Turner and Newall), born in Birkenhead (d. 2015)
  • 1932 Rodric Braithwaite, British ambassador to USSR
  • 1935 Dennis Christopher George Potter, playwright (Karaoke, Midnight Movie)
  • 1935 Ivan Slone, world-famous watchmaker
  • 1936 Lars Gustafsson, writer
  • 1937 Hazel R. O'Leary, United States Secretary of Energy
  • 1938 Trinus Riemersma, Dutch-Frisian writer (Conquest of Leeuwarden)
  • 1939 Wim de Bie, CEO (Simplistic Covenant)
  • 1939 Gary Paulsen, American author

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1940 Alan Kay, American computer scientist (GUI design and object-oriented programming), born in Springfield, Massachusetts

Computer scientist Alan Kay
Computer scientist
Alan Kay
  • 1941 Ben Nelson. American politician
  • 1942 Caroline Charles, fashion designer
  • 1944 Canon P B Price, general secretary, USPG
  • 1945 D A S Pennefather, Maj-General/Commandant (General Royal Marines)
  • 1945 George Miller, (Rep-D-CA, 1975- )
  • 1946 F. Paul Wilson, American novelist
  • 1949 Timothy Cordy, British director (Town/Country Planning Association)
  • 1950 Alan Johnson, British politician (Home Secretary 2009-10), born in London
  • 1950 Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian politician
  • 1951 I R Evans, CEO (Hyder, Welsh Water)
  • 1951 Simon Hughes, British politician and government minister (SD)
  • 1952 Howard Hampton, Canadian politician
  • 1953 Nicholas Bacon, premier baronet of England
  • 1954 John Iles, dolby supervisor (Elephant Man, Richard III)
  • 1956 Dave Sim, Canadian cartoonist
  • 1962 Lise Lyng Falkenberg, Danish writer
  • 1965 Richard Baumhammers, American spree killer
  • 1970 Matt Lindland, American mixed martial arts fighter
  • 1975 Cheick Kongo, French martial artist
  • 1975 Jonti Picking, British cartoonist
  • 1978 Paddy Kenny, Irish goalkeeper
  • 1980 Davor Džalto, Serbian art historian
  • 1984 Christine Robinson, Canadian water polo player