On This Day

Birthdays in History on January 17

  • 1342 Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1363-1404), born in Pontoise, France (d. 1404)
  • 1463 Frederick III [Frederick the Wise], Elector of Saxony (1486-25) who protected his subject Martin Luther, born in Torgau, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1525)
  • 1484 George Spalatin, German humanist, reformer and important figure in the Reformation, born in Spalt, Bavaria (d. 1545)
  • 1501 Leonhard Fuchs, German physician and botanist (Notable Commentaries on the History of Plants) for which the flowering plants and color Fuchsia is named after, born in Wemding, Bavaria (d. 1566)
  • 1504 Pius V [Antonio Ghislieri], Italian Pope (1566-72) who excommunicated Elizabeth I of England and arranged the formation of the Holy League (Battle of Lepanto), born in Bosco, Duchy of Milan (d. 1572)
  • 1560 Gaspard Bauhin, Swiss botanist (d. 1624)
  • 1574 Robert Fludd, British physician, author, and mystical philosopher, baptized in Bearsted, Kent, England (d. 1637)
  • 1600 Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Spanish dramatist, poet and writer of the Spanish Golden Age, born in Madrid (d. 1681)
  • 1612 Thomas Fairfax, Lord Fairfax, English Parliamentary general
  • 1657 Pieter van Bloemen [Standaart], Flemish painter, baptized
  • 1683 Gerard van Loon, Dutch historian
  • 1686 Archibald Bower, Scottish historian (d. 1766)

Person of interestBenjamin Franklin

1706 Benjamin Franklin, US Founding Father, inventor, ambassador and writer (Poor Richards Almanac), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1790)

United States Founding Father Benjamin Franklin
United States Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin
  • 1719 William Vernon, American merchant (d. 1806)
  • 1726 Hugh Mercer, Scottish military officer (fought in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War), born in Rosehearty, Scotland (d. 1777)
  • 1732 Stanislaw II August Poniatowski, last king of Poland (1764-95)
  • 1759 Paul Cuffe, Mass, merchant/shipbuilder/African American nationalist
  • 1761 James Hall, Scottish geologist, born in Dunglass, Scotland (d. 1832)
  • 1771 Charles Brockden Brown, father of American novel (Wieland)
  • 1789 August Neander, German theologian (d. 1850)
  • 1806 James Madison Randolph, Jefferson's grandson and the 1st to be born in the White House, born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1814 Ellen Wood, English author (East Lynne, Pomeroy Abbey)
  • 1818 Antoine Dorion, (L) joint premier of Canada (1858, 1863-64)
  • 1820 Anne Brontë, English novelist/poet (Tenant of Wildfell Hall), born in Thornton, West Yorkshire (d. 1849)
  • 1828 Lewis Addison Grant, American teacher, lawyer, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Winhall, Vermont (d. 1918)

Person of interestCatherine Booth

1829 Catherine Booth, Co-founder of the Salvation Army known as the 'Army Mother', born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England (d. 1890) [1]

Co-founder of the Salvation Army Catherine Booth
Co-founder of the Salvation Army
Catherine Booth
  • 1830 Eyre Massey Shaw, British first chief of London Fire Brigade, born in Ballymore, Ireland (d. 1908)
  • 1831 Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria (d. 1903)
  • 1834 August Weismann, German biologist (d. 1914)
  • 1835 Antanas Baranauskas, Lithuanian bishop/poet/dialectologist
  • 1845 Lucas Lindeboom, Dutch vicar/evangelist (Vredebond)
  • 1851 A. B. Frost, American illustrator (d. 1928)
  • 1853 Alva Belmont, American socialite & suffragette (d. 1933)
  • 1857 Eugene Augustin Lauste, developer (1st sound-on-film recording)
  • 1858 Tomas Carrasquilla, Colombian author (Frutos de mi Tierra)
  • 1860 Douglas Hyde, President of Ireland (d. 1949)
  • 1862 John E Akkeringa, Dutch painter/etcher

Person of interestDavid Lloyd George

1863 David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister (Liberal: 1916-22), born in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Lancashire, England (d. 1945)

British Prime Minister David Lloyd George
British Prime Minister
David Lloyd George
  • 1863 Konstantin S Stanislavski, Russian director (Stanislavski Method)
  • 1864 Lucien Herr, French intellectual and librarian (École Normale Supérieure), born in Altkirch, Haut-Rhin, France (d. 1926)
  • 1865 Gen Sir Charles Fergusson, Governor-General of New Zealand (d. 1951)

Person of interestDavid Beatty

1871 David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty and British Admiral of the Fleet during World War I (Battle of Jutland), born in Nantwich, England (d. 1936)

British Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty
British Admiral of the Fleet
David Beatty
  • 1875 Florencio Sánchez, Uruguayan dramatist (d. 1910)
  • 1876 Olga Fastrová, Czech writer and editor (National Policy), born in Prague (d. 1965)
  • 1876 Frank Hague, American politician (d. 1956)
  • 1877 May Gibbs, Australian children's author (d. 1969)
  • 1880 Mack Sennett, movie creator (Keystone Kops)
  • 1881 Alfred Radcliffe-Browne, British anthropologist (Andaman Islanders), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1955)
  • 1881 Antoni Łomnicki, Polish mathematician (d. 1941)

Person of interestArnold Rothstein

1882 Arnold Rothstein, American gambler and mobster (fixed 1919 World Series), born in NYC, New York (d, 1928)

Businessman, Gambler, and Mobster Arnold Rothstein
Businessman, Gambler, and Mobster
Arnold Rothstein
  • 1885 Emmy Hennings-Ball [Emma Cordsen], German poet and performer, born in Flensburg, German Empire (d. 1948)
  • 1885 Joseph Arendt, Belgian worker's union leader
  • 1886 Glenn Luther Martin, aviator (Collier Trophy-1933)
  • 1886 Ronald Firbank, British novelist (The Flower Beneath the Foot), born in London, England (d. 1926)
  • 1887 Ola Raknes, Norwegian psychoanalyst and philologist (d. 1975)
  • 1891 Norman "Squab" Read, American aviator who lived to be 101
  • 1891 Walter Eucken, German economist
  • 1897 Marcel Petiot, French mass murderer (d. 1946)

Person of interestAl Capone

1899 Al Capone, American gangster (Chicago bootlegging), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1947)

Gangster Al Capone
Al Capone
  • 1899 Nevil Shute [Norway], English-Australian novelist (On the Beach, Town Like Alice), born in London, England (d. 1960)
  • 1899 Robert Maynard Hutchins, American educator/civil libertarian
  • 1899 Roel [Martinus F] Houwink, Dutch literary (1 Man Without Character)
  • 1900 Olga Maria Nicolis di Robilant, patron of the arts
  • 1900 George Sperti, American inventor (Preparation H), born in Covington, Kentucky (d. 1991)
  • 1901 Aron Gurwitsch, Lithuanian-born philosopher, born in Vilnius, Lithuania (d. 1973)
  • 1902 Geoffrey W Lloyd, British minister of Brandstoffen/Energy (1951-55)
  • 1905 Franz Schmid, German ascended northside of Matterhorn (1931)
  • 1908 Akkineni LV Lakshmi Varaprasada Rao Prasad, producer
  • 1910 Edith S Green, (Rep-D-Ore)
  • 1910 Michael Economides, restaurateur
  • 1913 Werenfried [Flip] van Straaten, founder (Oostpriesterhulp)
  • 1914 Anacleto Angelini, Chilean businessman (d. 2007)
  • 1917 Ramón Cardemil, Chilean huaso, born in Colchagua, Chile (d. 2007)
  • 1918 Joseph Walker Barr, banker/politician
  • 1921 Antonio Prohias, Cuban cartoonist (d. 1998)
  • 1922 Luis Echeverria Alvarez, president Mexico
  • 1922 Nicholas Katzenbach, lawyer (US Attorney General), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2012)
  • 1924 Jewel Plummer Cobb, educator/pres (California State U at Fullerton)
  • 1925 Duane Hanson, US sculptor
  • 1925 Robert Cormier, American author (d. 2000)
  • 1925 Edgar Ray Killen, American convict, former preacher, K.K.K. member and murderer, born in Philadelphia, Mississippi (d. 2018)
  • 1926 Newton N. Minow, American lawyer and statesman
  • 1927 Dr Tom Dooley, American humanitarian (d. 1961)

Person of interestVidal Sassoon

1928 Vidal Sassoon, British-American hair stylist and CEO of Vidal Sasson, born in London (d. 2012)

Hairdresser Vidal Sassoon
Vidal Sassoon
  • 1931 Douglas Wilder, American politician, Governor of Virginia (1990-94), 1st African American Governor since Reconstruction, born in Richmond, Virginia
  • 1933 Aga Khan, religious leader (Muslims)
  • 1933 Bruno Schroder, British baron/banker/multi-millionaire
  • 1935 Paul O[sborne] Williams, American sci-fi author (Ends of the Circle)
  • 1935 Ruth Ann Minner, Governor of Delaware
  • 1938 John Bellairs, American sci-fi author (Chessmen of Doom)
  • 1938 Tabaré Vázque, Uruguayan politician and President of Uruguay (2015-present), born in Montevideo, Uruguay
  • 1940 Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali, South African poet (Fireflames)
  • 1940 Tabaré Vázquez, Uruguayan politician and physician, President of Uruguay (2005-10, 2015-20), born in Montevideo, Uruguay (d. 2020) [1]
  • 1942 Ita Buttrose, Australian journalist & businesswoman, born in Potts Point, Australia
  • 1943 Daniel Charles Brandenstein, American astronaut (STS 8, 51-G, 32, 49), born in Watertown, Wisconsin

Person of interestRené Préval

1943 René Préval, President of Haiti (1996-2001, 2006-2011), born in Port-au-Prince (d. 2017)

President of Haiti René Préval
President of Haiti
René Préval
  • 1948 Alexander "Alec" Erwin, South African worker's union leader, born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1950 Luis López Nieves, Latin American writer, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 1954 Robert F Kennedy Jr., American attorney (Natural Resources Defense Council), born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1954 Susan Kiefel, Australian lawyer & judge, born in Cairns, Australia
  • 1957 Ann Nocenti, American comic book writer
  • 1960 John Crawford, American bass (Berlin-You Take My Breath Away), born in Palo Alto, California
  • 1962 Sebastian Junger, American journalist & author, born in Belmont, Massachusetts

Person of interestMichelle Obama

1964 Michelle Obama, 1st African-American US First Lady (2009-16), born in DeYoung, Illinois

US First Lady Michelle Obama
US First Lady
Michelle Obama
  • 1967 Filippo Raciti, Italian police officer, born in Sicily, Italy (d. 2007)
  • 1968 Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Dutch writer, born in Rijswijk, Netherlands
  • 1969 Lukas Moodysson, Swedish film writer & director, born in Lund, Sweden
  • 1980 Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Ukrainian ballroom dancer, born in Odessa, Ukraine