Birthdays in History on December 21

Person of interestThomas Becket

1117 Thomas Becket, English archbishop of Canterbury (1162-1170), born in London, England (d. 1170)

Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket
Archbishop of Canterbury
Thomas Becket
  • 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)

Person of interestRoger Williams

1603 Roger Williams, English theologian and colonist, born in London, England (d. 1684)

Theologian and Colonist Roger Williams
Theologian and Colonist
Roger Williams
  • 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)

Person of interestLeopold von Ranke

1795 Leopold von Ranke, German historian who founded the modern concept of source-based history, born in Wiehe, Saxony, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1886)

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

Person of interestBenjamin Disraeli

1804 Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, British Prime Minister (Tory: 1868, 1874-80) and writer, born in London (d. 1881)

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli
British Prime Minister
Benjamin Disraeli
  • 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, wife of king Otto of Greece
  • 1818 Lewis H. Morgan, American ethnologist (Systems of Consanguinity), born in Aurora, New York (d. 1881)
  • 1823 Jean Henri Fabre, French nautralist & entomologist (insects & spiders), born in Saint-Léons, Aveyron, France
  • 1832 John Henry Ketcham, American politician and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Dover Plains, New York (d. 1906)

  • 1840 Mehmed N Kemal, Turkish journalist (Vatan)
  • 1843 Thomas Bracken, Irish-born New Zealand poet, born in Clones, County Monaghan (d. 1898)
  • 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
  • 1878 Jan Łukasiewicz, Polish logician and philosopher, born in 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)
  • 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
  • 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
  • 1916 John Boon, British publisher (Mills and Boon), born in King's Lynn, Norfolk (d. 1996)
  • 1917 Sophie Masloff, American politician, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2014)
  • 1917 Diana Athill, English writer and editor (Stet), born in London, England (d. 2019)
  • 1918 Donald Regan, White House staffer/US Secretary of Treasury (1981-85), born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 2003)
  • 1918 Kurt Waldheim, Austrian 4th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1972-81) and 9th President of Austria (1986-92), born in Sankt Andrä-Wördern, Austria (d. 2007)
  • 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 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)
  • 1935 Edward Schreyer, Canadian politician (Premier of Manitoba), born in Beausejour, Canada
  • 1937 Donald F. Munson, American politician (former Maryland Senator), born in Hagerstown, Maryland
  • 1939 Lloyd Axworthy, Canadian politician, born in North Battleford, Canada

Person of interestHu Jintao

1942 Hu Jintao, 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

Paramount Leader of China Hu Jintao
Paramount Leader of China
Hu Jintao
  • 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 Willem AFG Vermeend, Dutch economist & politician, born in Zuilen, Netherlands
  • 1949 Nikolaos Sifounakis, Greek politician, born in Rethymno, Greece
  • 1967 Mikhail Saakashvili, Soviet-born President of Georgia, born in Tbilisi, Georgia
  • 1971 Fenton Keogh, Australian celebrity chef

Person of interestEmmanuel Macron

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

President of France Emmanuel Macron
President of France
Emmanuel Macron
  • 1982 Erica America Hayden, American journalist and radio personality, born in Long Island, New York