Birthdays in History on December 20

  • December
  • 1494 Oronce Finé, French mathematician & cartographer, born in Briançon, France (d. 1555)
  • 1537 Johan III, King of Sweden (1569-92)
  • 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, Jacobean playwright, born in Rye, United Kingdom
  • 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)
  • 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. 1833)

  • 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 Maud Gonne, English-born Irish revolutionary, born in Tongham, United Kingdom (d. 1953)
  • 1865 Elsie De Wolfe, American socialite and interior decorator, born in New York City, New York (d. 1950)

Person of interestHarvey Firestone

1868 Harvey Firestone, American industrialist and founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company ("where the rubber meets the road"), born in Columbiana, Ohio (d. 1938)

Tire Industrialist Harvey Firestone
Tire Industrialist
Harvey Firestone
  • 1870 Pieter Cornelis Boutens, Dutch poet, classicist, and mystic (Voices, Carmina), born in Middelburg, Netherlands
  • 1873 Kan'ichi Asakawa, Japanese author & historian, 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
  • 1876 J. Van Oudshoorn [Jan Koos Feylbrief], Dutch writer (Maze of Senses), born in the Hague, Netherlands
  • 1876 Walter Sydney Adams, American astronomer, born in Antioch, Turkey

Person of interestRobert Menzies

1894 Robert Menzies, 12th Prime Minister of Australia (United Australia Party: 1939-41, Liberal: 1949-66) and its longest-serving, born in Jeparit, Victoria (d. 1978)

12th Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies
12th Australian Prime Minister
Robert Menzies
  • 1895 Susanne Langer, American philosopher & educator (Philosophy in a New Key), born in Manhattan, New York City
  • 1901 Louis Kahn, US architect [or Feb 20], born in Pärnu, Estonia
  • 1901 Robert Van de Graaff, American engineer & physicist (Mobility of Gaseous Ions), born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • 1902 Max Lerner, American journalist & educator (NY Post), born in Minsk, Russia (d. 1992)
  • 1902 Sidney Hook, American philosopher (Paradoxes of Freedom), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1902 George Edward Alexander Windsor, Duke of Kent, born in York Cottage, United Kingdom (d. 1942)
  • 1904 Hans Burkhardt, Swiss-American abstract artist, born in Basel, Switzerland
  • 1906 Dick White, British intelligence officer (Director General of MI5 1953–1956; Head of the Secret Intelligence Service 1956–1968), born in Tonbridge, Kent
  • 1906 Irving Krick, American meteorologist & inventor, born in San Francisco, California
  • 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 (Arts & Letters 1967), born in NYC, New York
  • 1916 Michel Chartrand, French-Canadian union activist, born in Outremont, Quebec
  • 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
  • 1925 Frederick Edward Nicklin, architect
  • 1926 David Levine, American artist (New York Review of Books caricatures), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2009)
  • 1926 Otto Graf Lambsdorff, German politician (Free Democratic Party), born in Aachen, Germany
  • 1926 Geoffrey Howe, British politician (Chancellor and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher), born in Aberavon, Glamorganshire (d. 2015)
  • 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 Gordon Getty, American businessman and heir of J. Paul Getty, born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1933 Jean Carnahan, US politician and writer (Missouri, Senator 2001–2002), born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1939 Dianne Arndt, artist/photographer
  • 1941 Frank Creton, Suriname/Neth painter
  • 1944 Gernot Wolfgruber, Austrian writer, born in Gmünd, Lower Austria

Person of interestUri Geller

1946 Uri Geller, Israeli magician and psychic known for bending forks, born in Tel Aviv, Israel

Psychic, illusionist Uri Geller
Psychic, illusionist
Uri Geller

Person of interestDick Wolf

1946 Dick Wolf, American television series creator (Miami Vice, Law & Order), born in NYC, New York

Crime Drama TV Producer Dick Wolf
Crime Drama TV Producer
Dick Wolf
  • 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-born Canadian writer, 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
  • 1987 Tariel Zintiridis, Greek judoka, born in Tbilisi, Georgia
  • 1989 Virgilio Falco, Italian politician