On This Day

Famous Birthdays on February 26

  • 1361 Wenceslas of Bohemia, Holy Roman Catholic German emperor (1378-1400)
  • 1564 Christopher Marlowe, English poet and dramatist (Dr Faustus), born in Canterbury, England (d. 1593) baptism date
  • 1587 Stefano Landi, Italian composer (d. 1639)
  • 1588 Nicolaus Erich, German composer (d. 1631)
  • 1671 Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, English politician and philosopher (d. 1713)
  • 1672 Antoine Augustine Calmet, French theologian (d. 1757)
  • 1675 Johann Philipp Treiber, German composer, born in Arnstadt (d. 1727)
  • 1677 Nicola Fago, Italian baroque composer, born in Taranto (d. 1745)
  • 1714 James Hervey, English clergyman and writer (d. 1758)
  • 1717 John Randall, British composer (d. 1799)
  • 1720 Gian Francesco Albani, Italian Catholic cardinal (d. 1803)
  • 1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, French inventor who designed and built 1st automobile, born in Void, France (d. 1804) [or born September 25]
  • 1746 Archduchess Marie Amalie of Austria, Duchess and de facto ruler of Parma, daughter of Maria Therese of Austria and sister of Marie Antoinette, born in Vienna (d. 1806)
  • 1770 Antoine Reicha, Czech born French composer and teacher, friend of Beethoven, born in Prague (d. 1836)
  • 1772 Caspar Fürstenau, German flautist and composer, born in Münster (d. 1819)
  • 1799 Émile Clapeyron, French engineer and physicist (d. 1864)

Victor Hugo

1802 Victor Hugo, French author (Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Miserables), born in Besançon, France (d. 1885)

  • 1808 Honoré Daumier, French painter, illustrator, and sculptor (d. 1879)
  • 1808 Nathan Kelley, American architect, active mainly in Ohio, (d. 1871)
  • 1814 Charles Joseph Sainte-Claire Deville, French geologist (d. 1876)
  • 1824 Carlos Calvo, Argentine diplomat and human rights scholar (Calvo Clause)

Levi Strauss

1829 Levi Strauss, German-born American clothing designer who founded the 1st company to manufacture blue jeans (Levi Strauss & Co.), born in Buttenheim, Bavaria (d. 1902)

  • 1831 Filippo Marchetti, Italian opera composer, born in Bolognola, (d. 1902)
  • 1832 John George Nicolay, German-American author (Abe Lincoln's biographer), born in Essingen, Rhenish Bavaria (d. 1901)
  • 1834 Aleksander Zarzycki, Polish composer (Warsaw Music Society), born in Lviv, Austria-Hungary (d. 1895)
  • 1835 Richard Andree, German geography, etnologist (Andree's Handatlas)
  • 1837 Charles Woeste, Belgian count, Minister of Justice, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1922)
  • 1838 Wendelin Weißheimer, German composer and conductor, born in Osthofen (d. 1910)
  • 1841 Evelyn Baring, Earl of Cromer English consul-general in Egypt and writer, (d. 1917)
  • 1842 Camille Flammarion, French astronomer, Mars researcher and popularizer of astronomy, born in Montigny-le-Roi, Haute-Marne, France (d. 1925)
  • 1845 Alexander III, Russian tsar (1881-94), born in the Winter Palace, St Petersburg, Russian Empire (3/10 NS)
  • 1846 William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Wild West hunter and showman (Buffalo Bill's Wild West), born in Davenport Iowa (d. 1917)
  • 1852 John Harvey Kellogg, American surgeon and nutritionist, inspired flaked cereal industry, born in Tyrone, Michigan (d. 1943)
  • 1857 Emile Coué, French pharmacist (recovery by auto suggestion)
  • 1858 Vladimir Serbsky, Russian psychiatrist (d. 1917)
  • 1861 Ferdinand I, 1st tsar of modern Bulgaria (1908-18), born in Vienna, Austria

Herbert Henry Dow

1866 Herbert Henry Dow, American chemical industrialist (Dow Chemical), born in Ontario, Canada (d. 1930)

  • 1867 Siegfried Passarge, German geographer (Cameroon, South Africa, born in Königsberg, Prussia (d. 1958) alternative birth date Nov 28 1866
  • 1868 Leonard Borwick, English concert pianist, born in Walthamstow, England (d. 1925)
  • 1869 Nadezhda Krupskaya, Russian revolutionary and wife of Vladimir Lenin, born in St. Petersburg, Russia (d. 1939)
  • 1873 Ewoud van Everdingen, Dutch meteorologist
  • 1874 Carl Vogler, Swiss composer, born in Oberrohrdorf (d. 1951)
  • 1875 Emma Dunn, British-American stage, silent and sound film actress (Dr. Monica; Dr. Kildare (films); Hideaway), born in Birkenhead, Cheshire (d. 1966)
  • 1875 Richard Wetz, German composer (Requiem, Op. 50 in B minor), born in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia (now Gliwice, Poland) (d. 1935)
  • 1876 Agustín Pedro Justo, President of Argentina (1932-38) during the Infamous Decade, born in Concepción del Uruguay, Entre Ríos (d. 1943)
  • 1876 Pauline Musters, Dutch world's smallest woman at 24 inches (61 cm), born in Ossendrecht, Netherlands (d. 1895)
  • 1877 Carel Steven Adama van Scheltema, Dutch socialist poet, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1924)
  • 1877 Russell Alexander, American vaudeville composer and entertainer (Barnum & Bailey Circus Band), born in Nevada, Missouri (d. 1915)
  • 1879 Frank Bridge, English violinist, composer, conductor and tutor of Benjamin Britten, born in Brighton, England (d. 1941)
  • 1880 Lionel Logue, Australian speech therapist who treated King George VI (The Kings Speech), born in Adelaide (d. 1953)
  • 1882 Walter Lucht, German artillery general (WW I/WW II)
  • 1882 Husband E. Kimmel, American admiral, commander of the Pacific Fleet during Pearl Harbour Attack, born in Henderson, Kentucky (d. 1968)
  • 1883 Erich R. Jaensch, German psychologist (eidetism), born in Breslau, German Empire (d. 1940)
  • 1884 Dina Appeldoorn, Dutch pianist and composer, born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands (d. 1938)
  • 1884 Hildo Krop, Dutch modernistic sculptor
  • 1885 Lili Green [Alice Sally Mary], Dutch English dancer, born in Bromley, England (d. 1977)
  • 1885 Aleksandras Stulginskis, President of Lithuania (d. 1969)
  • 1887 Benegal Narsing Rau, Indian lawyer and civil servant, President of UN Security Council (1950), helped draft India's constitution, born in Mangalore, India (d. 1953)
  • 1887 Grover Cleveland Alexander, American baseball pitcher (Phillies, Cubs), born in Elba, Nebraska (d. 1950)
  • 1887 Stefan Grabinski, Polish writer (d. 1936)
  • 1888 Ida Cox (nee Prather), American blues singer and vaudeville performer, born in Habersham County, Georgia (d. 1967) [birth year disputed, may be 1894 or 1896]
  • 1891 Alan Bridge, American actor (North of Arizona, Badmen of the Hills), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1957)
  • 1893 Ivor Armstrong Richards, English literary critic (The Meaning of Meaning), born in Sandbach, England (d. 1979)
  • 1893 I. A. Richards, English poet and influential critic (Meaning of Meaning), born in Sandbach, England (d. 1979)
  • 1893 William Frawley, American actor (I Love Lucy, My 3 Sons), born in Burlington, Iowa (d. 1966)
  • 1896 Andrei A. Zjdanov, Russian politician (against kosmopolitism)
  • 1896 Eduard Flipse, Dutch conductor and composer
  • 1898 Julien de Valckenaere, Flemish writer
  • 1899 Max Petitpierre, member of the Swiss Federal Council (d. 1994)
  • 1900 Jean Negulesco, Romanian-American film director (How to Marry a Millionaire), born in Craiova, Dolj (d. 1993)
  • 1900 Halina Konopacka, Polish discus thrower (Olympic gold 1928), born in Rawa Mazowiecka, Russian Empire (d. 1989)
  • 1902 Rudolf Moralt, German conductor (Vienna Philharmonic)
  • 1902 Vercors [Jean Bruller], French writer (Le Silence de la Mer)
  • 1903 Giulio Natta, Italian chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1979)
  • 1905 William Russell [Russell William Wagner], American violinist, modern composer (Fugue for Eight Percussion Instruments), and musicologist (Oh, Mister Jelly), born in Canton, Missouri (d. 1992)
  • 1906 Madeleine Carroll, British actress (39 Steps, Secret Agent), born in West Bromwich, West Midlands, England (d. 1987)
  • 1906 Nikos Ghika, Greek artist, born in Athens (d. 1994)
  • 1907 Dub Taylor [Walter Clarence Taylor Jr], American character actor (Gunsmoke), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1994)
  • 1907 John Bowlby, British psychologist, born in London, England (d. 1990)
  • 1908 Tex Avery, American cartoonist at Warner Bros, MGM ( Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig), born in Taylor, Texas (d. 1980)
  • 1908 Leela Majumdar, Bengali writer (d. 2007)
  • 1908 Jean-Pierre Wimille, French race car driver (d. 1949)
  • 1909 Fanny Cradock, English TV Chef and food critic, born in Leytonstone, England (d. 1994)
  • 1909 King Talal of Jordan (d. 1972)
  • 1909 Chauncey Haughton, American jazz clarinetist, and saxophonist (Blanche Calloway; Chick Webb; Cab Calloway), born in Chestertown, Maryland (d. 1989)
  • 1911 Josef Smrkovsky, Czechoslovakia MP chairman
  • 1911 Tarō Okamoto, Japanese avant-garde artist (d. 1996)
  • 1913 George Barker, English poet (Calamiterror, Anno Domini), born in Loughton, England (d. 1991)
  • 1913 Hermann Lenz, German writer (Swabian Chronicle), born in Stuttgart (d. 1998)
  • 1914 Robert Alda, American actor (Supertrain, By Popular Demand), born in NYC, New York (d. 1986)
  • 1914 Witold Rowicki, Polish conductor and composer, born in Taganrog, (d. 1989)
  • 1915 Elisabeth Eybers, South African Dutch poetess (That Woman & Other Verses)
  • 1915 Pran Nath Chhuttani, Indian physician and teacher, born in Leiah, Pakistan (d. 1996)
  • 1916 (John Herbert) "Jackie" Gleason, American comedian, (The Jackie Gleason Show; The Honeymooners), actor (Requiem For A Heavyweight; The Hustler), composer, and conductor (Music for Lovers Only), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1987)
  • 1916 Mordecai Seter, Israeli composer, born in Novorossiysk, Russia (d. 1994)
  • 1916 Ross Gregory, Australian cricketer (Australian batsman 1936-37, died in WW II)
  • 1917 Robert Taft Jr, American politician (Sen-R-Ohio), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1993)
  • 1918 Edwin Charles "Preacher" Roe, American baseball pitcher (Brooklyn Dodgers), born in Ash Flat, Arkansas (d. 2008)
  • 1918 Otis Bowen, American politician, US Sec of Health & Human Services (1985-89), born in near Rochester, Indiana (d. 2013)
  • 1918 Theodore Sturgeon, American sci-fi author (Hugo, It, Caviar), born in Staten Island, New York (d. 1985)
  • 1919 Beppie Nooij, Dutch actress and director (Red Sien, Zeemansvrouwen), born in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands (d. 1979)
  • 1919 Luc-Andre Marcel, French composer, born in Entrecasteaux, France (d. 1992)
  • 1919 Mason Adams, American actor (Lou Grant, Deadliest Season), born in NYC, New York (d. 2005)
  • 1919 Rie Mastenbroek, Dutch swimmer (3 x Olympic gold 1936), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 2003)
  • 1920 A W [Rie] Kuiper-Mastenbroek, Dutch swimmer (Olympics 3 gold-1936)
  • 1920 Tony Randall [Leonard Rosenberg], American actor (Felix-Odd Couple), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma (d. 2004)
  • 1920 Danny Gardella, American baseball player (d. 2005)
  • 1920 Lucjan Wolanowski, Polish journalist, writer and traveller (d. 2006)
  • 1921 Betty Hutton [Elizabeth June Thornburg], American actress, dancer, singer and comedian (Greatest Show on Earth), born in Battle Creek, Michigan (d. 2007)
  • 1922 Bill Johnston, Australian cricket fast/spin bowler (40 Tests, 160 wickets @ 23.91; Victoria), born in Beeac, Australia (d. 2007)
  • 1922 Margaret Leighton, British actress (The Go-Between, The Night of the Iguana), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1976)
  • 1922 Bunny Briggs [Bernard Briggs], American tap dancer, born in Harlem, New York (d. 2014)
  • 1924 Mark Bucci, American composer (1959 Arts & Letters Award), born in NYC, New York
  • 1924 Noboru Takeshita, Japanese PM (1987-89), born in Unnan, Japan (d. 2000)
  • 1925 Everton Weekes, West Indian cricket batsman (48 Tests; 4,455 runs @ 58.61, 15 x 100s), born in Saint Michael, Barbados (d. 2020)
  • 1925 David Pell, American big band jazz saxophonist, bandleader (Dave Pell Octet), and record producer, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1926 Arsene Souffriau, Belgian pioneering electronic music composer, born in Ixelles, Belgium
  • 1926 Cynthia Stone, American actress (That Wonderful Guy, Ad Libbers), born in Peoria, Illinois (d. 1988)
  • 1926 Efraín Sánchez, Colombian soccer goalkeeper (9 caps; San Lorenzo) and manager (Columbia), born in Barranquilla, Colombia (d. 2020)
  • 1927 Donald Gramm, American bass-baritone, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1927 Tom Kennedy, American quiz host (You Don't Say, Name That Tune), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1928 Aldonis Kalniņš, Latvian composer, born in Užava parish, Soviet Union (now Latvia)
  • 1928 Anatoli Vassilyevich Filipchenko, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz 7, 16)

Fats Domino

1928 Antione "Fats" Domino, American rhythm & blues star of the early rock ’n’ roll era (Blueberry Hill, Blue Monday), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2017)

  • 1928 Monique Leyrac, French Canadian singer and actress (Lights of My City, Act of the Heart), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1928 Ariel Sharon, Israeli general and politician, Prime Minister of Israel (2001-2006), born at Kfar Malal (d. 2014)
  • 1930 Lazar Berman, Russian pianist (Budapest 3rd place-1956), born in Leningrad, Russia,
  • 1930 Vic Janowicz, American College Football Hall of Fame halfback (Heisman Trophy 1950, Ohio State; NFL: Washington Redskins), born in Elyria, Ohio (d. 1996)
  • 1930 Doug Sandom, British drummer (The Who, 1962-64), born in Greenford, England (d. 2019)
  • 1931 Francisco Kroepfl, Argentinian composer, born in Timișoara, Romania
  • 1931 Robert Novak 'the Prince of Darkness', American political columnist and news show host (CNN-Evans & Novak), born in Joliet, Illinois (d. 2009)
  • 1931 Ally MacLeod, Scottish footballer and manager (d. 2004)

Johnny Cash

1932 Johnny Cash, American country singer (I Walk the Line, Ring of Fire, A Boy Named Sue), born in Kingsland, Arkansas (d. 2003)

  • 1933 Godfrey Cambridge, American actor (Cotton comes to Harlem), born in NYC, New York (d. 1976)
  • 1933 James Goldsmith, corporate raider (Referendum Party), born in Paris, France
  • 1934 Ron Gaunt, cricketer (Australian fast bowler late 50s early 60s)
  • 1935 Azzedine Alaïa, Tunisian-born fashion designer, born in Tunis, Tunisia (d. 2017)
  • 1936 Manmohan Desai, Indian filmmaker (Amar Akbar Anthony, Suhaag), born in Bombay, British India (d. 1994)
  • 1936 Cyrus Faryar, American folk musician, songwriter, and record producer (Modern Folk Quartet), born in Tehran, Persia
  • 1936 José Yudica, Argentine soccer forward (4 caps; Newell's Old Boys, Boca Juniors) and manager (Newell's Old Boys, Quilmes), born in Rosario, Argentina (d. 2021)
  • 1937 Hagood Hardy, Canadian musician and composer (d. 1997)
  • 1937 William Ferris, American composer and conductor (William Ferris Chorale, 1971-2000), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2000)
  • 1938 Jack Knight, American actor (Mr Shamley-James at 15), born in Somerville, Mississippi
  • 1938 Evagoras Pallikarides, Cypriot freedom fighter, born in Tsada, Cyprus (d. 1957)
  • 1939 Josephine Tewson, English actress, born in Hampstead, United Kingdom
  • 1941 Keith Thomson, New Zealand cricketer (batted in 2 Tests NZ v India 1968), born in Methven, New Zealand
  • 1942 Adriaan van Dis, Dutch author (Nathan Sid, In Africa), born in Bergen aan Zee, Netherlands
  • 1942 Yōsuke Yamashita, Japanese jazz pianist, and composer of jazz, film scores, and classical works, born in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1943 Bill Duke, American actor (Bird on a Wire, Predator), born in Poughkeepsie, New York
  • 1943 Bob "Bear" Hite, American vocalist (Canned Heat-Going Up the Country), born in Torrance, California (d. 1981)
  • 1943 Bob van Reeth, Flemish architect, born in Temse, Belgium
  • 1943 Paul Cotton, American rocker (Poco), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1943 Dante Ferretti, Italian art director & costume designer, born in Macerata, Italy
  • 1944 Marilyn Michaels, American comedian (ABC Comedy Hour), born in New York City
  • 1945 Mitch Ryder, American rocker (& Detroit Wheels-Devil With the Blue Dress), born in Hamtramck, Michigan
  • 1945 Peter Brock, Australian motorsports champion, born in Richmond, Australia (d. 2006)
  • 1945 Giannis Ioannidis, Greek basketball coach & politician, born in Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 1946 Bobby "Bingo" Smith, American NBA star (Cleveland Cavaliers), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • 1946 Phyllis Eisenstein, American sci-fi author (Sorcerer's Son, Born to Exile), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1946 Ahmed Zewail, Egyptian-American chemist & Nobel laureate (1999), born in Damanhur, Egypt (d. 2016)
  • 1946 Colin Bell MBE, English soccer midfielder (48 caps; Manchester City 394 games), born in Hesleden, England (d. 2021)
  • 1947 Sandie Shaw [Sandra Goodrich], English rocker (Girl Don't Come), born in Essex, England
  • 1947 Guy Klucevsek, American jazz and free-improv accordionist and composer, born in New York City
  • 1948 Priscilla Lopez, American actress (In the Beginning, Kay O'Brien), born in the Bronx, New York
  • 1949 Emma Kirkby, English soprano, born in Surrey, England
  • 1949 Elizabeth George, American novelist (Inspector Thomas Lynley mystery novels), born in Warren, Ohio
  • 1950 Jonathan Cain, American rock guitarist & keyboardist (Journey, Babys), born in Chicago, Illinois

Helen Clark

1950 Helen Clark, New Zealand Prime Minister (Labour: 1999-2008) and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (2009-17), born in Hamilton, New Zealand

  • 1953 Bree Walker, American news anchor (WNBC TV, KNBC TV), born in Oakland, California
  • 1953 Michael Bolton, American rock vocalist (That's What Love Is All About), born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • 1954 John Bolger, American actor (Capt Gabe McNamara-Another World), born in New York City

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

1954 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, born in Kasımpaşa, Istanbul

  • 1955 Rupert Keegan, English Formula One racing car driver, born in Essex, England
  • 1956 Keisuke Kuwata, Japanese singer, born in Chigasaki, Japan
  • 1957 Connie Carpenter-Phinney, 79k cyclist (Olympic gold 1984), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1957 Keena Rothhammer, American 800m freestyle swimmer (Olympic gold 1972), born in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • 1957 David Muldrow Beasley, American politician, born in Darlington, South Carolina
  • 1957 Joe Mullen, American Hockey Hall of Fame right wing (Stanley Cup 1989, Calgary Flames; Pittsburgh Penguins 1991, 92; NHL All Star 1988, 89), born in NYC, New York
  • 1958 Jeff Fithian, American actor (Trevor Nash-Please Don't Eat the Daisies), born in Van Nuys, California
  • 1958 Joe Fithian, American actor (Tracey Nash-Please Don't Eat the Daisies), born in Van Nuys, California
  • 1958 Susan J. Helms, Mjr USAF/Astronaut (STS 54, 64, 78), born in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • 1958 Karen Berger, American comic book editor, born in New York City
  • 1958 Michel Houellebecq, French novelist, born in Saint-Pierre, Réunion
  • 1958 Greg Germann, American actor, born in Houston, Texas
  • 1958 Tim Kaine, US Senator (D-Vir) and 2016 Democratic nominee for Vice President, born in Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • 1959 Rolando Blackman, American basketball player, born in Panama City, Panama
  • 1960 Jaz Coleman, British musician (Killing Joke), born in Cheltenham, United Kingdom
  • 1962 Dave Palone, American harness racing trainer & driver (US Pacing Triple Crown 1996, 2005), born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
  • 1962 Sheila Cornell, American softball infielder (Olympic gold 1996), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1964 Mark Dacascos, American actor & martial artist, born in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 1965 Alison Armitage, English actress (Acapulco HEAT), born in London, England
  • 1966 Jennifer Grant, American actress (Celeste-Beverly Hills 90210), born in Burbank, California
  • 1966 Najwa Karam, Lebanese singer, born in Zahlé, Lebanon
  • 1967 David Howard, American baseball infielder (KC Royals), born in Sarasota, Florida
  • 1967 Roman Fortin, American NFL center (Atlanta Falcons), born in Columbus, Ohio
  • 1967 Scott Service, American baseball pitcher (Cincinnati Reds), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1967 Currie Graham, Canadian actor, born in Hamilton, Canada
  • 1968 Chris Green, American NFL safety (Buffalo Bills), born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana
  • 1968 J. T. Snow, American baseball infielder (NY Yankees, California Angels), born in Long Beach, California
  • 1968 Leif Rohlin, Swedish NHL defenseman (Vancouver Canucks), born in Vasteras, Sweden