Birthdays in History on December 4

  • 1555 Heinrich Meibom, German historian and poet, born in Barntrup, Germany (d. 1625)
  • 1580 Samuel Argall, English adventurer and naval officer, born in East Sutton, Kent, England (d. 1626)
  • 1584 John Cotton, Puritan clergyman in Mass Bay colony, born in Derby, Derbyshire, Kingdom of England (d. 1652)
  • 1595 Jean Chapelain, French writer and poet (La Pucelle), born in Paris (d. 1674)
  • 1646 Alain Emmanuel de Coëtlogon, Marshal of France, born in Rennes, Brittany, France (d. 1730)
  • 1670 John Aislabie, English politician (Chancellor of the Exchequer), born in England (d. 1742)
  • 1711 Barbara of Portugal [Maria Madalena Bárbara Xavier Leonor Teresa Antónia Josefa], Queen of Spain, born in Ribeira Palace, Lisbon, Portugal (d. 1758)
  • 1713 Gasparo Gozzi, Italian critic and dramatist, born in Venice (d. 1786)
  • 1726 William Alexander, Lord Stirling, American general (American Revolutionary War leader), born in NYC, New York (d. 1783)
  • 1777 Juliette Récamier, French socialite, born in Lyon, Kingdom of France (d. 1849)

Thomas CarlyleThomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

Scottish essayist and historian (The French Revolution), born in Ecclefechan, Scotland

  • 1798 Jules Armand Dufaure, French statesman (Prime Minister of France 1871-73), born in Saujon, France (d. 1881)
  • 1800 Emil Aarestrup, Danish physician and poet (Ritornellen), born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 1831)
  • 1803 Augustus diZerega, American ship owner (Red Z Line), born in Martinique (d. 1888)
  • 1808 Ernest Panckoucke, French publisher (Horatius), born in Paris (d. 1886)
  • 1812 Elias Smith Dennis, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Newburgh, New York (d. 1894)
  • 1818 William Wing "Old Blizzards" Loring, American Major General (Confederate Army), born in Wilmington, North Carolina (d. 1886)
  • 1835 Samuel Butler, English author (Erewhom, Way of All Flesh), born in Langar, Nottinghamshire, England (d. 1902)

Crazy HorseCrazy Horse (1840-1877)

Oglala Sioux chief (Battle of the Little Bighorn), born in Fort Robinson, Nebraska

  • 1844 Franz Xavier Wernz, German Superior General of the Society of Jesus, born in Rottweil, Württemberg (d. 1914)
  • 1852 Orest Khvolson, Russian physicist and honorary member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (1920), born in Saint Petersburg (d. 1934)

Chester GreenwoodChester Greenwood (1858-1937)

American inventor (invented earmuffs at 15), born in Farmington, Maine

Edith CavellEdith Cavell (1865-1915)

British nurse in World War I who was executed by Germany, born in Swardeston, Norfolk, England

  • 1866 Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-French abstract painter (Dreamy Inspiration), born in Moscow (d. 1944)
  • 1868 Richard Nicolaas Roland Holst, Dutch artist and painter, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1938)
  • 1875 Rainer Maria Rilke, Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist (Ana, The City, Duino Elegies), born in Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1926)
  • 1876 Dimitur Poljanov [Popov], Bulgarian poet (Iron Poems) (d. 1953)
  • 1880 Garfield Wood, American inventor, motorboat builder and racer (world water speed record x 5; first to travel over 100 mph on water), born in Mapleton, Iowa (d. 1971)
  • 1881 Erwin von Witzleben, German fieldmarshal (July 20th plot), born in Wrocław, Poland (d. 1944)
  • 1883 Katharine Susannah Prichard, Australian novelist (Black Opal), born in Levuka, Fiji (d. 1969)
  • 1888 Aleksandar I, King of Yugoslavia (1921-34), born in Cetinje, Montenegro (d. 1934)

Francisco FrancoFrancisco Franco (1892-1975)

Spanish general and dictator (1936-75), born in Ferrol, Galicia, Spain

  • 1895 Fritiof Nilsson Piraten, Swedish writer (Bombi Bitt Och Jag), born in Vollsjö, Sweden (d. 1972)
  • 1895 Fung Yu-lan, Chinese philosopher, born in Tanghe County, Henan, Qing Dynasty (d. 1990)
  • 1896 Nikolai Tichonov, Russian writer (against Pasternak), born in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire (d. 1979)
  • 1897 Mari Andriessen, Dutch sculptor (Dock Worker), born in Haarlem, Netherlands (d. 1979)
  • 1899 Douwe Hermans Kiestra, Frisian farmer and writer, born in Poppenwier, Netherlands (d. 1970)
  • 1903 A. L. Rowse, British author and historian, born in Tregonissey, St Austell, Cornwall (d. 1997)
  • 1903 Al Leader, Canadian-American Hockey Hall of Fame player, referee and administrator (Western Hockey League), born in Barnsley, Manitoba (d. 1982)
  • 1903 Cornell Woolrich, American writer (El Angel Negro), born in NYC, New York (d. 1968)
  • 1905 Emílio Garrastazu Médici, 28th President of Brazil (1969-74), born in Bagé, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (d. 1985)
  • 1907 Jo Boer, Dutch painter and author (Catharina & the Magnolias), born in Surabaya, Indonesia (d. 1993)
  • 1908 A. D. Hershey, American biologist, worked with bacteriophages (Nobel 1969), born in Owosso, Michigan (d. 1997)
  • 1910 R. [Ramaswamy] Venkataraman, Indian politician, eighth President of India (1987-92), born in Rajamadam, British India (d. 2009)
  • 1912 Ian Wallace [John Wallace Pritchard], American sci-fi author (Megalomania), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1998)

Pappy BoyingtonPappy Boyington (1912-1988)

American combat pilot and US Marine Corps Fighter Ace during World War II, born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

  • 1913 Robert Adler, Austrian-American inventor (remote control for television), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2007)
  • 1914 Rudolf Hausner, Austrian artist (d. 1995)
  • 1916 Ely Jacques Kahn, Jr., American writer, born in NYC, New York (d. 1994)
  • 1919 I. K. [Inder Kumar] Gujral, Indian politician, Prime Minister of India (1997-98), born in Jhelum, British India (d. 2012)
  • 1920 Jeanne Manford, American gay rights activist, born in Flushing, New York (d. 2013)
  • 1920 Nadir Afonso, Portuguese geometric abstractionist painter, born in Chaves, Portugal (d. 2013)
  • 1920 Ray Robinson, American magazine editor and biographer (Lou Gehrig), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1923 Charles Keating, American district attorney (Los Angeles California), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 2014)
  • 1924 John C. Portman Jr., American architect (Ivan Allen Award-1964), born in Walhalla, South Carolina (d. 2017)
  • 1925 Albert Bandura, Canadian-American psychologist, born in Alberta, Canada
  • 1928 Hebe de Bonafini, Argentine human rights activist (co-founded Mothers of Plaza de Mayo), born in Ensenada, Argentina (d. 2022)
  • 1931 Wally George, American conservative TV commentator, born in Oakland, California (d. 2003)
  • 1932 Joanne Battiste, artist (heroines) (d. 2009)
  • 1932 Roh Tae-Woo, 6th President South Korea (1988-93), born in Dong-gu, Daegu, South Korea
  • 1935 Robert Vesco, American financier and fugitive, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2007)
  • 1938 Andre Marrou, American Libertarian Presidential candidate (1992), born in Nixon, Texas
  • 1938 Lynn Blessing, vibes player (d. 1994)
  • 1940 Gary Gilmore, American murderer, born in McCamey, Texas (d. 1977)
  • 1945 Michael Gerzon, British mathematician and audio pioneer (Ambisonics), born in Birmingham (d. 1996)
  • 1945 Roberta Lynn Bondar, Canadian neurologist and astronaut (STS 42), born in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario
  • 1947 Ursula Krechel, German writer (Shanghai far from where), born in Trier, Germany
  • 1948 Lin Onus, Australian Aboriginal artist (Michael and I are just slipping down to the pub for a minute), born in Melbourne, Victoria (d. 1996)
  • 1952 Ronald M. Sega, American professor of systems engineering and astronaut (STS 60, 76), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1957 Eric S. Raymond, American open source advocate, born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1966 Suzanne Malveaux, American television news journalist, born in Lansing, Michigan