On This Day

Birthdays in History on December 15

Person of interestNero

37 Nero, 5th Emperor of Rome (54-68), born in Antium, Italy (d. 68)

Roman Emperor Nero
Roman Emperor
Nero
  • 1610 David Teniers the Younger, Flemish court painter (Theatrum Pictorium), born in Antwerp (d. 1690)
  • 1648 Gregory King, English statistician (Natural & Political Observations), born in Lichfield, England (d. 1712)
  • 1778 Godert van der Capellen, Dutch governor-general (Dutch-Indies), born in Utrecht, Netherlands (d. 1848)
  • 1787 Charles Cowden Clarke, English editor and Shakespearean critic, born in Enfield, Middlesex, England (d. 1877)
  • 1793 Henry Charles Carey, American economist (Principles of Poli Economy), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1879)
  • 1802 Janos Bolyai, Hungarian mathematician (non-Euclidean geometry), born in Kolozsvár, Hungary (d. 1860)

Person of interestGustave Eiffel

1832 Gustave Eiffel, French engineer and architect who designed and built the Eiffel tower, born in Dijon, France (d. 1923)

Engineer and Architect Gustave Eiffel
Engineer and Architect
Gustave Eiffel
  • 1836 Edmond Picard, French-Belgian lawyer and writer (La forge Roussel), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1924)
  • 1848 Edwin Blashfield, American painter who decorated the dome of Library of Congress, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1936)

Person of interestHenri Becquerel

1852 Henri Becquerel, French physicist who discovered radioactivity (Nobel 1903), born in Paris, France (d. 1908)

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Henri Becquerel
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Henri Becquerel
  • 1852 Muḥammad Tawfīq Pasha, Khedive of Egypt (1879-92), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1892)
  • 1853 Jean Baptiste August Kessler, Dutch entrepreneur and director of oil on Dutch Indies, born in Batavia, Dutch East Indies (d. 1900)
  • 1859 L. L. Zamenhof, Polish physician and linguist (Esperanto), born in Białystok, Poland, Russian Empire (d. 1917)
  • 1860 Niels Ryberg Finsen, Danish physician and phototherapist (Nobel 1903), born in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands (d. 1904)
  • 1861 Charles Duryea, American inventor (Duryea Motor Wagon Company, first auto built in the US), born in Canton, Illinois (d. 1938)

  • 1863 Arthur Dehon Little, American chemist (patented rayon), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1935)
  • 1870 Josef Hoffmann, Austrian architect, born in Brtnice, Moravia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1956)
  • 1875 Emilio Jacinto, Filipino poet and revolutionary, born in Tondo, Manila (d. 1899)
  • 1876 Ferdinand Hardekopf, German writer and journalist, born in Varel, Germany (d. 1954)
  • 1878 Hans Carossa, German writer, born in Tölz, Bavaria (d. 1956)
  • 1879 Hugo Willem Constantijn Bordewijk, Dutch lawyer, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1939)
  • 1887 Pieter Geyl, Dutch historian (History of the Dutch Tribe), born in Dordrecht, Netherlands (d. 1966)
  • 1888 Artturi Leinonen, Finnish journalist and writer (Kati), born in Ylihärmä, Finland (d. 1963)
  • 1888 Maxwell Anderson, American dramatist (Winter Set, High Tor), born in Atlantic, Pennsylvania (d. 1959)

Person of interestJ. Paul Getty

1892 J. Paul Getty, American oil magnate and billionaire (Getty Oil), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 1976)

Industrialist J. Paul Getty
Industrialist
J. Paul Getty
  • 1896 Carl Ferdinand Cori, Czech-American bio-chemist (Nobel 1947-discovery of how glycogen (animal starch) – a derivative of glucose – is broken down and resynthesized in the body, for use as a store and source of energy), born in Prague (d. 1984)
  • 1896 George Cressey, American geographer (Asia's Lands & Peoples), born in Tiffin, Ohio (d. 1963)
  • 1896 Paul Citroen, Dutch sculptor, born in Berlin (d. 1983)
  • 1896 Betty Smith, American novelist (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1972)

Person of interestMiles Dempsey

1896 Miles Dempsey, British WWII general (XIII Corps, Second Army), born in New Brighton, Cheshire (d. 1969)

British WWII General Miles Dempsey
British WWII General
Miles Dempsey
  • 1900 Francesco Messina, Italian sculptor, born in Linguaglossa, Italy (d. 1995)
  • 1902 Robert F. Bradford, American politician (57th Governor of Massachusetts), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1983)
  • 1904 Kermit Bloomgarden, American producer (The Diary of Anne Frank, Music Man), born in NYC, New York (d. 1976)
  • 1904 William Hitzig, Austrian Maxwell physician, born in Austria (d. 1983)
  • 1907 Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect (Brasilia), born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (d. 2012)

  • 1911 Nicholas P. Dallis, American psychiatrist and comic strip writer (Rex Morgan, M.D.), born in NYC, New York (d. 1991)
  • 1913 Muriel Rukeyser, American poet (The Book of the Dead), born in NYC, New York (d. 1980)
  • 1913 Rik Jacobs, Flemish stage manager, born in Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium (d. 1985)
  • 1915 José Toribio Merino, Chilean admiral (one of the principal leaders of the 1973 Chilean coup d'état), born in La Serena, Chile (d. 1996)
  • 1916 Maurice Wilkins, New Zealand-born English physicist (Nobel 1962-X-ray diffraction studies of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) proved crucial to the determination of DNA’s molecular structure by James D. Watson and Francis Crick), born in Pongaroa, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • 1917 Shan-ul-Haq Haqqee, Pakistani Urdu linguist and writer, born in Delhi, British India (d. 2005)
  • 1920 Kurt Schaffenberger, American comics artist (Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane), born in Thuringian Forest, Germany (d. 2002)
  • 1922 Alan Freed, American disc jockey who accepted payola and introduced term "rock-n-roll", born in Windber, Pennsylvania (d. 1965)
  • 1923 Freeman Dyson, American physicist (known for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering), born in Crowthorne, Berkshire, England
  • 1923 Uziel Gal, Israeli firearm designer (Uzi submachine gun), born in Weimar, Germany (d. 2002)
  • 1923 Valentin Varennikov, Soviet-Russian general and statesman, born in Krasnodar, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (d. 2009)
  • 1928 Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian-born New Zealand artist, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2000)
  • 1930 Edna O'Brien, Irish novelist and short story writer (Girl with Green Eyes, Casualties of Peace), born in Tuamgraney, County Clare, Ireland
  • 1933 Donald Woods, South African journalist, anti-apartheid activist and author (Biko, Asking for Trouble), born in Elliotdale, South Africa (d. 2001)
  • 1937 John Sladek, American sci-fi author (Tik-Tok, Bugs), born in Waverly, Iowa (d. 2000)
  • 1938 Dennis RB Madide, South African Internal minister of Transkei
  • 1943 Kathleen Blanco, American politician, 1st female Governor of Louisiana (2004-08), born in New Iberia, Louisiana (d. 2019)
  • 1943 Lucien den Arend, Dutch geometric abstract sculptor, born in Dordrecht, Netherlands

Person of interestChico Mendes

1944 Chico Mendes, Brazilian environmental activist and rubber tapper, born in Xapuri, Brazil (d. 1988)

Environmentalist Chico Mendes
Environmentalist
Chico Mendes

Person of interestMichael King

1945 Michael King, New Zealand historian and author (Penguin History of New Zealand), born in Wellington, New Zealand

Historian and Author Michael King
Historian and Author
Michael King
  • 1947 Rodney Bingenheimer, American disc jockey, born in Mountain View, California
  • 1949 Ton Sijbrands, Dutch world checkers champion, born in Amsterdam
  • 1952 Julie Taymor, American director
  • 1953 J. M. DeMatteis, American comic book writer
  • 1954 Alex Cox, director (Repo Man)
  • 1957 Mike McAlary, American journalist (d. 1998)
  • 1961 Reginald Hudlin, director (House Party)
  • 1961 Karin Resetarits, Austrian journalist
  • 1963 Andrew Luster, Max Factor heir
  • 1968 Osama Ali Maher, Swedish politician
  • 1981 Creighton Lovelace, American Baptist minister
  • 1985 Sheeba Reiter, Fla, illegitimate daughter of Jackie Mason