On This Day

Famous Birthdays on February 17

  • 1444 Rudolf Agricola [Roelof Huysman], Dutch humanist/organist
  • 1490 Charles de Bourbon, officer/governor (Lombardy)
  • 1519 Francis, Duke of Guise, French soldier and politician (d. 1563)
  • 1581 Fausto Poli, Italian Catholic Cardinal. private secretary to Pope Urban, born in Usigni (d. 1653)
  • 1583 Johann Henry Alting, German theologian, born in Emden, Saxony (d. 1644)
  • 1646 Pierre Le Pesant, sieur de Boisguilbert, French economist, born in Rouen, France (d. 1714)
  • 1653 Arcangelo Corelli, Italian violinist/composer (Concerto Grossi), born in Fusignano, Italy (d. 1713)
  • 1667 Georg Bronner, German composer and organist, born in Hamburg (d. 1720) baptismal date
  • 1675 Johann Melchior Conradi, German composer, born in Oettingen (d. 1756)
  • 1696 Ernst Gottlieb Baron, German lutenist and composer, born in Breslau, Silesia (d. 1760)
  • 1697 Louis-Maurice de La Pierre, French composer, born in Versailles, France (d. 1753)
  • 1699 Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, Prussian architect (Sanssouci), born in n Kuckädel (d. 1753)
  • 1718 Matthew Tilghman, American Continental Congressman (d. 1790)
  • 1723 Tobias Mayer, German astronomer "method of lunars" for longitude determination, born in Marbach (d. 1762)
  • 1740 Horace B de Saussure, Swiss physicist/geologist
  • 1747 Narciso Casanovas, Spanish keyboard player, composer, and Benedictine monk, born in Sabadell, Spain (d. 1799)
  • 1752 Friedrich M Klinger, German playwright (Wirrwarr)
  • 1754 Jan Jachym Kopriva, Czech composer and organist, born in Cítoliby, Czech Republic (d. 1792)
  • 1758 John Pinkerton, Scottish anti-Celtic historian, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1826)
  • 1774 Raphaelle Peale, American painter (After the Rain, 1823), born in Annapolis, Maryland (d. 1825)
  • 1781 René Laënnec, French physician who invented the stethoscope, born in Quimper, France (d. 1826)
  • 1796 Giovanni Pacini, Italian composer of opera (Saffo), born in Catania, Sicily (d. 1867)
  • 1796 Philipp Franz von Siebold, German physician (d. 1866)
  • 1804 Samuel Read Anderson, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1883)
  • 1816 Friedrich Wilhelm Markull, German composer and muscian, born in Reichenbach, Prussia (1887)
  • 1816 Haller Nutt, American rich Southern Plantation owner (Longwood house - largest octagonal house in the US), born at Laurel Hill Plantation, Mississippi (d. 1864)
  • 1820 Henri Vieuxtemps, Belgian violin prodigy, composer, and teacher (Brussels Conservatory), born in Verviers, United Kingdom of the Netherlands (now Belgium) (d. 1881)
  • 1820 Elzéar-Alexandre Taschereau, Catholic cardinal (d. 1898)
  • 1821 Lola Montez, Irish dancer and courtesan, born in Grange, Ireland (d. 1861)
  • 1824 William Farrar "Baldy" Smith, American Major General (Union Army), born in St. Albans, Vermont (d. 1903)
  • 1831 Francisco Salvador Daniel, French composer, and ethno-musicologist, born in Bourges, France (d. 1871)
  • 1836 Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Spanish poet (d. 1870)
  • 1837 Francis Jay Herron, American Major General (Union Army), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1902)
  • 1837 Sam[uel] van Houten, Dutch (lib) minister (child labor laws)
  • 1844 Aaron Montgomery Ward, American retailer, founded mail-order business (Montgomery Ward), born in Chatham, New Jersey (d. 1913)
  • 1848 Louisa Lawson, Australian suffragist and writer (d. 1920)
  • 1849 Selwyn Image, English painter and designer (Arts and Crafts Movement), born in Bodiam Sussex (d. 1930)
  • 1850 Anton Urspruch, German composer, born in Frankfurt (d. 1907)
  • 1850 Ludwig Bonvin, Swiss born composer who worked in America, born in Sierre, Switzerland ( d. 1939)
  • 1854 Friedrich A. Krupp, German steel and arms manufacturer (Krupp AG. - supplied the German Navy)
  • 1855 Otto Liman von Sanders, German general in Turkey (WWI)
  • 1855 Aleksander Różycki, Polish pianist, composer, and music teacher, born in Zhitomir, Russian Empire (d. 1915)
  • 1857 Samuel Sidney McClure, Irish-American newspaper editor and publisher
  • 1858 Ernest Ford, English composer, born in Warminster, Wiltshire (d. 1919)
  • 1861 Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany (d. 1922)
  • 1862 Edward German (Jones), English composer (Merrie England), born in Whitchurch, Shropshire (d. 1936)
  • 1862 Mori Ōgai, Japanese novelist and poet (d. 1922)
  • 1863 Fyodor Sologub, Russian symbolist novelist and poet (d. 1927)
  • 1864 Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, Australian bush poet (Waltzing Matilda, The Man From Snowy River), born near Orange, New South Wales (d. 1941)
  • 1864 Jozef Murgaš, Slovak inventor (d. 1929)
  • 1867 William Cadbury, British chocolate manufacturer (Cadbury), born in Edgbaston, England (d. 1957)
  • 1870 Louis de Raet, Belgian economist and founder of the Flemish People's Party

Thomas J. Watson

1874 Thomas J. Watson, Sr., American businessman (Chairman and CEO of IBM, 1914-1956), born in Campbell, New York (d. 1956)

  • 1877 Henri Vandeputte, Belgian author/poet (L'homme Jeune)
  • 1877 Isabelle Eberhardt, Swiss explorer and writer (d. 1904)
  • 1877 André Maginot, French politician, advocated for the Maginot Line, born in Paris, France (d. 1932)
  • 1879 Dorothy Canfield Fisher, American novelist (Book-of-Month-Club)
  • 1882 Kurt Schindler, German-American composer and conductor, born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1935)
  • 1884 Arthur Vanderpoorten, Flemish minister of Internal affairs (1940)
  • 1887 Leevi Antti Madetoja, Finnish composer (Pohjalaisia), conductor and teacher, born in Oulu, Finland, (d. 1947)
  • 1888 Henrietta "Hetty" Beck, Dutch hearing actress (Bouwmeester Award), born in Groningen, Netherlands (d. 1979)
  • 1888 Otto Stern, German American physicist (Stern-Gerlach-experiment, Nobel 1943)
  • 1888 Ronald Arbuthnott Knox, British priest, broadcaster and author (Viaduct Murder), born in Kibworth Leicestershire, England (d. 1957)
  • 1889 H[aroldson] L Hunt, Texas oil tycoon (East Texas Oil Field), born near Ramsey, Illinois (d. 1974)
  • 1891 Georg Britting, German poet and writer (d. 1964)
  • 1892 Theodor Plievier, German writer (Des Kaisers Kulis, Stalingrad)
  • 1893 Wally Pipp, American baseball player (d. 1965)
  • 1895 Anita Stewart, American actress (South of Hell Mountain), born in NYC, New York (d. 1961)
  • 1895 Edna Park Edwards, American stage and vaudeville actress, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1967)
  • 1898 Tom Lowry, cricketer New Zealand cricketer (NZ batsman in seven Tests & their 1st Test captain), born in Fernhill, New Zealand (d. 1976)
  • 1903 Johannes Linthorst Homan, director of the queen in Groningen
  • 1904 Albert Kuyle [Louis Kuitenbrouwer], Dutch writer (Jesus' Robe)
  • 1904 Hans Morgenthau, German political philosopher (d. 1980)
  • 1904 Luis A. Ferré, Puerto Rican industrialist and politician (Governor of Puerto Rico, 1969-73), born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (d. 2003)
  • 1905 Andy Oberlander, American College Football Hall of Fame halfback and coach (National C'ship 1954), born in Chelsea, Massachusetts (d. 1968)
  • 1905 Orville "Hoppy" Jones, American bass singer and cellist (The Ink Spots - "If I Didn't Care"), born in Chicago, Illinois (1944)
  • 1906 Galo Plaza Lasso, President of Ecuador (1948-52), head of OAS (1968-75)
  • 1906 Ramon Tapales, Filipino composer and conductor, born in Baybay, Philippines (d. 1995)
  • 1907 Alec Wilder, American classical, jazz, and pop music composer (The Churkendoose), and musicologist (American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950), born in Rochester, New York (d. 1980)
  • 1907 Charles B Timmer, Dutch translator/writer (Russia Black on White)
  • 1907 Marjorie Lawrence, Australian-American operatic soprano (Wagner; Interrupted Melody), born in Deans Marsh, Australia (d. 1979)
  • 1908 Staats Cotsworth, American actor (Hamlet, Peyton Place), born in Oak Park, Illinois (d. 1979)
  • 1908 Walter L "Red" Barber, Miss, sports announcer (Bkln Dodgers, NY Yanks)
  • 1909 Joseph "Poeske" Scherens, Belgian cyclist (champ sprinter 1932-37)[NS]
  • 1910 Alfred Mendelsohn, Romanian composer, and conductor (Romanian National Opera, 1944-63), and teacher, born in Bucharest, Romania (d. 1966)
  • 1910 Marc Lawrence [Max Goldsmith], American character actor (Man With Golden Gun), born in NYC, New York (d. 2005)
  • 1910 Arthur Hunnicutt, American actor (El Dorado, Big Sky, Apache Uprising), born in Gravelly, Arkansas (d. 1979)
  • 1912 Alice "Andre" Norton, American sci-fi author (The Time Traders, The Zero Stone), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2005)
  • 1913 Oskar Danon, Yugoslav conductor (Belgrade Opera, 1944-65), born in Sarajevo, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Bosnia and Herzegovina) (d. 2009)
  • 1913 Rene Leibowitz, Polish-born French composer (d. 1972)
  • 1914 Albert Westerlinck [Jose J M Aerts pseudoym], Flemish poet, writer and priest, born in Geel, Belgium (d. 1984)
  • 1914 Arthur Kennedy, American actor (Fantastic Voyage, Peyton Place), born in Worcester, Massachusetts (d. 1990)
  • 1914 Per-Jakez Helias, French Breton writer and actor, born in Pouldreuzig, Brittany (d. 1995)
  • 1914 Wayne Morris, American actor and decorated WWII pilot (Paths of Glory, The Bushwackers), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1959)
  • 1915 Homer Keller, American classical composer, born in Oxnard, California (d. 1996)
  • 1916 Don Tallon, Australian cricketer (perhaps Australia's greatest wicket-keeper), born in Bundaberg, Australia (d. 1984)
  • 1916 Raf Vallone, Italian actor (El Cid, 2 Women, Greek Tycoon), born in Tropea, Italy (d. 2002)
  • 1916 Alexander Obolensky, Russian prince and famed Rugby Union footballer who played for England.(d. 1940)
  • 1916 Vivian McGrath, Australian tennis player (Australian C'ship 1937), born in Merrendee, NSW (d. 1978)
  • 1917 Abdur Rahman Badawi, Egyptian philosopher (d. 2002)
  • 1917 Guillermo González Camarena, Mexican inventor (color television), born in Guadalajara, Mexico (d. 1965)
  • 1918 Charles Hayes, American politician (Rep-D-IL, 1983-93), born in Cairo, Illinois (d. 1997)
  • 1918 Olive Gibbs, English peace campaigner (CND), born in Oxford, England
  • 1919 Joe Hunt, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1943), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1945)
  • 1919 Kathleen Freeman, American actress (Beverly Hillbillies, 3 Ring Circus), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2001)
  • 1920 Paul Fetler, American composer (December Stillness; Three Poems By Walt Whitman), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • 1920 Trevor Oswald Ling, English religious studies, born in London, England (d. 1995)
  • 1922 Enrico Banducci, American nightclub owner (d. 2007)
  • 1922 Marshall Teague, American race car driver (d. 1959)
  • 1923 Alden Winship Clausen, American banker (President of World Bank), born in Hamilton, Illinois (d. 2013)
  • 1923 Boniface "Buddy" DeFranco, Italian-American jazz clarinetist and bandleader (Glenn Miller Orchestra), born in Camden, New Jersey (d. 2014)
  • 1924 Margaret Truman, American presidential daughter, writer (Murder at FBI) and pianist, born in Independence, Missouri (d. 2008)
  • 1924 Gevork Vartanian, Soviet intelligence agent (Operation Long Jump), born in Rostov-on-Don (d. 2012)
  • 1925 Fritz Behrendt, German Dutch cartoon character (The Slogan)
  • 1925 Hal Holbrook, American stage and screen Tony and Emmy award-winning actor (All the President's Men; “Mark Twain Tonight!”), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2021) [1]
  • 1925 Ron Goodwin, English composer and conductor, Plymouth, Devon, England (d. 2003)
  • 1926 Friedrich Cerha, Austrian composer and conductor, born in Vienna, Austria
  • 1926 Lee Hoiby, American concert pianist and composer (1957 Arts & Letters; Summer and Smoke), born in Madison, Wisconsin (d. 2011)
  • 1928 Marta Romero, Puerto Rican actress & singer (La Divina Infiel, The Shadow of the Bat), born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (d. 2013)
  • 1929 Chaim Potok, American novelist (Promise), born in NYC, New York
  • 1929 Paul Meger, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1929 Nicholas Ridley, Lord Ridley of Liddesdale, English politician, Minister of Finance, born in Northumberland (d. 1993)
  • 1929 Dame Patricia Routledge, British stage and screen actress and singer (Keeping Up Appearances; Talking Heads: A Lady of Letters), born in Tranmere, Birkenhead
  • 1930 Usko Merilainen, Finnish composer, born in Tampere, Finland (d. 2004)
  • 1930 Ruth Rendell, English thriller writer (Inspector Wexford novels), born in South Woodford, Essex
  • 1931 Buddy Ryan, NFL coach (Philadelphia Eagles, Phoenix Cardinals), born in Frederick, Oklahoma (d. 2016)
  • 1932 Charles "Buck" Trent, American banjoist and singer (Hee Haw), born in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • 1933 Craig Thomas, American politician (Rep-R-Wyoming)
  • 1934 Alan Bates, Allestree England, actor (Zorba the Greek, Unmarried Woman)
  • 1934 Barry Humphries, Australian comedian, actor and author known for his stage alter egos (Dame Edna Everage, Sir Les Patterson), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • 1935 Johnny Bush, American country singer, born in Houston, Texas (d. 2020)
  • 1935 Christina Pickles, UK-born American actress (St Elsewhere), born in Halifax, England
  • 1936 Barry Jarman, Australian cricket wicket-keeper (19 Tests; 54 dismissals), born in Adelaide, South Australia (d. 2020)

Jim Brown

1936 Jim Brown, American NFL Running Back (Cleveland Browns), born in St. Simons, Georgia

  • 1936 Peter Walker, English cricket batsman (3 Tests; Glamorgan CCC), born in Bristol, England (d. 2020)
  • 1936 John Leyton, British actor and singer ("Johnny Remember Me"), born in Frinton-on-Sea, England
  • 1937 Mickey McGill, American vocalist (Dells - "Love is Blue"), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1938 Mary Frances Berry, American lawyer and activist, head of US Commission on Civil Rights, born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • 1939 Mary Ann Mobley, American model and actress (Miss America-1959, Diff'rent Strokes), Biloxi Mississippi (d. 2014)
  • 1940 Dennis Gamsy, South African cricketer (South African bat in 2 Tests v Australia 1970), born in Glenwood, South Africa
  • 1940 Willi Holdorf, German athlete (Olympic gold, United Team of Germany, decathlon 1964), born in Blomesche Wildnis, Germany (d. 2020)
  • 1941 Gene Pitney, American vocalist and songwriter ("Town Without Pity"; "Hello Mary Lou"; "He's A Rebel"), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2006)
  • 1941 Heidi Biebi, German downhill skier (Olympic gold 1960), born in Oberstaufen, West Germany
  • 1942 Huey P. Newton, African-American activist, revolutionary and co-founder of the Black Panther Party, born in Monroe, Louisiana (d. 1989)
  • 1944 Bernie Grant, British politician (Labour), born in Georgetown, British Guiana (d. 2000)
  • 1944 Karl Jenkins, Welsh composer (Adiemus), born in Penclawdd, Wales
  • 1945 Brenda Fricker, actress (My Left Foot), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • 1945 Patricia Morrow, American actress (Rita-Peyton Place), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1946 Andre Dussollier, French actor (3 Men & a Cradle), born in Annecy, France
  • 1946 Valdemar Bandolowski, Danish sailor (Olympic gold 1976, 80)
  • 1946 Zina Bethune, American actress (Nurses, Who's That Knocking at My Door), born in NYC, New York (d. 2012)
  • 1947 Ben Cramer, Dutch pop and musical theater singer ("De Clown"), born in Amsterdam. Holland
  • 1947 Dallas Adams, British actor, painter and writer (Terror From Within)
  • 1947 Dodie Stevens [Geraldine Pasquale], American pop singer ("Pink Shoe Laces"), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1948 José José 'The Prince of Song' [José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz], Mexican singer and actor, born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 2019)
  • 1948 Rick Majerus, American college basketball coach (5× WAC Coach of the Year; Uni of Utah), born in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin (d. 2012)
  • 1949 Fred Frith, English guitarist, violinist and bassist (Skeleton Crew), born in Heathfield, England
  • 1950 Rick Medlocke, American rock guitarist and vocalist (Blackfoot), born in Jackson, Florida
  • 1952 Insook Bhushan, US table tennis player (Olympic-92), born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1952 Karin Janz, East German gymnast (medals at 1968 Olympics, born in Lübben, East Germany
  • 1954 Rene Russo, American model and actress (Ransom), born in Burbank, California

Mo Yan

1955 Mo Yan, Chinese novelist and nobel laureate (Red Sorghum Clan, The Republic of Wine), born in Gaomi, Shandong, China

  • 1956 Richard Karn [Wilson], American actor (Home Improvement) and TV game show host (Family Feud), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1957 Loreena McKennitt, Canadian world and Celtic harpist, accordion, and piano player, singer, and composer ("The Mummer's Dance"), born in Morden, Manitoba
  • 1958 Heidi Hagman, American actress (Linda-Archie Bunker's Place), born in New York City
  • 1958 Karen Lende O'Connor, equestrian 3-day (Olympic silver 1996), born in Concord, Massachusetts
  • 1959 Ambrose "Rowdy" Gaines, American 100m swimmer (3 Olympic golds 1984) and television commentator, born in Winter Haven, Florida
  • 1959 Aryeh Deri, Israeli rabbi and politician
  • 1961 Guy McIntyre, NFL guard (Philadelphia Eagles)
  • 1962 David McComb, Australian singer-songwriter, and guitarist (The Triffids, 1976-89; d The Blackeyed Susans, 1989–93), born in Perth, Australia (d. 1999)
  • 1962 Hennie Meijer, Dutch soccer player (Cambuur L, FC Heerenveen)
  • 1962 Lou Diamond Phillips, Filipino American actor (La Bamba, Stand & Deliver), born at Subic Bay Naval Station, Philippines
  • 1962 Tony Blain, New Zealand cricketer (NZ Test wicket-keeper)
  • 1962 Samuel Bayer, American music video director
  • 1962 Alison Hargreaves, British mountaineer and 1st woman to climb Mount Everest alone without bottled oxygen (1995), born in Derbyshire, England (d. 1995)

Michael Jordan

1963 Michael Jordan, American Basketball Hall of Fame forward, owner (5-time NBA MVP, 6-time NBA champion Chicago Bulls), born in Brooklyn, New York

  • 1963 Larry the Cable Guy [Daniel Lawrence Whitney], American comedian (Blue Collar Comedy Tour), born in Pawnee City, Nebraska
  • 1963 Jensen Huang, Taiwanese-American businessman and engineer (Nvidia Corporation), born in Tainan, Taiwan
  • 1964 Mike Campbell, American pitcher (Chicago Cubs), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1964 Buster Olney, American sports columnist
  • 1965 Clayton Prince, actor (Hairspray, Reuben-Another World), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1965 Jim Bowie, Japanese-American baseball infielder (Oakland Athletics)
  • 1965 Michael Bay, American film director (Armageddon, Pearl Harbor), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1966 Luc Robitaille, NHL left wing (NY Rangers, Pitts Penguins), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1966 Melissa Brooke-Belland, American musician (Voice of the Beehive-Let it Bee), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1966 Ioannis Kalitzakis, Greek footballer, born in Eleusis, Greece
  • 1966 Quorthon [Thomas Forsberg], Swedish heavy and Viking metal musician, and record producer (Bathory), born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 2004)
  • 1966 Michael Lepond, American musician (Symphony X), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • 1967 Gary Shuchuk, Canadian former NHL centre and coach (LA Kings), born in Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1967 Robert Massey, American NFL cornerback (Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions) and coach, born in Rock Hill, South Carolina
  • 1967 Chanté Moore, American R&B singer, actress and author (Precious), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1968 Bryan Cox, American NFL linebacker and coach (Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears), born in East St. Louis, Illinois
  • 1968 Patrick Uterwijk, Dutch heavy metal guitarist (Pestilence - Consuming Impulse), born in The Netherlands
  • 1969 David Klingler, American NFL quarterback (Oakland Raiders, Cin Bengals), born in Houston, Texas
  • 1969 Joel Steed, American NFL nose tackle (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1969 Levon Kirkland, American NFL linebacker (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Lamar, South Carolina
  • 1969 Tuesday Knight, American actress, born in Bentwood, California
  • 1969 David Douillet, French politician & judoka, born in Rouen, France
  • 1970 Tommy Moe, American nordic skier (Olympic-gold/silver-1994), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1970 Tim Mahoney, American rock guitarist (311), born in Omaha, Nebraska