On This Day

Famous Birthdays on February 18

Qin Shi Huang

259 BC Qin Shi Huang, Founder of the Qin dynasty and 1st emperor of a unified China (220 - 210 BC), born in Handan (d. 210 BC)

  • 1201 Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Persian philosopher, architect and mathematician (Tadhkirah fi ʿilm al-hay), born in Ṭūs, Khorāsān (d. 1274)
  • 1374 Saint Jadwiga of Poland, Queen of Poland (d. 1399)
  • 1404 Leon B Alberti, Italian humanist/architect (Della Pittura)
  • 1486 Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Bengali saint, inspired Chaitanya movement, born in Navadwip, India (d. 1534)
  • 1516 Mary I Tudor [Bloody Mary], Queen of England (1553-58), born in Greenwich, England (d. 1558)
  • 1530 Uesugi Kenshin, Japanese samurai and warlord (d. 1578)
  • 1543 Charles III, Duke of Lorraine (d. 1608)
  • 1559 Isaac Casaubon, naturalized English classical scholar, theologian
  • 1602 Per Brahe (the younger), Swedish soldier (d. 1680)
  • 1609 Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, English PM (1660-67), born in Dinton, England (d. 1674)
  • 1632 Giovanni Battista Vitali, Italian composer, born in Bologna (d. 1692)
  • 1635 Johan Göransson Gyllenstierna, Swedish statesman (d. 1680)
  • 1642 Marie Champmeslé, French actress (Fête de Vénus), born in Rouen, France (d. 1698)
  • 1658 Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre, French writer (d. 1743)
  • 1677 Jacques Cassini, French astronomer (rings of Saturn)
  • 1716 Gaspard Fritz, Swiss composer and violinist, born in Geneva (d. 1783)

Alessandro Volta

1745 Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist and inventor of the 1st battery, born in Como, Italy (d. 1827)

  • 1751 Karl Haack, German composer, born in Berlin (d. 1819)
  • 1770 Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck, composer
  • 1771 Friedrich Christian Ruppe, composer and violinist, brother of Christian Friedrich Ruppe
  • 1772 Giovanni Battista Brocchi, Bassano del Grappa, Italian Geologist
  • 1775 Thomas Girtin, artist/watercolorist, born in London, England
  • 1776 John Parry [Bardd Alaw], Welsh composer and harpist, born in Denbigh (d. 1851)
  • 1781 Henry Martyn, Truro, missionary
  • 1790 Marshall Hall, Basford Nottinghamshire, physician
  • 1795 George Peabody, South Danvers Mass, merchant/philanthropist
  • 1805 Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough, Rear Admiral (Union Navy)
  • 1814 Samuel Fenton Cary, U. S. Congressman (d. 1900)
  • 1815 Henri Leys, Flemish painter
  • 1817 Lewis Addison Armistead, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1863)
  • 1817 Walter Page Lane, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1892)
  • 1819 Joseph Philbrick Webster, composer
  • 1825 Carl Faust, Prussian military musician and composer (Marsch Glück auf - Lucky March), and conductor, born in Neisse, Province of Silesia, Prussia (now Nysa, Poland) (d. 1892)
  • 1829 Jean Jacques Alfred Mouton, American Brigadier-General (Confederate Army), born in Opelousas, Louisiana (d. 1864)
  • 1833 James Deshler, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1863)
  • 1836 Ramakrishna [Gadadhar Chatterji], Indian mystic and yogi (preached unity of religions), born in Kamarpukur, British India (d. 1886)
  • 1838 Ernst Mach, Chirlitz-Turas Austria, physicist/philosopher/psychologist
  • 1841 Samuel Prowse Warren, Canadian organist and composer, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1915)
  • 1844 Willem Maris, Dutch painter (Hague School)
  • 1846 Wilson Barrett, British manager, actor, and playwright (The Sign of the Cross), born in Essex, England (d. 1904)
  • 1848 Louis Comfort Tiffany, glassmaker (stained glass windows)
  • 1849 Alexander Lange Kielland, Norwegian writer (Gist; Fortuna; St. Hans Fest ), and politician (mayor; governor), born in Stavanger, Norway (d. 1906)
  • 1850 George Henschel, composer
  • 1853 August Belmont Jr, breeder (Man 'O War)/founder (NY Jockey Club)
  • 1857 Max Klinger, German graphic artist/painter/sculptor
  • 1858 Louise, princess of Belgium, married and divorced Philipp, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1924)
  • 1860 Anders Zorn, Swedish painter/etcher/sculptor (Gustavus Vasa)
  • 1870 William Laurel Harris, American mural painter, writer (d. 1924)
  • 1871 Harry Brearley, English inventor (d. 1948)
  • 1875 Walter Andrae, German archaeologist (Babylon, Assur)
  • 1877 Betsy Ranucci-Beckmann [Theodora Elisabeth Beckmann], Dutch author and actress (De huzaren, Dood Water), born in Bergen op Zoom, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands (d. 1965)
  • 1880 Eric De Lamarter, American organist, composer and conductor (Chicago Symphony), born in Lansing, Michigan (d. 1953)
  • 1883 Tom Walls, British actor and producer (A Cuckoo in the Nest, Undercover), born in Kingsthorpe, England (d. 1949)
  • 1883 Níkos Kazantzákis, prominent Greek writer and philosopher (Zorba the Greek, The Last Temptation of Christ), born in Kandiye, Ottoman Empire (d. 1957)
  • 1884 Burton "Burt" Mustin, American actor (All in the Family, The Andy Griffith Show), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1977)
  • 1884 Andrew Watson Myles, Canadian politician (d. 1970)
  • 1889 Sybold van Ravesteyn, architect (Blijdorp, CS Rotterdam, Utrecht)
  • 1890 Adolphe Menjou, American actor (Front Page, Star is Born), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1890 Edward Arnold, American actor (Mr Smith Goes to Washington), born in NYC, New York
  • 1890 Lauri SA Haarla, Finnish (stage)writer (Juudas, Sukeltaja)
  • 1891 Chester Clute, NJ, actor (Niagra Falls)
  • 1892 Wendell Wilkie, American Presidential candidate (R-1940)/author (One World), (d. 1944)
  • 1895 George "The Gipper" Gipp, American football player (Notre Dame), born in Laurium, Michigan (d. 1920)
  • 1895 Semjon Timoshenko, Russian marshal/inspector-general (WWII)

André Breton

1896 André Breton, French writer and poet, founder of Surrealism, born in Tinchebray, France (d. 1966)

  • 1897 Charles Kuentz, WW1 veteran, changed nationality 4 times (d.2005)
  • 1898 Enzo Ferrari, racing car manufacturer, Modena
  • 1898 K'Tut Tantri, broadcaster/hotelier
  • 1898 Luis Muñoz Marín, Puerto Rican poet (d. 1980)
  • 1899 Arthur Bryant, English historian (King Charles II)
  • 1901 Reginald Sheffield, British actor (Suspicion, Of Human Bondage, Second Chance), born in London, England (d. 1957)
  • 1902 Walter Herbert, German-born conductor and impresario (d. 1975)
  • 1903 Nikolai Podgorny, Ukrainian Soviet statesman, Premier of the USSR (1965-77), born in n Karlovka, Russian Empire (d. 1983)
  • 1905 Queenie Leonard, British actress, born in London, England (d. 2002)
  • 1906 Hans Asperger, Austrian pediatrician and eponym of Asperger syndrome, born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1980)
  • 1907 Billy De Wolfe, American character actor (Good Morning World), born in Quincy, Massachusetts (d. 1974)
  • 1908 Angelo Rossitto, American dwarf actor (known as "Little Moe", Carousel), born in Omaha, Nebraska (d. 1991)
  • 1909 Matti Jarvinen, Finland, javelin thrower (Olympic gold 1932)
  • 1909 Wallace Stegner, novelist/critic (Pulitzer-1971-Angle of Repose)
  • 1912 Dane Clark, American actor (Wire Service, Bold Venture, Perry Mason), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1998)
  • 1913 Artur Axmann, nazi youth leader
  • 1914 Pee Wee King [Julius Frank Kuczynski], American country singer, accordionist, and songwriter ("Tennesee Waltz"; "Slow Poke"), born in Abrams, Wisconsin (d. 2000)
  • 1915 Marcel Landowski, French composer (Un enfant appelle), born in Pont-l'Abbé, Brittany (d. 1999)
  • 1915 Phyllis Calvert [Bickle], British actress (Crash of Silence, The Man in Grey), born in London, England (d. 2002)
  • 1916 Betty Phyllis Gathergood, curator
  • 1916 Jean Drapeau, mayor of Montreal (1954- )
  • 1918 Jane Loevinger, American psychologist (d. 2008).
  • 1920 Bill Cullen, Pitts, TV game show host (over 20 different games)
  • 1920 Jack Palance [Vladimir Palahniuk], American actor (City Slickers, Contempt, Batman), born in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania (d. 2006)
  • 1922 Eric Gairy, first Prime Minister of Grenada (1974-1979)
  • 1922 Helen Gurley Brown, American author/publisher and editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, born in Green Forest, Arkansas, (d. 2012)
  • 1922 Juhan Smuul, Estonian author, born in Muhu, Estonia (d. 1971)
  • 1922 Rolf "Hazy" Osterwald, Swiss jazz bandleader, trumpeter, and vibraphonist, born in Bern, Switzerland (d. 2012)
  • 1923 Allan Melvin, American character actor (Brady Bunch, All in Family), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 2008)
  • 1924 Humberto Fernández Morán, Venezuelan scientist (d. 1999)
  • 1924 Louis Laberge, Quebec labour union leader (d. 2002)
  • 1924 Evald Ilyenkov, Soviet philosopher (Dialectical Logic), born in Smolensk, Soviet Union (d. 1979)
  • 1924 Nicolo Rizzuto, Italian-Canadian organized crime figure, born in Cattolica Eraclea, Sicily, Italy (d. 2010)
  • 1925 George Kennedy, American actor (Cool Hand Luke, Airport, Blue Knight), born in NYC, New York (d. 2016)
  • 1925 Marcel Barbeau, Quebec artist
  • 1926 Len Ford, NFL end (Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers)
  • 1927 Fazal Mahmood, Pakistan cricket fast bowler (34 Tests, 139 wickets), born in Lahore, Pakistan (d. 2005)
  • 1927 John Warner, American politician (Sen-R-VA, 1979-2009) married Elizabeth Taylor, born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1927 Luis Arroyo, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1928 Jim McElreath, auto racer (1970 Ontario 500)
  • 1928 Tom Johnson, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1929 Agustín González García, Spanish composer (Prince of Viana Prize), born in Alsasua, Navarra
  • 1929 Leonard Cyril Deighton, English author (Ipcress File, Fighter)
  • 1929 André Mathieu, Canadian pianist & composer (Concerto de Québec), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1968)
  • 1929 Lou Gorman, American baseball executive (general manager Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2011)
  • 1930 Theodore C Freeman, Haverford Penn, capt USAF/astronaut
  • 1930 Gahan Wilson, American author and cartoonist known as the "Michelangelo of the Macabre", born in Evanston, Illinois (d. 2019) [1]
  • 1931 Dieter Schonbach, composer
  • 1931 Johnny Hart, American cartoonist (B.C., Wizard of Id), born in Endicott, New York (d. 2007)
  • 1931 Maxwell Thurman, American General
  • 1931 Swraj Paul, Indian/British industrial/multi-millionaire (Caparo)

Toni Morrison

1931 Toni Morrison [Chloe Anthony Wofford], American writer (Tar Baby, Beloved, Song of Solomon), first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize (2010), born in Lorain, Ohio (d. 2019)

  • 1931 Bob St. Clair "The Geek", American football player, born in San Francisco, California
  • 1932 Miloš Forman, Czech-American award-winning director (One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Amadeus, The Firemen's Ball), born in Čáslav, Czechoslovakia (d. 2018)
  • 1932 Duane Michals, American photographer (Sequences; The Journey of the Spirit After Death), born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania
  • 1933 Sir Bobby Robson, English soccer forward, coach (20 caps; England manager 1982-90), born in Sacriston, County Durham (d. 2009)
  • 1933 Elly Belder-Ameling, Dutch soprano
  • 1933 Mary Ure, Scottish actress (Reflection of Fear, Windom's Way) (d. 1975), born in Glasgow, Scotland

Yoko Ono

1933 Yoko Ono Lennon, Japanese artist, poet, singer, and second wife of John Lennon born in Tokyo, Empire of Japan

  • 1934 Skip Battin, American singer-songwriter (The Byrds), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2003)
  • 1934 Aldo Ceccato, Italian conductor (Detroit Symphony, 1973-77), born in Milan, Italy
  • 1934 Paco Rabanne [Francisco Cuervo], Spanish fashion designer & perfumer, born in Pasajes, Spain
  • 1934 Audre Lorde, American writer, feminist and activist (Black Unicorn), born in NYC, New York (d. 1992)
  • 1934 Bobby Taylor, American singer & producer who discovered "The Jackson 5" (Motown Records), born in Washington, D.C. (birth year contested-1939) (d. 2017)
  • 1935 Bosko Petrovic, Croatian jazz musician, founder of the Zagreb Jazz Quartet, born in Bjelovar (d. 2011)
  • 1935 Savvas Theodoridis, Greek soccer goalkeeper (12 caps; Olympiacos), born in Athens, Greece (d. 2020)
  • 1935 Michel Aoun, President of Lebanon (2016-present), born in Haret Hreik, Lebanon
  • 1935 Sergei Cortez, Chilean-Belarusian composer (Jubilee and The Bear; Giordano Bruno), born in San Antonio, Chile (d. 2016)
  • 1936 Jean M. Auel, Finnish-American writer (Earth's Children series), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1936 Jozef Vengloš, Slovak soccer manager (Australia, Czechoslovakia, Malaysia, Fenerbahçe, Aston Villa, Celtic, Slovakia), born in Ružomberok, Slovakia (d. 2021)
  • 1937 Jeff Farrell, American swimmer (Olympics 2 gold-1960)
  • 1937 Alan Johnson, American screen and stage choreographer (The Producers - "Springtime for Hitler"; Legs Diamond; 3 Emmy Awards), director (To Be Or Not To Be), and dancer (West Side Story), born in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • 1938 Barry Knight, English cricketer (England all-rounder mid-60s)
  • 1938 Elke Erb, German writer, born in Scherbach
  • 1938 Manny Mota, Dominican baseball outfielder (LA Dodgers), born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • 1938 István Szabó, Hungarian film director
  • 1939 Claude Ake, political scientist
  • 1939 Marlos Nobre, composer
  • 1939 Petronella CM "Carletta" Banning, actress (Potasch & Perlemoer)
  • 1939 Dal Maxvill, American baseball player
  • 1939 Marek Janowski, Polish-born conductor
  • 1939 Bobby Hart [Harshman], American pop songwriter ("I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone"; "Last Train To Clarksville") and singer (Boyce & Hart - "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight"), born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • 1940 Fabrizio de André, Italian singer-songwriter (Storia di un impiegato), born in Genoa, Italy (d. 1999)
  • 1941 David Blue [Cohen], American folk musician (Cupid's Arrow), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1982)
  • 1941 Herb Santiago, American pop vocalist (Frankie Lymon & Teenagers - "Why Do Fools Fall In Love")
  • 1941 Irma Thomas [Lee], American R&B and soul vocalist (It's Raining), born in Ponchatoula, Louisiana
  • 1942 Roy Prosser, Australian rugby union prop (25 caps; Northern Suburbs), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 2008)
  • 1943 Graeme Garden, Scottish writer (The Goodies), born in Aberdeen, Scotland
  • 1944 Pat Bowlen, American Pro Football Hall of Fame team owner (Denver Broncos), born in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin (d. 2019)
  • 1945 Judy Rankin, American golfer (US Open, Titleholders C'ship 1972 runner-up; 26 LPGA Tour wins), born in St Louis, Missouri
  • 1945 Michael Nader, American actor (Peter-Gidget, Dex Dexter-Dynasty), born in St Louis, Missouri
  • 1946 Michael Buerk, British newsreader
  • 1946 Jean-Claude Dreyfus, French actor
  • 1946 Buddy Cage, American pedal steel guitarist (New Riders of the Purple Sage; Great Speckled Bird), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2020)
  • 1947 Carlos A Lopes, Portuguese marathon runner (Olympic gold 1984)
  • 1947 Dennis De Young, American rock vocalist (Styx, 1970-99 - "Come Sail Away"; "Babe"), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1947 Eliot Engel, American politician (Rep-D-NY), born in New York City
  • 1947 Princess Maria Christina [Marijke], of Netherlands
  • 1947 Keith Nelson, New Zealand soccer striker (20 caps; Mount Wellington), born in Renfrew, Scotland (d. 2020)
  • 1947 Leroy Keyes, American College Football Hall of Fame running back / safety (Purdue; Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs), born in Newport News, Virginia (d. 2021)
  • 1948 Bruce Francis, Australian cricketer (Australian opener in 3 Tests 1972), born in Mosman, Australia
  • 1948 Carolyn B. Maloney, American politician (Rep-D-NY), born in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • 1948 Sinead Cusack, Irish actress (Waterland, Revenge), born in Dalkey, Ireland
  • 1948 Keith Knudsen, American drummer, vocalist and songwriter (Doobie Brothers), born in Le Mars, Iowa (d. 2005)
  • 1948 Tony Anselmo, American animator & cartoon voice actor, born in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 1949 Gary Ridgway, American serial killer, born in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 1950 Cybill Shepherd, American actress (Moonlighting, Last Picture Show), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • 1950 John Hughes, American film director (Breakfast Club; Ferris Bueller's Day Off), born in Lansing, Michigan (d. 2009)
  • 1950 Michel Gauthier, Canadian politician, born in Quebec City, Canada
  • 1950 Bruce Kison, American baseball pitcher (World Series 1971, 79), born in Bradenton, Florida (d. 2018)
  • 1951 Isabel Preysler, Philippines-born Spanish socialite, born in Manila, Philippines
  • 1952 (Judy) "Juice" Newton, American country and pop singer-songwriter ("Angel of the Morning"; "Queen of Hearts"), born in Lakehurst, New Jersey
  • 1952 Veronica "Randy" Crawford, American vocalist (One Day I'll Fly Away), born in Macon, Georgia
  • 1953 Derek Pellicci, English-born Australian rock drummer (Little River Band - "Help Is On The Way"), born in London, United Kingdom
  • 1953 Robin "Robbie" Bachman, Canadian drummer (Bachman-Turner Overdrive - "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"; "Takin' Care Of Business"), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba

John Travolta

1954 John Travolta, American actor (Welcome Back, Kotter; Saturday Night Fever; Pulp Fiction), and singer (Grease - "You're The One That I Want"), born in Englewood, New Jersey

  • 1955 Miles Tredinnick, English playwright, born in Warrington, United Kingdom
  • 1955 Raymond Rougeau, Canadian professional wrestler, born in Saint-Sulpice, Canada
  • 1956 Ted Gärdestad, Swedish singer, born in Sollentuna Municipality, Sweden (d. 1997)
  • 1957 Marita Koch, German 400m sprinter (Olympic gold 1980), born in Wismar, Germany
  • 1957 Vanna Marie White, American television host (Wheel of Fortune), born in Conway, South Carolina
  • 1957 Bruce Rauner, American politician (Governor of Illinois, 2015–19), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1958 Peter Koech, Kenyan 3K steeplechaser (Olympic silver 1988), born in Kiliburani, Kenya
  • 1958 Gar Samuelson, American drummer (Megadeth), born in Dunkirk, New York (d. 1999)
  • 1960 Andy Moog, Canadian NHL goalie (Oilers, Bruins, Olympics-Canada-1988), born in Penticton, Canada
  • 1960 Greta Scacchi, Italian actress (Coca-Cola Kid, White Mischief), born in Milan, Italy
  • 1960 Roger Wijesuriya, Sri Lankan cricketer (bowling avg 294 in 4 Tests for Sri Lanka), born in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
  • 1960 Carol McGiffin, British TV & radio presenter, born in London, United Kingdom
  • 1961 Alycia Moulton, American tennis player, born in Sacramento, California
  • 1961 Armin Laschet, German politician (CDU), born in Aachen, West Germany
  • 1962 Gary Reasons, American NFL linebacker (NY Giants), born in Crowley, Texas
  • 1962 Julie Strain, American actress (Witchcraft IV), born in Concord, California
  • 1962 Simon Fletcher, American NFL linebacker (Denver Broncos), born in Bay City, Texas
  • 1963 John Gesek, American NFL center (Washington Redskins), born in San Francisco, California