On This Day

Famous Birthdays on August 31


12 Caligula [Gaius Caesar], 3rd Roman Emperor (37-41 AD), born in Anzio, Italy (d. 41)


161 Commodus, Roman Emperor (180-192 AD), born in Lanuvium, Italy (d. 192)

  • 1569 Jahangir, 4th Mughal Emperor of India (1605-27), born in Fatehpur Sikri, Mughal Empire (d. 1627)
  • 1602 Amalia, countess of Solms-Braunfels, wife of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange
  • 1663 Guillaume Amontons, French physicist, born in Paris (d. 1705)
  • 1696 Johann Paul Kunzen, composer
  • 1721 George Hervey, 2nd Earl of Bristol, British statesman (d. 1775)
  • 1741 Johann Paul Aegidius Martini, composer, born in Freystadt, Germany (d. 1816)
  • 1741 Husein Gradaščević, Bosniak general, born in Gradačac, Bosnia and Herzegovina (d. 1834)
  • 1748 Jean-Etienne Despreaux, French ballet dancer and composer, born in Paris (d. 1820)
  • 1749 Alexander Radishchev, Russian writer (Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow), born in Moscow (1802)
  • 1755 Johann Ignaz Walter, German opera singer and composer, born in Perutz, Bohemia (d. 1822)
  • 1775 Francois de Paule Jacques Raymond de Fossa, French classical guitarist and composer, born in Perpignan, France (d. 1849)
  • 1811 Théophile Gautier, French writer, historian and poet (Albertus, La Chanson de Roland, Émaux et camées), born in Tarbes, France (d. 1872)
  • 1811 Goode Bryan, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Hancock County, Georgia (d. 1885)
  • 1821 Vaclav Hugo Zavrtal, Bohemian clarinetist, band leader, and composer, born in Polepy, Austrian Empire (now Czech Republic) (d. 1899)
  • 1821 Hermann von Helmholtz, German physician and physicist, born in Potsdam, Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1894)
  • 1822 Fitz John Porter, American Major General (Union Army), born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (d. 1901)
  • 1823 Galusha Aaron Grow, American politician, born in Ashford, Connecticut (d. 1907)
  • 1828 George Leonard Andrews, American professor, civil engineer, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts (d. 1899)
  • 1834 Amilcare Ponchielli, Italian composer (I Lituani; La Giaconda), born in Paderno Ponchielli, Italy (d. 1886)
  • 1843 Georg von Hertling, Chancellor of Germany (1917-18), born in Darmstadt, Germany (d. 1919)
  • 1847 Arthur Verhaegen, Belgian architect and worker's union leader, born in Brussels (d. 1917)
  • 1852 Joris Helleputte, Belgian Catholic minister, born in Ghent, Belgium (d. 1925)
  • 1855 Stefan Surzynski, Polish conductor and composer, born in Srem, Poland (d. 1919)
  • 1856 Nikoghayos Fadeyi Tigranyan, Armenian composer, born in Gyumri, Armenia (d. 1951)
  • 1864 Max Wilhelm Zach, Polish-American violinist and conductor (Boston Symphony 1896-1907; St. Louis Symphony, 1907-21), born in Lemberg, Galicia (now L’vov, Ukraine) (d. 1921)
  • 1869 Gregor MacGregor, English cricket wicket-keeper (8 Tests 1890-93) and Scottish rugby union player, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1919)

Maria Montessori

1870 Maria Montessori, Italian educator (spontaneous response), born in Chiaravalle, Marche, Italy (d. 1952)

  • 1871 James E. Ferguson, American Democratic politician and Texan Governor (1915-17), born in Salado, Texas (d. 1944)
  • 1874 Edward Thorndike, American psychologist (father of modern educational psychology), born in Williamsburg, Massachusetts (d. 1949)
  • 1877 Lizzie Arlington, American baseball pitcher (first woman to play professional men's baseball 1898 Reading Coal Heavers), born in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania (d. 1919)
  • 1878 Albert Riemenschneider, American pianist, educator, musicologist, and founder of America'a oldest Bach Festival, born in Berea, Ohio (d. 1950)
  • 1878 Frank Jarvis, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1900), born in California, Pennsylvania (d. 1933)
  • 1879 Yoshihito [Taishō], 123rd Emperor of Japan (1912-26), born in Akasaka Palace, Tokyo City, Japan (d. 1926)
  • 1879 Viktor Alexandrovich Uspensky, composer
  • 1879 Alma Schindler Mahler, Viennese composer and wife of Gustav Mahler, Walter Gropius and Franz Werfel, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1964)

Wilhelmina of the Netherlands

1880 Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Queen of the Netherlands (1890-1948), born in Noordeinde Palace, The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1962)

  • 1882 Charles O'Neill, Canadian composer and bandmaster, born in Duntocher, near Glasgow, (d. 1964)
  • 1884 George Al Sarton, Belgian-American chemist and historian, born in Ghent, Belgium (d. 1956)
  • 1885 DuBose Heyward, American novelist (Porgy, Star Spangled Virgin), born in Charleston, South Carolina (d. 1940)
  • 1887 Friedrich A Paneth, Austrian-British chemist, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1958)
  • 1888 Ramon de Basterra, Spanish writer and diplomat (La Obra de Trajano), born in Bilbao, Spain (d. 1928)
  • 1889 Bombardier Billy Wells [William Thomas Wells], English heavyweight boxer (Lonsdale Belt, 1911), born in London, England (d. 1967)
  • 1892 Claire DuBrey, American actress (Lightnin' in the Forest), born in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho (d. 1993)
  • 1893 Lily Laskine, French harpist, born in Paris (d. 1988)
  • 1894 Albert Facey, Australian writer (A Fortunate Life), born in Maidstone, Victoria, Australia (d. 1982)
  • 1895 Joseph Moiseyevich Schillinger, composer
  • 1896 Félix-Antoine Savard, French Canadian priest and novelist, born in Quebec, Canada (d. 1982)

Fredric March

1897 Fredric March, American actor (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Best Years of Our Lives), born in Racine, Wisconsin (d. 1975)

  • 1897 Marianne Bruns, German writer, born in Leipzig, Germany (d. 1994)
  • 1899 Paul E Garber, American founder/1st curator of National Air & Space Museum, born in Atlantic City, New Jersey (d. 1992)
  • 1899 Walter Muller von Kulm, Swiss composer, born in Basel, Switzerland (d. 1967)
  • 1900 Roland Culver, English actor (Thunderball, Encore), born in London, England (d. 1984)
  • 1900 Gino Lucetti, Italian anarchist, born in Carrara, Italy (d. 1943)

Arthur Godfrey

1903 Arthur Godfrey, American radio and TV host (Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scout), born in NYC, New York (d. 1983)

  • 1903 Vladimir Jankélévitch, French philosopher, born in Bourges, France (d. 1985)
  • 1905 Dore Schary, American producer, writer and director (Act 1, Boys Town, Big City), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 1958)
  • 1905 Sal Tas, Dutch journalist & CIA agent (Het Parool) [or 1897]
  • 1905 Sanford Meisner, American actor and teacher, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1997)
  • 1906 Vivienne Byerley, publicist
  • 1907 Augustus F. Hawkins, American politician (Rep-D-CA, 1963-75), born in Shreveport, Louisiana (d. 2007)

Ramon Magsaysay

1907 Ramon Magsaysay, 7th President of the Philippines (US Legion of Merit-1952), born in Iba, Zambales, Philippines (d. 1957)

  • 1907 William Shawn, American magazine editor (New Yorker, 1952-87), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1992)
  • 1907 Altiero Spinelli, Italian citizen and advocate of European federalism, born in Rome, Italy (d. 1986)
  • 1908 Peter Conrad Baden, composer
  • 1908 William Saroyan, American novelist and playwright (Time of Your Life), born in Fresno, California (d. 1981)
  • 1909 Marie-Louise Grog-Carven, French fashion designer (Ma Griffe perfume), born in Châtellerault, Poitou-Charentes (d. 2015)
  • 1911 Hilde Jarecki, educationist
  • 1912 Ramon Vinay, Chilean operatic tenor, born in Chillán, Chile (d. 1996)
  • 1913 Michiel P Gorsira, 1st Dutch Antillean in charge of Curacao (1951-67)
  • 1913 Sir Bernard Lovell, English radio astronomer, founded Jodrell Bank Observatory, born in Oldland Common, Bristol (d. 2012)
  • 1914 Richard Basehart, American actor (Voyage to Bottom of Sea), born in Zanesville, Ohio (d. 1984)
  • 1915 Pete Newell, American Basketball Hall of Fame coach (Uni of San Francisco, Michigan State Uni; NCAA Men's C'ship 1959, Cal Berkeley; Olympic gold 1960), born in Vancouver, Canada (d. 2008)
  • 1916 Daniel Schorr, American broadcast journalist (CBS), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2010)
  • 1918 Alan Jay Lerner, American Tony and Academy Award-winning lyricist (with Frederick Lerner - My Fair Lady; Gigi; Camelot), born in NYC, New York (d. 1986)
  • 1918 Lucrecia Roces Kasilag, composer
  • 1919 Amrita Preetam, Indian poet and author, born in Gujranwala, Pakistan (d. 2005)
  • 1920 James Lanphier, American actor (Flight of Lost Balloon), born in Hempstead, New York (d. 1969)
  • 1921 Raymond Williams, Welsh academic and novelist (Second Generation), born in Llanfihangel Crucorney, Wales (d. 1988)
  • 1923 Larry Grayson, British comedian (Generation Game), born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England (d. 1995)
  • 1924 Buddy [Leonard] Hackett, comedian (God's Little Acre, Music Man), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1924 Klaus Hashagen, composer
  • 1926 Georgiy Petrovich Katys, Russian cosmonaut (Voskhod 1 backup)
  • 1926 Jan de Koning, minister of Agriculture/Social Businesses (CDA)
  • 1928 James Coburn, American actor (Our Man Flint, Magnificent Seven), born in Laurel, Nebraska (d. 2002)
  • 1928 Jeremy Stephen Maas, writer/art dealer
  • 1929 Julio Ramon Ribeyro, writer
  • 1930 Owen B Pickett, American politician (Rep-D-Virginia 1987-2001), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 2010)
  • 1930 Dudley "Big Tiny" Little Jr, American pianist (Lawrence Welk Show), born in Worthington Minnesota (d. 2010)

Jean Béliveau

1931 Jean Béliveau, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame center (Hart Trophy 1956, 64; Art Ross Trophy 1956; Conn Smythe Trophy 1965; record 17 Stanley Cups), born in Trois-Rivieres Quebec (d. 2014)

  • 1931 Noble Willingham, American actor (Walker, Texas Ranger, The Corndog Man), born in Mineola, Texas (d. 2004)
  • 1932 Benito Wogatzki, writer
  • 1932 Robert [Franklin] Adams, American sci-fi author (Castaways in Time)
  • 1932 Roy Castle, English dancer and television entertainer (Record Breakers), born in Scholes, Yorkshire (d. 1994)
  • 1934 Nikos Xanthopoulos, Greek actor
  • 1935 Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther turned Republican

Frank Robinson

1935 Frank Robinson, American Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder, manager (14 x MLB All-Star; NL MVP 1961; AL MVP 1966; World Series 1966, 70; Baltimore Orioles), born in Beaumont, TX (d. 2019)

  • 1936 Marva Nettles Collins, educator (west side preparatory school)
  • 1936 Igor Zhukov, Russian pianist, conductor (Moscow Chamber Orchestra), and sound engineer, born in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod), Russia (d. 2018)
  • 1937 Guido de Moor, Dutch actor (Apart, Because the Cats)
  • 1937 Warren Berlinger, actor (Larry-Joey Bishop Shop, Take Two), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1938 Martin Bell, British journalist
  • 1939 Jerry Allison, American rock drummer, and songwriter (Buddy Holly & Crickets - "That'll Be The Day"), born in Hillsboro, Texas
  • 1939 Jim McCrary, American photographer and album cover artist (Tapestry: Ticket to Ride), born in Los Angeles (d. 2012)
  • 1939 Paul Winter, American new age music saxophonist, composer, and bandleader (The Paul Winter Consort), born in Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • 1940 Alain Calmat, French figure skater (Olympic silver 1964)
  • 1940 Jack Thompson [John Payne], Australian actor (Breaker Morant, The Man from Snowy River), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • 1940 Wilton Felder, American jazz-fusion saxophonist and bassist (The Crusaders), born in Houston, Texas (d. 2015)
  • 1941 Emanuel Nunes, composer
  • 1941 Henk Terlingen, Dutch radio/TV-host (Paul Meier Show)
  • 1941 William DeWitt, Jr., American businessman
  • 1942 Carole Wells, actress (Pistols 'n' Petticoats), born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • 1942 Isao Aoki, Japanese golfer (World Matchplay C'ship 1978), born in Abiko, Chiba, Japan,
  • 1942 Eugenio Trias, philosopher, born in Barcelona, Spain (d. 2013)
  • 1942 Barnyard Dawg [George P Dog], Warner Bros. cartoon character created by Robert McKimson (Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series), first debuts in "Walky Talky Hawky"
  • 1943 Leonid Ivashov, Russian general
  • 1944 Clive Lloyd, West Indies cricket batsman, captain (110 Tests; 7,515 runs @ 46.67), born in Georgetown, British Guiana
  • 1944 Jos LeDuc, Canadian professional wrestler (d. 1999)
  • 1944 Roger Dean, British artist and album cover designer (Yes; Osibia; Asia), born in Ashford, Kent, England
  • 1945 Bob Welch, American rock vocalist, guitarist (Fleetwood Mac), born in Hollywood, California (d. 2012)
  • 1945 Itzhak Perlman, Israeli Grammy Award-winning violinist, and polio survivor, born in Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1945 Leonid Ivanovich Popov, USSR, cosmonaut (Soyuz 35/37, 40, T-7)
  • 1945 (George Ivan)"Van" Morrison, Northern Irish singer-songwriter (Astral Weeks; "Moondance"; "Brown-Eyed Girl"), born in Bloomfield, Belfast
  • 1946 Jerome Corsi, American writer and conspiracy theorist, born in East Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1947 Mona Marshall, American voice actress
  • 1947 Luca di Montezemolo, Italian businessman
  • 1947 Yumiko Ōshima, Japanese manga artist
  • 1948 Harald Ertl, Austrian racing driver (d. 1982)
  • 1948 Lowell Ganz, American screenwriter
  • 1948 Holger Osieck, German footballer and coach
  • 1948 Rudolf Schenker, German rock guitarist (Scorpions - "Virgin Killer"), born in Hildesheim, Germany

Richard Gere

1949 Richard Gere, actor (Breathless, Cotton Club, Pretty Woman), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • 1949 Rick Roberts, American singer-songwriter (Flying Burrito Brothers; Firefall - "You Are The Woman"), born in Clearwater, Florida
  • 1949 Jim Fassel, American football coach (University of Utah 1985–89; New York Giants 1997-2003), born in Anaheim, California (d. 2021)
  • 1952 Bruce Soboroff, American rock keyboard player (Buckinghams, 1986-present), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1952 Herbert Reul, German politician
  • 1953 Marcia Clark [Kleks], LA DA (O.J. Simpson Case), born in Berkeley, California
  • 1953 Miguel Ángel Guerra, Argentine racing driver
  • 1953 György Károly, Hungarian author
  • 1954 Tula [Barry Kenneth Cossey], England, transsexual (For Your Eyes Only)
  • 1954 Claudell Washington, American baseball outfielder (MLB All Star 1975, 84; World Series 1974; Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2020)
  • 1955 Edwin Corley Moses, Dayton, 400m hurdler (Olympic 2 gold/br-76, 84, 88)

Tsai Ing-wen

1956 Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwanese politician, academic and 7th President of the Republic of China (Democratic Progressive Party: 2016-), born in Taipei, Taiwan

  • 1956 Masashi Tashiro, Japanese television performer
  • 1957 Gina Schock, American rock drummer (The Go-Go's - "Our Lips Are Sealed"; "Vacation"), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • 1957 Glenn Tilbrook, British rock singer, guitarist, songwriter (Squeeze - "Black Coffee In Bed": "Tempted"), born in London, England
  • 1957 Tom Candiotti, pitcher (LA Dodgers), born in Walnut Creek, California
  • 1957 Colm O'Rourke, Former Gaelic footballer and Current panelist
  • 1958 David H Mattheisen, Blue Island Ill, PhD/astronaut (STS 73 alt)
  • 1958 Serge Blanco, French rugby union footballer
  • 1959 Rachel Dennison, actress (Doralee Rhodes-9 to 5), born in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • 1959 Tony DeFranco, Canadian pop singer (The DeFranco Family - "Heartbeat - It's a Lovebeat"), born in Port Colborne, Ontario
  • 1960 Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese terrorist group Hizbollah, born in Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon
  • 1960 Vali Ionescu, Romanian long jumper
  • 1960 Chris Whitley, American blues-rock guitarist, singer and songwriter, born in Houston, Texas (d. 2005)
  • 1961 David Chastain, American heavy metal guitarist (Chastain - Rule of Wasteland), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1962 Dee Bradley Baker, American voice actor, born in Bloomington, Indiana
  • 1963 Richard "Reb" Beach, American heavy metal guitarist (Winger; Whitesnake), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1963 Sonny Silooy, soccer player (Ajax)
  • 1963 Todd Carty, Irish actor
  • 1964 Raymond P. Hammond, American poet and editor
  • 1965 Willie Watson, cricket pace bowler (NZ)
  • 1965 Daniel Bernhardt, Swiss actor
  • 1965 Céline Bonnier, French Canadian actress
  • 1966 Jeff Frye, infielder (Boston Red Sox), born in Oakland, California
  • 1966 Jan Einar Thorsen, Norwegian Alpine skier
  • 1968 Glenroy Gilbert, Trinidad, Canadian 4X100m sprinter (Olympic gold 1996)
  • 1968 Hideo Nomo, pitcher (LA Dodgers), born in Osaka, Japan
  • 1968 Jennifer Azzi, Oak Ridge Tenn, basketball guard (Olympic gold 1996)
  • 1968 Jim Bob Howard, American actor (Flash and Bone), born in Wichita Falls, Texas
  • 1968 Jolene Watanabe, tennis star (1994 Futures-Evansville), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1969 Andrei Trefilov, Kirovo Russia, NHL goalie (Buffalo Sabres, Olympic silver 1998)
  • 1969 Andrew Phillip Cunanan, serial killer (Gianni Versache)
  • 1969 Javagal Srinath, cricketer (Indian right-arm pace bowler since 1991)
  • 1969 Victor Alexander, NBA forward/center (NY Knicks)
  • 1969 Jonathan LaPaglia, Australian actor
  • 1970 Deborah (Debbie) Gibson, singer (Only in My Dreams), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1970 James Robinson, NBA guard (LA Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers)
  • 1970 Steve Nikataras, cricketer (left-arm pace bowler for NSW 1996-97)
  • 1970 Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, born in Kuwait City
  • 1970 Arie van Lent, Dutch-German footballer
  • 1970 Zack Ward, Canadian actor
  • 1971 Greg Jefferson, NFL defensive end (Philadelphia Eagles)
  • 1971 Mike Caldwell, NFL linebacker (Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals)
  • 1971 Pádraig Harrington, Irish golfer (British Open 2007-08, PGA C'ship 2008, Ryder Cup wins 2002, 04, 06, 10), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • 1971 Chris Tucker, American stand-up comedien and actor (Rush Hour), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1973 Priest Lauderdale, NBA center (Denver Nuggets)
  • 1973 Reggie Geary, NBA guard (San Antonio Spurs)
  • 1973 Scott Niedermayer, Edmonton, NHL defenseman (NJ Devils)
  • 1974 Andrei Medvedev, Russian tennis star (1991 French Open junior), born in Kiev, Ukraine

Marc Webb

1974 Marc Webb, American music video, TV, and film director (500 Days of Summer; The Amazing Spider-Man (2012-14 reboot)), born in Bloomington, Indiana

  • 1975 Raleigh Roundtree, tackle (San Diego Chargers)
  • 1975 Daniel Harding, British conductor (Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, 2007 to present), born in Oxford, England
  • 1975 Takahiro Suwa, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1975 James Black, Canadian singer-songwriter (Finger Eleven), born in Ontario, Canada
  • 1976 Vincent Delerm, French singer-songwriter, pianist and composer
  • 1976 Roque Júnior, Brazilian footballer (World Cup 2002), born in Santa Rita do Sapucaí, Brazil
  • 1977 Jeff Hardy, American professional wrestler
  • 1977 Ian Harte, Irish footballer