On This Day

Famous Birthdays on February 20

Birthdays 1 - 200 of 296

  • 1494 Johan Friis, chancellor (Denmark, helped formed Lutheranism)
  • 1523 Jan Blahoslav, Czech humanist/bishop (Bohemian brothers)
  • 1632 Thomas Osborne, Duke of Leeds, English PM (1690-94)/founder (Tories)
  • 1633 Jan de Baen, portrait painter/etcher
  • 1734 Franz Ignaz Beck, German violinist, composer, conductor and music teacher, born in Mannheim, Electorate of the Palatinate (d. 1809)
  • 1745 Johann Peter Salomon, German violinist, composer, conductor, and musical promoter (Hadyn), baptized in Bonn, Germany (d. 1815)
  • 1745 Henry James Pye, English poet, British Poet Laureate (1790-1813), born in London (d. 1813)
  • 1751 Johann Heinrich Voß, German poet (d. 1826)
  • 1752 Charles Broche, French organist and composer, born in Rouen, France (d. 1803)
  • 1753 Louis Alexandre Berthier, French marshal (d. 1815)
  • 1757 John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, English philanthropist (d. 1834)
  • 1763 Adalbert Gyrowetz, composer, born in České Budějovice Bohemia
  • 1770 Ferdinando Carulli, composer
  • 1779 Augustus Callcott, landscape painter, Kensington
  • 1784 Adam Black, politician/publisher, born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1791 Carl Czerny, Czech-Austrian pianist, composer (Schule der Virtuosen), and teacher, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1857)
  • 1792 Eliza Courtney, English illegitimate daughter of Charles Grey and Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, born in Aix-en-Provence (d. 1859)
  • 1794 William Carleton, Irish novelist (d. 1869)
  • 1796 Eduard W van Dam van Isselt, Dutch military/liberal politician
  • 1802 Charles-Auguste de Beriot, Belgian violinist/composer
  • 1803 Friedrich Theodor Frohlich, composer
  • 1805 Angelina Grimke, reformer/abolitionist/politician/lawyer
  • 1808 Daumier, Marseilles France, artist
  • 1809 Albertus J Duymaer van Twist, gov-gen of Neth-Indies
  • 1809 Henry Walton Wessells, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Lietchfield, Connecticut (d. 1889)
  • 1816 Josef Michal Ksawery Jan Poniatowski, composer
  • 1819 Alfred Escher, Swiss politician, railroad entrepreneur (d. 1882)
  • 1820 Mahlon Dickerson Manson, American druggist politician and General (Union Army), born in Piqua, Ohio (d. 1895)
  • 1827 Edward Stuyvesant Bragg, American politician, lawyer and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Unadilla, New York (d. 1912)
  • 1835 Allessandro d'Ancona, Italian philologist
  • 1838 James Barbour Terrill, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1864)
  • 1839 Benjamin Waugh, English social reformer who founded the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, born in Settle, North Yorkshire, England (d. 1908)
  • 1844 Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann, Austrian physicist (statistical mechanics)
  • 1844 Joshua Slocum, Canadian-American seaman and adventurer, born in Mount Hanley, Nova Scotia (d. 1909)
  • 1844 Ludwig Boltzmann, Austrian physicist (thermodynamics), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1906)
  • 1848 Edward Henry Harriman, American railroad executive (d. 1909)
  • 1850 Nérée Beauchemin, Canadian physician and poet (d. 1931)
  • 1852 Nikolai Garin [Michailovski], Russian author (Tjoma Kartashov)
  • 1854 Louis van Westerhoven, Dutch actor, singer and opera director (Youth), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1912)
  • 1861 Nicolaas van Meeteren, Curacao, folklorist
  • 1866 Carl Westman, Swedish architect and designer (d. 1936)
  • 1867 Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife (d. 1931)
  • 1870 Pieter Cornelis Boutens, Holland, mystic poet/scholar (Verzen)
  • 1874 Mary Garden, Aberdeen Scotland, opera star
  • 1876 Théodore "Fyodor" Akimenko, Ukrainian composer, born in Kharkiv Drapeau, Ukraine (d. 1945)
  • 1880 Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen, French aristocrat and novelist (d. 1923)
  • 1881 Pedro Munoz Seca, Spanish playwright (Vengeanza de Don Mendo)
  • 1883 Shiga Naoya, Japan, novelist (Road Through Dark Night)
  • 1886 Bela Kun, Czehul Romania, head of Hungarian Soviet Republic (1919)
  • 1887 David McKinley Williams, composer
  • 1887 Hesketh Pearson, England, biographer/playwright (Writ for Libel)

Person of interestVincent Massey

1887 Vincent Massey, Canadian diplomat, first Canadian-born Governor General of Canada (1952-59), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 1967)

Governor General of Canada Vincent Massey
Governor General of Canada
Vincent Massey
  • 1888 Georges Bernanos, French novelist (Diary of a Country Priest)
  • 1888 Marie Rambert, English ballet producer/director/teacher, born in Warsaw, Poland
  • 1889 Levko Mykolayevich Revutsky, composer
  • 1891 Ivan Harold Browning, American stage and screen actor and singer (Shuffle Along - "I'm Just Wild About Harry"), born in Brenham, Texas (d. 1978)
  • 1893 Russel Crouse, journalist/novelist/playwright (Life with Father)
  • 1893 Elizabeth Holloway Marston, American psychologist (d. 1993)
  • 1895 Freida Geiken, autobiographer (National Historic Taping)
  • 1896 Henri de Lubac sj, French theologist/anti-fascist
  • 1897 Ivan Albright, Illinois, painter (Door, Window)
  • 1899 Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, American businessman and heir (Pan Am Airways), born in Roslyn, New York (d. 1992)
  • 1899 Leon Woizikowski, Polish dancer/ballet master (Ballets Russes)
  • 1900 Antonio Veretti, composer
  • 1900 Graham Spry, Canadian radio pioneer, born in St Thomas, Ontario (d. 1983)
  • 1901 Ali Muhammad Naguib, Khartoum, president of Egypt (1952-54)
  • 1901 Cecil H King, Irish/British daily newspaper publisher (Daily Mirror)
  • 1901 Henry Eyring, Mexican/US chemist
  • 1901 Louis I Kahn, Estonia, architect (Bryn Mawr dormitory) [or Dec 20]
  • 1901 René Jules Dubos, French US microbiologist/author (Health & Disease)
  • 1901 Jimmy Yancey, American boogie-woogie jazz and blues pianist, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1951) [birth year disputed - documentation ranges from 1894-1903]
  • 1901 Fred Robinson, American jazz trombonist (Louis Armstong's Hot Five; Fats Waller; Cab Calloway), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1984)

Person of interestAnsel Adams

1902 Ansel Adams, photographer (1966 ASMP Award), born in San Francisco, California

Photographer Ansel Adams
Photographer
Ansel Adams
  • 1903 Ella Maillart, explorer
  • 1903 Karel Janeček, Czech composer, born in Czestochowa (d. 1974)
  • 1903 Pierre Charles, Belgian heavyweight boxer
  • 1904 Aleksei N Kosygin, Soviet premier (1964-80)
  • 1904 Armin Loos, German-born American composer, born in Darmstadt (d. 1971)
  • 1904 Bramwell Fletcher, British actor (White Cargo, Random Harvest, The Mummy), born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England (d. 1988)
  • 1905 Jascha Golowanjuk, Swedish writer (Acrobat)
  • 1906 Gale Gordon [Charles Thomas Aldrich, Jr], American actor and comedian (Our Miss Brooks, Here's Lucy), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1995)
  • 1906 Jack Jackson, British trumpeter, dance band leader, and influential BBC disc jockey, born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England (d. 1978)
  • 1907 Malcolm Atterbury, American actor (Jonas-Thicker than Water, Apples Way), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1992)
  • 1907 Nadine Conner, California, soprano (Carmen, Pamina-Magic Flute)
  • 1907 Owain Jenkins, company director
  • 1908 Grigori Yakovlevich Bakhchivangi, test pilot (BI-1)
  • 1908 Rosalind Laura Burke, aviatrix
  • 1908 Seymour Österwall, Swedish jazz tenor saxophonist, bandleader and composer, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1981)
  • 1909 Oscar Alemán, Argentine jazz and swing guitarist, and singer ("Rosa Madreselva"), born in Machagai, Chaco, Argentina (d. 1980)
  • 1910 Julian Trevelyan, English Surrealist painter/collage maker
  • 1910 Millicent Fenwick, (Rep-R-NJ 1975-82)
  • 1911 Margot Grahame [Margaret Clark], British actress (The Three Musketeers, Criminal Lawyer), born in Canterbury, England (d. 1982)
  • 1911 Robert Guyn McBride, composer (Mexican Rhapsody), born in Tucson, Arizona
  • 1912 Pierre Boulle, French author (d. 1994)
  • 1913 Jozef Kresanek, composer
  • 1913 Mary Durack, Australian author and historian (Kings in Grass Castles and Keep Him My Country), born in Adelaide, Australia (d. 1994)
  • 1913 Rex Tucker, TV writer/director
  • 1913 Tommy Henrich, American baseball utility (MLB All Star 1942, 1947–50; World Series 1938, 41, 47, 49, 51; NY Yankees), born in Massillon, Ohio (d. 2009)
  • 1914 John Daly, South Africa, newscaster/TV game show host (What's My Line)
  • 1914 Marion Kettlewell, British director (WRNS)
  • 1914 Willem J H Baart, Dutch vicar (Cuentanan di Nanzi)
  • 1915 Philip Friend, British actor (Dick Turpin, Buccaneer's Girl, Vulture, Fur Collar), born in Horsham, Sussex, England (d. 1987)
  • 1915 Chick Harbert, American golfer (PGA C'ship 1954), born in Dayton, Ohio (d. 1992)
  • 1916 Julius Juzeliūnas, Lithuanian composer and organist (The Game), born in Čepolė, Lithuania (d. 2001)
  • 1916 Paul Tripp, American TV host (Mr I Magination), born in NYC, New York
  • 1917 Frederick Page, CEO (British Aerospace Aircraft Group)
  • 1917 Phil Moore, American jazz pianist, arranger, and bandleader, born in Portland Oregon (d. 1987) [1]
  • 1918 Leonore Annenberg American Billionaire
  • 1920 Evgeny Dragunov, Russian weapons designer (d. 1991)
  • 1920 Frankie Gustine, American Major baseball infielder (MLB All-Star 1946, 47, 48; Pittsburgh Pirates), born in Hoopeston, Illinois (d. 1991)
  • 1921 Mervin Shiner, American country singer, born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • 1921 Ruth Gipps, British prolific conductor and composer, born in Bexhill-on-Sea, England (d. 1999)

Person of interestJoseph A. Walker

1921 Joseph A. Walker, American experimental physicist, WWII and NASA test pilot (1st spaceplane flights to edge of outerspace), born in Washington, Pennsylvania (d. 1966)

Experimental Physicist, Astronaut and NASA Test Pilot Joseph A. Walker
Experimental Physicist, Astronaut and NASA Test Pilot
Joseph A. Walker
  • 1923 Forbes Burnham, premier Guyana (1964-85)
  • 1924 Gloria Vanderbilt, American fashion designer, artist, heiress and socialite, born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2019)
  • 1925 Alex La Guma, novelist (A Walk in the Night), born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1925 Pramudya Ananta Tur, Javanese author (Anak semua bangsa)

Person of interestRobert Altman

1925 Robert Altman, American screenwriter, producer and director (The Player; M*A*S*H; Nashville), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 2006)

Film Director Robert Altman
Film Director
Robert Altman
  • 1925 Heinz Kluncker, German trade union leader
  • 1925 Frank Isola, American jazz drummer (Stan Getz; Gerry Mulligan; Mose Allison), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2004)
  • 1926 Cameron Rusby, British Vice-Admiral
  • 1926 Edgar Meuli, cricketer (opened NZ batting in Test v South Africa 1953)
  • 1926 Kenneth H Olsen, American engineer/founder (Digital Equipment Corp)
  • 1926 Robert Eugene Richards, Ill, pole vaulter (Olympic gold 1948, 52, 56)
  • 1926 Richard Matheson, American author, (d. 2013)
  • 1926 Dame Gillian Lynne [Pyrke], British dancer, choreographer and actress, known for Broadway work on "Cats" and "The Phantom of the Opera", born in Bromley, Kent (d. 2018)
  • 1926 Bobby Jaspar, Belgian jazz saxophonist, flautist and composer, born in Liège, Belgium (d. 1963)
  • 1927 Roy Cohn, lawyer, "grand inquisitor" (for Sen Joseph McCarthy)

Person of interestSidney Poitier

1927 Sidney Poitier, Bahamian-American actor, first black actor to win Oscar for Best Actor ('Lillies in the Field' - 1963), born in Miami, Florida

  • 1928 Donald Longmore, British cardiac surgeon
  • 1928 Elroy Face, baseball pitcher (Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • 1929 Amanda Blake [Beverly Louise Neill], American actress (Kitty Russell-Gunsmoke), born in Buffalo, New York (d. 1989)
  • 1929 Toshiro Mayuzumi, Japanese composer (Sphenogramme), born in Yokohama, Japan (d. 1997)
  • 1930 Willie Cunningham, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1932 Adrian Cristobal, Filipino writer (d. 2007)
  • 1933 Hannes Postma, Dutch graphic artist
  • 1933 Charles Kynard, American soul, jazz, and funk Hammond B-3 organ player (Reelin' With The Feelin'), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1979)
  • 1933 Jan Henrik Kayser, Norwegian concert pianist (Grieg Prize, 1978), born in Bergen, Norway (d. 2016)
  • 1934 Bobby Unser, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1968, 1975, 1981; USAC C'ship 1968, 1974), born in Colorado Springs, Colorado (d. 2021)
  • 1934 Myrtle Robertson, 11th Baroness Wharton
  • 1935 Raven Wilkinson, American ballerina, first African American woman to dance with major ballet company, born in New York City (d. 2018)
  • 1936 Larry Hovis, American actor (Hogan's Heroes - "Sgt. Carter"; Gomer Pyle), born in Wapito, Washington (d. 2003)
  • 1936 Marj Dusay [Mahoney], Russell Ks, actress (Kate-Bret Maverick)
  • 1937 David Ackles, American singer-songwriter (American Gothic), born in Rock Island, Illinois (d. 1999)
  • 1937 Nancy Wilson, American jazz vocalist (Feel Like Making Love), born in Chillicothe, Ohio (d. 2018)
  • 1937 Robert Huber, biochemist (Nobel 1988), born in Munich. Germany
  • 1937 Roger Penske, American auto racer
  • 1938 Jack Bicknell, American football coach (Boston College, Barcelona Dragons), born in North Plainfield, New Jersey
  • 1938 Mona Mitchell, Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Alexandra
  • 1939 (Roy George) Elroy Josephs, Jamaican-British jazz dance teacher, and actor, born in Jamaica (d. 1997)
  • 1939 Frank Arundel, English footballer
  • 1940 Barbara Ellis, American rocker (Fleetwoods), born in Olympia, Washington
  • 1940 Christoph Eschenbach, German pianist and conductor (Houston Symphony, 1988-99; Philadelphia Orchestra, 2003-08: National Symphony 2010-17), born in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland)
  • 1940 Jimmy Greaves, English soccer striker (57 caps; FIFA World Cup 1966; Chelsea, Tottenham, WHU) and journalist/broadcaster (The Sun, World of Sport, On the Ball), born in London, England (d. 2021)
  • 1940 RA Weiss, director (Institute of Cancer Research)
  • 1940 V Payne, British headmistress (Malvern Girls' College)
  • 1941 Buffy Sainte-Marie, Indigenous Canadian-American folksinger (Now That the Buffalo Are Gone), and songwriter ("Up Where We Belong"), born in the Piapot 75 reserve, Saskatchewan
  • 1941 Clyde Wright, American MLB pitcher (no-hitter v Oakland 1970), born in Jefferson City, Tennessee
  • 1942 Charlie Gillett, Lancashire, rock broadcaster (Sound of the City)
  • 1942 Claude Miller, director (Garde a Vue, Little Thief, Wild Child), (d. 2012)
  • 1942 David O'Dowd, Chief Constable (Northamptonshire)

Person of interestMitch McConnell

1942 Mitch McConnell, American politician, (Senator-R-KY, 1985-, and Senate Majority Leader 2015- ), born in Sheffield, Alabama

US Senator Mitch McConnell
US Senator
Mitch McConnell

Person of interestPhil Esposito

1942 Phil Esposito, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame center, coach, GM, broadcaster (Black Hawks, Bruins, Rangers), born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

NHL Star Phil Esposito
NHL Star
Phil Esposito
  • 1943 Aleksandr Pavlovich Alexandrov, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz T-9, TM-3)
  • 1943 Antonio Inoki [Kanji Rikidozan], wrestler (NJPW/JWA)
  • 1943 Lord McNally, British Minister of State for Justice
  • 1943 Mike Leigh, dramatist/director (High Hopes, Secrets & Lies)
  • 1944 Lew Soloff, American jazz trumpeter (Blood, Sweat & Tears), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2015)
  • 1944 Willem van Hanegem, Dutch soccer champ/coach (Feyenoord)
  • 1944 Robert de Cotret, French Canadian politician (d. 1999)
  • 1945 Alan Hull, British folk singer-songwriter, and guitarist (Lindisfarne - "Lady Eleanor"), born in Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, England (d. 1995)
  • 1945 Andrew Bergman, director/screenwriter (Soapdish, Honeymoon in Vegas)
  • 1945 Brion James, American actor (d. 1999)
  • 1945 Annu Kapoor, Indian actor (Vicky Donor), born in Bhopal, India
  • 1946 Brenda Blethyn, actress (Secrets & Lies)
  • 1946 (John) J. Geils, American rock guitarist (J Geils Band - "Centerfold"; "Freeze Frame"), born in NYC, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1946 Sandy Duncan, Henderson Tx, actress (Hogan Family)
  • 1947 Andre van Duin [Kyvon], Dutch entertainer (Bloemkoole)
  • 1947 Jennifer O'Neill, actress (Summer of '42), born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 1947 Eggert Magnusson, Icelandic football executive
  • 1947 Peter Osgood, English soccer striker (4 caps; Chelsea, Southampton), born in Clewer, Berkshire, England (d. 2006)
  • 1947 Peter Strauss, American actor (The Jericho Mile, Rich Man Poor Man), born in Croton-on-Hudson, New York
  • 1948 A C Fabian, astronomer
  • 1948 Barry Wordsworth, conductor
  • 1948 Billy Zoom [Stuart Kindell], American punk rock guitarist (X), born in Savanna, Illinois
  • 1948 John Browne, group chief executive, British Petroleum Company
  • 1949 Eddie Hemmings, cricket off-spinner (immense England)
  • 1949 Ivana Trump, Czech-American model and ex-wife of Donald Trump (1st Wives Club), born in Gottwaldov, Moravia, Czechoslovak Republic
  • 1950 John Voldstad, actor (Darryl-Newhart), born in Oslo, Norway

Person of interestWalter Becker

1950 Walter Becker, American rock bassist, guitarist, songwriter and record producer (Steely Dan - "Deacon Blues"; "Peg"), born in NYC, New York (d. 2017)

Musician and Record Producer Walter Becker
Musician and Record Producer
Walter Becker
  • 1950 Ken Shimura, Japanese comedian and actor (Shimura Ken no Bakatono-sama), born in Higashimurayama, Japan (d. 2020)
  • 1951 Edward Albert, American actor (Falcon Crest - "Jeff"; Butterflies are Free), born in Los Angeles, California

Person of interestGordon Brown

1951 Gordon Brown, British Labour Prime Minister (2007–10), born in Giffnock, Scotland

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown
British Prime Minister
Gordon Brown
  • 1951 Kathy Baillie, American country vocalist (Baille Boys-Oh Heart), born in Morristown, New Jersey
  • 1951 Phil Neal, English soccer defender (50 caps; Liverpool 455 games) and manager (Bolton Wanderers, Coventry City, Cardiff City), born in Irchester, England
  • 1951 Randy California [Wolfe], American guitarist (Spirit - "I Got a Line on You"; "Taurus"), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1997)
  • 1951 Patrice Fisher, American jazz, pop, and Celtic harpist, and teacher, born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1951 Anthony Davis, American pianist, Pulitzer Prize winning composer (The Central Park Five; X), and professor of music (University of California), born in Paterson, New Jersey
  • 1952 Catherine Cummins, Clintwood Va, 1st of 5 siblings born on 2/20
  • 1953 Carol Cummins, Clintwood Va, 2nd of 5 siblings born on 2/20