On This Day

Birthdays in History on January 12

  • 1483 Count Henry III of Nassau-Breda, Stadholder of Holland and Zeeland 1515-1521 (d. 1538)
  • 1492 Andreas Alicatus, Italian author
  • 1562 Charles Emanuel I, the great, Duke of Savoy
  • 1576 Peter Scriverius, Dutch lawyer/historian
  • 1579 Jan Baptist van Helmont, Flemish chemist, (found boiling point temperature)
  • 1580 Lord Alexander Ruthven, Scottish nobleman (d. 1600)

Person of interestJohn Winthrop

1588 John Winthrop, English Puritan lawyer and 1st governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, born in Edwardstone, England (d. 1649)

Founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony John Winthrop
Founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
John Winthrop
  • 1591 José Ribera/Jusepe de Ribera, Spanish painter and printmaker, nicknamed Lo Spagnoletto (d. 1652)
  • 1597 François Duquesnoy, French sculptor (d. 1643)
  • 1599 Adrian van Utrecht, Flemish painter

Person of interestCharles Perrault

1628 Charles Perrault, French author and fairy tale writer (Tales of Mother Goose), born in Paris, France (d. 1703)

Fairytale writer Charles Perrault
Fairytale writer
Charles Perrault
  • 1638 Ernst R Tarhemberg, Austrian fieldmarshal (Turkish Wars)
  • 1716 Antonio de Ulloa, Spanish general (d. 1795)
  • 1721 Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick, Prussian general (d. 1792)
  • 1723 Samuel Langdon, American college educator (d. 1797)
  • 1729 Edmund Burke, British author (Philosophy & Inquiry) [OS=Jan 1]

  • 1729 Lazzaro Spallanzani, Modena Italy, physiologist
  • 1746 Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Swiss educator (Leonard & Gertrude), born in Zurich, Switzerland (d. 1827)
  • 1749 Ferdinand Trauttmansdorff, Austrian earl/prince/diplomat
  • 1751 Ferdinand I, king of Sicily & Naples. (d. 1825)
  • 1751 Jacob M R Lenz, writer (Das Leidende Weib)
  • 1772 Count Mikhail Speransky, Russian reformer (d. 1839)
  • 1780 Wilhelm M L de Wette, German exegetist/theologist
  • 1783 Erik Gustaf Geijer, Swedish historian/poet (Natthimmelen)
  • 1786 Sir Robert Inglis, Bt, English politician (d. 1855)
  • 1792 Robert Patterson, Irish-American Major General (Union Army), born in Cappagh, County Tyrone, Ireland (d. 1881)
  • 1792 Johan August Arfwedson, Swedish chemist (d. 1841)
  • 1797 Gideon Brecher, Austrian physician (d. 1873)
  • 1801 Louise Sophie Blussé, Dutch author, born in Leiden, Holland (d. 1896)
  • 1807 Jan T Beelen, Dutch/Belgian bible expert
  • 1808 Paul "the Great" Taglioni, ballet choreographer, born in Vienna, Austria
  • 1810 Ferdinand II, king of Sicily
  • 1814 Jones Mitchell Withers, Mjr General (Confederate Army), (d. 1890)
  • 1819 Zealous Bates Tower, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Cohasset, Massachusetts (d. 1900)
  • 1822 Étienne Lenoir, French engineer (d. 1900)
  • 1825 Joseph Robert Davis, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1896)
  • 1826 Charles Cruft, American teacher, lawyer, railroad executive, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Terre Haute, Indiana (d. 1883)
  • 1832 Richard Waterhouse Jr, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1876)
  • 1842 Francois Coppee, French poet
  • 1849 Jean Béraud, French painter (d. 1935)
  • 1852 Joseph J C Joffre, French fieldmarshal (Indo China, Marne)

  • 1853 Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro, Italian mathematician (tensor analysis)
  • 1856 John Singer Sargent, American painter (Wyndham Sisters), born in Florence, Italy (d. 1925)
  • 1861 James Mark Baldwin, American Philosopher and Psychologist, born in Columbia, South Carolina
  • 1863 Swami Vivekananda, Indian Hindu spiritual leader and a key figure in the introduction of Yoga to the Western world, born in Kolkata, India (d. 1902)
  • 1871 Paul Guthnick, German astronomer
  • 1875 Marika Stiernstedt, Swedish author (Ulla Bella)
  • 1876 Jack London, American writer/socialist (Call of the Wild), born in San Francisco (d. 1916)
  • 1877 Frank J. Corr, American politician (d. 1934)
  • 1878 Ferenc Molnar, Hungarian/US playwright (A Pal Utrai Fiuk)
  • 1882 Jakob Jud, Swiss linguist/etymologist
  • 1890 Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, pastor and educator, born in Paris, Tennessee (d. 1976)
  • 1892 Mikhail Gurevich, Russian aircraft designer (d. 1976)

Person of interestHermann Goering

1893 Hermann Goering, Nazi Party leader, Vice-Chancellor of Germany (1941-45) and World War I fighter pilot ace, born in Rosenheim, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire (d. 1946)

Nazi Politician Hermann Goering
Nazi Politician
Hermann Goering
  • 1893 Alfred Rosenberg, German Nazi official (d. 1946)
  • 1896 David Wechsler, American psychologist (d. 1981)
  • 1897 Hendrik J Valk, painter/cartoonist/graphic artist
  • 1899 Paul H Muller, Swiss chemist (DDT-Nobel 1948), born in Olten, Switzerland (d. 1965)
  • 1902 Simon Spoor, Dutch military officer, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1949)
  • 1903 Igor Kurchatov, Russian nuclear physicist, born in Sim, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia (d. 1960)
  • 1905 James Bennett Griffin, American archaeologist, born in Bethesda, Maryland (d. 1997)
  • 1907 Sergei Korolev, Soviet rocket engineer & spacecraft designer, born in Zhytomyr, Ukraine (d. 1966)
  • 1908 Clement Hurd, American illustrator, born in NYC, New York (d. 1988)
  • 1914 Edward John Gurney, American politician, US senator (1969-74), born in Portland, Maine (d. 1996)
  • 1915 Ernest Armstrong, British politician (L) & teacher, born in Stanley, County Durham (d. 1996)
  • 1915 Frank Annunzio, American politician (Rep-D-IL, 1965- ), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2001)
  • 1915 Roy Ralston, British pilot, born in Moss Side, Manchester
  • 1915 Martin Agronsky, American journalist (1952 Peabody, 1961 DuPont-Columbia), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1999)
  • 1915 Paul Jarrico, American writer, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1997)
  • 1915 Joseph-Aurèle Plourde, Catholic archbishop of Ottawa, born in Saint-François-de-Madawaska, Canada (d. 2013)

Person of interestP. W. Botha

1916 P. W. Botha, President of South Africa (1984-89) and Prime Minister (19778-84), born in Paul Roux, Orange Free State Province, South Africa (d. 2006)

President of South Africa P. W. Botha
President of South Africa
P. W. Botha
  • 1917 Jimmy Skinner, Canadian hockey coach, born in Selkirk, Canada (d. 2007)

Person of interestMaharishi Mahesh Yogi

1917 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Indian guru, born in Jabalpur, India (d. 2008)

  • 1920 James Farmer, American civil rights leader, born in Marshall, Texas (d. 1999)
  • 1920 Prof Jerzy Zubrzycki, Polish-born Australian sociologist, born in Kraków, Poland (d. 2009)
  • 1922 Tadeusz Żychiewicz, Polish journalist and art historian, born in Bratkowice, Poland (d. 1994)
  • 1923 Ira Hayes, Pima Native American soldier, born in Sacaton, Arizona (d. 1955)
  • 1924 Jan Willem Radecker, Dutch sculptor & son of John Raedecker, born in Schoorl, Netherlands (d. 2009)
  • 1929 Alasdair MacIntyre, Scottish-born American philosopher, born in Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 1930 Jennifer Johnston, Irish author (Fool's sanctuary), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • 1932 Alain Teister, Dutch writer, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1979)
  • 1932 John Berg, American art director, born in Brooklyn, New York City (d. 2015)
  • 1935 Kreskin, American mentalist, born in Montclair, New Jersey
  • 1937 Liliana Cavani, Italian director (Berlin Affair), born in Carpi, Italy
  • 1939 Helmut Eisendle, Austrian writer, born in Graz, Austria (d. 2003)
  • 1939 Jacques Hamelink, Dutch writer & poet (Cold Unrest), born in Terneuzen, Netherlands
  • 1941 Jaime Fuster, American politician (Rep-D-PR, 1985- ), born in Guayama, Puerto Rico (d. 2007)
  • 1942 Vladimir Sergeyevich Kozelsky, cosmonaut (Soyuz 24 backup)
  • 1942 Bernardine Dohrn, former leader of the Weather Underground, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1944 Hans Henning Atrott, Prussian euthanasia advocate, born in Klaipėda, Lithuania
  • 1946 Lady Cosgrove, Scottish lawyer & judge, born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • 1948 Khalid Abdul Muhammed, American Nation of Islam spokesman, born in Houston, Texas (d. 2001)
  • 1948 William Nicholson, English writer, born in Lewes, United Kingdom
  • 1949 James Dietz, American rower, born in The Bronx, New York
  • 1949 Michael W. Vannier, American radiologist, born in Hamilton City, California

Person of interestHaruki Murakami

1949 Haruki Murakami, Japanese writer (Norwegian Wood), born in Kyoto, Japan

  • 1950 Bob McEwen, American politician (Rep-R-OH, 1981-93), born in Hillsboro, Ohio
  • 1950 Marilyn Smith, American microbiologist, born in Americus, Georgia
  • 1950 Sheila Jackson Lee, American politician, born in NYC, New York
  • 1950 Göran Lindblad, Swedish politician, born in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 1950 Dorrit Moussaieff, Israeli jewellery designer & businesswoman, born in Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1950 Ricky Ray Rector, American murderer (d. 1992)
  • 1951 Rush Limbaugh, American right wing radio personality, born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • 1951 Ann Althouse, American law professor, born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1952 Charles Faulkner, American motivational speaker & author, born in St. Clair Shores, Michigan
  • 1952 Walter Mosley, American novelist, born in Los Angeles, California

Person of interestHoward Stern

1954 Howard Stern, American radio personality & "Radio's Bad Boy" (WKRK, WYSP, WJFK), born in Queens, New York

Radio shock jock Howard Stern
Radio shock jock
Howard Stern
  • 1959 Lasana M. Sekou, Caribbean poet & author (The Salt Reaper), born in Aruba
  • 1962 Joe Quesada, American comic book writer, born in NYC, New York

Person of interestJeff Bezos

1964 Jeff Bezos, American entrepreneur and founder of Amazon, born in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Amazon Entrepreneur Jeff Bezos
Amazon Entrepreneur
Jeff Bezos
  • 1965 Biram Dah Abeid, Mauritanian politician & slavery abolitionist advocate, born in Rosso, Trarza
  • 1968 Raf Simons, Belgian fashion designer (Dior 2012-2015), born in Neerpelt, Limburg
  • 1969 David Mitchell, English novelist (Cloud Atlas), born in Southport, England
  • 1972 Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of Rajiv Gandhi, born in Delhi, India
  • 1974 Tor Arne Hetland, Norwegian cross-country skier, born in Stavanger, Norway
  • 1992 Mao Kobayashi, Japanese gravure idol, born in Niigata Prefecture, Japan (d. 2017)
  • 1996 Sarah Morales, Mexican, Siamese twin (survived), born in Tijuana, Mexico
  • 1996 Sarahi Morales, Mexican Siamese twin (died on Jan 27, 1996), born in Tijuana, Mexico