Birthdays in History on February 20

  • 1494 Johan Friis, chancellor (Denmark, helped formed Lutheranism)
  • 1523 Jan Blahoslav, Czech humanist/bishop (Bohemian brothers)
  • 1632 Thomas Osborne, Duke of Leeds, English PM (1690-94)/founder (Tories)
  • 1633 Jan de Baen, portrait painter/etcher
  • 1745 Henry James Pye, English poet, British Poet Laureate (1790-1813), born in London (d. 1813)
  • 1751 Johann Heinrich Voß, German poet (d. 1826)
  • 1753 Louis Alexandre Berthier, French marshal (d. 1815)
  • 1757 John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, English philanthropist (d. 1834)
  • 1779 Augustus Callcott, landscape painter, Kensington
  • 1784 Adam Black, politician/publisher, born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1792 Eliza Courtney, English illegitimate daughter of Charles Grey and Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, born in Aix-en-Provence (d. 1859)
  • 1794 William Carleton, Irish novelist (d. 1869)
  • 1796 Eduard W van Dam van Isselt, Dutch military/liberal politician

Angelina GrimkéAngelina Grimké (1805-1879)

American abolitionist, women's rights activist and suffragette (An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South), born in Charleston, South Carolina

  • 1808 Daumier, Marseilles France, artist
  • 1809 Albertus J Duymaer van Twist, gov-gen of Neth-Indies
  • 1809 Henry Walton Wessells, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Lietchfield, Connecticut (d. 1889)
  • 1819 Alfred Escher, Swiss politician, railroad entrepreneur (d. 1882)
  • 1820 Mahlon Dickerson Manson, American druggist politician and General (Union Army), born in Piqua, Ohio (d. 1895)
  • 1827 Edward Stuyvesant Bragg, American politician, lawyer and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Unadilla, New York (d. 1912)
  • 1835 Allessandro d'Ancona, Italian philologist
  • 1838 James Barbour Terrill, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1864)
  • 1839 Benjamin Waugh, English social reformer who founded the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, born in Settle, North Yorkshire, England (d. 1908)
  • 1844 Joshua Slocum, Canadian-American seaman and adventurer, born in Mount Hanley, Nova Scotia (d. 1909)
  • 1844 Ludwig Boltzmann, Austrian physicist (thermodynamics), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1906)
  • 1844 Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann, Austrian physicist (statistical mechanics)
  • 1848 Edward Henry Harriman, American railroad executive (d. 1909)
  • 1850 Nérée Beauchemin, Canadian physician and poet (d. 1931)
  • 1852 Nikolai Garin [Michailovski], Russian author (Tjoma Kartashov)
  • 1861 Nicolaas van Meeteren, Curacao, folklorist
  • 1866 Carl Westman, Swedish architect and designer (d. 1936)
  • 1867 Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife (d. 1931)
  • 1870 Pieter Cornelis Boutens, Dutch poet, classicist, and mystic (Voices, Carmina), born in Middelburg, Netherlands (d. 1943)
  • 1880 Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen, French aristocrat and novelist (d. 1923)
  • 1881 Pedro Munoz Seca, Spanish playwright (Vengeanza de Don Mendo)
  • 1883 Shiga Naoya, Japan, novelist (Road Through Dark Night)
  • 1886 Bela Kun, Czehul Romania, head of Hungarian Soviet Republic (1919)
  • 1887 Hesketh Pearson, England, biographer/playwright (Writ for Libel)

Vincent MasseyVincent Massey (1887-1967)

Canadian diplomat and 1st Canadian-born Governor General of Canada (1952-59), born in Toronto, Ontario

  • 1888 Georges Bernanos, French novelist (Diary of a Country Priest)
  • 1893 Elizabeth Holloway Marston, American psychologist (d. 1993)
  • 1893 Russel Crouse, journalist/novelist/playwright (Life with Father)
  • 1895 Freida Geiken, autobiographer (National Historic Taping)
  • 1896 Henri de Lubac sj, French theologist/anti-fascist
  • 1897 Ivan Albright, Illinois, painter (Door, Window)
  • 1899 Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, American businessman and heir (Pan Am Airways), born in Roslyn, New York (d. 1992)
  • 1900 Graham Spry, Canadian radio pioneer, born in St Thomas, Ontario (d. 1983)
  • 1901 Ali Muhammad Naguib, Khartoum, president of Egypt (1952-54)
  • 1901 Cecil H King, Irish/British daily newspaper publisher (Daily Mirror)
  • 1901 Henry Eyring, Mexican/US chemist
  • 1901 Louis I Kahn, Estonia, architect (Bryn Mawr dormitory) [or Dec 20]
  • 1901 René Jules Dubos, French US microbiologist/author (Health & Disease)

Ansel AdamsAnsel Adams (1902-1984)

American landscape photographer and environmentalist (Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980), born in San Francisco, California

  • 1903 Ella Maillart, explorer
  • 1904 Aleksei N Kosygin, Soviet premier (1964-80)
  • 1905 Jascha Golowanjuk, Swedish writer (Acrobat)
  • 1907 Owain Jenkins, company director
  • 1908 Grigori Yakovlevich Bakhchivangi, test pilot (BI-1)
  • 1908 Rosalind Laura Burke, aviatrix
  • 1910 Julian Trevelyan, English Surrealist painter/collage maker
  • 1912 Pierre Boulle, French author (d. 1994)
  • 1913 Mary Durack, Australian author and historian (Kings in Grass Castles and Keep Him My Country), born in Adelaide, Australia (d. 1994)
  • 1914 Marion Kettlewell, British director (WRNS)
  • 1914 Willem J H Baart, Dutch vicar (Cuentanan di Nanzi)
  • 1917 Frederick Page, CEO (British Aerospace Aircraft Group)
  • 1918 Leonore Annenberg American Billionaire
  • 1920 Evgeny Dragunov, Russian weapons designer (d. 1991)

Joseph A. WalkerJoseph A. Walker (1921-1966)

American experimental physicist, World War II and NASA test pilot (1st spaceplane flights to edge of outer space), born in Washington, Pennsylvania

  • 1923 Forbes Burnham, premier Guyana (1964-85)
  • 1924 Gloria Vanderbilt, American fashion designer, artist, heiress and socialite, born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2019)
  • 1925 Alex La Guma, South African novelist (A Walk in the Night), and anti-apartheid activist (1956 Treason Trial), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1985)
  • 1925 Heinz Kluncker, German trade union leader (ÖTV (Öffentliche Dienste, Transport und Verkehr - Public service, transport and traffic) president, 1964-82), born in Wuppertal, Germany (d. 2005)
  • 1926 Cameron Rusby, British Vice-Admiral
  • 1926 Kenneth H Olsen, American electrical engineer, and co-founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, born in Bridgeport, Connecticut (d. 2011)
  • 1926 Richard Matheson, American author, (d. 2013)
  • 1927 Roy Cohn, lawyer, "grand inquisitor" (for Sen Joseph McCarthy)
  • 1928 Donald Longmore, British cardiac surgeon
  • 1930 Bill Walker, British MP
  • 1932 Adrian Cristobal, Filipino writer (d. 2007)
  • 1933 Hannes Postma, Dutch graphic artist
  • 1934 Myrtle Robertson, 11th Baroness Wharton
  • 1937 Robert Huber, biochemist (Nobel 1988), born in Munich. Germany
  • 1938 Mona Mitchell, Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Alexandra
  • 1940 RA Weiss, director (Institute of Cancer Research)
  • 1940 V Payne, British headmistress (Malvern Girls' College)
  • 1942 Claude Miller, director (Garde a Vue, Little Thief, Wild Child), (d. 2012)
  • 1942 David O'Dowd, Chief Constable (Northamptonshire)

Mitch McConnellMitch McConnell (80 years old)

1942 American politician, (Senator-R-KY, 1985-, and Senate Majority Leader 2015- ), born in Sheffield, Alabama

  • 1943 Aleksandr Pavlovich Alexandrov, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz T-9, TM-3)
  • 1943 Lord McNally, British Minister of State for Justice
  • 1944 Robert de Cotret, French Canadian politician (d. 1999)
  • 1944 Roger Knapman, British MP
  • 1947 Andre van Duin [Kyvon], Dutch entertainer (Bloemkoole)
  • 1947 Eggert Magnusson, Icelandic football executive
  • 1948 A C Fabian, astronomer
  • 1948 John Browne, group chief executive, British Petroleum Company

Gordon BrownGordon Brown (71 years old)

1951 British Labour Prime Minister (2007–10), born in Giffnock, Scotland

  • 1952 Catherine Cummins, Clintwood Va, 1st of 5 siblings born on 2/20
  • 1953 Carol Cummins, Clintwood Va, 2nd of 5 siblings born on 2/20

Patty HearstPatty Hearst (68 years old)

1954 American kidnap hostage of the Symbionese Liberation Army which she later joined and convicted bank robber, born in San Francisco, California

  • 1954 Vasili Vasilyevich Tsibliyev, Russian colonel and cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-17, TM-25), born in Orekhovka, Crimea, USSR
  • 1956 Charles Cummins, Clintwood Va, 3rd of 5 siblings born on 2/20
  • 1961 Claudia Cummins, Clintwood Va, 4th of 5 siblings born on 2/20
  • 1962 Kenn Nesbitt, American children's author
  • 1963 Jon Lynn Christensen, former Nebraska Congressman
  • 1963 Marilisa Xenogiannakopoulou, Greek politician
  • 1965 Federica Moro, Carate Brianza Italy, Miss Italy (1982)
  • 1966 Cecilia Cummins, Clintwood Va, 5th of 5 siblings born on 2/20
  • 1969 Jason Blum, American producer, founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions (Whiplash, The Reader, Split), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1969 Vaginal Davis, American drag queen, author and performance artist, born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1970 Cheyenne Brando, Papeete Tahiti, daughter of Marlon
  • 1971 Shalanda Burt, US murderess
  • 1971 Shawn McKenzie, American programmer
  • 1981 Adrián Lamo, American threat analyst and hacker (NYT, Yahoo!, Microsoft) who reported Chelsea Manning to the FBI, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2018)
  • 1991 Sally Rooney, Irish writer (Normal People), born in Castlebar, Ireland