On This Day

Famous Birthdays on March 17

  • 1231 Emperor Shijō of Japan (d. 1242)
  • 1473 James IV, King of Scots (1488-1513)
  • 1537 Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japanese daimyō & warrior (Japan's second "great unifier"), born in Nakamura-ku, Japan (d. 1598)
  • 1578 Francesco Albana, Italian painter (Mary's Ascension)
  • 1628 Daniel van Papenbroeck [Papebrochius], Flemish historian
  • 1655 Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, French harpsichordist, organist, singer, and composer (Les pièces de clavessin; Céphale et Procris), born in, Paris (d. 1729)
  • 1664 Georg Osterreich, composer
  • 1675 Petrus Laurentius Wockenfuss, composer
  • 1676 Thomas Boston, Scottish church leader (d. 1732)
  • 1685 Jean-Marc Nattier, French portrait painter
  • 1695 Antoine Court, French minister and itinerant preacher in the Reformed church who restored Protestantism to France, born in Villeneuve-de-Berg, France (d. 1760)
  • 1725 Lachlan McIntosh, Scottish-born American military and political leader (d. 1806)
  • 1746 Jan David Holland, composer
  • 1754 Madame Roland [Marie-Jeanne Phlippon], French revolutionary (member of the Girondist faction), born in Paris, France (d. 1793)
  • 1775 Ninian Edwards, American politician (Governor of Illinois Territory, 1809–1813; U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1818–1824; Governor of Illinois 1826–1830), born in Montgomery County, Maryland (d. 1833)
  • 1777 Roger Brooke Taney, 5th Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court (Dred Scott decision), born in Calvert, Maryland (d. 1864)
  • 1780 Thomas Chalmers, Scottish minister and 1st moderator (Free Church of Scotland 1843-47), born in Anstruther, Scotland (d. 1847)
  • 1781 Dominique J de Eerens, governor-general of Neth Indies
  • 1781 Ebenezer Elliott, British Poet. Know as the "Corn Law Rhymer'" (d. 1849)
  • 1789 Edmund Kean, British Shakespearean tragic actor (Shylock), born in London, England (d. 1833)
  • 1804 James Bridger, American scout, fur trader and mountain man par excellence, born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1881)
  • 1806 Norbert Rillieux, American chemical engineer and inventor (sugar refiner), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1894)
  • 1820 Patrick Edward Connor, Irish-American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in County Kerry, Republic of Ireland (d. 1891)
  • 1820 Jean Ingelow, English poet (d. 1897)
  • 1825 Rodolphe Bresdin, French cartoonist/lithographer (Le Bon Samaritain)
  • 1826 Oskar Peschel, German journalist/geography (Volkerkunder)
  • 1828 Patrick Ronayne Cleburne, Major General (Confederate Army)
  • 1832 Moncure Daniel Conway, US abolitionist (Life of Thomas Paine)
  • 1832 Walter Quintin Gresham, American statesman, jurist, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Lanesville, Indiana (d. 1895)

Gottlieb Daimler

1834 Gottlieb Daimler, German engineer and inventor, designed 1st motorcycle, born in Schorndorf, Kingdom of Württemberg (d. 1900)

  • 1839 Josef Rheinberger, German organist, composer, and educator (Munich Conservatory, 1877-1901), born in Vaduz, Liechtenstein (d. 1901)
  • 1846 Kate Greenaway, English artist known for her children's book illustrations (Under the Window), born in London (d. 1901)
  • 1848 Horace Wadham Nicholl, composer
  • 1856 Mikhail Vrubel, Russian painter (d. 1910)
  • 1862 Silvio Gesell, Belgian economist (d. 1930)
  • 1866 Pierce Butler, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (d. 1939)
  • 1870 Horace Donisthorpe, British entomologist (d. 1951)
  • 1872 Billy Quaife, cricketer (England batsman 1899-1902)
  • 1873 Margaret Bondfield, British politician and 1st British female cabinet minister (1929-31), born in Chard, Somerset (d. 1953)
  • 1874 Kincsem, horse that never lost a race
  • 1874 Stephen Samuel Wise, American Rabbi and President of Zionist Org of America, born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 1949)
  • 1876 Frederic Ayers, composer
  • 1877 Albert P Hahn, Dutch political cartoonist (People/Nutcracker)
  • 1880 Guillermo Uribe Holguin, composer
  • 1880 Sir Patrick Hastings, British barrister (d. 1952)
  • 1880 Lawrence Oates, English army officer and Antarctic explorer (d. 1912)
  • 1881 Kristian Elster, Norwegian author (Less bror Harris)
  • 1881 Walter Rudolf Hess, Swiss physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1973)
  • 1883 Urmuz, Romanian writer (d. 1923)
  • 1884 Alcide Nunez, American jazz clarinetist, born in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana (d. 1934)
  • 1886 Princess Patricia of Connaught, British princess (d. 1974)
  • 1887 Ben Sajet, Dutch physician/politician
  • 1888 Frank Buck, American actor (Africa Screams, Tiger Queen, Tiger Fangs), born in Gainesville, Texas (d. 1950)
  • 1888 Paul Ramadier, French politician (d. 1961)
  • 1890 Harold Morris, composer
  • 1892 Sayed Darwish, Egyptian singer & songwriter, "father of Egyptian popular music" (Ana Haweet), born in Kôm el-Dikka, Alexandria (d. 1923)
  • 1894 Paul Green, American novelist/playwright (In Abraham's Bosom)
  • 1897 Jozef C. Mazur, American stained glass artist and painter (d. 1970)
  • 1900 Alfred Newman, American film music arranger, conductor and composer, winner of 9 Academy Awards (The Robe; How The West Was Won; Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing), born in New Haven, Connecticut (d. 1970)
  • 1901 Eisaku Sato, premier of Japan (Nobel 1974)
  • 1901 Piotr Perkowski, Polish composer, born in Oweczacze (now Druzhne), Ukraine (d. 1990)

Bobby Jones

1902 Bobby Jones Jr., American golfer, course designer (13 major titles, Grand Slam 1930), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 1971)

  • 1904 Patrick Hamilton, English author and playwright (Gaslight, Rope), born in Hassocks, England (d. 1962)
  • 1906 Brigitte Helm [Gisele Eve von Kuenheim], German actress (Gloria, Gold, Metropolis), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1996)
  • 1906 Michael O'Shea, American actor (It's a Great Life, Lady of Burlesque), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 1973)
  • 1906 Tamara Geva, Russian-born dancer and actress, born in St. Petersburg (d. 1997)
  • 1907 Jan M J van Houtte, premier Belgium (1952-54)
  • 1907 Sonny Werblin, former owner of the New York Jets (d. 1991)
  • 1908 Boris N Poveloi [Kampov], Russian journalist/writer [OS=Mar 4]
  • 1908 Radie Britain, American composer, born near Silverton, Texas (d. 1994)
  • 1909 Patrick Reilly, Ootacamund, India, British diplomat
  • 1909 Lovie Lee [Edward Lee Watson], American electric blues pianist, singer, and songwriter, born in Chattanooga, Tennessee (d. 1997)

Bayard Rustin

1910 Bayard Rustin, American civil rights leader (March on Washington organizer, Social Democrats USA), born in West Chester, Pennsylvania (d. 1987)

  • 1911 Raffaele d'Alessandro, Swiss pianist, organist, and composer, born in St. Gallen, Switzerland (d. 1959)
  • 1911 Patrick Maitland, 17th Earl of Lauderdale, Scottish Unionist politician

Sammy Baugh

1914 Sammy Baugh, American NFL hall of fame quarterback (Washington Redskins), born in Temple, Texas (d. 2008)

  • 1915 Hans Namuth, German/US photographer (Todos Santos, Guatemala)
  • 1915 William "Bill" Roycroft, Australian equestrian 3 day (Olympic bronze 1976), born in Melbourne, Australia (d. 2011)
  • 1915 Henry Bumstead, American art director (d. 2006)
  • 1916 David Stafford-Clark, English psychiatrist, born in Bromley, Kent, England (d. 1999)
  • 1916 Donald Gibson, British vice-admiral, Fleet Air Arm pilot of the WWII
  • 1916 Ray Ellington, British singer (d. 1985)
  • 1917 Arthur Basil Cotle, medievalist
  • 1917 Brian Boydell, composer
  • 1918 D Arendo [Arend Honhoff], Dutch pianist and composer (Eleonora)
  • 1918 Wilhelmus M J Russell, Dutch attorney and Member of 1st chamber (KVP/CDA)
  • 1918 Józef Franczak, Polish soldier and anti-communist resistance fighter who was the last cursed soldiers, born in Kozice Górne, Kingdom of Poland (d. 1963)
  • 1919 Hank Sauer, American baseball left fielder (NL MVP, HR leader, RBI leader 1952; MLB All Star 1950, 52; Chicago Cubs), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2001)

Nat King Cole

1919 Nat "King "Cole, American jazz pianist and pop vocalist ("Unforgettable", "Mona Lisa"), born in Montgomery, Alabama (d. 1965)

  • 1920 John La Montaine, composer (Pulitzer 1959), born in Oak Park, Illinois (d. 2013)
  • 1921 Mick Harvey, cricketer (in Newcastle Brother of Neil Test umpire)
  • 1921 Donald Barron, Scottish accountant and CEO (Midland Bank), born in Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland (d. 2015)
  • 1922 Megan Bull, British head mistress (Holloway Jail)

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

1922 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Founding father of Bangladesh and 1st and 4th President of Bangladesh (1971-72 and 1975-76), born in Tungipara, Bengal Presidency, British India (d. 1975)

  • 1924 Stephen Dodgson, British composer, born in Chelsea, London, England (d. 2013)
  • 1925 Jerome Lejeune, physiologist
  • 1925 Gabriele Ferzetti, Italian film and stage actor
  • 1926 Siegfried Lenz, German writer (Ein Kriegsende)
  • 1927 Kenneth S Goldstein, folklorist/enthomusicologist
  • 1927 Nancy Sheehan, writer
  • 1927 Patrick Allen, British actor (Roman Holiday;Dial "M" for Murder), born in Nyasaland, Africa (d. 2006)
  • 1927 Sulkhan Nasidze, Georgian composer, born in Tiflis, Transcaucasia, Soviet Union (now Tblisi, Georgia) (d. 1996)
  • 1927 Roberto Suazo Córdova, President of Honduras (1982-86), born in La Paz, Honduras (d. 2018)
  • 1928 Edino Krieger, composer
  • 1928 Eunice Gayson, British actress and 1st Bond Girl (Sylvia Trench- "Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love"), born in London (d. 2018) [1]
  • 1928 William John McKeag, Canadian politician (d. 2007)
  • 1930 James Benson Irwin, Col USAF/astronaut (Apollo 15), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1931 David Peakall, British scientist (d. 2001)
  • 1932 Dick Curless, singer/songwriter
  • 1932 Donald N. Langenberg, American physicist
  • 1933 Penelope Lively, British writer (Moon Tiger, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe), born in Cairo, Egypt
  • 1933 Myrlie Evers-Williams, American civil rights activist (NAACP chair), born in Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • 1934 Erhard Grosskopf, German avant-garde composer, born in Berlin, Germany
  • 1934 Q T Macon, blues vocal/guitar
  • 1935 Adam Wade, American singer & actor (The Writing On The Wall), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1935 Vladimir Popović, Serbian soccer midfielder (20 caps, Yugoslavia; Red Star Belgrade) and manager (Intercontinental Cup, Red Star Belgrade 1991), born in Belgrade, Serbia (d. 2020)
  • 1936 Ladislaw Kupkovic, composer
  • 1936 Ken Mattingly, American USN naval officer, and NASA astronaut (Apollo 16; STS-4, -51-C), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1936 Robert Daniel, republican Congressman for Virginia (1972-1983), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 2012)
  • 1937 Adam Wade, actor (Kiss Me Goodbye, Crazy Joe)
  • 1937 Galina Samsova, Russian ballerina, born in Stalingrad, Soviet Union
  • 1937 Frank Calabrese [Frankie Breeze], mafia hitman, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2012)
  • 1938 Rudolf Nureyev, Russian ballet dancer/choreographer (Kirov), born on a train near Irkutsk, Soviet Union (d. 1993)
  • 1938 Keith O'Brien, Scottish Catholic archbishop (St Andrews & Edinburgh), born in Ballycastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • 1938 Fred Akers, American football coach (University of Wyoming; University of Texas, Austin; Purdue; career college record 108–75–3), born in Blytheville, Arkansas (d. 2020)
  • 1938 Zoletta "Zola" Taylor, American pop singer (The Platters, 1954-62 - "The Great Pretender"; "Only You"; "Twilight Time"), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2007)
  • 1939 Shahid Mahmoud, cricketer (opener scored 16 & 9 in only Pak Test)
  • 1939 Robin Knox-Johnston, British yachtsman
  • 1939 Jim Gary, American sculptor (d. 2006)
  • 1940 Mark White, American politician, lawyer, and 43rd Governor of Texas (1983-7), born in Henderson, Texas (d. 2017)
  • 1941 Paul Kantner, American rock singer and guitarist (Jefferson Airplane; Jefferson Starship), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2016)
  • 1941 Clarence Collins, American doo-wop singer (Imperials - "Tears On My Pillow"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1941 Edward Harper, composer
  • 1941 Wang Jin-pyng, Taiwanese politician

John Wayne Gacy

1942 John Wayne Gacy, American serial killer who killed 33 young men, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1994)

  • 1942 Sidney K Barthelmy, US politician(?)
  • 1942 Dimitris Poulikakos, Greek composer, singer and actor
  • 1943 Don Mitchell, actor (Mark-Ironside), born in Houston, Texas (d. 2013)
  • 1943 Tony Newman, English drummer (Sounds Incorporated, T.Rex), born in Southampton, England
  • 1943 Jim Weatherly, American pop and country songwriter ("Midnight Train To Georgia"), born in Pontotoc, Mississippi (d. 2021)
  • 1944 Cito Gaston, MLB manager (Toronto Blue Jays)
  • 1944 John Sebastian, American singer (Loving Spoonful - "Summer In The City"; solo - "Welcome Back"), born in NYC, New York
  • 1944 Pat McCauley, Northern Irish rock keyboardist and drummer (Them - "Here Comes The Night") (d. 1984)
  • 1944 Pattie Boyd, English model, photographer and author who married both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, born in Taunton, England
  • 1945 Elis Regina, Brazilian singer (d. 1982)
  • 1945 Michael Hayden, General USAF, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
  • 1946 Harold Brown, American rock drummer (War, 1969-94 - "Summer": "Low Rider"), born in Long Beach, California
  • 1946 Michael Peter Finnissey, composer
  • 1947 Ian Gomm, British rock guitarist
  • 1947 James Morrow, American author
  • 1947 Jan Andersson, Swedish politician
  • 1947 Yury Chernavsky, Russian-born Composer and Producer
  • 1948 Fran Byrne, musician (Ace), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • 1948 Pat Lloyd, rocker (The Equals), born in London
  • 1948 Robert Braunwart, who added thousands of dates to this database
  • 1948 William [Ford] Gibson, Canadian sci-fi author (Neuromancer, Count Zero)
  • 1948 Alexander Nelson Hood, 4th Viscount Bridport, British-born investment banker
  • 1948 Alex MacDonald, Scottish Footballer and football manager
  • 1949 Patrick Duffy, actor (Bobby-Dallas, Man from Atlantis), born in Townsend, Montana
  • 1949 Pat Rice, Irish soccer defender and coach (49 caps; Arsenal, Watford), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 1950 Betty Dukes, American Walmart employee who fought against gender discrimination (2001 Betty Dukes v. Walmart lawsuit), born in Tallulah, Louisiana
  • 1950 Michael Been, American musician (The Call), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 2010)

Kurt Russell

1951 Kurt Russell, actor (Thing, Overboard, Mean Seasons), born in Springfield, Massachusetts

  • 1951 Scott Gorham, American rock guitarist (Thin Lizzy - "Jailbreak"; "21 Guns"), born in Glendale, California
  • 1951 Donald Findlay, Scottish lawyer
  • 1952 Nikos Xydakis, Greek musician and composer
  • 1953 Filemon Lagman, Filipino communist revolutionary (d. 2001)
  • 1953 Chuck Muncie, American football running back, (d. 2013)
  • 1954 Lesley-Anne Down, British actress and singer (A Little Night Music; Moonraker), born in London, England
  • 1954 Rena Jones, rock vocalist
  • 1955 Bill Beyers, actor (Wally McCandless-Capitol)
  • 1955 Cynthia McKinney, (Rep-D-Georgia)
  • 1955 Gary Sinise, American actor (Apollo 13, CSI: NY, Forrest Gump), born in Blue Island Illinois
  • 1955 Paul Overstreet, American country singer (Daddy's Come Around), born in Van Cleave, Mississippi
  • 1956 Will Rigby, rock percussionist (Amy Rigby Diary of a Mad Housewife)
  • 1956 Patrick McDonnell, American cartoonist
  • 1956 Rory McGrath, British comedian, television personality, and writer (Who Dares Wins, They Think It's All Over), born in Redruth, Cornwall
  • 1956 Luca Francesconi, Italian classical and electronic music composer (Wanderer; Unexpected End of Formula), born in Milan, Italy
  • 1957 Mal Donaghy, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1958 Pat Bolland, Canadian Broadcaster
  • 1959 Danny Ainge, American NBA basketball player (Boston Celtics, 1981-69; 3 other teams 1989-95), coach (Phoenix Suns, 1996-99), and executive (Boston Celtics, 2000-present)and MLB baseball (Toronto Blue Jays, 1979-81) player, born in Eugene, Oregon
  • 1959 Mike Lindup, British rock keyboardist, singer, and songwriter (Level 42 - "Lessons In Love"; "Something About You"), born in London, England
  • 1959 Paul Black [Marmorstein], American rock singer (L.A. Guns, 1985-87), and drummer, born in San Francisco, California
  • 1959 Christian Clemenson, American actor (Boston Leagal; CSI:Miami), born in Humboldt, Iowa
  • 1960 Vicki Lewis, actress (Beth-Newsradio), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1960 Arye Gross, American actor
  • 1961 Casey Siemaszko, American actor (Biloxi Blues, 3 O'Clock High), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1961 Andrew Paul, English actor
  • 1961 Dana Reeve, American actress, wife of Christopher Reeve and activist (Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation), born in Teaneck, New Jersey (d. 2006)
  • 1962 Clare Grogan, Scottish new wave singer (Altered Images - "Happy Birthday"), and actress (Gregory's Girl; Eastenders), born in Glasgow
  • 1962 Janet Gardner, American rock singer, and rhythm guitarist (Vixen - "Rev It Up"), born in Juneau, Alaska
  • 1962 Roxy Petrucci, American rock drummer (Vixen - "Rev It Up'), born in Rochester, Michigan
  • 1963 Rebeca Arthur, actress (Mary Anne-Perf Strangers, Opposites Attract)
  • 1963 Roger Harper, cricketer (Guyana & WI off-spinner Extraordinary field)
  • 1963 Nick Peros, Canadian classical composer (Prayer of Consolation)
  • 1963 Alex Fong Chung-Sun, Chinese actor
  • 1963 Michael Ivins, American rock bassist and keyboard player (The Flaming Lips - "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots"), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • 1964 Alex Shoumidoub, NHL goaltender (Belarus, Olympics 1998)
  • 1964 Don Griffin, NFL cornerback (Cleveland Browns)
  • 1964 Rob Lowe, actor (St Elmo's Fire, Hotel NH, Class), born in Charlottesville, Virginia