Birthdays in History on December 31

  • December
  • 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)

Person of interestJacques Cartier

1491 Jacques Cartier, French explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France, born in St. Malo, Brittany (d. 1557)

French Explorer Jacques Cartier
French Explorer
Jacques Cartier
  • 1514 Andreas Vesalius [Andries van Wesel], Flemish-Netherlandish physician and anatomist (De humani corporis fabrica), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1564)
  • 1540 Silvio Antoniano, Italian cardinal/theologist (Tre libri)
  • 1572 Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan, (d. 1617)
  • 1668 Hermannus Boerhaave, Dutch botanist & physician, born in Voorhout, Netherlands (d. 1738)
  • 1720 [Bonnie Prince] Charles Edward Stuart, English pretender to throne (Jacobite rebellion), born in Rome (d. 1788)

Person of interestCharles Cornwallis

1738 Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, British general and colonial administrator (leading British general in the American War of Independence), born in London (d. 1805)

General and Colonial Administrator Charles Cornwallis
General and Colonial Administrator
Charles Cornwallis
  • 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)
  • 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, vicar/Dutch anarchist (Right for all)
  • 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)

Person of interestHenri Matisse

1869 Henri Matisse, French impressionist painter (Odalisque), born in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France (d. 1954)

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

Person of interestGeorge Marshall

1880 George Marshall, US Secretary of State (1947-49) who authored the Marshall Plan (Nobel 1953), born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania (d. 1959)

Military Leader George Marshall
Military Leader
George Marshall
  • 1881 Colin G Fink, American chemist (electro chemistry), born in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • 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)
  • 1905 Guy Mollet, Prime Minister of France (1956-57), born in Flers, France (d. 1975)
  • 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 Veijo Meri, Finnish writer, born in Viipuri (d. 2015)
  • 1928 Siné [Maurice Sinet], French cartoonist, born in Paris, France (d. 2016)
  • 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)
  • 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)

Person of interestSalman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

1935 Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia (2015-present), born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
King of Saudi Arabia
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
  • 1937 Nicolas Born, German writer, born in Duisburg (d. 1979)
  • 1937 Avram Hershko, Hungarian-born Israeli biochemist and Nobel laureate in Chemistry, born in Karcag, Hungary
  • 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
  • 1946 Pius Ncube, Zimbabwean human rights advocate, born in Filabusi, Zimbabwe

Person of interestDiane von Furstenberg

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

Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg
Fashion Designer
Diane von Furstenberg
  • 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, Canada
  • 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