Birthdays in History on December 21

Thomas BecketThomas Becket (c. 1118-1170)

English Archbishop of Canterbury (1162-70), born in London

  • 1401 Tommaso Masaccio, Italian painter, born in San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy (d. 1428)
  • 1518 Mark van Vaernewijck, Habsburg historian, born in Ghent, County of Flanders, Habsburg Netherlands (d. 1569)
  • 1596 Petro Mohyla, Moldovan Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop of Kiev and Galicia (d. 1646)

Roger WilliamsRoger Williams (1603-1684)

English theologian and colonist, born in London, England

  • 1714 John Bradstreet, Canadian-born soldier, born in Annapolis Royal, Canada (d. 1774)
  • 1778 Anders Sandøe Ørsted, Danish politician, born in Rudkøbing, Denmark (d. 1860)

Leopold von RankeLeopold von Ranke (1795-1886)

German historian who founded the modern concept of source-based history, born in Wiehe, Saxony, Holy Roman Empire

  • 1800 Barnwell Rhett Robert, (Confederacy), (d. 1876)

Benjamin DisraeliBenjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

1st Earl of Beaconsfield, British Prime Minister (Tory: 1868, 1874-80) and writer, born in London

  • 1805 Thomas Graham, British chemist and father of colloid chemistry (d. 1869)
  • 1815 Thomas Couture, French history painter & teacher, born in Senlis, France (d. 1879)
  • 1818 Amalia of Oldenburg, Queen of Greece, Bavarian born wife of King Otto of Greece, born in Oldenburg (d. 1875)
  • 1818 Lewis H. Morgan, American ethnologist (Systems of Consanguinity), born in Aurora, New York (d. 1881)
  • 1823 Jean Henri Fabre, French naturalist and entomologist (insects & spiders), born in Saint-Léons, Aveyron, France (d. 1915)
  • 1832 John Henry Ketcham, American politician and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Dover Plains, New York (d. 1906)
  • 1840 Namık Kemal, Turkish journalist and political activist (Young Ottomans), born in Tekirdağ, Ottoman Empire (d. 1888)
  • 1843 Thomas Bracken, Irish-born New Zealand poet, born in Clones, County Monaghan (d. 1898)
  • 1845 Emmanuel-Persillier Lachapelle, Canadian physician and founder of Hôpital Notre-Dame, Montreal), born in Sault-au-Récollet, Montreal (d. 1918)
  • 1849 James Lane Allen, American writer (Kentucky Cardinal), born in Lexington, Kentucky (d. 1925)
  • 1851 Thomas Chipman McRae, American politician, 34th Governor of Arkansas (d. 1929)
  • 1853 Isolde Kurz, German poet & short-story writer (Meine Mutter), born in Stuttgart, Germany (d. 1944)
  • 1859 Gustave Kahn, French symbolist poet & art critic, born in Metz, France (d. 1936)
  • 1860 Henrietta Szold, U.S. Jewish Zionist leader & founder of Hadassah, born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1945)
  • 1870 Sir Patrick Duncan, Governor-General of the Union of South Africa (1937 to 1943), born in Ellon, United Kingdom (d. 1943)
  • 1872 Albert Payson Terhune, American novelist (Lad, a Dog), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 1942)
  • 1874 Juan Bautista Sacasa, President of Nicaragua (1932-36), born in León, Nicaragua (d. 1946)
  • 1878 Jan Łukasiewicz, Polish logician, philosopher, professor, and author, born in Lembeck, Galacia (now Lviv, Ukraine) (d. 1956)
  • 1879 Theodore Limperg, Dutch accountant, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1961)
  • 1886 Hermann A. J. Kees, German egyptologist (Problems of Egyptology), born in Leipzig, Germany (d. 1964)
  • 1889 Sewall Wright, American geneticist, born in Melrose, Massachusetts (d. 1988)
  • 1890 Hermann Joseph Muller, American geneticist and Nobel laureate, born in NYC, New York (d. 1967)
  • 1891 John W. McCormack, American politician (D) Speaker of House (1962-70), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1980)
  • 1892 Amy Key Clarke, English mystical poet & writer, born in England, United Kingdom (d. 1980)
  • 1896 Carl Romme, Dutch catholic foreman/KVP-min Socialist Business, born in Oirschot, Netherlands (d. 1980)
  • 1896 Constantine Rokossovski, Russian marshal/vice-premier of Poland, born in Warsaw, Poland (d. 1968)
  • 1898 Ira S. Bowen, American physicist & astronomer (Mt Wilson/Palomar), born in Seneca Falls, New York (d. 1973)
  • 1900 Oda Schaefer, German writer & journalist (Die Windharfe, Ladies Only), born in Wilmersdorf, Berlin (d. 1988)
  • 1900 Vsevolod Vishnevsky, Russian playwright and journalist, born in Saint Petersburg (d. 1951)
  • 1901 Juan A de Zunzunegui y Loredo, Spanish writer, born in Portugalete, Spain (d. 1982)
  • 1905 Anthony Powell, English novelist (Infants of Spring), born in Westminster, United Kingdom (d. 2000)
  • 1907 Garmt Stuiveling, Dutch poet & literary (Poet in Love), born in Stroobos, Netherlands (d. 1985)
  • 1908 Pat Weaver, American radio advertising executive (started Today show), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2002)
  • 1909 George Ball, American politician and diplomat (US Ambassador to the UN, Under Secretary of State), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1994)
  • 1909 Seichō Matsumoto, Japanese mystery writer and journalist, born in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan (d. 1992)
  • 1910 Rosa Bouglione, French circus performer, born in Ixelles, Belgium (d. 2018)
  • 1914 Ivan Generalić, Croatian painter, born in Hlebine, Croatia (d. 1992)
  • 1916 Eve Perrick, British journalist (The Daily Mail) (d. 1995)
  • 1916 John Boon, British publisher (Mills and Boon), born in King's Lynn, Norfolk (d. 1996)
  • 1917 Diana Athill, English writer and editor (Stet), born in London, England (d. 2019)
  • 1917 Sophie Masloff, American politician, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2014)
  • 1918 Donald Regan, US Secretary of the Treasury (1981-85) and White House Chief of Staff (1985-87), born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 2003)

Kurt WaldheimKurt Waldheim (1918-2007)

Austrian 4th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1972-81) and 9th President of Austria (1986-92), born in Sankt Andrä-Wördern, Austria

  • 1920 Bob Bindig, American cartoonist (d. 2006)
  • 1921 James Tye, British safety expert
  • 1923 Intizar Hussain, Urdu writer and columnist, born in Dibai, Bulandshahr (d. 2016) (approx. date)
  • 1924 Johan W "Jo" van Marle, KNVB-chairman (1980-93), born in Zwolle, Netherlands (d. 1995)
  • 1930 Willem R "Wim" van der Zee, secretary of Council of Churches
  • 1932 Edward Hoagland, American essayist, born in NYC, New York
  • 1933 Huib Eversdijk, Dutch 2nd chamber member (CDA), born in Kapelle, Netherlands (d. 2012)
  • 1935 Edward Schreyer, Canadian politician (Premier of Manitoba), born in Beausejour, Canada
  • 1935 Phil Donahue, TV talk show host (The Phil Donahue Show), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1935 Yusuf Bey (Joseph Stephens), American activist, born in Greenville, Texas (d. 2003)
  • 1937 Donald F. Munson, American politician (Maryland State Senator, 1991-2011), born in Hagerstown, Maryland
  • 1939 Lloyd Axworthy, Canadian politician, born in North Battleford, Canada

Hu JintaoHu Jintao (80 years old)

1942 General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (2002-12) and President of the People's Republic of China (2003-13), born in Taizhou, Jiangsu

  • 1943 André Arthur, Canadian radio host & politician, born in Quebec City, Canada
  • 1944 Zheng Xiaoyu, Chinese bureaucrat, born in Fuzhou, China (d. 2007)
  • 1945 Millie Hughes-Fulford, American scientist & astronaut (STS 40), born in Mineral Wells, Texas
  • 1948 Thierry Mugler, French fashion designer, parfumeur, and bodybuilder, born in Strasbourg, France (d. 2022)
  • 1948 Willem AFG Vermeend, Dutch economist & politician, born in Zuilen, Netherlands
  • 1949 Nikolaos Sifounakis, Greek politician, born in Rethymno, Greece
  • 1949 Thomas Sankara, Burkinabé revolutionary and politician, President of Burkina Faso (1983-87), born in Yako, Upper Volta (d. 1987)
  • 1960 Sherry Rehman, Pakistani politician and diplomat (Federal Minister of Climate Change), born in Karachi, Pakistan
  • 1966 William Ruto, Kenyan politician (President of Kenya 2022-, Deputy President 2013-2022), born in Kamagut, Kenya
  • 1967 Mikhail Saakashvili, Soviet-born President of Georgia, born in Tbilisi, Georgia
  • 1971 Fenton Keogh, Australian celebrity chef

Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Macron (45 years old)

1977 French politician, President of France (2017-), born in Amiens, France

  • 1982 Erica America Hayden, American journalist and radio personality, born in Long Island, New York