Historical Figures Born in 1931

Birthdays 1 - 200 of 309

  • Jan 1 Siddig El Nigoumi, ceramicist
  • Jan 2 Toshiki Kaifu, premier of Japan (1989-91)
  • Jan 4 Adi Lady Lala Mara, First Lady of Fiji (d. 2004)
  • Jan 4 Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia 1996-2001
  • Jan 5 Joan Coxsedge, Australian politician, born in Ballarat, Australia
  • Jan 6 E. L. Doctorow, American author (Ragtime; Billy Bathgate), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2015)
  • Jan 7 Mack Mattingly, American diplomat and politician (Sen-R-Georgia, 1981-86), born in Anderson, Indiana
  • Jan 9 Algis Budrys, Lithuanian-American sci-fi author (Man of Earth), born in Kaliningrad, Russia (d. 2008)
  • Jan 10 Alex Boraine, South Africa politician, born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Jan 10 Peter Barnes, English writer, born in Manchester, United Kingdom (d. 2004)
  • Jan 10 Ron Galella, American celebrity photographer (sued by Jackie O), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 11 Betty Churcher, director of the National Gallery of Australia
  • Jan 14 Frank Costigan, Australian lawyer, born in Melbourne, Australia (d. 2009)
  • Jan 15 Derek Meddings, British special effects technician, born in St. Pancras, London (d. 1995)
  • Jan 16 Johannes Rau, German politician, born in Wuppertal, Germany (d. 2006)
  • Jan 17 Douglas Wilder, American lawyer and politician, Governor of Virginia (1990-94), 1st African American Governor since Reconstruction, born in Richmond, Virginia
  • Jan 19 Ron Packard, American politician (Rep-R-CA, 1983-2001), born in Meridian, Idaho
  • Jan 20 Sawako Ariyoshi, Japanese writer (Compound Pollution, Doctor's Wife), born in Wakayama, Japan (d. 1984)
  • Jan 25 Paavo Haavikko, Finnish poet & writer, born in Helsiniki, Finland (d. 2008)
  • Jan 27 Mordecai Richler, Montreal author, (Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz)
  • Jan 27 Nigel Vinson, British Lord and inventor, born in Kent, England
  • Jan 27 Ronald "Buster" Edwards, British Great Train Robber turned flower-seller, born in London (d. 1994)
  • Jan 28 Timothy Kitson, British politician
  • Jan 30 Allan W. Eckert, American historian, naturalist, and author, born in Buffalo, New York
  • Jan 30 John Crosbie, Canadian politician, born in St. John's, Canada (d. 2020)
  • Jan 30 Shirley Hazzard, Australian-born author (Transit of Venus), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 2016)
  • Jan 30 Stewart McKinney, American politician (Rep-R-CT, 1971-87), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1987)
  • Jan 31 Nicholas Gordon Lennox, diplomat

Boris YeltsinBoris Yeltsin (1931-2007)

Feb 1 Russian politician and 1st President of Russian Federation (1991-99), born in Butka, Sverdlovsk,

  • Feb 1 Mark Richmond, CEO (Science & Engineering Research Council)
  • Feb 2 Dries van Agt, Dutch Prime Minister (CDA, 1977-82), born in Geldrop, Netherlands
  • Feb 2 Judith Viorst, American author
  • Feb 4 Isabel Martínez de Perón [Maria Martinez], wife of Juan Perón and President of Argentina (1974-76), born in La Rioja, Argentina
  • Feb 9 Robert Morris, American sculptor and painter, born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Feb 10 Thomas Bernhard, Austrian novelist, playwright and poet whose work some describe as "the most significant literary achievement since World War II", born in Heerlen, Netherlands (d. 1989)
  • Feb 12 Cliff Gustafson, American College Baseball HOF coach (College World Series 1975, 83; Collegiate Coach of the Year 1983; University of Texas, Austin), born in Kenedy, Texas (d. 2023)
  • Feb 12 Constance Morella, American politician (Rep-R-Maryland 1987-2003), born in Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Feb 12 Janwillem van de Wetering, Dutch author
  • Feb 15 W K Reid, British ombudsman
  • Feb 16 Alfred Kolleritsch, Austrian writer, born in Eichfeld
  • Feb 16 George E. Sangmeister, American politician (Rep-D-Illinois 1989-95), born in Frankfort, Illinois (d. 2007)
  • Feb 18 Johnny Hart, American cartoonist (B.C., Wizard of Id), born in Endicott, New York (d. 2007)
  • Feb 18 Maxwell Thurman, American General
  • Feb 18 Swraj Paul, Indian/British industrial/multi-millionaire (Caparo)

Toni MorrisonToni Morrison (1931-2019)

Feb 18 American writer (Tar Baby, Beloved, Song of Solomon), first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize (2010), born in Lorain, Ohio

  • Feb 23 Tom Wesselmann, American collage artist and sculptor (Great American Nudes) (d. 2004)
  • Feb 24 Inge Bernstein, British judge
  • Feb 24 Lev Vasilyevich Vorobyov, Russian cosmonaut
  • Feb 24 Maezumi Hakuyu Taizan Koun, teacher Rinzai/Soto lines of Zen Buddhism
  • Feb 24 Marta Marzotto, Italian countess and designer, born in Reggio Emilia (d. 2016)
  • Feb 25 Edward Kellett-Bowman, British MEP
  • Feb 25 J R Stephenson, Lt-col/secretary (MCC)
  • Feb 27 Andrew Sloan, Chief Constable (Strathcourt)
  • Feb 28 Gustav Thoni, Italian skier (World Cup-1971, 72, 73, 75)
  • Feb 28 Iajuddin Ahmed, Bikrampur, British Raj, President (Bangladesh, 2002-2009), (d. 2012)
  • Feb 28 Jack Thieuloy, French writer, born in Beaucaire (d. 1996)
  • Mar 2 Duane Graveline, doctor and astronaut, born in Newport Vermont (d. 2016)

Mikhail GorbachevMikhail Gorbachev (1931-2022)

Mar 2 General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1985-91), born in Stavropol, Russia [1]

  • Mar 2 Tom Wolfe, American journalist and author (The Right Stuff), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 2018)
  • Mar 3 Henk Knol, Dutch 2nd chamber member (PvdA)
  • Mar 3 Piet [van] Bambergen, Dutch cabaretier (Mounties, Sherlock Jones)
  • Mar 4 Alice Rivlin, American economist
  • Mar 4 Han Jansen, Dutch painter (d. 1994)
  • Mar 5 Fred Othon Aristidès, French comics artist
  • Mar 6 David Haddon Whitaker, British publisher (Whitaker's Almanack)
  • Mar 6 Hal Needham, American stuntman, (d. 2013)
  • Mar 7 Cornelis T "Cor" van de Molen, Dutch journalist (Beehive)
  • Mar 8 John McPhee, author (Back to ----)
  • Mar 8 Neil Postman, American cultural critic (d. 2003)
  • Mar 9 Thore Skogman, Swedish entertainer, born in Hallstahammar, Sweden (d. 2007)
  • Mar 11 Colin Jillings, New Zealand thoroughbred horse trainer (W. S. Cox Plate 1993 The Phantom Chance; 4 x Auckland Cup winners; 5 x NZ Derby winners), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2022)
  • Mar 11 Peter Walters, CEO (Midland Bank)
  • Mar 12 Geoffrey de Bellaigue, director (Royal Collection)
  • Mar 12 Herbert Kelleher, Southwest Airlines co-founder
  • Mar 13 Marc Dessauvage, Belgian architect, born in Moorslede, Belgium (d. 1984)
  • Mar 16 Don Richard Carpenter, American writer (Hard Rain Falling), born in Berkeley, California (d. 1995)
  • Mar 17 David Peakall, British scientist (d. 2001)
  • Mar 18 Howard Coble, American politician (Rep-R-NC, 1985-2015), born in Greensboro, North Carolina (d. 2015)
  • Mar 18 Jürgen Schadeberg, German-born South African photographer who photographed apartheid struggle, born in Berlin, Germany (d. 2020)
  • Mar 20 John Rae, British educator (Conscience & Politics)
  • Mar 21 Ivan William Hannaford, sociologist
  • Mar 22 Igor Hajek, Czech translator and writer, born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia (d. 1995)
  • Mar 22 Leslie Thomas, Welsh writer (The Virgin Soldiers), born in Newport (d. 2014)
  • Mar 23 Norman F. Lent, American politician (Rep-R-NY, 1971- 93), born in Oceanside, New York (d. 2012)
  • Mar 27 Bob Bauman, CEO (British Aerospace)
  • Mar 29 Evelyn de Rothschild, English banker and multi-millionaire, born in Westminster, London
  • Mar 29 James Weatherhead, Scottish moderator (General Assembly of Church of Scotland), born in Dundee (d. 2017)
  • Mar 29 Norman Tebbit, British Conservative party politician, cabinet minister and life peer, born in Ponders End, England
  • Mar 29 Sylvia Law, British town planner (President of the Royal Town Planning Institute), born in Southport, Lancashire
  • Apr 1 Charles Price, American Businessman and diplomat, born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 2012)
  • Apr 1 Rolf Hochhuth, German playwright (Der Stellvertreter), born in Eschwege, Germany (d. 2020)
  • Apr 3 Tom Collins, Canadian ice skating promoter (Champions on Ice), born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario (d. 2019)
  • Apr 4 Bobby Ray Inman, American admiral and intelligence director, born in Rhonesboro, Texas
  • Apr 4 Denis Frank Owen, British ecologist and natural historian, born in London (d. 1996)
  • Apr 4 Harold Volkmer, American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri, born in Jefferson City, Missouri (d. 2011)
  • Apr 5 Denis Lawton, director (London University Institute of Educ)
  • Apr 7 Daniel Ellsberg, whistleblower (Pentagon Papers)/patriot
  • Apr 7 Donald Barthelme, American writer (Snow White, Sadness), born in Philadelphia, Pa (d. 1989)
  • Apr 9 Martin Rogers, director (Farmington Institute for Christian Studies)
  • Apr 9 Richard Hatfield, Canadian politician (26th Premier of New Brunswick), born in Hartland, New Brunswick (d. 1991)
  • Apr 10 Marcel van Maele, Belgian poet and playwright, born in Bruges, Belgium (d. 2009)
  • Apr 13 Beverley Cross, English playwright, born in London
  • Apr 15 Tomas Tranströmer, Swedish poet (Nobel Prize for Literature - 2011), born in Stockholm (d. 2015)
  • Apr 16 Piet de Visser, Dutch politician (PvdA), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 2012)
  • Apr 17 John Chalstrey, 668th Lord Mayor of London
  • Apr 17 Joyce Molyneux, British chef and author
  • Apr 17 Ruth Etchells, English poet and principal (St John's College-Durham), born in Liverpool
  • Apr 19 Denis Henry, British High Court judge, born in Margate, Kent, England (d. 2010)
  • Apr 19 Kobie Coetsee, South African Minister of Defense (1993-94) and Minister of Justice (1980-93), born in Ladybrand, South Africa (d. 2000)
  • Apr 19 Walter Stewart, Canadian writer and journalist, born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2004)
  • Apr 20 Lee H. Hamilton, American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana, born in Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Apr 22 Henk Gortzak [Hendricus Gortzak], Dutch carpenter and politician (CPN/PSP), born in Amsterdam (d. 1989)
  • Apr 22 Ronald Hynd, British choreographer (English National Ballet), born in London
  • Apr 23 Chuck Feeney, American businessman (Duty Free Shoppers Group) and philanthropist (The Atlantic Philanthropies) who gave away almost his entire $8b fortune, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • Apr 24 Bridget Riley, British painter (op-art), born in Norwood London, England
  • Apr 25 David Shepherd, British painter (paintings of steam locomotives), born in Hendon, London (d. 2017)
  • Apr 25 Felix Berezin, Russian physicist and mathematician (Berezin integral), born in Moscow (d. 1980)
  • Apr 29 Aleksei Aleksandrovich Gubarev, USSR, cosmonaut (Soyuz 17, 28)
  • Apr 29 Frank Auerbach, German-born British painter
  • Apr 30 Bill Clay, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri), born in St. Louis, Missouri
  • May 3 Joe Layton, American director and choreographer, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1994)
  • May 3 Thomas Sutherland, American hostage (Lebanon) and academic, born in Falkirk, Scotland (d. 2016)
  • May 4 Thomas Stuttaford, British doctor and medical columnist (The Times), born in Norfolk, England
  • May 5 Greg [Michel Régnier], Belgian comic-book writer (Achille Talon), born in Ixelles, Belgium (d. 1999)
  • May 6 Marvin Leath, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas's 11th district), born in Henderson, Texas (d. 2000)
  • May 7 Gene Wolfe, American sci-fi author (Soldier of Arete), born in NYC, New York
  • May 7 Nel Ginjaar-Maas, Dutch under-secretary of Education (VVD), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 2012)
  • May 9 Alistair MacFarlane, Engineer and principal (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • May 9 Vance DeVoe Brand, American USN officer and aviator, and NASA astronaut (Apollo 18; STS-5, -41-B & -35), born in Longmont, Colorado
  • May 10 Lord Michael Mustill, of Pateley Bridge, Lord Justice of Appeal
  • May 11 Stephen Smalley, rev/dean (Chester)
  • May 12 Johan Fleerackers, Flemish vice-president of Dutch One
  • May 13 Eileen Diss, British theatrical designer (August, Secret Places, Betrayal), born in London, England

Jim JonesJim Jones (1931-1978)

May 13 American pastor and leader of the Peoples Temple cult (Jonestown Massacre), born in Randolph County, Indiana

  • May 13 Sydney Lipworth, South African born lawyer and businessman (head of UK Monopolies & Mergers Commission), bon in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • May 15 F Korthals Altes, Dutch minister of Justice (VVD)
  • May 16 Hana Brady, Jewish Czech Holocaust victim (Hanna's Suitcase), born in Prague (d. 1944)
  • May 16 Lowell P Weicker, American politician (Sen-R-CT, (1971-88), Governor of Connecticut), born in Paris, France
  • May 16 Natwar Singh, Indian politician
  • May 16 Peter Levi, poet/writer
  • May 17 Marshall Applewhite, American cult leader (Heaven's Gate), born in Spur, Texas (d. 1997)
  • May 18 Don Martin, American cartoonist "Mad's Maddest Artist", born in Paterson, New Jersey (d. 2000)
  • May 21 George Vassiliou, Cypriot politician, President of Cyprus (1988-93), born in Famagusta, Cyprus
  • May 24 Aili Jõgi, Estonian freedom fighter, born in Tallinn, Estonia (d. 2017)
  • May 27 Florence Sharples, director (British YWCA)
  • May 27 James Wilson, criminologist ('Zero Tolerance' policing), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2012)
  • May 27 John Chapple, British chief of General Staff
  • May 28 Stephen Birmingham, American author (Real Lace: America's Irish Rich), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2015)
  • May 31 John Robert Schrieffer, American physicist (Nobel Prize for Physics 1972 for BCS theory), born in Oak Park, Illinois (d. 2019)
  • May 31 Steve Horn, American politician (Rep-R-California 1993-2003), born in San Juan Bautista, California (d. 2011)

Raúl CastroRaúl Castro (91 years old)

Jun 3 Cuban revolutionary, politician (First Secretary 2011-21) and brother of Fidel Castro, born in Biran, Holguin, Cuba

  • Jun 5 Jacques Demy, French director (Lola, Magic Donkey), born in Pontchâteau, France (d. 1990)
  • Jun 5 Jerzy Prokopiuk, Polish philosopher and anthroposopist, born in Warsaw (d. 2021)
  • Jun 5 John Dellow, British law enforcement officer (Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, 1982-87; Deputy Commissioner, 1987-91), born in London, England
  • Jun 7 David Driskell, American artist and champion of African American art, born in Eatonton, Georgia (d. 2020)
  • Jun 7 Malcolm Morley, English-American painter, born in London (d. 2018)
  • Jun 8 Ivan V. Lalić, Serbian poet, born in Belgrade (d. 1996)
  • Jun 8 Leo Nichols, businessman, honorary consul and longtime friend of Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, born in Rangoon, Burma (d. 1996)
  • Jun 11 Kenneth Cameron, Baron Cameron of Lochbroom, Scottish judge, born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Jun 12 Barbara Hillary, American adventurer, 1st black woman to reach the North Pole, born in New York City (d. 2019)
  • Jun 13 Irvin D. Yalom, American psychotherapist and Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, born in Washington, D.C.
  • Jun 13 Lachlan Macleay, USAF colonel and astronaut, born in Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Jun 16 Courtney Alexandre Henriques Laws, British community activist, born in Jamaica (d. 1996)
  • Jun 16 Robert Freeman Smith, American politician (Rep-R-Oregon), born in Portland, Oregon (d. 2020)
  • Jun 17 John Baldessari, American artist, born in National City, California
  • Jun 18 Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Brazilian politician and sociologist, President of Brazil (1995 - 2002), born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Jun 20 Richard Southwood, zoologist/chancellor (Oxford University)
  • Jun 21 Margaret Heckler, American politician (15th U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services (1983-85)), born in NYC, New York (d. 2018)
  • Jun 22 Hennadiy Udovenko, Ukrainian politician and diplomat (UN General Assembly President, 1997-98), born in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine (d. 2013)
  • Jun 22 Teruyuki Okazaki, Japanese karate master (10th degree black belt Shotokan Karate; founder International Shotokan Karate Federation), born in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan (d. 2020)
  • Jun 23 Urs Jaeggi, Swiss sociologist and writer, born in Solothurn, Switzerland
  • Jun 24 Leslie Cochran, peace activist and police critic, born in Miami, Florida (d. 2012)
  • Jun 25 V.P. [Vishwanath Pratap] Singh, Indian politician, 7th Prime Minister of India (1989-90), born in Allahabad, British India (d. 2008)
  • Jun 26 Colin Wilson, English author (Afterlife, Book of Great Mysteries), born in Leicester, Leicestershire, England (d. 2013)
  • Jun 27 Charles Bronfman, Canadian-American CEO (Seagrams, Montreal Expos) and philanthropist, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jun 30 Bert Eriksson, Flemish neo-Nazi, born in Antwerp (d. 2005)
  • Jun 30 Hans Gruijters, Dutch mayor (co-founder of D66-Lelystad), born in Helmond, Netherlands
  • Jul 1 Leslie Caron, French-American actress (Gigi, Father Goose), born in Boulogne-Biliancourt, Seine
  • Jul 3 Andres Burnier [Catharina Irma Dessaur], Dutch criminologist and author (Jongensuur), born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 2002)
  • Jul 5 Ismail Mahomed, South African and Namibian Chief Justice, 1st permanent black judge on South African Supreme Court, born in Pretoria, South Africa (d. 2000)
  • Jul 5 James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke, Irish American gangster (inspiration for Jimmy Conway character in Goodfellas), born in New York City (d. 1996)
  • Jul 6 Emily Nasrallah, Lebanese writer and women's rights activist (Birds of September, A Cat’s Diary), born in Kfeir, Lebanon (d. 2018)
  • Jul 6 Jean Campeau, French Canadian businessman and politician, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jul 7 David Eddings, American sci-fi author (Belgariad, Malloreon)
  • Jul 10 Alice Munro, Canadian author (Dance of the Happy Shades) and Nobel laureate 2013, born in Wingham, Ontario, Canada
  • Jul 10 Del Insko, harness racer (toothpick in mouth, 1969 money leader), born in Amboy, Minnesota
  • Jul 10 Julian May, American sci-fi author (Golden Torc, Magnificat), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2017)
  • Jul 11 Hans Klein, politician
  • Jul 11 Herman de Vries, Dutch sculptor
  • Jul 11 Tullio Regge, Italian physicist
  • Jul 12 J. Bob Traxler, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan), born in Kawkawlin, Michigan
  • Jul 14 Donald Eugene Webb, American murderer (FBI Most Wanted List), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Jul 15 Clive Cussler, American writer (Raise The Titanic, Sahara), born in Aurora, Illinois,
  • Jul 15 Eugene Louw, South African minister of Internal affairs
  • Jul 16 Lady Caroline Blackwood, British journalist and writer (The Last of the Duchess), born in London (d. 1996)

Marina PopovichMarina Popovich (1931-2017)

Jul 20 Soviet Air Force colonel, engineer and test pilot (102 world records), born in Leonenki, Smolensk Oblast, USSR, birth date uncertain

  • Jul 20 Phil Coles, Australian sports administrator (International Olympic Committee 1982-2011; AOC 1973-2011), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 2023)
  • Jul 22 Charles Huxtable, General commander (English ground armies)
  • Jul 23 Arata Isozaki, Japanese architect (Pritzker Prize - 2019; Art Tower Mito, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Walt Disney headquarters), born in Oito, Japan (d. 2022) [1]
  • Jul 23 Jan Torell, Swedish director (New Land, Emigrants), born in Limhamm, Sweden

About 1931

Chinese Zodiac: Horse (Jan 30, 1930 - Feb 16, 1931),
Goat/Sheep (Feb 17, 1931 - Feb 5, 1932)