Birthdays in History on December 20

  • 1494 Oronce Finé, French mathematician & cartographer, born in Briançon, France (d. 1555)
  • 1537 John III, King of Sweden (1568-92), born in Östergötland, Sweden (d. 1592)
  • 1566 Edward Wightman, English radical Anabaptist, born in Burton upon Trent (d. 1612)
  • 1579 John Fletcher, English Jacobean playwright (followed Shakespeare as playwright for the Kings Men), born in Rye, England (d. 1625)
  • 1626 Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff, German statesman, born in Herzogenaurach, Germany (d. 1692)
  • 1629 Pieter de Hoogh, Dutch Golden Age painter, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1684)
  • 1659 Francois Fagel, Dutch lawyer & statesman, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1746)
  • 1717 Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, French statesman and diplomat, born in Dijon, France (d. 1787)

Bonnie Prince CharlieBonnie Prince Charlie (1720-1788)

English pretender to throne (Jacobite rebellion), born in Palazzo Muti, Rome, Papal States

  • 1792 Nicolas Charlet, French painter, born in Paris, France (d. 1845)
  • 1807 Richard Lucian Page, US Navy officer (Confederate Army), born in Clarke County, Virginia (d. 1901)
  • 1808 Thomas Tinsley Craven, Commander (Union Navy), (d. 1887)
  • 1813 Samuel Jordan Kirkwood, American politician (Gov-Iowa)/US Sect of Interior (1881-82), born in Harford Country, Maryland (d. 1894)
  • 1819 John Geary, American lawyer & politician (1st SF postmaster; 1st mayor), born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania (d. 1873)
  • 1825 Romeyn Beck Ayres, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Manheim, New York (d. 1888)
  • 1833 Samuel Mudd, American physician (imprisoned for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth), born in Charles Country, Maryland (d. 1883)
  • 1838 Edwin Abbott Abbott, English schoolmaster & theologian (Flatland), born in Marylebone, United Kingdom (d. 1926)
  • 1841 Ferdinand Buisson, French academic & pacifist (Nobel Peace Prize 1927), born in Paris, France (d. 1932)
  • 1858 Jan Toorop, Dutch-Indonesian painter (3 Brides), born in Purworejo Regency, Indonesia (d. 1928)
  • 1859 Antonius Derkinderen, Dutch painter & artist, born in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (d. 1925)
  • 1861 Ivana Kobilca, Slovenian painter, born in Ljubljana, Slovenia (d. 1926)
  • 1865 Elsie De Wolfe, American socialite and interior decorator, born in NYC, New York (d. 1950)
  • 1865 Maud Gonne, English-born Irish revolutionary, born in Tongham, United Kingdom (d. 1953)

Harvey S. FirestoneHarvey S. Firestone (1868-1938)

American industrialist and founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company ("where the rubber meets the road"), born in Columbiana, Ohio

  • 1873 Kan'ichi Asakawa, Japanese historian, writer, and peace activist, born in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan (d. 1948)
  • 1875 T. F. Powys, British novelist & short-story writer (Captain Patch, Goat Green), born in Shirley, Derbyshire (d. 1953)
  • 1876 J. Van Oudshoorn [Jan Koos Feylbrief], Dutch writer (Maze of Senses), born in the Hague, Netherlands (d. 1951)
  • 1876 Walter Sydney Adams, American astronomer (director of Mount Wilson), born in Antioch, Turkey (d. 1956)

Robert MenziesRobert Menzies (1894-1978)

12th Prime Minister of Australia (United Australia Party: 1939-41, Liberal: 1949-66) and its longest-serving, born in Jeparit, Victoria

  • 1895 Susanne Langer, American philosopher & educator (Philosophy in a New Key), born in Manhattan, New York City (d. 1985)
  • 1899 John Sparkman, American politician (Sen-D-Alabama 1946-79, Rep-D-Alabama 1937-46), born in Hartselle, Alabama (d. 1985)
  • 1901 Louis Kahn, American architect (Salk Institute), born in Pärnu, Estonia (d. 1974) [or Feb 20]
  • 1901 Robert J. Van de Graaff, American engineer & physicist (Mobility of Gaseous Ions), born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (d. 1967)
  • 1902 George Edward Alexander Windsor, British nobleman (Duke of Kent), and RAF officer, born in York Cottage, United Kingdom (d. 1942)
  • 1902 Max Lerner, American journalist & educator (NY Post), born in Minsk, Russia (d. 1992)
  • 1902 Sidney Hook, American philosopher (The Paradoxes of Freedom), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1989)
  • 1904 Hans Burkhardt, Swiss-American abstract artist, born in Basel, Switzerland (d. 1994)
  • 1906 Dick White, British intelligence officer (Director General of MI5 1953–1956; Head of the Secret Intelligence Service 1956–1968), born in Tonbridge, Kent (d. 1993)
  • 1906 Irving Krick, American meteorologist and inventor, born in San Francisco, California (d. 1996)
  • 1908 Francis Turner, American civil engineer (oversaw the Interstate Highway System), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 1999)
  • 1909 Vakkom Majeed, Indian freedom fighter & politician, born in the Kingdom of Travancore (d. 2000)
  • 1911 Hortense Calisher, American novelist (President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters), born in NYC, New York (d. 2009)
  • 1916 Michel Chartrand, French Canadian union activist, born in Outremont, Quebec (d. 2010)
  • 1917 David Bohm, American physicist, philosopher, and neuropsychologist, born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (d. 1992)
  • 1925 Bob de Moor, Belgian comics creator & artist (Kuifje, Lion of Flanders), born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1992)
  • 1926 David Levine, American artist (New York Review of Books caricatures), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2009)
  • 1926 Geoffrey Howe, British politician (Chancellor and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher), born in Aberavon, Glamorganshire (d. 2015)
  • 1926 Otto Graf Lambsdorff, German politician (Free Democratic Party), born in Aachen, Germany
  • 1927 Kim Young-sam, South Korean politician and democratic activist (President of South Korea 1993-98), born in Geojedo, Geoje, South Korea (d. 2015)
  • 1929 Milan Panić, Serbian-American politician and humanitarian, born in Belgrade, Serbia
  • 1933 Jean Carnahan, US politician and writer (Missouri, Senator 2001–2002), born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1939 Dianne Arndt, American artist and photographer, born in Springfield, Massachusetts
  • 1941 Frank Creton, Suriname/Neth painter
  • 1942 Héctor Pulido, Mexican football midfielder (43 caps; Cruz Azul, Club Jalisco AC), born in Numaran, Mexico (d. 2022)
  • 1944 Gernot Wolfgruber, Austrian writer, born in Gmünd, Lower Austria
  • 1948 Abdulrazak Gurnah, Zanzibar born British writer (2021 Nobel Prize for Literature), born in Zanzibar
  • 1949 Soumaïla Cissé, Malian politician, born in Timbuktu, Mali
  • 1951 Peter May, Scottish novelist and scriptwriter, born in Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 1954 Sandra Cisneros, American writer, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1955 Sammy Mitchell, US programmer (Qedit/TSE/Semware)
  • 1956 Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Mauritanian 8th President of Mauritania (2009-present), born in Akjoujt, French West Africa
  • 1958 Steve Sailer, American political commentator
  • 1959 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Prime Minister of Poland, born in Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland
  • 1960 Carolyn Seaward, Miss United Kingdom (1979), born in Devonshire, England
  • 1960 Nalo Hopkinson, Jamaican-Canadian writer (Brown Girl in the Ring; The Salt Roads), born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • 1963 Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, born in Madrid, Spain
  • 1966 Ed de Goey, Dutch soccer goalie (Feyenoord), born in Gouda, South Holland
  • 1976 Adam Powell, Welsh computer programmer and game designer (Neopets), born in Newport, Wales
  • 1976 Ramon Stoppelenburg, Dutch traveler and author, born in Leiden, Netherlands
  • 1989 Virgilio Falco, Italian politician