Birthdays in History on April 15

Leonardo da VinciLeonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Italian painter, sculptor, scientist and visionary, born in Vinci, Florence, Italy

Guru NanakGuru Nanak (1469-1539)

Founder of the religion of Sikhism and the 1st Sikh Guru, born in Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi, Punjab, Pakistan

  • 1489 Mimar Sinan, Ottoman architect and civil engineer for Sultans Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, and Murad III, born in Ağırnas, Karaman Eyalet, Ottoman Empire (d. 1588)
  • 1552 Pietro Cataldi, Italian mathematician, born in Bologna, Italy (d. 1626)
  • 1588 Claudius Salmasius [Claude Saumaise], French linguist, born in Semur-en-Auxois, France (d. 1653)
  • 1641 Robert Sibbald, Scottish physician, born in Edinburgh (d. 1722)
  • 1646 Christian V, King of Denmark and Norway, born in Duborg Castle, Flensburg (d. 1699)
  • 1646 Pierre Poiret, French mystic, born in Metz, France (d. 1719)
  • 1682 John van Huysum, Dutch painter (flowers/fruit)
  • 1684 Catherine I, Empress of Russia (1725-27), born in Višķi, Daugavpils Municipality (d. 1727)

Leonhard EulerLeonhard Euler (1707-1783)

Swiss mathematician (Euler's Constant), born in Basel, Switzerland

  • 1710 William Cullen, Scottish physician and chemist, born in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland (d. 1790)
  • 1741 Charles Willson Peale, American painter remembered for portraits of leading American Revolution figures (George Washington), born in Chester, Province of Maryland (d. 1827)
  • 1766 Friedrich Bouterwek, German philosopher and critic, born in Oker, Hanover, Germany (d. 1828)
  • 1772 Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, French naturalist, born in Étampes, France (d. 1844)
  • 1786 Walter Channing, American physician who was the first to use anesthesia during childbirth, born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 1876)
  • 1793 Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve, German-Russian astronomer, born in Altona, Hamburg (d. 1864)
  • 1794 Jean Pierre Flourens, French physiologist, born in Maureilhan, France (d. 1867)
  • 1800 James Clark Ross, British Royal Navy explorer (British Antarctic), born in London (d. 1862)
  • 1809 Hermann Grassmann, German linguist and mathematician, born in Stettin, Province of Pomerania, Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1877)
  • 1812 Théodore Rousseau, French painter, born in Paris (d. 1867)
  • 1814 John Lothrop Motley, American historian and author (The Rise of the Dutch Republic), born in Dorchester, Boston (d. 1877)
  • 1820 Evander McNair, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Laurel Hill, North Carolina (d. 1902)
  • 1821 Joseph E. Brown, American attorney and politician (42nd Governor of Georgia), born in Pickens, South Carolina (d. 1894)
  • 1822 Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana, American Major General (Union Army), born in Eastport, Maine (d. 1905)
  • 1829 Mary Harris Thompson, 1st American woman surgeon, born in Fort Ann, New York (d. 1895)
  • 1832 Wilhelm Busch, German poet, born in Wiedensahl, Kingdom of Hanover (d. 1908)
  • 1837 Horace Porter, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania (d. 1921)
  • 1841 Joseph E. Seagram, Canadian distillery founder (Seagram Distilleries), born in Fisher's Mills, Canada West (d. 1919)
  • 1843 Henry James, American-British author (Turn of the Screw, Bostonians), born in NYC, New York (d. 1916)
  • 1850 John Munro Longyear, American capitalist and developer of timber and mineral lands, born in Lansing, Michigan (d. 1922)
  • 1858 Émile Durkheim, French sociologist (Division du travail social), born in Épinal, France (d. 1917)
  • 1861 Bliss Carman, Canadian poet, born in Fredericton, New Brunswick (d. 1929)
  • 1874 George Harrison Shull, American plant geneticist, born in Clark County, Ohio (d. 1954)
  • 1874 Johannes Stark, German physicist (Stark Effect; Nobel Prize in Physics -1919), and Nazi sympathizer, born in Schickenhof, German Empire (d. 1957)
  • 1875 Klaziena "Ina" Boudier-Bakker, Dutch playwright and novelist (Poverty), born in Amsterdam (d. 1966)
  • 1878 Robert Walser, Swiss writer, born in Biel (d. 1956)
  • 1879 Melville Henry Cane, American lawyer and poet (Making a Poem), born in Plattsburgh, New York (d. 1980)
  • 1882 Giovanni Amendola, Italian anti-fascist and editor-in-chief (Il Mondo), born in Naples, Italy (d. 1926)
  • 1883 Stanley Bruce, 8th Prime Minister of Australia, born in St Kilda, Victoria, Australia (d. 1967)
  • 1885 Tadeusz Kutrzeba, Polish general during the Second Polish Republic, born in Kraków, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1947)
  • 1886 Nikolay Gumilyov, Russian poet, born in Kronshtadt, Russia (d. 1921)
  • 1888 Maximilian Kronberger, German poet, born in Berlin (d. 1904)
  • 1889 A. Philip Randolph, American labor leader (Railroad Porter's Union), born in Crescent City, Florida (d. 1979)
  • 1889 Thomas Hart Benton, American painter and muralist (Lonesome Road), born in Neosho, Missouri (d. 1975)
  • 1892 Corrie ten Boom, Dutch author (The Hiding Place) and Holocaust survivor, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1983)
  • 1892 Theo Osterkamp, World War I and World War II German fighter pilot, born in Düren, Rhine Province, Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1975)

Nikita KhrushchevNikita Khrushchev (1894-1971)

First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1953-64), born in Kalinovka, Russia

  • 1895 Corrado Alvaro, Italian writer (Gente in Aspromonte), born in San Luca, Italy (d. 1956)
  • 1896 Nikolay Nikolayevich Semyonov, Russian chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1986)
  • 1902 Fernando Pessa, Portuguese journalist, born in Aveiro District, Portugal (d. 2002)
  • 1903 Erich Arendt, German poet and writer, born in Neuruppin, Germany (d. 1984)
  • 1904 Arshile Gorky, Armenian-American abstract painter, born in Khorgom, Vilayet of Van, Ottoman Empire (d. 1948)
  • 1907 Nikolaas Tinbergen, Dutch-British biologist and zoologist (Nobel 1973), born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1988)
  • 1910 Ralph Grey, Baron Grey of Naunton, Governor of Northern Ireland (1968-73), born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 1999)
  • 1911 Jacob Fresco, Dutch architect (Antilles Brewery/Autonomy Monument), born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1990)

Kim Il-sungKim Il-sung (1912-1994)

Founder, dictator and Supreme Leader of North-Korea (1948-94), born in Mangyongdae, Japanese Korea

  • 1915 Elizabeth Catlett, African-American sculptor and print maker (Mother and Child), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2012)
  • 1916 Alfred S. Bloomingdale, American businessman and heir to the Bloomingdale's department store, born in NYC, New York (d. 1982)
  • 1919 Clive Beadon, British RAF Wing Commander and pilot (WWII), born in Conoor near Poona, India (d. 1996)
  • 1919 Meriol Trevor, English novelist and biographer (Civil Prisoners), born in London (d. 2000)
  • 1920 Richard von Weizsacker, German politician and 1st president of reunited Germany (1990-94), born in Stuttgart, Germany (d. 2015)
  • 1920 Thomas Szasz, Hungarian-American psychiatrist (The Myth of Mental Illness, The Manufacture of Madness), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 2012)
  • 1921 Georgy Beregovoy, Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 3), born in Fedorivka, Poltava Oblast, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (d. 1995)

Harold WashingtonHarold Washington (1922-1987)

1st African American Mayor of Chicago (Democrat: 1983-87), born in Chicago, Illinois

  • 1923 Douglas Wass, British civil servant (Permanent Secretary to HM Treasury, 1974-83) (d. 2017)
  • 1924 John Grigg, 2nd Baron Altrincham, British writer and historian, born in Westminster, London (d. 2001)
  • 1927 Abha Gandhi, servant to Gandhi (d. 1995)
  • 1927 Robert Mills, American physicist (quantum field theory), born in Englewood, New Jersey (d. 1999)
  • 1928 Norma Merrick Sklarek, 1st African-American woman architect in NY & California, born in Harlem, New York (d. 2012)
  • 1928 Richard Evans, British diplomat, ambassador to the People's Republic of China (1984-88), born in England (d. 2012)
  • 1929 Adrian Cadbury, British confectionery manufacturer (Cadbury) and author of report on Corporate Governance (d. 2015)
  • 1930 Elijah Barayi, head of South Africa union centre (COSATU), born in Lingelihle, Eastern Cape (d. 1994)

Vigdís FinnbogadóttirVigdís Finnbogadóttir (92 years old)

1930 4th President of Iceland (1980-96) and the world's 1st woman democratically elected president, born in Reykjavík, Iceland

  • 1931 Tomas Tranströmer, Swedish poet (Nobel Prize for Literature - 2011), born in Stockholm (d. 2015)
  • 1932 Nikolai Porvatkin, Russian cosmonaut, born in Vozdvizhenka, Saratov Oblast (d. 2009)
  • 1933 Boris Strugatsky, Soviet-Russian science fiction author (Tale of Troika), born in Saint Petersburg, Russia (d. 2012)
  • 1936 Pen Sovann, 1st post-Khmer Rouge Cambodian Prime Minister (1981), born in Takéo (d. 2016)
  • 1937 Conrad Russell, 5th Earl Russell, British historian, born in Harting, West Sussex (d. 2004)
  • 1938 Hso Khan Pha, 1st President of the democratic and newly independent Union of Burma from 1948-52, born in Yawnghwe State, British Burma (d. 2016)
  • 1940 Jeffrey Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare, English novelist, born in Finsbury, London
  • 1941 Howard Berman, American attorney and politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1941 Roman Balayan, Ukrainian-Armenian director (Filer, Biryuk), born in Nerkin Horatagh, Nagorno-Karabakh AO, Azerbaijan
  • 1942 Francis X. DiLorenzo, American Catholic prelate, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2017)
  • 1942 Kenneth Lay, American businessman (CEO and Chairman of Enron, 1985-2001), born in Tyrone, Missouri (d. 2006)
  • 1943 Hugh Thompson Jr., American Vietnam War veteran who played a major role in ending the 1968 My Lai massacre, born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2006)

Robert LefkowitzRobert Lefkowitz (79 years old)

1943 American physician (Nobel Prize for Chemistry), born in NYC, New York

  • 1944 Dzhokhar Dudayev, separatist leader and President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (1991), born in Yalkhori, Chechen-Ingush (d. 1996)
  • 1945 Jos van Rey, Dutch businessman and politician (VVD), born in Roermond, Netherlands
  • 1946 Wayne Gilchrest, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland), born in Rahway, New Jersey
  • 1947 Cristina Husmark Pehrsson, Swedish politician, born in Uddevalla, Sweden
  • 1951 Heloise [Ponce Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans], American writer and columnist (Heloise's Helpful Hints), born in Waco, Texas
  • 1951 John L. Phillips, NASA astronaut, born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia
  • 1951 Marsha S. Ivins, American astronaut (STS 32, 46, 62, 81), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • 1952 Donald Harvey, American serial killer, healthcare worker who killed at least 37 patients, born in Hamilton, Ohio (d. 2017)
  • 1955 Dodi Fayed, Egyptian businessman who died in a car crash in Paris with Diana. Princess of Wales, born in Alexandria, Egypt (d. 1997)
  • 1956 Gregory J. Harbaugh, American astronaut (STS 39, 54, 71, 82), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1958 Benjamin Zephaniah, British writer and dub poet, born in Handsworth, Birmingham, England
  • 1958 Dolores Gordon-Smith, British novelist (The Jack Haldean Murder Series), born in Glossop, Derbyshire
  • 1960 Marvin Clyde Goodwin, murderer (FBI Most Wanted List), born in New Orleans, Louisiana

Philippe of BelgiumPhilippe of Belgium (62 years old)

1960 King of the Belgians (2013-), born in Brussels, Belgium

  • 1965 Soichi Noguchi, japanese astronaut, born in Yokohama, Japan
  • 1966 Chai Ling, Chinese dissident (All Girls Allowed) and one of the student leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, born in Rizhao, Shandong, China
  • 1966 Cressida Cowell, English children's writer (How to Train Your Dragon, Emily Brown), born in London, England
  • 1981 Seth Wulsin, American artist