On This Day

Famous Birthdays on December 17

  • 1239 Kujō Yoritsugu, 5th shōgun of the Kamakura shogunate of Japan (d. 1256)
  • 1267 Emperor Go-Uda, 91st Emperor of Japan (d. 1324)
  • 1554 Ernest of Bavaria, Prince-elector-archbishop of the Archbishopric of Cologne, born in Munich (d. 1612)
  • 1619 Prince Rupert of the Rhine, German soldier, Commander in the English Civil War and first Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, born in Prague (d. 1682)
  • 1632 Anthony Wood, English antiquarian, born in Oxford, England (d. 1695)
  • 1685 Thomas Tickell, English writer and poet, born in Bridekirk, Cockermouth, England (d. 1740)
  • 1706 Gabrielle Chôtelet [La belle Emilie], French writer (Voltaire), born in Paris (d. 1749)
  • 1734 Georg Peter Weimar, German cantor and composer, born in Stotternheim (d. 1800)
  • 1734 William Floyd, American soldier who signed the US Declaration of Independence, born in Brookhaven, Province of New York (d. 1821)
  • 1734 Maria I of Portugal, Queen of Portugal and the Algarves, born in Ribeira Palace, Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal (d. 1816)
  • 1749 Domenico Cimarosa, Italian composer (Il Matrimonio Segreto), born in Aversa, Italy (d. 1801)
  • 1770 Johann Friedrich Schubert, German composer, born in Rudolstadt, Germany (d. 1811)
  • 1778 Humphry Davy, English chemist, studied electro-chemistry, invented the Davy lamp), born in Penzance, Cornwall, England (d. 1829)
  • 1796 Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Canadian novelist (The Clockmaker; or, The Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville), born in Windsor, Canada (d. 1865)
  • 1797 Joseph Henry, American scientist and pioneer of electromagnetism, born in Albany, New York (d. 1878)
  • 1800 Gergely Czuczor, Hungarian-Czech poet and translator (Great Hung dictionary), born in Andód (d. 1866)
  • 1807 John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet (Snow-bound), born in Haverhill, Massachusetts (d. 1892)
  • 1819 Samuel Jones, American Major General (Confederate Army), born in Powhatan County, Virginia (d. 1887)
  • 1820 Frederick Tracy Dent, American General (Union Army), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1892)
  • 1821 Frederick West Lander, American poet and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Salem, Massachusetts (d. 1862)
  • 1824 John Kerr, Scottish physicist and pioneer in the field of electro-optics (electro-visually Kerr-effect), born in Ardrossan, Scotland (d. 1907)
  • 1824 Manning Ferguson Force, American lawyer, judge and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 1899)
  • 1824 Thomas Starr King, NY, Unitarian clergyman (Christianity & Humanity)
  • 1830 Jules de Goncourt, French novelist (Germinie), wrote with his brother Edmond de Goncourt, born in Paris (d. 1870)
  • 1833 James T. Holtzclaw, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in McDonough, Georgia (d. 1893)
  • 1835 Alexander Agassiz, American biologist and geologist, born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland (d. 1910)
  • 1838 Berthold Tours, Dutch-English composer, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1897)
  • 1840 C. F. E. Horneman, Danish composer, born in Copenhagen (d. 1906)
  • 1842 Marius Sophus Lie, Norwegian mathematician (continous groups)
  • 1847 Émile Faguet, French writer and critic (d. 1916)
  • 1848 Frederick Grant Gleason, American composer, born in Middletown, Connecticut (d. 1903)
  • 1852 Herbert Beerbohm Tree, British actor and theatre manager (King John, Trilby), born in Kensington, London (d. 1917)
  • 1853 Émile Roux, French physician (d. 1933)
  • 1859 Paul César Helleu, French artist (d. 1927)
  • 1861 Fritz Volbach, German musicologist/conductor/composer
  • 1863 Ion Vidu, Romanian composer and conductor, born in Mânerău, Arad district (d. 1931)
  • 1864 (John) Felix Körling, Swedish composer and conductor, born in Kristdala, Sweden (d. 1937)
  • 1869 Nikolay Ivanovich Kazanli, composer
  • 1873 Ford Madox Ford, English novelist/editor (Inheritors)

Mackenzie King

1874 Mackenzie King, 10th Prime Minister of Canada (1921-30, and 1935-48), born in Berlin, Ontario (d. 1950)

10th Prime Minister of Canada Mackenzie King
10th Prime Minister of Canada
Mackenzie King
  • 1881 Aubrey Faulkner, South African cricket all-rounder (25 Tests, 4 x 100s, TS 204; Transvaal), born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (d. 1930)
  • 1881 Johannes CB "Jan" Sluyters, Dutch painter
  • 1883 Raimu [Jules Auguste Cesar Muraire], French actor (The Baker's Wife, Marius, Fanny), born in Toulon, Var, France (d. 1946)
  • 1887 Josef Lada, Czech painter (d. 1957)
  • 1887 Hermine Reuss, Empress of Germany and Duchess of Bohemia (d. 1947)
  • 1891 Robertson Hare, actor (Our Girl Friday, Banana Ridge), born in London, England
  • 1892 Sam Barry, American basketball coach (d. 1950)
  • 1893 Erwin Piscator, German stage director (Der Stellvertreter)
  • 1894 Arthur Fiedler, American conductor (Boston Pops), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1979)
  • 1894 Hans Henny Jahnn, writer
  • 1894 Hans [Henry] Kramers, Dutch theoretical physicist (quantum mechanics)
  • 1894 Willem Schermerhorn, Neth premier (1945-46)
  • 1894 David Butler, American director (April in Paris, Calamity Jane), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1895 Gerald Patterson, Australian tennis player (Wimbledon 1919, 21; Australian C'ships 1927), born in Melbourne, Victoria (d. 1967)
  • 1900 Lucijan Marija Škerjajanc, Slovene pianist/composer/conductor/teacher, born in Graz, Austria (d. 1973)
  • 1900 Mary Cartwright, English mathematician, born in Aynho, United Kingdom (d. 1998)
  • 1900 Katina Paxinou, Greek actress (La femme nue), born in Piraeus, Greece (d. 1973)
  • 1902 Albert Drach, Austrian-Jewish writer, born in Vienna (d. 1995)
  • 1903 Erskine Caldwell, American novelist (Tobacco Road, God's Little Acre), born in Moreland, Georgia (d. 1987)
  • 1903 Ray Noble, English bandleader, comedian and actor (The Very Thought of You), born in Brighton, Sussex, England (d. 1978)
  • 1904 Paul Cadmus, etcher/painter (Sailors & Floozies), born in NYC, New York
  • 1905 Joseph Heifitz, film director
  • 1905 Simo Häyhä, Finnish sniper (d. 2002)
  • 1905 Érico Lopes Veríssimo, Brazilian writer (d. 1975)
  • 1906 Fernando Lopez-Garcia, composer
  • 1908 William Brocklesby Wordsworth, composer
  • 1908 Willard Libby, American chemist who developed radiocarbon dating (Nobel 1960), born in Grand Valley, Colorado (d. 1980)
  • 1910 Keki Tarapore, Indian cricketer (0-72 in his only Test for India), born in Bombay, India (d. 1986)
  • 1910 Melvin "Sy" Oliver, American jazz arranger, songwriter (Tommy Dorsey - "Yes, Indeed!"), and bandleader, born in Battle Creek, Michigan (d. 1988) [1]
  • 1911 William Roerick, American actor (The Wasp Woman, Guiding Light), born in Hoboken, New Jersey (d. 1995)
  • 1914 Mushtaq Ali, cricketer (prolific Indian batsman of 30's & 40's)
  • 1915 André Claveau, French pop singer and actor (Dors, mon amour), born in Paris; (d. 2003)
  • 1916 Antoine G T "Toon" Hermans, Dutch entertainer/poet (Kolderliedjes)
  • 1916 Penelope Fitzgerald, English writer (d. 2000)
  • 1917 Louis Salvador Palange, composer
  • 1920 Kenneth E. Iverson, Canadian computer scientist (d. 2004)
  • 1922 Hubert H A Beckers, Curacaoan opera singer
  • 1922 Alan Voorhees, American engineer and urban planner (d. 2005)
  • 1923 Jaroslav Pelikan, American historian (d. 2006)
  • 1924 Sándor Lakatos, Hungarian violinist, bandleader, and actor (mostly as a gypsy violinist), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 1994)
  • 1925 Rijk de Gooyer, Dutch actor, comedian and singer (Black Rider, Rififi in Amsterdam), born in Utrecht, Netherlands (d. 2011)
  • 1926 Jeremy Brooks, English writer (Jampot Smith), born in Southampton (d. 1994)
  • 1926 Patrice Wymore, American actress (The Big Tree), born in Miltonvale, Kansas (d. 2014)
  • 1926 Ray Jablonski, American baseball player (d. 1985)
  • 1927 Richard Long, American actor (Prof-Nanny and the Professor), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1974)
  • 1928 Marilyn Beck, newspaper columnist
  • 1928 Eli Beeding, Sherman, TX, Air Force Captain and rocket test pilot, (d. 2013)

William Safire

1929 William Safire, American political columnist (NY Times) and speech writer (Nixon), born in NYC, New York (d. 2009)

Political Columnist and Presidential Speechwriter William Safire
Political Columnist and Presidential Speechwriter
William Safire
  • 1930 Armin Mueller-Stahl, German painter, author and actor (Kafka, Music Box), born in Tilsit, Germany

Bob Guccione

1930 Bob Guccione, American publisher (Penthouse, Omni), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2010)

Publisher Bob Guccione
Bob Guccione
  • 1930 Julia Meade [Kunz], American actress and TV hostess (Spotlight Playhouse), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2016)
  • 1930 Makoto Moroi, composer
  • 1931 Yvonne Keuls [Bamberg], Dutch writer (Jan Rap & Co)
  • 1931 Dave Madden, Canadian-born American actor (Charlotte's Web, Alice, The Partridge Family), born in Sarnia, Ontario (d. 2014)
  • 1933 Stefan Florenski, Polish soccer defender (11 caps; Górnik Zabrze), born in Gleiwitz, Poland (d. 2020)
  • 1933 Bruce Morrison, cricketer (one Test NZ v England 1963)
  • 1933 Paul Snoek [Edm Schietekat], Belgian poet
  • 1934 Ray Wilson, English footballer
  • 1935 Cal Ripken Sr, American MLB manager (Baltimore Orioles), born in Aberdeen, Maryland (d. 1999)
  • 1935 George Lindsey, American actor (The Andy Griffith Show), (d. 2012)
  • 1936 Tommy Steele [Thomas Hicks], English pop singer, 1st British Rock and Roll star, born in London
  • 1936 Frank Martinus Arion [F Efraim M], Antilles, writer (Double Play)

Pope Francis

1936 Pope Francis [Jorge Mario Bergoglio], Catholic Pope (2013-) 1st Jesuit pope, 1st from the Americas and 1st non-European pope since Syrian Gregory III in 741, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • 1937 Art Neville, American funk and R&B singer, keyboard player, and songwriter (Neville Brothers; The Funky Meters), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2019)
  • 1937 Kerry Packer, Australian businessman (d. 2005)
  • 1937 John Kennedy Toole, American novelist (d. 1969)
  • 1937 Calvin Waller, US Army general (d. 1996)
  • 1938 Peter Snell, New Zealand athlete (Olympic gold 800m 1960, 64; 1,500m 1964), born in Opunake, New Zealand (d. 2019)
  • 1938 Carlo Little, English drummer (d. 2005)
  • 1939 Eddie Kendricks, American singer-songwriter (The Temptations - "The Way You Do the Things You Do" ;, "Just My Imagination"), born in Union Springs, Alabama (d. 1992)
  • 1939 James Booker, American R&B musician (Gonzo), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1939 Novella Nelson, American actress (Antwone Fisher, Purlie, Chiefs), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1939 Charles V. Bush, African-American pioneer (1st African-American US Air Force Academy Graduate and US Supreme Court Page), (d. 2012)
  • 1940 Kåre Valebrokk, Norwegian journalist
  • 1941 David A. Gall, Canadian thoroughbred Hall of Fame jockey (US Champion Jockey by wins 1979, 81; first to ride 8 winners on single US race card), born in Rose Valley, Saskatchewan (d. 2021)
  • 1942 Paul Butterfield, American blues singer and harmonica player (Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Better Days), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1987)

Muhammadu Buhari

1942 Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian military leader and politician (President of Nigeria 2015-), born in Daura, Katsina State

President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari
President of Nigeria
Muhammadu Buhari
  • 1943 Dave Dee, British musician (Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich), born in Salisbury, Wiltshire (d. 2009)
  • 1943 William Brooks, composer, educator, and musicologist
  • 1943 Ron Geesin, Scottish musician and avant-garde, symphonic rock, and film score composer, born in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • 1944 Bernard Hill, English actor (Yosser Hughes-Boys from the Blackstuff, King Théoden-The Lord of the Rings), born in Manchester, England
  • 1944 Ference Bene, Hungarian record 12 soccer goals (Olympic gold 1964)
  • 1944 Jack L[aurence] Chalker, American sci-fi author (Saga of Well World)
  • 1944 Giedrė Lukšaitė-Mrázková, Lithuanian–Czech harpsichord player, organist, and educator, born in Kaunas, Lithuania
  • 1945 Christopher Cazenove, England, actor (Ben-Dynasty)
  • 1945 Ernie Hudson, Benton Harbor MI, actor (Ghostbusters, Weeds)
  • 1945 Chris Matthews, American journalist
  • 1945 Jacqueline Wilson, English author
  • 1946 Albert Padmore, cricketer (WI off-spinner mid-70s)
  • 1946 Eugene Levy, Canadian comic actor, and writer (SCTV; American Pie; Schitt's Creek), born in Hamilton, Ontario
  • 1946 Simon Bates, British disk jockey and radio presenter (BBC Radio 1, Classic FM), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1947 Jim Hodder, American drummer (Steely Dan), born in Bethpage, New York (d. 1990)
  • 1947 Marilyn Hassett, LA Ca
  • 1947 Wes Studi, Native American actor (Last of the Mohicans), born in Nofire Hollow, Oklahoma
  • 1948 James Alexander, American R&B bassist (The Bar-Kays - "Soul Finger"; "Shaft)
  • 1948 Jim Bonfanti, American drummer (Raspberries - "Go All the Way"), born in Windber, Pennsylvania
  • 1949 Paul Rodgers, English-Canadian rock singer and musician (Bad Company - "Feel Like Makin' Love", "Rock and Roll Fantasy"; The Firm; + Queen), born in Middlesbrough, England
  • 1949 Sotiris Kaiafas, Cypriot footballer
  • 1950 Carlton "Carly" Barrett, Jamaican reggae drummer (The Upsetters; Bob Marley & Wailers), born in Kingston, Jamaica (d. 1987)
  • 1950 Laurence F. Johnson, American educator
  • 1951 Tatyana Kazankina, USSR, middle distance runner (Olympic gold 1976)
  • 1951 Wanda Hutchinson, American pop-R&B singer (The Emotions - "So I Can Love You"; "Best Of My Love"), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1952 Hans Alders, Dutch minister of environment (PvdA)
  • 1953 Barry Livingston, actor (Ernie-My 3 Sons), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1953 Ikue Mori, Japanese experimental drummer and composer, born in Tokyo
  • 1953 Mark Gane, rocker (M+M), born in Toronto, Ontario

Bill Pullman

1953 Bill Pullman, American actor (Sommersby, League of their Own, Independence Day), born in Hornell, New York

  • 1953 Samuel Hadida, film distributor
  • 1954 Kenneth Frazier, American executive (1st African American to head major pharmaceutical company - Merck), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1956 Peter Farrelly, American film director
  • 1956 Amado Carrillo Fuentes, Mexican drug lord (Juárez Cartel), born in Guamuchilito, Mexico (d. 1997)
  • 1957 Bob Ojeda, pitcher (NY Mets)
  • 1957 Masako Natsume [Odate], Japanese actress and model (Tripitaka in "Monkey"), born in Roppongi, Tokyo d. 1985)
  • 1958 Mike Mills, American rock bassist (R.E.M. - "The One I Love"), born in Berkeley, California
  • 1959 Tammie Green, American golfer (du Maurier Classic 1989), born in Somerset Ohio
  • 1959 Robert "Bob" Stinson, American rock guitarist (The Replacements - Please To Meet Me), born in Waconia, Minnesota (d. 1995)
  • 1960 Moreno Argentin, Italian cyclist
  • 1961 Sara Dallin, British musician (Bananarama), born in Bristol, England
  • 1962 Giulla Boschi, Italian actress (Act of Contrition, Bonus Malus)
  • 1962 Rocco Mediate, American golfer (Senior PGA C'ship 2016; 6 PGA Tour titles), born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania
  • 1962 Paul Dobson, English footballer
  • 1964 Eric Brown, actor (Buzz-Mama's Family), born in NYC, New York
  • 1964 Frank Musil, Pardubice Cze, NHL defenseman (Ottawa Senators)
  • 1964 Joe Wolf, NBA forward/center (Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets)
  • 1964 Tyrone Braxton, NFL safety (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32)
  • 1964 Ginger Wildheart [David Leslie Walls], British singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Wildhearts), born in Suth Shields, Tyne & Wear, England
  • 1964 Michele Tafoya, American sportscaster
  • 1965 Craig Berube, Calahoo, NHL left wing (Washington Capitals)
  • 1965 Jeff Grayer, NBA guard (Charlotte Hornets, Olympic bronze 1988)
  • 1966 Hans Visser, Dutch soccer player (MVV, FC Utrecht)
  • 1966 Kristiina Ojuland, Estonian politician
  • 1966 Valeri Liukin, Soviet gymnast
  • 1966 Christopher A. Wray, American lawyer, F.B.I. Director (2017-), born in NYC, New York
  • 1967 Vincent Damphousse, NHL center (Montreal Canadiens), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1967 Gigi D'Agostino, Italian DJ and musician
  • 1968 Curtis Pride, outfielder (Detroit Tigers), born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1968 Jeff[rey] Klepacki, Kearny NJ, rower (Olympics 1992, 96)
  • 1968 Andrey Golovatiuk, Russian politician
  • 1969 Marc Davis, Oceanside California, 3K steeplechase runner (Goodwill-gold-94)
  • 1969 Marty Carter, NFL safety (Chicago Bears)
  • 1969 Rob Maas, Dutch soccer player (Feyenoord)
  • 1969 Chuck Liddell, American mixed martial artist
  • 1970 Benedictine, A St. Bernard dog who grew to become the heaviest known dog (137 kg)
  • 1970 Michael Mols, soccer player (FC Twente)
  • 1970 DJ Homicide [Craig Anthony bullock], American DJ (Sugar Ray), born in Pasadena, California
  • 1970 DJ Homicide [Craig Bullock], American musician, rapper, DJ, and record producer (Sugar Ray), born in Pasadena, California
  • 1971 Alyson Habetz, Crowley LA, female pitcher (Colo Silver Bullets)
  • 1971 Carl Reeves, NFL defensive end (Chicago Bears)
  • 1971 Nikki McCray, Collierville Tenn, basketball guard (Olympic gold 1996)
  • 1971 Sari Kristiina Fisk, ice hockey defenseman (Finland, Olympics 1998)
  • 1971 Tony Richardson, NFL fullback (KC Chiefs)
  • 1971 Antoine Rigaudeau, French basketball player
  • 1971 Claire Forlani, British actress (Mallrats, Meet Joe Black, Hawaii Five-0), born in Twickenham, London
  • 1972 Brian Williams, NFL linebacker (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31)
  • 1972 Dewayne Washington, cornerback (Minnesota Vikings)
  • 1972 Don Davis, linebacker (New Orleans Saints)
  • 1972 Ivan Pedroso, Cuba, long jumper (Olympic 4th 1992)
  • 1972 John Abraham, Indian actor
  • 1972 Laurie Holden, American actress (The Walking Dead), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1973 Paula Radcliffe, English long-distance runner (marathon world record holder), born in Davenham, England