On This Day

Birthdays in History on January 19

  • 399 Pulcheria, Byzantine empress and regent of the Eastern Roman Empire (450-453), born in Constantinople (d. 453)
  • 1200 Dōgen, Japanese Buddhist priest and founder of the Sōtō school of Zen, born in Kyoto, Japan (d. 1253)
  • 1544 Francis II, King of France (1559-60) and husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, born in Château de Fontainebleau, France (d. 1560)
  • 1639 Noel Alexandre, French theologian/historian
  • 1686 Hakuin Ekakuborn, Japan, Zen Buddhist

Person of interestJames Watt

1736 James Watt, Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer and chemist (steam engine), born in Greenock, Scotland (d. 1819)

Inventor, Engineer and Chemist James Watt
Inventor, Engineer and Chemist
James Watt
  • 1736 Laurens Pieter van de Spiegel, Dutch Grand Pensionary of Zeeland and Holland (1787-95)
  • 1737 Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Fr writer (Paul et Virgin)
  • 1739 Joseph Bonomi the Elder, Italian architect (d. 1808)
  • 1749 Isaiah Thomas, American printer/editor/publisher/historian
  • 1752 James Morris III, American army officer (d. 1820)
  • 1757 Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf, German Princess (d. 1831)
  • 1790 Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom, Swedish romantic poet (Blommorna (The Flowers), Lycksalighetens Ö (The Island of Bliss)) and historian (Svenska Siare och Skalder), born in Åsbo, Sweden (d. 1855)
  • 1798 Auguste Comte, French philosopher & writer (A General View of Positivism), born in Montpellier, France (d. 1857)
  • 1802 [Jean] Silvain van de Weyer, 1st Belgium min of Foreign affairs (1831)

Person of interestRobert E. Lee

1807 Robert E. Lee, American General who commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War, born in Stratford Virginia (d. 1870)

Confederate General Robert E. Lee
Confederate General
Robert E. Lee

  • 1808 Lysander Spooner, American philosopher, born in Athol, Massachusetts (d. 1887)

Person of interestEdgar Allan Poe

1809 Edgar Allan Poe, American writer, poet and critic (The Pit and the Pendulum) considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre (Murders in the Rue Morgue), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1849)

  • 1813 Henry Bessemer, engineer/inventor (Bessemer engine)
  • 1816 Henry Gray, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1892)
  • 1820 John Haskell King, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Sackets Harbor, New York (d. 1888)
  • 1830 George Blake Cosby, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1909)
  • 1837 William Williams Keen, surgeon (brain)

Person of interestPaul Cézanne

1839 Paul Cézanne, French artist and Post-Impressionist painter (The Basket of Apples), born in Aix-en-Provence, France (d. 1906)

French Painter Paul Cézanne
French Painter
Paul Cézanne
  • 1848 John F. Stairs, Canadian businessman (d. 1904)
  • 1851 David Starr Jordan, American biologist and university president (Leland Stanford), born in New York
  • 1851 Johannes C Kapteyn, Dutch astronomer
  • 1858 Eugene Brieux, French playwright (Blanchette, Lesson Avaries)
  • 1859 Alice Eastwood, botanist (Handbook of Trees of California), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • 1860 Patrick Cotter O'Brien, Irish showman, first known eight-foot-tall person (stood 8ft 1 inch), born in Kinsale, Ireland (d. 1806)
  • 1863 Werner Sombart, German fascist (Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben)
  • 1868 Gustav Meyrink, Austrian writer (The Golem), born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1932)
  • 1869 Alfred R Zimmerman, mayor (Rotterdam 1906-22)/Dir (League of Nations)
  • 1873 Hans Erich Blaich [Dr. Owlglass], German writer (Simplicissimus), born in Leutkirch im Allgäu (d. 1945)
  • 1879 Marie Koenen, author/wife of Felix Rutten (Wassend Cereal)
  • 1879 Boris Savinkov, Russian writer (d. 1925)

  • 1887 Alexander Woollcott, American critic and short story writer (The Man Who Came to Dinner), born in Phalanx, New Jersey (d. 1943)
  • 1892 Ólafur Thors, Icelandic Prime Minister (5 times between 1942-63), born in Borgarnes, Iceland (d. 1964)
  • 1897 Natacha Rambova, Salt Lake City UT, costume designer
  • 1897 René Victor, Flemish lawyer/knight (Rechtskundig Weekblad)
  • 1902 Heinrich Schmist-Barrien, German author (Moorkeerl)
  • 1903 Alfred Lane Beit, connoisseur
  • 1904 James W. Watts, American neurosurgeon, developer of the Frontal Lobotomy, born in Lynchburg, Virginia (d. 1994)
  • 1905 Anne Schumacher Hummert, Baltimore US, leading creator of daytime radio serials during the 1930s and 1940s
  • 1905 Oveta Culp Hobby, government official/newspaper publisher/CEO (Houston Post)
  • 1908 Aleksandr Gennadievich Kurosh, Russian mathematician (d. 1971)
  • 1910 Willi Schmidt, German director
  • 1912 Jean G H "Sjeng" Tans, Dutch soc dem chairman (1965-69)
  • 1912 Leonid V Kantorovich, economist (Nobel), born in St Petersburg, Russia
  • 1913 Phyllis Flowerdew, school Reading text author
  • 1913 Rex Ingamells, Australian poet (d. 1955)
  • 1918 John H Johnson, American publisher (Negro Digest, Ebony, Jet)
  • 1920 Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Peruvian diplomat, 5th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1982-91) and Prime Minister of Peru (2000-01), born in Lima
  • 1921 Patricia Highsmith [Plangman], US/Swiss writer (Strangers on a Train)
  • 1921 "Billy Batts" Devino, American gangster (d. 1970)
  • 1922 Ken Hughes, director (Casino Royale), born in Liverpool, England

  • 1923 Markus Wolf, German spy (d. 2006)
  • 1924 Henry Herbert, 7th earl of Carnarvon, English peer and racing manager to the Queen, born in London, England (d. 2001)
  • 1924 Jean Francois Revel, French journalist/author (Ni Marx ni Jesus)
  • 1925 Nina [Mary] Bawden, English author (Afternoon of a Good Woman), (d. 2012)
  • 1926 Libera Carlier, Flemish author (Action Station Go!)
  • 1928 Dainin Katagiri, Zen teacher, associate of Shunryu Suzuki, born in Osaka, Japan
  • 1931 Ron Packard, (Rep-R-CA, 1983- )
  • 1938 Denny Smith, (Rep-R-OR, 1981- )
  • 1940 Barend J du Plessis, South African minister of Finance (1984- )
  • 1940 Paolo Borsellino, Italian magistrate (d. 1992)
  • 1941 Colin Gunton, British theologian (d. 2003)
  • 1943 Margriet Francisca, Dutch Princess
  • 1944 Peter Lynch, American investor
  • 1945 Vadim Abdrashitov, director (Fox Hunt, Parade of Planets)
  • 1946 Alexandr Vladimirovich Shchukin, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1946 Julian Barnes, English writer (Before She Met Me, The Sense of an Ending), born in Leicester, England
  • 1947 Paula Deen, American chef and restaurateur, born in Albany, Georgia
  • 1950 Grant Nordman, Canadian politician, born in Santa Monica, California
  • 1954 Cindy Sherman, American photographer & director, born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey
  • 1957 Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rican politician, born in London, United Kingdom
  • 1958 Thomas Kinkade, American painter, born in Sacramento, California (d. 2012)
  • 1963 Martin Bashir, British reporter, born in Wandsworth, London
  • 1963 John Bercow, British politician (C), Speaker of the House of Commons (2009-), born in London, England
  • 1964 Janine Antoni, Bahamian artist, born in Freeport, Bahamas
  • 1965 J. B. Pritzker, American businessman (Pritzker Group), and politician (Governor of Illinois, 2019- present), born in Atherton, California
  • 1969 Edwidge Danticat, Haitian-American author, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • 1972 Princess Kalina of Bulgaria, titular Bulgarian royal family, born in Madrid, Spain
  • 1982 Pete Buttigieg, American politician, Mayor of South Bend, 1st openly gay Democratic presidential candidate, born in South Bend, Indiana
  • 1984 Euan Blair, eldest son of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, born in London, United Kingdom
  • 1993 Jack Schlossberg, son of Caroline Kennedy & grandson of John F. Kennedy, born in NYC, New York