Birthdays in History on April 17

  • 1278 Michael IX Palaeologus, co-ruling Eastern Roman Emperor, eldest son of Andronikos II Palaiologos and Anna of Hungary, born in Constantinople, Byzantine Empire (d. 1320)
  • 1539 Tobias Stimmer, Swiss painter (Strasbourg astronomical clock), born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland (d. 1584)
  • 1573 Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, born in Munich, Germany (d. 1651)
  • 1586 John Ford, English dramatist ('Tis Pity She's a Whore), born in Ilsington, Devon, England (d. 1639)
  • 1598 Giovanni Riccioli, Italian astronomer (Almagestum Novum), born in Ferrara, Italy (d. 1671)

Person of interestMarguerite Bourgeoys

1620 Marguerite Bourgeoys, French founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame (first Canadian saint), born in Troyes, France (d. 1700)

First Canadian Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys
First Canadian Saint
Marguerite Bourgeoys
  • 1622 Henry Vaughan, English poet (Silex Scintillans), born in Newton St. Bridget, Brecknockshire, Wales (d. 1695)
  • 1644 Abraham Jansz Storck, Dutch painter, baptized in Amsterdam (d. 1708)
  • 1666 François Valentijn, Dutch vicar and writer (Old and New East-India), born in Dordrecht, Netherlands (d. 1727)
  • 1676 Frederik I, van Hessen Kassel, King of Sweden (1720-51), born in Kassel, Germany (d. 1751)
  • 1699 Robert Blair, Scottish poet (The Grave), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1746)
  • 1710 Henry Erskine, 10th Earl of Buchan, British Freemason (d. 1767)
  • 1734 Taksin, King of Siam (1767-82), born in Ayutthaya, Thailand (d. 1782)
  • 1741 Samuel Chase, American judge (signed Declaration of Independence), born in Somerset County, Maryland (d. 1811)
  • 1750 François de Neufchâteau, French statesman and intellectual figure, born in Saffais, France (d. 1828)
  • 1788 Joseph Gilbert Totten, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in New Haven, Connecticut (d. 1864)

  • 1794 Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, German botanist and explorer, born in Erlangen, Germany (d. 1868)
  • 1798 Étienne Bobillier, French mathematician, born in Lons-le-Saunier, France (d. 1840)
  • 1809 Philip St. George Cocke, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Bremo Bluff, Virginia (d. 1861)
  • 1813 Henry Washington Benham, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Cheshire, Connecticut (d. 1884)
  • 1816 Thomas Hazlehurst, English Methodist chapel builder, born in Runcorn, Cheshire, England (d. 1876)
  • 1827 Frans Baeckelmans, Flemish architect (St Amanduskerk, Antwerp), born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1896)

Person of interestJ. P. Morgan

1837 J. P. Morgan, Sr. [John Pierpont], American financier and philanthropist (General Electric, Steel Corporation, AT&T), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 1913)

Industrialist and Banker J. P. Morgan
Industrialist and Banker
J. P. Morgan
  • 1842 Maurice Rouvier, French statesman and Prime Minister of France (1905–06), born in Aix-en-Provence, France (d. 1911)
  • 1845 Isabel Barrows, American editor and penologist (Conference on Negro Question), born in Irasburg, Vermont (d. 1913)
  • 1849 William R. Day, American diplomat and Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, born in Ravenna, Ohio (d. 1923)
  • 1863 Augustus Edward Hough Love, English mathematician (theory of elasticity), born in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England (d. 1940)
  • 1865 Ursula Ledóchowska, Polish-Austrian Catholic saint and foundress of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, born in Loosdorf, Austrian Empire (d. 1939)
  • 1866 Ernest Starling, British physiologist (Frank-Starling law of the heart), born in London (d. 1927)
  • 1868 Karel Rudolph Gallas, Dutch lexicographer (French Dictionary), born in Amsterdam (d. 1956)
  • 1869 Johannes Marinus Meulenhoff, Dutch publisher, born in Zwolle, Netherlands (d. 1939)
  • 1870 Ray Stannard Baker, American journalist (Puliter Prize 1940), born in Lansing, Michigan (d. 1946)
  • 1876 Ian Hay [John Hay Beith], British novelist and playwright (Pip, Carrying On), born in Rusholme, Manchester (d. 1952)
  • 1877 Matsudaira Tsuneo, Japanese diplomat, born in Tokyo, Japan (d. 1949)
  • 1881 Anton Wildgans, Austrian poet and playwright (Armut), born in Vienna (d. 1932)
  • 1884 Leo Frank, American convict (murder of a 13-year-old employee), born in Cuero, Texas (d. 1915)
  • 1885 Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen-Finecke], Danish baroness and writer (Out of Africa), born in Rungsted, Zealand, Denmark (d. 1962)
  • 1892 Jean Haesaert, Flemish lawyer and sociologist, born in Lokeren, Belgium (d. 1961)
  • 1897 Antonius Coolen, Dutch author (Village by the River), born in Wijlre, Netherlands (d. 1961)
  • 1897 Thornton Wilder, American playwright and writer (Bridge of San Luis Ray), born in Madison, Wisconsin (d. 1975)
  • 1899 Vincent Wigglesworth, British entomologist (Metamorphosis hormones), born in Kirkham, Lancashire, England (d. 1994)

  • 1901 George Keyt, Sri Lankan painter, born in Ceylon (d. 1993)
  • 1902 Jaime Torres Bodet, Mexican politician, 2nd Director-General of the UNESCO (1948-52), born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 1974)
  • 1906 Sidney Garfield, American physician and pioneer of health maintenance organizations (Kaiser Permanente), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey (d. 1984)
  • 1909 Alain Poher, French politician and President of the European Parliament (1966-69), born in Ablon-sur-Seine, France (d. 1996)
  • 1909 Humphrey Sims Moore, British pacifist and journalist (founder of Peace News), born in Samoa (d. 1995)
  • 1911 Hervé Bazin, French writer (Head Against the Wall), born in Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France (d. 1996)
  • 1912 Isador Caplan, British lawyer and Aldeburgh Festival pioneer, born in Blackpool, England (d. 1995)
  • 1914 George Davis, American art director (20th Century Fox), born in Kokomo, Indiana (d. 1984)
  • 1915 Joe Foss, American fighter ace (Medal of Honor-1943) and politician, born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (d. 2003)
  • 1916 Ryoei Saito, Japanese businessman (Daishowa Paper Manufacturing), born in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan (d. 1996)

Person of interestSirimavo Bandaranaike

1916 Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1960-65, 1970-77 and 1994-2000) and 1st female head of state, born in Ratnapura, British Ceylon (d. 2000)

World's 1st Female Head of State or Government Sirimavo Bandaranaike
World's 1st Female Head of State or Government
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
  • 1917 Bill Clements, American politician, Governor of Texas (1987-91), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 2011)
  • 1919 Gilles Lamontagne, Canadian politician, 24th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec (1984-90), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2016)
  • 1920 Bengt Anderberg, Swedish poet and writer (Kain), born in Gothenburg, Sweden (d. 2008)
  • 1920 Joan Warburton, Scottish painter, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1996)
  • 1923 Lindsay Anderson, British director (Thursday's Children), born in Bangalore, India (d. 1994)
  • 1923 Lloyd Biggle Jr., American sci-fi author (Silence is Deadly), born in Waterloo, Iowa (d. 2002)
  • 1923 Norman Potter, English cabinetmaker, designer and writer, born in London (d. 1995)
  • 1924 Patrick Sergeant, founder (Euromoney Publications)
  • 1924 Althea Simmons, American human rights activist and chief lobbyist (NAACP), born in Shreveport, Louisiana (d. 1990)
  • 1925 Anne Harris, CEO (National Federation of Women's Institutes)
  • 1925 John Yates, bishop (Lambeth England)
  • 1926 Arthur Hockaday, director-Gen (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
  • 1926 G M Hughes, professor/zoologist
  • 1926 Michael Vernon, CEO (RNLI)
  • 1928 Cynthia Ozick, American author (Pagan Rabbi & Other Stories)
  • 1929 Eileen Stamers-Smith, headmistress (Malvern Girls' College)
  • 1929 Lady (James) Mellon, CEO (Volunteer Development Scotland)
  • 1931 Joan Clague, director of nursing services (Marie Curie Foundation)
  • 1931 John Chalstrey, alderman/Lord Mayor (London)
  • 1931 Joyce Molyneux, British chef and author
  • 1931 Ruth Etchells, principal (St John's College-Durham)
  • 1932 Han J A Hansen [Jansen], Dutch journalist (King Comes!)
  • 1932 Ramsay Melhuish, diplomat
  • 1937 Brian Sedgemore, British MP (Labour Party 1974-79 and 1983-2005), born in Exmouth, Devon (d. 2015)
  • 1937 Eduard Stepanov, Russian cosmonaut, born in Werkhopeniye, Russia (d. 2015)
  • 1937 Ferdinand Piëch, Austrian-German automotive engineer and executive (Volkswagen Group), born in Vienna, Austria
  • 1938 David Dilks, vice-chancellor (Hull U)
  • 1938 K M P O'Brien, archbishop (St Andrews & Edinburgh)
  • 1938 Ben Barnes, American politician
  • 1938 Kerry Wendell Thornley, co-founder of Discordianism
  • 1941 Max Stafford-Clark, artistic director (Royal Court Theatre)
  • 1942 Mario Brenta, writer/director (Maicol, Barnabo of the Mountains)
  • 1945 Vincent van der Burg, Dutch scientist, lawyer, and politician (CDA)
  • 1946 J R Baines, professor (Egyptologist)
  • 1952 Željko Ražnatović, Serbian warlord (d. 2000)
  • 1955 Peter Michalke, journalist
  • 1956 Faye Young, WBL forward (NY Stars, NJ Stars)
  • 1956 Kaye Young, WBL forward (NY Stars, NJ Stars)
  • 1956 Pillow, [Therese Joan Bell], California, bodybuilder (Gold Classic 1983)
  • 1957 Nick Hornby, English author
  • 1958 Sergei Yuriyevich Vozovikov, Russian major/cosmonaut
  • 1961 Frank J. Christensen, American labor leader
  • 1964 Raye Hollit, American Gladiator (Zap)
  • 1965 Yoshiki Kuroda, Japanese urban planner
  • 1967 Birgitta Jonsdottir, Icelandic politician, Head of the Pirate Party, born in Reykjavík
  • 1968 Maurits, Prince of Netherlands
  • 1977 Sizzla, Jamaican dancehall artist