On This Day

Famous Birthdays on January 26

  • 1497 Emperor Go-Nara of Japan (d. 1557)
  • 1541 Florent Chrestien, French writer (d. 1596)
  • 1613 Johann Jakob Wolleb, a Swiss organist , theologian and composer, born in Basel, Switzerland (d. 1667)
  • 1667 Henricus Zwaardecroon, gov-gen of Neth-Indies
  • 1708 William Hayes, English composer and organist, born in Gloucester (d. 1777) baptismal date
  • 1715 Claude Helvetius, philosopher, born in Paris, France
  • 1716 George Sackville Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville
  • 1722 Alexander Carlyle, Cummertrees, Dumfriesshire, Scottish church leader (Moderator of the General Assembly 1770)
  • 1742 Johann Friedrich Ludwig Sievers, German composer, born in Hanover (d. 1806)
  • 1748 Emmanuel Aloys Förster, Bohemian composer and music teacher, born in Niederstaina, Saxony (d. 1823)
  • 1763 Charles XIV [Jean Bernadotte], King of Sweden & Norway (1818-44), Marshall of France, born in Pau, France (d. 1844)
  • 1771 Jacob Andries van Braam, colonial director (Suriname)
  • 1778 Ugo Foscolo, Italian poet (Ultime lettere di Jacopo Ortis)
  • 1781 Ludwig Joachim "Achim" von Arnim, German poet (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)
  • 1786 Benjamin Robert Haydon, Plymouth, painter (Waiting for The Times)
  • 1813 Juan Pablo Duarte, Dominican founding father (d. 1876
  • 1814 Rufus King, American newspaper editor, politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in NYC, New York (d. 1876)
  • 1816 Lloyd Tilghman, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1863)
  • 1826 Julia Dent Grant, 1st lady (1862-76)
  • 1828 Johan T Buys, Dutch lawyer
  • 1831 Mary Mapes Dodge, American writer (Hans Brinker & the Silver Skates), born in NYC, New York
  • 1832 George Shiras Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice (d. 1924)
  • 1852 Frederick Corder, British composer (The Nabob's Pickle), born in Hackney, London, England (d. 1932)
  • 1852 Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, Italian-French explorer of the Congo (Brazzaville named after him), born in Rome, Papal States (d. 1905)
  • 1855 Arthur Hervey, Irish orchestral and operatic composer, and musicologist, born in Paris, France (d. 1922)
  • 1857 Trinley Gyatso, 12th Dalai Lama, born in Tibet (d. 1875)
  • 1860 Harry Micajah Daugherty, American politician, lawyer and political manager accused of corruption, born in Washington Court House, Ohio (d. 1941)
  • 1871 Warner Fabian [Samuel H Adams], American journalist/writer (Average Jones)
  • 1877 Kees van Dongen, Netherland, French painter
  • 1878 Dave Nourse, South African cricketer ("Grand Old Man" of South African cricket), born in Croydon, England (d. 1948)
  • 1879 Ludovicus H [Lode] Baekelmans, Flemish (stage)author (Tille)

Douglas MacArthur

1880 Douglas MacArthur, American General in World War II, born in Little Rock, Arkansas (d. 1964)

  • 1883 Bindo Maserati, Italian auto engineer and businessman (manager Maserati Racing; founder O.S.C.A. Racing), born in Voghera, Italy (d. 1980)
  • 1884 Edward Sapir, German linguist/antropologist (indians)
  • 1884 Roy Chapman Andrews, American scientist/explorer
  • 1884 Walter "Doc" Meanwell, English Basketball Hall of Fame coach (University of Wisconsin 1911–1917, 1920–1934), born in Leeds, England (d. 1953)
  • 1887 Enrique E Ecker, Curacao, bacteriologist
  • 1887 Marc A "Pete" Mitscher, US lt-admiral (WW II-Task Force 58)
  • 1887 Arnout Colnot, Dutch painter and graphic artist, born in Amsterdam (d. 1983)
  • 1887 François Faber, Luxembourgian cyclist (Tour de France 1909), born in Aulnay-sur-lton, France (d. 1915)
  • 1891 Ilya G Ehrenburg, writer (Fall of Paris, The Thaw), born in Kiev, Ukraine

Frank Costello

1891 Frank Costello, Italian-American gangster (The Prime Minister of the Underworld), born in Lauropoli, Calabria, Italy (d. 1973)

  • 1891 Wilder Penfield, American-born Canadian neurosurgeon (d. 1976)
  • 1892 Zara Cully, American actress (The Jeffersons -"Mother Jefferson"), born in Worcester, Massachusetts (d. 1978)
  • 1893 Bessie Coleman, 1st African American airplane pilot
  • 1893 Giuseppe Genco Russo, Sicilian mafioso (d. 1976)
  • 1899 Wyllis Cooper, American TV narrator (Volume One), born in Pekin, Illinois (d. 1955)
  • 1900 Karl Ristenpart, German conductor, born in Kiel, Germany (d. 1967)
  • 1901 Ervin Major, Hungarian composer, born in Budapest (d. 1967)
  • 1902 Laurence "Bill" Craigie, jet pioneer
  • 1902 Menno ter Braak, Dutch writer/essayist (Carnaval of the Citizens)
  • 1902 Romney Brent, Mexican-American actor and writer (Dinner at the Ritz), born in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico (d. 1976)
  • 1904 Douglas Evans, American actor (At War with the Army, South Pacific Trail), born in Madison, Virginia (d. 1968)

Seán MacBride

1904 Seán MacBride, Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army and founder of Amnesty International (Nobel 1974), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1988)

  • 1904 Ancel Keys, American scientist (d. 2004)
  • 1905 Charles Lane, American actor (Homer-Petticoat Junction, Lucy Show), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2007)
  • 1905 John Carmel Heenan, Essex, cardinal archbp of Westminster (1963-75)
  • 1905 Maria Augusta von Trapp, Austrian singer who inspired the "Sound of Music", born in Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire (d. 1987)
  • 1907 Eddie Ballantine, American orchestra leader (Don McNeill TV Club), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1995)
  • 1907 Hans Selye, Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist, born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1982)
  • 1908 Stéphane Grappelli, French jazz violinist who founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, born in Paris, France (d. 1997)
  • 1908 Jill Esmond, English actress, born in London, England (d. 1990)
  • 1910 Elmar Klos, Czech director (Adrift)
  • 1910 Marijan Lipovsek, Slovenian pianist, composer, and teacher, born in Ljubljana, Austria-Hungary (now Slovenia) (d. 1995)
  • 1910 Jean Image, Hungarian-born French animator (d. 1989)
  • 1911 Norbert Schultze, German composer, primarily of film scores, born in Brunswick, Saxony, Germany (d. 2002)
  • 1911 Polykarp Kusch, American nuclear physicist: Nobel 1955
  • 1912 Cora Baird, American puppeteer (Kukla, Fran & Ollie), born in NYC, New York
  • 1913 Jimmy Van Heusen [Edward Chester Babcock], American composer and songwriter ("All The Way"; "Love & Marriage"), born in Syracuse, New York (d. 1990)
  • 1913 William Prince, American actor (Spies Like Us, The Stepford Wives, City in Fear), born in Nichols, New York, (d. 1996)
  • 1914 Kaye Webb, English writer/publisher (Puffin Club)
  • 1914 Princess Hadice Hayriye Ayshe Dürrühsehvar (d. 2006)
  • 1915 William Hopper, American actor (Perry Mason, The Bad Seed, Rebel Without a Cause), born in NYC, New York (d. 1970)
  • 1916 Lothar Jensch, German composer (d. 2004)
  • 1917 Louis Zamperini, American World War II veteran whose story of capture by the Japanese inspired the movie "Unbroken", born in Olean, New York (d. 2014)

Nicolae Ceausescu

1918 Nicolae Ceausescu, Communist dictator of Romania (1967-89), born in Scornicești, Romania (d. 1989)

  • 1918 Vito Scotti [Scozarri], American actor (The Godfather, Flying Nun, Barefoot in the Park), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1996)
  • 1918 Philip José Farmer, Terre Haute Indiana, American sci-fi novelist (Riverworld)
  • 1919 K C Ibrahim, cricketer (batted in 4 Tests India v WI 1948-49)
  • 1920 Derek Bond, British actor (Nicholas Nickelby, Armchair Theatre), born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 2006)
  • 1920 John Logan Gorlay, journalist
  • 1921 Akio Morita, Kasugaya Japan, CEO (Sony)
  • 1921 Frantisek Chaun, Czech composer, born in Kaplice, Bohemia, Austrian Empire (now Czechia) (d. 1981)
  • 1921 Johannes Driessler, German organist and composer, born in Friedrichsthal, Germany (d. 1988)
  • 1921 Eddie Barclay, French producer (Barclay Records) (d. 2005)
  • 1922 Michael Bentine, England, author/comedian (Reluctant Jester)
  • 1923 Anne Jeffreys [Annie Carmichael], American singer and actress (Dick Tracy, Topper, General Hospital), born in Goldsboro, North Carolina (d. 2017)
  • 1923 Talib Dawud [Alfonso Rainey], Antiguan-American jazz trumpeter (Dizzy Gillespie Big Band), born in Antigua (d. 1999)
  • 1924 Warren Frank Benson, American composer (The Leaves Are Falling), and educator (Eastman School, 1967-1993), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2005)
  • 1924 Annette Strauss, American philanthropist and politician, born in Houston, Texas (d. 1998)
  • 1924 Alice Babs [Nilson], Swedish jazz singer (The Swe-Danes; Duke Ellington's Sacred Concerts), and actress (Swing It, Teacher!), born in Västervik, Sweden (d. 2014)
  • 1924 James W. McCord Jr., American CIA officer who led the Watergate break-in, born in Waurika, Oklahoma (d. 2017)
  • 1925 David Jenkins, Bishop (Durham)
  • 1925 Desmond Cassidi, British admiral
  • 1925 Joan Leslie, American actress (High Sierra, Yankee Doodle Dandy), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2015)

Paul Newman

1925 Paul Newman, American actor (Hud, Hombre, Hustler), racing car driver and charity food company founder (Newman's Own), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2008)

  • 1925 Claude Ryan, Quebec newspaper editor (d. 2004)
  • 1926 Sir Charles Henderson Tidbury, British brewing executive, former chairman (Whitbread & Company), born in Camberley, Surrey (d. 2003)
  • 1926 José María Valverde, Spanish philosopher, poet and translator (La espera, Historia de la literatura universal), born in Valencia de Alcántara, Spain (d. 1996)
  • 1926 Ronnie Hilton, British radio presenter and singer (Moonraker), born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England (d. 2001)
  • 1926 Farman Fatehpuri [Syed Dildar Ali], Urdu scholar, linguist, critic and author, born in Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh, British India (d. 2013)
  • 1926 Fritz Spiegl, Austrian-British classical flautist, broadcaster, composer, and wit, born in Zurndorf, Austria (d. 2003)
  • 1927 José Azcona del Hoyo, President of Honduras (1986-90), born in La Ceiba, Honduras (d. 2005)
  • 1927 William Redfield, American actor (Jimmy Hughes Rookie Cop, Marriage), born in NYC, New York (d. 1976)
  • 1927 Bob Nieman, American baseball player (d. 1985)
  • 1928 Gene Snyder, (Rep-R-KY, 1963-65, 67- )
  • 1928 Roger Vadim, French director (And God Created Women, Barbarella)
  • 1929 Jules Feiffer, American cartoonist (Passionella)/author (Little Murders), born in NYC, New York
  • 1929 Gordon Solie, American wrestling commentator (d. 2000)
  • 1930 A N Solomons, British banking chairman (Singer & Friedlander)
  • 1930 Anne Macfarlane, Master (Court of Protection)
  • 1930 Buddy Melges, American sailor (Olympic gold 1972) and America's Cup skipper (America3), born in Elkhorn, Wisconsin
  • 1930 Wim Statius Muller, Curaçaoa conductor, pianist, and composer, born in Curaçao (d. 2019)
  • 1931 Mary Murphy, American actress (A Man Alone, Maggie-Investigators), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2011)
  • 1932 Christopher Price, Director (Leeds Metropolitan U)
  • 1932 George H Clements, first Roman Catholic Priest to adopt a child.
  • 1932 Ronald Allison, British author/broadcaster
  • 1932 Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd, Jamaican record producer, born in Kingston, Jamaica (d. 2004)
  • 1933 Ercole Baldini, Italian cyclist
  • 1934 Joe Erskine, Welsh heavyweight boxer (British heavyweight champion 1956-58), born in Cardiff, Wales (d. 1990)
  • 1934 Huey "Piano" Smith, American R&B pianist ("Rockin' Pneumonia & Boogie Woogie Flu"; "Having a Good Time"), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1934 Roger Landry, Quebec businessman and newspaper publisher
  • 1935 Bob Uecker, American catcher/actor (Mr Belvedere), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1935 Henry Jordan, American NFL defensive tackle (Cleveland, Green Bay), born in Emporia, Virginia
  • 1935 Peter Ronnefeld, German composer and conductor (Die Nachtausgabe), born in Dresden, Germany (d. 1965)
  • 1935 Zbigniew Penherski, Polish composer (Little Music for the End of Century), born in Warsaw, Poland (d. 2019)
  • 1935 Paula Rego, Portuguese born artist (Cast of Characters From Snow White), born in Lisbon, Portugal
  • 1936 Sal Buscema, American comic book artist
  • 1937 Joseph Saidu Momoh, gen/president (Sierra Leone)
  • 1938 Margaret Daly, British MEP
  • 1938 Bill Wurtzel, American jazz and classical guitarist (Count Basie), born in Forestburgh, New York
  • 1939 Marshall Leib [Leibovitz], American pop singer (Teddy Bears - "To Know Him Is To Love Him"), and record producer, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2002)
  • 1940 Harold Lederman, American boxing judge, analyst (HBO), born in NYC, NY (d. 2019)
  • 1941 Henry Jaglom, actor (Eating, Lucky Ducks, Always), born in London, England
  • 1941 Scott Glenn, actor (Right Stuff, Personal Best, Backdraft), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1942 Nigel Walmsley, chairman (Carlton UK Television)
  • 1942 William McLennan, CEO (Central Statistical Office)
  • 1942 Souad Hosni, Egyptian actress (d. 2001)
  • 1943 Jean Knight [Caliste], American soul, funk and R&B singer (Mr. Big Stuff), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1943 Peter Kenton Winkler, American pianist, symphonic and theatrical composer, born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1943 Sherian Grace Cadoria, brigadier general
  • 1943 César Gutiérrez, Venezuelan baseball player, born in Coro, Venezuela (d. 2005)
  • 1943 Kathryn Leigh Scott, American TV actress (Dark Shadows), born in Robbinsdale, Minnesota
  • 1944 Angela Davis, African American activist, author and professor, born in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 1945 Mick Hill, Australian cricketer (NSW all-rounder 1964-75), born in Greensborough, Australia
  • 1945 Jacqueline du Pré, English cellist, born in Oxford, United Kingdom (d. 1987)
  • 1945 Barbara Kruger, American conceptual artist, born in Newark, New Jersey
  • 1945 Ashley Hutchings, British folk-rock bassist, vocalist, songwriter, and record producer (Fairport Convention; Steeleye Span), born in Southgate, London England
  • 1945 Marti Caine [Lynne Stringer], British comedienne, singer and television host, born in Sheffield, England (d. 1995)
  • 1946 Christopher Hampton, Portuguese playwright (Oviri, Hotel du Lac), born in Horta, Portugal
  • 1946 Gene Siskel, American movie critic (Siskel & Ebert), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1999)
  • 1946 Timothy Clifford, British art historian (National Galleries of Scotland)
  • 1947 Patrick Dewaere [PJMH Bordeaux], French actor (Les Valseuses)
  • 1947 Michel Sardou, French pop singer and songwriter, born in Paris, France
  • 1947 Miguel Ángel Castellini, Argentine boxer (WBA, lineal light middleweight titles 1976-77), born in Santa Rosa, Argentina (d. 2020)
  • 1948 Laurence "Corky" Laing, Canadian rock drummer and songwriter (Mountain, Cork), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1949 Derek Holt, British rock guitarist (Curved Air; Climax Blues Band - "Couldn't Get It Right"), born in Stafford, England
  • 1949 Paul Nurse, English geneticist (Imperial Cancer Research Fund), born in Norwich, United Kingdom
  • 1949 David Strathairn, American actor (LA Confidential, The Bourne Ultimatum), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1949 Jonathan Carroll, American author, born in New York
  • 1950 Jorg Haider, Austrian political leader (Austrian Freedom Party), born in Bad Goisern, Austria (d. 2008)
  • 1950 Janet Lupo, American model, born in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • 1951 Andy Hummell, American rock bassist (Big Star, 1971-73), born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (d. 2010)
  • 1951 David Briggs, Australian rock guitarist (Little River Band, 1976-81 - "Lonesome Loser"), born in Melbourne, Australia
  • 1951 Jarmila Kratochvilova, Czech 400m/800m runner (Olympic silver 1980), born in Golčův Jeníkov, Czechia
  • 1951 Walt Willey, American actor (Jackson Montgomery-All My Children), born in Ottawa, Illinois
  • 1951 Christopher North, American rock keyboardist (Ambrosia - "The Biggest Part Of Me"), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1952 Mario Runco Jr., American astronaut (STS 44, 54, 77), born in the Bronx, New York
  • 1952 Thomas Edward Henderson, American basketball player (Olympic silver 1972), born in Newberry, South Carolina,
  • 1953 Bert Heerink, Dutch rock vocalist, born in Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1953 Lucinda Williams, American roots singer-songwriter ("Passionate Kisses"; "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road"), born in Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • 1953 Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, born in Ginnerup, Denmark

Kim Hughes

1954 Kim Hughes, Australian cricketer and brilliant batsman (1977-84), born in Margaret River, Western Australia

  • 1954 Martin Dunn, British editor (Today)
  • 1954 (Kimberly) Kim "Claggy" Hughes, Australian cricketer, born in Margaret River, Australia
  • 1955 Lucia Mendez, Mexican actress & singer (Lucia es Luna Moreno), born in León, Guanajuato, Mexico

Eddie Van Halen

1955 Eddie Van Halen, Dutch-American rock guitarist (Van Halen - "You Really Got Me"; "Jump"), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 2020)

  • 1956 Lisa Boray [Schulte Nordholt], Dutch jazz singer ("Lovers Until the End"), born in Breda, Netherlands
  • 1957 Ashok Malhotra, Indian cricketer (Indian batsman in 7 Tests 1982-84), born in Amritsar, India
  • 1957 Shivlal Yadav, Indian cricketer (Indian off-spinner 102 Test wickets 1979-87), born in Hyderabad, India
  • 1957 Hawk [Michael Hegstrand], American professional wrestler (ECW/WCW/WWF/AWA, Legion of Doom), born in St. Paul, Minnesota (d. 2003)
  • 1958 Anita Baker, American jazz and soul singer ("Giving You the Best That I Got"; "Sweet Love"), born in Toledo, Ohio
  • 1958 B. James Lowry, American country session guitarist and producer (The Boys Band), born in Pensacola, Florida

Ellen DeGeneres

1958 Ellen DeGeneres, American comedian (Ellen Morgan-Ellen), born in New Orleans, Louisiana

  • 1958 Norman Hassan, British reggae percussionist, and trombone player (UB40 - "Red Red Wine"; "I Got You Babe"), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1958 Salvador Sánchez, Mexican boxer, born in Santiago Tianguistenco, Mexico (d. 1982)
  • 1959 Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkish film director (Winter Sleep), born in Istanbul, Turkey
  • 1960 Gary Plummer, American NFL linebacker (San Diego Chargers, SF 49ers), born in Fremont, California
  • 1960 Jeanette Bolden, American 4x100m runner (Olympic gold 1984), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1960 Charlie Gillingham, American rock Hammond B-3 organ, accordion, piano, and keyboard player (Counting Crows - "Accidentally In Love"), born in Torrance, California

Wayne Gretzky

1961 Wayne Gretzky, Canadian ice hockey hall of fame center (Stanley Cup 1984, 85, 87, 88; Hart Memorial Trophy [MVP] 1980–87, 89; Art Ross Trophy [scoring champion] 1981–87, 90, 91, 94; Edmonton Oilers, LA Kings), born in Brantford, Ontario

  • 1961 Neil Taylor, British touring and session guitarist (Tears For Fears - "Everybody Wants To Rule The World"; Robbie Williams), born in Bristol, England
  • 1962 Roshan Guneratne, Sri Lankan cricketer (wicketless in only Test SL v Aust 1983), born in Colombo, Sri Lanka (d. 2005)
  • 1962 Tim May, Australian cricketer (Australian off-spinner 1987-95), born in North Adelaide, Australia
  • 1962 Tom Keifer, American rock guitarist and vocalist (Cinderella - "Coming Home"), born in Springfield, Pennsylvania
  • 1962 Oscar Ruggeri, Argentine footballer, born in Cordoba, Argentina
  • 1963 Andrew Ridgeley, British pop guitarist, songwriter and producer (Wham - "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"), born in Windlesham, Surrey, England
  • 1963 Jazzie B [Beresford Romeo], English rapper (Soul II Soul - "Feel Free"), born in Hornsey, London, England
  • 1963 Simon O'Donnell, Australian cricketer (Deniliquin NSW ODI all-rounder 1985-90), born in Deniliquin, Australia
  • 1963 José Mourinho, Portuguese football manager (Chelsea), born in Setúbal, Lisbon