Birthdays in History on December 23

ZenobiaZenobia (c. 245-274 AD)

Queen of Palmyra, born in Palmyra, Syria

  • 1173 Louis I, Duke of Bavaria (d. 1231)

Jacques CartierJacques Cartier (1491-1557)

French explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France, born in St. Malo, Brittany

  • 1513 Thomas Smith, English diplomat and scholar (d. 1577)
  • 1544 Anna, Duchess of Saxony, 2nd wife of prince William of Orange (1561-71 (divorced and imprisoned for adultery), born in Dresden (d. 1577)
  • 1548 Pieter C. Bockenberg, Dutch historian (Annales Hollandiae et Zeelandiae), born in Gouda (d. 1617)
  • 1597 Martin Opitz, German poet "Father of Modern German Poetry", born in Bunzlau, Silesia (d. 1639)
  • 1613 Carl Gustaf Wrangel, Swedish soldier (d. 1676)
  • 1621 Edmund Berry Godfrey, English magistrate (d. 1678)
  • 1621 Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham, Lord Chancellor of England (d. 1682)
  • 1722 Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, Swedish Chemist who discovered nickel and tungsten, born in Turinge, Sweden (d. 1765)

Richard ArkwrightRichard Arkwright (1732-1792)

English industrialist and inventor (created the spinning frame, built Cromford Mill), born in Preston, England

  • 1743 Ippolit Bogdanovich, Russian author and poet (Dushenka), born in Perevolochna, Cossack Hetmanate (d. 1803)
  • 1750 Frederik Augustus I of Saxony (1806-27) last Elector of Saxony, (d. 1827)
  • 1758 Nathan Wilson, U.S. Representative from New York, born in Bolton, Massachusetts (d. 1834)
  • 1777 Alexander I, tsar of Russia (1801-25), born in Saint Petersburg, Russia (d. 1825)
  • 1780 Charles-Louis Panckoucke, French publisher and editor (Bibliothèque latine-française) (d. 1844)
  • 1790 Jean-Francois Champollion, French scolar who deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics with Rosetta Stone, born in Figeac, France (d. 1832)
  • 1804 Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, French critic and writer (Informal Talk), born in Boulogne, France (d. 1869)

Joseph SmithJoseph Smith (1805-1844)

American founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, born in Sharon, Vermont

  • 1808 Thomas Turner, American Commander (Union Navy), (d. 1883)
  • 1812 Samuel Smiles, Scottish writer and reformer (Self-Help, Character, Duty), born in Berwickshire, Scotland (d. 1904)
  • 1815 Henry Highland Garnet, American minister, abolitionist and diplomat, born in Maryland (d. 1882)
  • 1818 David Addison Weisiger, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1899)
  • 1819 Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate, Dutch poet and clergyman (d. 1889)
  • 1822 Wilhelm Bauer, German engineer (built the Brandtaucher an incendiary submarine), born in Dillingen, Bavaria (d. 1875)
  • 1827 Wilhelm Freiherr von Tegetthoff, Austrian admiral (Helgoland/Lissa), born in Marburg, Styria , Austrian Empire (d. 1871)
  • 1843 Richard Conner, American Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient (d. 1924)
  • 1845 Gustave Ador, Swiss politician and 36th President of the Swiss Confederation (1919), born in Cologny, Geneva, Switzerland (d. 1928)
  • 1854 Henry B. Guppy, British botanist who studied in the Pacific, born in Falmouth, England (d. 1926)
  • 1858 Vladimir Nemirovitch-Dantshenko, Russian playwright (Life in Russian Theater), born in Shemokmedi, Georgia (d. 1943)
  • 1860 Harriet Monroe, American poet (You & I, A Poet's Life) and editor of Poetry magazine, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1936)
  • 1862 Henri Pirenne, Belgian historian (History of Belgium) (d. 1935)
  • 1864 Zorka of Montenegro, Princess of Serbia (d. 1890)

Madam C. J. WalkerMadam C. J. Walker (1867-1919)

African American entrepreneur (First American self-made female millionaire, Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company), born in Delta, Louisiana

  • 1878 Stephen Timoshenko, Ukrainian-born mechanical engineer (d. 1972)
  • 1883 Hubert Pierlot, Belgian advocate and politician, Prime Minister of Belgium (1939-45), born in Cugnon, Belgium (d. 1963)
  • 1885 Pierre Brissaud, French artist (d. 1964)
  • 1886 Albert Ehrenstein, Austrian writer and poet (Message from the Madhouse), born in Ottakring, Vienna (d. 1950)
  • 1888 Friedrich Wolf, German writer and diplomat, born in Neuwied, Germany (d. 1953)
  • 1896 Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Sicilian prince and writer (The Leopard), born in Palermo, Sicily (d. 1957)
  • 1900 Otto Soglow, American comics artist (d. 1975)
  • 1902 Charan Singh, Indian politician, 5th Prime Minister of India (1979-80), born in Noorpur District, British India (d. 1987)
  • 1902 Norman Maclean, American author (A River Runs Through It and Other Stories), born in Clarinda, Iowa, (d. 1990)
  • 1907 Avraham Stern, Polish-born Zionist leader (d. 1942)
  • 1907 Manuel Lopes, Cape Verdean writer and poet (d. 2005)
  • 1908 Yousuf Karsh, American Canadian portrait photographer (Life Magazine), born in Mardin, Ottoman Empire (d. 2002)
  • 1910 Kurt Meyer, German SS officer (d. 1961)
  • 1911 Niels Jerne, Danish immunologist (1984 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology), born in London, England (d. 1994)
  • 1918 Helmut Schmidt, German politician, Chancellor of West Germany (SPD, 1974- 82), born in Hamburg (d. 2015)
  • 1919 Kenneth M. Taylor, American pilot (d. 2006)
  • 1919 Peggy Fortnum, British Illustrator (first to draw Paddington Bear), born in London (d. 2016)
  • 1922 Ian Powell Bancroft, British senior civil servant, born in Barrow-in-Furness, England (d. 1996)
  • 1923 James Stockdale, American admiral (Vietnam) andRoss Perot's 1992 running mate, born in Abingdon, Illinois (d. 2005)
  • 1923 Lucas Mangope, 1st president of Bophuthatswana (1977-94) (d. 2018)
  • 1925 Henry Charles Gordon, American engineer and astronaut (Dynasoar), born in Valparaiso, Indiana (d. 1996)
  • 1926 Robert Bly, American poet & essayist (Loving a Woman in 2 Worlds), born in Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota
  • 1929 Charles R. Bentley, American pioneer of polar science, born in Rochester, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1929 Dick Weber, American ten-pin bowling pro (16, 300 games), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2005)
  • 1932 Tertius Metcalf, English businessman, born in Essex, England (d. 1996)

AkihitoAkihito (89 years old)

1933 Emperor of Japan (1989-2019), born in Tokyo, Japan

  • 1937 Karol Joseph Bobko, American Col USAF/astronaut (STS 6, STS 51D, STS 51J), born in NYC, New York
  • 1938 Bob Kahn, American internet pioneer, born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • 1940 Robert Labine, French Canadian politician, born in Québec, Canada
  • 1943 Mikhail Gromov, Russian-born mathematician, born in Boksitogorsk, Russia
  • 1943 Silvia Sommerlath, German wife of King Carl XVI of Sweden, born in Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1943 Stephen Wallace, Australian director (For Love Affair, Hunger, Mail Order Bride), born in New South Wales, Australia
  • 1944 Wesley Clark, American military officer, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1945 Donald A. Ritchie, American Historian Emeritus of the United States Senate, born in NYC, New York
  • 1946 John Sullivan, English television scriptwriter, born in Balham, London (d. 2011)
  • 1950 Ilchi Lee, South Korean educator and author, born in Cheonan, South Korea
  • 1950 Michael C. Burgess, American politician, born in Rochester, Minnesota
  • 1952 William Kristol, American political commentator, born in NYC, New York
  • 1953 Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, born in Madrid, Spain
  • 1955 Carol Ann Duffy, Scottish poet (British Poet Laureate 2009-19), born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • 1958 Paula-Mae Weekes, Trinidadian politician and jurist (1st female President of Trinidad and Tobago 2018-), born in Port of Spain, Trinidad
  • 1959 Geoff Willis, British engineer, born in Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 1960 [Zindziswa] Zindzi Mandela, South African politician, born in Johannesburg, South Africa (d. 2020)
  • 1963 Donna Tartt, American writer (The Secret History), born in Greenwood, Mississippi
  • 1967 Tim Fountain, British playwright, born in Dewsbury, United Kingdom
  • 1970 Shannon Bream [DePuy], American Journalist (Fox News) Miss Virginia (1991), born in Lynchburg, Virginia
  • 1971 Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, British socialite, born in Hampshire (d. 2017)