Birthdays in History on December 31

  • 695 Muhammad bin Qasim, Umayyad general, born in Ta'if, Saudi Arabia (d. 715)
  • 1378 Pope Callixtus III [Alfonso de Borgia], head of the Catholic Church & ruler of the Papal States (1455-58), born in Kingdom of Valencia (d. 1458)

Andreas VesaliusAndreas Vesalius (1514-1564)

Flemish physician and anatomist (De humani corporis fabrica), born in Brussels, Habsburg Netherlands (now Belgium)

  • 1540 Silvio Antoniano, Italian cardinal and theologist (Tre libri), born in Rome (d. 1603)
  • 1572 Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan, (d. 1617)
  • 1668 Hermannus Boerhaave, Dutch botanist & physician, born in Voorhout, Netherlands (d. 1738)
  • 1714 Yoriyuki Arima, Japanese mathematician (approximated the value of pi and its square, pi^2), born in Kurume, Kyūshū, Japan (d. 1783)

Charles CornwallisCharles Cornwallis (1738-1805)

1st Marquess Cornwallis, British general and colonial administrator (leading British general in the American War of Independence), born in London

  • 1741 Isabella Maria of Parma, wife of future Holy Roman emperor, born in Madrid, Spain (d. 1763)
  • 1763 Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, French admiral, born in Valensole, France (d. 1806)
  • 1776 Johann Spurzheim, German physician, born in Trier, Electorate of Trier, Germany (d. 1832)
  • 1805 Marie d'Agoult (Daniel Stern), French author (Knife), born in Frankfurt, Germany (d. 1876)
  • 1815 George Gordon Meade, Spanish-American Major General (Union Army), born in Cádiz, Spain (d. 1872)
  • 1825 Francis Trowbridge Sherman, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Newtown, Connecticut (d. 1905)
  • 1830 Isma'il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt (1863-79), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1895)
  • 1838 Emile Loubet, French politician (President 1899-1906), born in Marsanne, France (d. 1929)
  • 1846 Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis, Dutch socialist politician (1st Socialist MP in parliament), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1919)
  • 1855 Giovanni Pascoli, Italian classicist & poet, born in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy (d. 1912)
  • 1860 Joseph S. Cullinan, American oil industrialist, born in Pennsylvania, United States (d. 1937)
  • 1863 Alfredo Panzini, Italian author (Dizionario Moderno), born in Senigallia, Italy (d. 1939)
  • 1864 Robert G Aitken, American astronomer (Binary Stars), born in Jackson, California (d. 1951)

Henri MatisseHenri Matisse (1869-1954)

French impressionist painter (Odalisque), born in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France

  • 1877 Lawrence Beesley, English journalist and author, born in Wirksworth, United Kingdom (d. 1967)
  • 1878 Elizabeth Arden, Canadian businesswoman, born in Woodbridge, Ontario (d. 1966)
  • 1878 Horacio Quiroga, Uruguayan playwright, poet, and short story writer (Anaconda, El Crimen del Otro), born in Salto, Uruguay (d. 1937)

George MarshallGeorge Marshall (1880-1959)

American general and US Secretary of State (1947-49) who authored the Marshall Plan (Nobel 1953), born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania

  • 1881 Colin G. Fink, American chemist (electro chemistry), born in Hoboken, New Jersey (d. 1953) [1]
  • 1881 Jacob Israël de Haan, Dutch poet/writer (Pipelines, Jewish Song), born in Holland, Netherlands (d. 1924)
  • 1881 Max Pechstein, German "entartet" painter and graphic artist (The Bridge), born in Zwickau, Germany (d. 1955)
  • 1882 David Cohen, Dutch historian and chairman of the Jewish Council, born in Deventer, Holland (d. 1967)
  • 1885 Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein, born in Province of Schleswig-Holstein (d. 1970)
  • 1893 Max Lamberty, Flemish sociologist & author (Flemish Resurrection), born in Saint-Gilles, Brussels (d. 1975)

Guy MolletGuy Mollet (1905-1975)

Prime Minister of France (1956-57), born in Flers, France

  • 1905 Tadeusz Breza, Polish writer (The Bronze Gate), born in Sekežintsõ, Ostrog (d. 1970)
  • 1908 Simon Wiesenthal, Jewish-Austrian holocaust survivor & Nazi hunter (Wiesenthal Center), born in Buchach, Ukraine (d. 2005)
  • 1911 Dal Stivens, Australian novelist, born in Blayney, Australia (d. 1997)
  • 1912 John Frost, British airborne officer, born in Pune, India (d. 1993)
  • 1919 Artur Fischer, German inventor with more patents than Edison, born in Tumlingen, Baden-Württemberg (d. 2016)
  • 1919 Recy Taylor, American sexual assault victim, born in Abbeville, Alabama (d. 2017)
  • 1921 Lynn Compton, American jurist (Sirhan Sirhan prosecutor) and commissioned officer (Easy Company, 101st Airborne), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2012)
  • 1927 Dieter Noll, German writer (Die Abenteuer des Werner Holt), born in Riesa, Saxony (d. 2008)
  • 1928 Amarillo Slim [Thomas Preston], American hall of fame professional poker player (1971 World Series main event), born in Amarillo, Texas (d. 2012)
  • 1928 Siné [Maurice Sinet], French cartoonist, born in Paris, France (d. 2016)
  • 1928 Veijo Meri, Finnish writer, born in Viipuri (d. 2015)
  • 1929 Sidney Greenbaum, British scholar, born in London, United Kingdom (d. 1996)
  • 1931 Bob Shaw, Northern Irish sci-fi author (Light of Other Days, The Ragged Astronauts), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (d. 1996)
  • 1932 Xavier Chamorro Cardenal, Nicaraguan journalist and newspaper editor (La Prensa; El Nuevo Diario), born in Granada, Nicaragua, (d. 2008)
  • 1933 Chryssa [Vardea-Mavromichali], Greek-American artist, born in Athens, Greece (d. 2013)
  • 1934 Akram Awan, Islamic scholar & spiritual leader, born in Chakwal, Pakistan (d. 2017)
  • 1935 Rolf Haufs, German writer, born in Düsseldorf (d. 2013)

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al SaudSalman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (87 years old)

1935 King of Saudi Arabia (2015-present), born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  • 1937 Avram Hershko, Hungarian-born Israeli biochemist and Nobel laureate in Chemistry, born in Karcag, Hungary
  • 1937 Nicolas Born, German writer, born in Duisburg (d. 1979)
  • 1938 Henricus G Wijmans, Dutch graphic artist
  • 1939 Hugh Lewin, South African anti-apartheid activist and writer (Bandiet: Seven Years in a South African Prison), born in Lydenburg, South Africa (d. 2019)
  • 1940 Oleg Anatolyevich Yakovlev, Russian cosmonaut, born in Leningrad
  • 1944 Taylor Hackford, American director (Devil's Advocate, Ray), born in Santa Barbara, California
  • 1945 Claude Marks, FALN member (FBI most wanted), born in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Diane von FurstenbergDiane von Furstenberg (76 years old)

1946 Belgian-born American fashion designer (wrap dress), born in Brussels

  • 1946 Pius Ncube, Zimbabwean human rights advocate, born in Filabusi, Zimbabwe
  • 1948 Viktor Mikhailovich Afanasieyv, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-11, TM-18)
  • 1949 Ellen Datlow, American editor, born in NYC, New York
  • 1949 Susan Shwartz, American author, born in Youngstown, Ohio
  • 1953 Yahya Ould Hademine, Mauritanian politician & 13th Prime Minister of Mauritania (2014-present), born in Timbédra, French West Africa
  • 1954 Alex Salmond, Scottish politician (Scottish National Party) First Minister of Scotland (2007-14), born in Linlithgow, Scotland
  • 1954 Hermann Tilke, German racing circuit architect, born in Olpe, Germany
  • 1955 Dawood Ibrahim, Indian crime boss (D-Company), born in Khed, Ratnagiri, India
  • 1956 Martin Joseph Fettman, American researcher & astronaut (STS 58), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1956 Steve Rude, American comics artist, born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • 1959 Phill Kline, American politician, born in Kansas City, Kansas
  • 1962 Heather McCartney, American-British potter & artist, born in Tucson, Arizona
  • 1965 Julie Doucet, Canadian underground cartoonist, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1965 Nicholas Sparks, American author (The Notebook), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • 1969 Dominik Diamond, Scottish presenter & newspaper columnist, born in Arbroath, United Kingdom
  • 1977 Donald Trump Jr., American businessman and son of Donald Trump and Ivana Trump, born in NYC, New York
  • 1979 Josh Hawley, American politician (Senator-R-Missouri 2019-), 1st to object to certification of Biden victory, born in Springdale, Arkansas