On This Day

Birthdays in History on December 2

  • 1678 Nicolaas Kruik, Dutch hydraulic engineer (drained Haarlemmermeer), born in West-Vlieland, Netherlands (d. 1754)
  • 1694 William Shirley, British Colonial Governor of Massachusetts (played an important role in Britain’s struggle against France for control of North America), born in Preston, Sussex, England (d. 1771)
  • 1703 Ferdinand Konščak, Croatian explorer and Jesuit missionary, born in Varaždin, Kingdom of Croatia (d. 1759)
  • 1728 Ferdinando Galiani, Italian economist (Della Moneta), born in Chieti, Italy (d. 1787)
  • 1738 Richard Montgomery, Irish General in Continental Army during American Revolutionary War, born in Swords, Dublin (d. 1775)
  • 1754 William Cooper, American judge and developer (founded Cooperstown, New York), born in Smithfield, Pennsylvania (d. 1809)
  • 1760 John Breckinridge, American lawyer (5th United States Attorney General) and politician (U.S. Senator from Kentucky), born in Augusta County, Virginia (d. 1806)
  • 1777 Henry Doeff, colonialist (wrote Dutch-Japanese dictionary)
  • 1802 Melancthon Smith Wade, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1868)
  • 1811 Jean-Charles Chapais, Canadian politician (considered Father of the Canadian Confederation), born in Rivière-Ouelle, Lower Canada (d. 1885)
  • 1817 Heinrich von Sybel, German historian (Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzugs), born in Düsseldorf, Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1895)
  • 1821 Rufus Barringer, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Cabarrus County, North Carolina (d. 1895)
  • 1825 Pedro II van Alcantara, Emperor of Brazil (1831-89), born in Palace of São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro, Empire of Brazil (d. 1891)
  • 1837 Charles Garrison Harker, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Swedesboro, New Jersey (d. 1864)
  • 1846 Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau, French politician (29th Prime Minister of France), born in Nantes, France (d. 1904)

Person of interestGeorges Seurat

1859 Georges Seurat, French post-impressionist painter (A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte), born in Paris, France (d. 1891)

Post-Impressionist Painter Georges Seurat
Post-Impressionist Painter
Georges Seurat

  • 1863 Charles Ringling, American circus owner (Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus), born in McGregor, Iowa (d. 1926)
  • 1868 Francis Jammes, French poet and writer (Jammisme), born in Tournay, Hautes-Pyrénées, France (d. 1938)
  • 1869 Jonas Cohn, German philosopher (Theory of the Dialects), born in Görlitz, Germany (d. 1947)
  • 1885 George Minot, American physician (Nobel 1934 - introduction of a raw-liver diet in the treatment of pernicious anemia), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1950)
  • 1891 Charles H. Wesley, American author and historian (The History of Alpha Phi Alpha), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 1987)
  • 1895 Klaas Voskuil, Dutch journalist, born in Zwolle, Netherlands (d. 1975)
  • 1897 Rewi Alley, New Zealand writer (Americans in China), born in Springfield, Canterbury, New Zealand (d. 1987)
  • 1897 Hovhannes Bagramyan, Soviet military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union of Armenian origin, born in Yelizavetpol, Elisabethpol Governorate, Russian Empire (d. 1982)
  • 1898 Indra Lal Roy, Indian World War I flying ace, born in Calcutta, British India (d. 1918)
  • 1902 Horace Hildreth, American politician (Gov-Maine, 1945-49) and U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan (1953-57), born in Gardiner, Maine (d. 1988)
  • 1906 Peter Carl Goldmark, German-Hungarian engineer (developed the LP record format), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 1977)
  • 1910 Russell Lynes, American art historian, photographer, author and managing editor of Harper's Magazine (d. 1991)
  • 1915 Randolph Apperson Hearst, American newspaper publisher (Hearst Newspapers) (d. 2000)
  • 1919 Michael Geoffrey Corcos, medical researcher
  • 1921 Isabella Karle, American scientist who was instrumental in developing techniques to extract plutonium chloride, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2017)
  • 1923 Meshulam Riklis, Turkish-born Israeli businessman and husband of Pia Zadora, born in Istanbul, Turkey (d. 2019)
  • 1924 Alexander Haig Jr, American General and 59th Secretary of State (1981-82), born in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania (d. 2010)
  • 1928 Dan Jenkins, American author, sportswriter (Sports Illustrated), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2019)
  • 1929 Jaap Boersma, Dutch politician (Minister for Social Affairs (ARP)), born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands (d. 2012)
  • 1930 Gary Becker, American economist (Nobel 1992) and recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom 2007, born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania (d. 2014)

  • 1931 Edwin Meese, American author and 75th United States Attorney General (1985-88), born in Oakland, California
  • 1931 Masaaki Hatsumi, Japanese founder and head of the Bujinkan Organization, born in Noda, Chiba, Japan
  • 1933 K. Veeramani, Indian anti-caste activist, born in Cuddalore, Madras Presidency, British India
  • 1935 David Hackett Fischer, American educator and historian (Albion's Seed), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • 1937 Brian Lumley, English sci-fi author (Compleat Crow, Psychomech), born in County Durham, England
  • 1939 Yael Dayan, Israeli writer and politician, born in Nahalal, Israel
  • 1939 Harry Reid, American attorney and politician (U.S. Senator from Nevada 1987-2017), born in Searchlight, Nevada
  • 1939 Francis Fox, Canadian politician (member of the Senate of Canada), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1941 Paul Ching Wu Chu, Chinese-American physicist (superconductivity), born in Changsha, Hunan, China
  • 1943 Wayne Allard, American politician (U.S. Senator from Colorado 1997-2009), born in Fort Collins, Colorado
  • 1944 Roger Omond, journalist
  • 1944 Ibrahim Rugova, Kosovar nationalist writer and President of Kosovo (1992-2006), born in Crnce, Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (now Kosovo) (d. 2006)
  • 1944 Botho Strauß, German author, born in Naumburg, Germany

Person of interestGianni Versace

1946 Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer (Versace), born in Reggio Calabria, Italy (d. 1997)

Fashion Designer Gianni Versace
Fashion Designer
Gianni Versace
  • 1947 Michael Green, English businessman and psychotherapist, born in Hampstead, London
  • 1947 Ivan Atanassov Petrov, Bulgarian neurologist (research on biopsy investigation of muscle and peripheral nerves in neuromuscular diseases), born in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 1948 T. C. Boyle, American novelist (World's End), born in Peekskill, New York
  • 1950 Amin Saikal, Afghan-Australian academic (politics, history, political economy and international relations of the Middle East and Central Asia), born in Kabul, Afghanistan
  • 1952 Carol Shea-Porter, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Hampshire), born in NYC, New York
  • 1953 Meg Griffin, American DJ (WNEW-FM, WPLJ-FM, WKRK-FM)/VJ (V-1)
  • 1957 Dagfinn Høybråten, Norwegian politician (leader of the Christian Democratic Party 2004–2011), born in Oslo, Norway
  • 1958 George Saunders, American writer (Lincoln in the Bardo), born in Amarillo, Texas
  • 1962 Kardam, Prince of Turnovo, eldest son of King Simeon II of Bulgaria and his wife Doña Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela, born in Madrid, Spain (d. 2015)
  • 1963 Ann Patchett, American novelist (Bel Canto), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1988 Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick, English fashion designer (FIDIR) and grandson of English prince Edward, born in London
  • 1991 Chloé Dufour-Lapointe, Canadian alpine freestyle skier (World C'ship gold dual moguls 2013), born in Montreal, Quebec