On This Day

Famous Birthdays on February 15

  • 1368 Sigismund, Holy Roman emperor (1410-37), born in Nuremberg, Kingdom of Germany (d. 1437)
  • 1458 Ivan the Young, Ruler of Tver (d. 1490)
  • 1471 Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici, ruler of Florence (d. 1503)
  • 1497 Philipp Melanchthon, German Protestant
  • 1519 Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Spanish admiral and explorer who founded St. Augustine, Florida, born in Avilés, Spain (d. 1574)
  • 1524 Charles de Guise, archbishop/cardinal of Reims
  • 1557 Alfonso Fontanelli, Italian composer (Ferrara school), born in Reggio nell'Emilia (d. 1622)

Galileo Galilei

1564 Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer who has been called the father of science, born in Pisa, Duchy of Florence, Italy (d. 1642)

  • 1620 Francois Charpentier, French scholar and archaeologist, born in Paris, France (d. 1702)
  • 1650 Anne Jules duke de Noailles, marshal of France (Huguenot)
  • 1660 Frans Anneessens, Belgian merchant/dean of artisans
  • 1666 Antonio M Valsalva, Italian anatomist (eardrums, glottis)
  • 1705 Charles-André Van Loo, French Rococo painter, born in Nice, France (d. 1765)
  • 1707 Claude Prosper, novelist, born in Paris, France
  • 1710 Louis XV 'Louis the Beloved', King of France (1715-74), born in the Palace of Versailles, France (d. 1774)
  • 1726 Abraham Clark, American politician, signed US Declaration of Independence, born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey (d. 1794)
  • 1739 Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart, French architect (d. 1813)
  • 1740 Ernst Eichner, German composer and bassoonist, born in Arolsen (d. 1777)
  • 1748 Jeremy Bentham, English philosopher/originator (Utilitarian), born in London, England
  • 1759 Friedrich A Wolfius [Wolf], German philological (Prolegomena)
  • 1760 Jean-Francois Le Sueur, French composer during the revolution, born in Drucat-Plessiel, France (d. 1837)
  • 1764 Jens I Baggesen, Danish writer/linguist (Danske V'rker)
  • 1768 Jozef B Cannaert [Olim], Flemish lawyer
  • 1774 Frederik, prince of Orange-Nassau, son of William V, born in the Hague, Netherlands (d. 1799)
  • 1783 Johann Nepomuk Poissl, Bavarian composer, born in Rattiszell, Bavaria (d. 1865)
  • 1789 Friedrich Fesca, German violinist, and composer, born in Magdeburg, Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1826)
  • 1795 Charles Niellon, Belgian brigade general (10 day campaign)
  • 1797 Heinrich [Henry] Engelhard Steinway, German American piano maker (Steinway & Sons), born in Wolfshagen im Harz, Duchy of Brunswick (d. 1871)
  • 1800 Frederik W Conrad, Dutch hydraulic engineer/railway pioneer
  • 1803 John Augustus Sutter, Swiss/US colonist (New Helvetia Ca, Sutter Mill)
  • 1807 Ignacy Feliks Dobrzynski, Polish composer, born in Romanów, Russian Empire (d. 1867)

Cyrus McCormick

1809 Cyrus McCormick, American inventor and businessman (mechanical reaper), born in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia (d. 1884)

  • 1809 André Dumont, Belgian geologist, born in Liège, Belgium (d. 1857)
  • 1811 Domingo F Sarmiento, President of Argentina (1868-74), born in San Juan, Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (d. 1888)

Charles Lewis Tiffany

1812 Charles Lewis Tiffany, American jeweler and founder of Tiffany & Co, born in Killingly, Connecticut (d. 1902)

  • 1817 Charles-François Daubigny, French painter of the Barbizon school, born in Paris (d. 1878)

Susan B. Anthony

1820 Susan B. Anthony, American social reformer and women's suffrage movement leader, born in Adams, Massachusetts (d. 1906)

  • 1821 Abraham de Amorie van der de Have, Dutch theologist and poet, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1848)
  • 1822 Theodor Uhlig, German composer and violinist, born in Wurzen, Saxony (d. 1853)
  • 1823 Li Hung-Tshang, Chinese rebel leader/viceroy of Tsheli Canton
  • 1825 Carter Harrison, Sr., American politician (d. 1893)
  • 1826 George Johnstone Stoney, Irish physicist (introduced term electron), born in Oakley Park, Ireland (d. 1911)
  • 1828 Johan H van Dale, schoolmaster (New Dutch Language Dictionary)
  • 1829 Silas Weir Mitchell, American physician (discovered causalgia, erythromelalgia) and author (Roland Blake, Hugh Wynne), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1914)
  • 1834 William Henry Preece, Welsh electrical engineer/wireless pioneer, born in Caernarfon, Wales (d. 1913)
  • 1835 Alexander Stuart Webb, Major General (Union Army), (d. 1911)
  • 1835 Demetrius Vikelas, Greek businessman and writer (first President International Olympic Committee 1894-1896), born in Ermoupoli, Greece (d. 1908)
  • 1841 Manoel Ferraz de Campos Salles, Brazilian politician (d. 1913)
  • 1845 Elihu Root, American statesman (R)/US Secretary of State (1905-09)/Nobel Peace Prize (1912), born in Clinton, New York (d. 1937)
  • 1847 Robert Fuchs, Austrian composer, and teacher (Vienna Conservatory, 1875-1912), born in Frauental, Austria (d. 1927)
  • 1855 Gustav Hollaender, German violinist, conductor, and composer, born in Leobschütz, Germany (d. 1915)
  • 1856 Emil Kraepelin, German psychiatrist who developed a classification system for mental illness, born in Munich, Germany (d. 1926)
  • 1858 William Pickering, astronomer (9th & 10th moons of Saturn), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1938)
  • 1861 Alfred North Whitehead, British mathematician and philosopher (Adventures of Ideas), born in Ramsgate, England (d. 1947)
  • 1861 Halford John Mackinder, British geographer ( Britain and the British Seas), born in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England (d. 1947)
  • 1866 Bannister Fletcher, English architect and architectural historian (A History of Architecture), born in London (d. 1953)
  • 1873 Hans von Euler-Chelpin, German-born Swedish biochemist who investigated the fermentation of sugar and enzymes (Nobel 1929), born in Augsburg, Kingdom of Bavaria (d. 1964)
  • 1874 Emilis Melngailis, Latvian composer and ethnomusicologist, born in Vidriži, Russian Empire (d. 1954)

Ernest Shackleton

1874 Ernest Shackleton, British-Irish polar explorer (Endurance, Antarctica), born in Kilkea, Ireland (d. 1922)

John Barrymore

1882 John Barrymore, American actor (Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1942)

  • 1883 Sax Rohmer [Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward], English author (Dr Fu Manchu novels), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1959)

Alfred Carlton Gilbert

1884 Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American athlete, inventor, and businessman (invented the Erector Set), born in Salem, Oregon (d. 1961)

  • 1885 Richard Würz, German composer, and music critic, born in Munich, Germany (d. 1965)
  • 1887 H M Bateman, Sutton Forest NSW, cartoonist
  • 1890 Robert Ley, Nazi politician. Committed suicide 1945.
  • 1892 James Forrestal, American banker/minister of Navy
  • 1893 Harm H Kamerlingh Onnes, painter/etcher/ceramist
  • 1893 Walter Donaldson, American pianist and popular song composer ("Makin' Whoopee"; "My Blue Heaven"; My Buddy"), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1947)
  • 1894 Oswaldo Aranha, Brazil, lawyer/statesman (1st President of UN)
  • 1895 Earl Thomson, Canadian athlete (d. 1971)
  • 1896 Arthur Shields, Irish actor (River, Enchanted Island), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1970)
  • 1897 Earl H Blaik, Det, college football hall of fame coach (elected 1965)
  • 1898 Totò [Antonio Clemente], Italian actor (Motorizzate, Noi Duri) commonly referred to as the most popular Italian comedian of all time, born in Naples, Italy (d. 1967)
  • 1898 Allen Woodring, American runner (d. 1982)
  • 1899 Gale Sondergaard, American actress (The Letter, Road to Rio), born in Litchfield, Minnesota (d. 1985)
  • 1899 Georges Auric, French composer (one of Les Six), born in Lodève, Hérault, France (d. 1983)
  • 1899 Lillian Disney, wife of animator Walt Disney, born in Spalding, Idaho (d. 1997)
  • 1900 George Earnshaw, American baseball pitcher (World Series 1929-30; Philadelphia Athletics), born in Little Rock, Arkansas (d. 1976)
  • 1901 Andre Parrot, French archaeologist/theologist (Assur)
  • 1901 Christmas Humphreys, England, lawyer/writer/Buddhist (Awakening of Zen)
  • 1901 Paul Haesaerts, Flemish architect/painter (Animisme)
  • 1901 James "Kokomo" Arnold, American blues slide guitarist, and singer, born in Lovejoy's Station, Georgia (d. 1968) [some research gives birth year as 1896]
  • 1904 Antonin Magne, French cyclist (Tour de France 1931, 34)
  • 1904 Mary Adshead, muralist/painter
  • 1905 Harold Arlen [Hyman Arluck], American composer ("Over the Rainbow"; "It's Only A Paper Moon"; "Stormy Weather"), born in Buffalo, New York (d. 1986)
  • 1906 Stephen Brown, CEO (Stone-Platt Industries)
  • 1907 Jean Langlais, French organist, and composer (Missa Salve Regina), born in La Fontenelle, Brittany, France (d. 1991)

Cesar Romero

1907 Cesar Romero, American actor (Batman, Ocean's 11), born in NYC, New York (d. 1994)

  • 1908 Sidney Gilliat, English screenwriter (Night Train to Munich) and director, born in Stockport, Cheshire, England (d. 1994)
  • 1908 Ypk fan der Fear, Frisian writer (Reade Runen)
  • 1908 Sarto Fournier, Quebec politician (d. 1980)
  • 1909 Harold Beeley, British diplomat
  • 1909 Miep Gies, Dutch biographer of Anne Frank
  • 1911 Leonard Woodcock, labor leader (UAW)
  • 1912 George Mikes, Hungarian British writer (How to Be an Alien)
  • 1913 Willy Vandersteen, Belgian cartoonist (Suske & Wiske)
  • 1913 Erich Eliskases, Austrian chess player (d. 1997)
  • 1914 Arthur Sydney Martin, spy catcher
  • 1914 Kevin McCarthy, American actor (Invasion of Body Snatchers, Death of a Salesman), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2010)
  • 1914 R W Woods, bishop (Worcester)
  • 1914 Hale Boggs, American politician (d. 1972)
  • 1916 Ian Ballantine, publisher (Ballantine Books)
  • 1916 Mary Jane Croft, American actress (The Lucy Show, Our Miss Brooks), born in Muncie, Indiana (d. 1999)
  • 1916 Ronnie Aldrich, British easy listening and jazz pianist, arranger, and composer, born in Erith, Kent, England (d. 1993)
  • 1918 Allan Arbus, American actor and photographer (M*A*S*H, Greaser's Palace, Curb Your Enthusiasm), born in NYC, New York (d. 2013)
  • 1920 Ingmar Milveden, Swedish organist, composer, and musicologist, born in Gothenburg, Sweden (d. 2007)
  • 1920 Piet van Aken, Flemish writer (Klinkaart, Het begeren), born in Terhagen, Flanders, Belgium (d. 1984
  • 1920 Richard O'Brien, CEO (Manpower Services Commission)
  • 1920 Endicott Peabody, 62nd Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1997)
  • 1921 Radha Krishna Choudhary, Indian historian and writer (d. 1985)
  • 1922 Herman Kahn, NJ, writer (Thinking About the Unthinkable)
  • 1922 John B. Anderson, American politician and 1980 Republican presidential candidate, born in Rockford, Illinois (d. 2017)
  • 1923 Justice Drake, British justice
  • 1923 Keene Curtis, American character actor (The Rothschilds, Cheers, Amanda's), born in Salt Lake City, Utah (d. 2002)
  • 1923 Yelena Bonner, Soviet dissident and wife of Andre Sakharov, born in Merv, Turkmenistan, Soviet Union (d. 2011) [1]
  • 1927 Frank Dunlop, director (Edinburgh International Festival)
  • 1927 Gottfrid Gräsbeck, Finnish choral director, and composer, born in Turku, Finland (d. 2010)
  • 1927 Harvey Korman, American actor (The Carol Burnett Show; Blazing Saddles; High Anxiety), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2008)
  • 1928 (Mary) Norma Procter, British contralto singer, born in Cleethorpes, Engand (d. 2017)
  • 1928 Norman Bridwell, American author and cartoonist (Clifford the Big Red Dog), born in Kokomo, Indiana (d. 2014)
  • 1929 Gerald Harper, British broadcaster and actor (Tunes of Glory, Extra Day), born in London

Graham Hill

1929 Graham Hill, British auto racer (Formula One World Champion, 1962 & 1968) born in Hampstead, London (d. 1975)

  • 1929 James Schlesinger, US Secretary of Defense (1973-75)
  • 1929 Fred Martinelli, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (Ashland University 1959-93), born in Columbus, Ohio (d. 2021)
  • 1930 C F Payne, British chief constable, born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1930 Nico Minardos, Greek-American actor (The Twilight Zone; Twelve Hours to Kill), born in Pangrati, Athens (d. 2011)
  • 1930 Frank Navarro, American college football coach (Williams College, Columbia University, Princeton University), born in White Plains, New York (d. 2021)
  • 1931 W K Reid, British ombudsman
  • 1931 [Patricia] Claire Bloom, British actress (Charly, Look Back in Anger), born in London, England
  • 1931 Geoff Edwards, American television game show host, (d. 2014)
  • 1932 Adrian Swire, British aircraft magnate (Cathay Pacific)
  • 1933 Adolfo, Cardones Cuba, fashion designer (Nancy Reagan)
  • 1934 Niklaus Wirth, Swiss computer programmer/inventor (PASCAL)
  • 1934 Graham Kennedy, Australian actor "the King of Australian television", born in Melbourne, Australia (d. 2005)
  • 1934 Paul Ekman, American psychologist, born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1935 John R Block, US Secretary of Agriculture (1981-86)
  • 1935 Roger B Chaffee, Lt Cmdr USN/astronaut, born in Grand Rapids Michigan
  • 1935 Susan Brownmiller, feminist author (Against Our Wills), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1937 Terry Everett, (Rep-R-Alabama)
  • 1937 Zoltán Peskó, Hungarian opera conductor and composer, born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 2020)
  • 1937 Gregory Mcdonald, American author
  • 1938 Jack Tinker, British drama critic (d.1996)
  • 1938 Lord Justice Ward, British judge
  • 1939 Jo Clayton, American sci-fi author (Irsud, Maeve, Star Hunters)
  • 1939 Tony Bloom, deputy CEO (Sketchley)
  • 1939 Robert Hansen, American serial killer
  • 1940 John Hadl, American football player
  • 1940 Hamzah Haz, Indonesian politician
  • 1940 Trygve Madsen, Norwegian pianist and composer (The Dream of the Rhinoceros; Aurora), born in Fredrikstad, Norway
  • 1941 Brian Holland, American pianist, songwriter and producer (Holland–Dozier–Holland - "Heat Wave"; "Where Did Our Love Go"; "You Keep Me Hanging On"), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1941 Florinda Bolkan [Bulcão], Brazilian model and actress (Damned, Last Valley, Word), born in Uruburetama, Brazil
  • 1941 Austin Savage, Welsh hockey player, born in St Asaph, Wales
  • 1942 Glyn Johns, British recording engineer and producer (Eagles; The Who; Eric Clapton), born in Epsom, Surrey, England
  • 1944 Aleksandr Serebrov, Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz T-7, T-8, TM-8, TM-17), born in Moscow, USSR (d. 2013)
  • 1944 Michael "Mick" Avory, British rock drummer (The Kinks, 1964-84 - "A Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy"), born in East Molesey, Surrey
  • 1944 Tineke Netelenbos, Dutch director and politician (PvdA), born in Wormerveer, Holland
  • 1945 John Helliwell, British rock Saxophonist (Supertramp - "The Logical Song"), born in Todmorden, West Riding of Yorkshire
  • 1945 Douglas Hofstadter, American academic and writer
  • 1946 Esko Seppänen, Finnish politician
  • 1947 John Adams, American composer (Nixon In China), born in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • 1947 Marisa Berenson, American actress (Barry Lyndon; Death in Vienna; SOB), born in NYC, New York
  • 1947 Russell "Rusty "Hamer, American actor (Make Room for Daddy - "Rusty"), born in Tenafly, New Jersey (d. 1990)
  • 1947 David Brown, American guitarist (Santana), born in NYC, New York (d. 2000)
  • 1948 Ron "Penguin" Cey, American MLB 3rd baseman (LA Dodgers), born in Tacoma, Washington
  • 1948 Art Spiegelman, American cartoonist
  • 1949 Christopher Rouse, American Grammy Award-winning composer (Trombone Concerto - Pulitzer Prize for Music, 1993), and educator (Eastman School, 1981-2002; Juilliard, 1997-2017), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 2019)
  • 1949 George Howard, 13th Earl of Carlisle, English hereditary peer
  • 1949 Jess Walton, Mich, actress (Jill Foster Abbott-Young & Restless)
  • 1949 Ken Anderson, NFL quarterback (Cincinnati Bengals)
  • 1949 Hans Graf, Austrian conductor, and educator, born in Marchtrenk, Austria
  • 1950 Donna Hanover Giuliani, TV news anchor (WPIX)/wife of Mayor Giuliani
  • 1950 Nikolai Sergeivich Grekov, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1951 Jane Seymour [Joyce Frankenberg], British actress (Live and Let Die, Somewhere in Time, Dr Quinn), born in London, England
  • 1951 Melissa Manchester, American pop singer (Don't Cry Out Loud), born in The Bronx, New York
  • 1953 Tony Adams, Irish film producer (d. 2005)

Matt Groening

1954 Matt Groening, American cartoonist and writer (Life in Hell, The Simpsons, Futurama), born in Portland, Oregon

  • 1954 Pamela Theresa Jiles, American 4X400m relayer (Olympic silver 1976), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1954 Brad Little, American politician, Governor of Idaho (2019-), born in Emmett, Idaho
  • 1955 Bev Francis, Australia, world women's power-lifting champion
  • 1955 Clive Aslet, British editor (Country Life)
  • 1955 Christopher McDonald, American actor
  • 1955 Hugh Padgham, English record producer and audio engineer (Phil Collins; The Police), born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire
  • 1956 Desmond Haynes, West Indian cricket batsman and administrator (116 Tests; 7,487 runs @ 42.29; 238 ODIs; Director WI Cricket Board), born in Saint James, Barbados
  • 1956 Hilda Beatriz "Hildita" Guevara, Cuba, daughter of "Che" Guevara
  • 1956 Hitoshi Ogawa, Japanese racing driver (d. 1992)
  • 1957 Bienvenida Buck, Spanish lover of Peter Harding, born in Velencia Spain
  • 1957 Jake E Lee, American rock guitarist (Badlands, 1988-93; Ozzy Osborne, 1982-89), born in Norfolk, Virginia
  • 1957 Jimmy Spencer, American race car driver
  • 1957 Steve Farhood, American boxing historian and analyst
  • 1958 Chrystine Brouillet, Quebec novelist
  • 1958 Tony Tubbs, American boxer (WBA heavyweight title 1985-86), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1959 Alistar "Ali" Campbell, British reggae vocalist and guitarist (UB40, 1978-2008 - "Red Red Wine"), born in Birmingham, England.
  • 1959 Guy De Alwis, cricket wicket-keeper (Sri Lankan mid 80s)
  • 1959 Joe Hesketh, MLB player (Boston Red Sox), born in Lackawanna, New York
  • 1959 Hugo Savinovich, Ecuadorian sports commentator and wrestler, born in Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • 1960 Darrell Green, NFL cornerback (Washington Redskins), born in Houston, Texas
  • 1960 Mikey Craig, English musician and DJ (Culture Club - "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me"), born in Hammersmith, London
  • 1960 Jock Hobbs [Michael James Bowie Hobbs], chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Union and 21 test All Black, born in Christchurch, New Zealand (d. 2012)
  • 1962 Renee Props, American actress (Elly Snyder-As the World Turns), born in Oklahoma
  • 1964 Chris Farley, American actor (SNL, Wayne's World, Coneheads), born in Madison, Wisconsin (d. 1997)