On This Day

Birthdays in History on January 20

  • 225 Gordian III, Roman Emperor (d. 244)
  • 1292 Elisabeth I of Bohemia (d. 1330)
  • 1358 Eleanor of Aragon, wife of John I of Castile (d. 1382)
  • 1435 Ashikaga Yoshimasa, Japanese shogun (d. 1490)
  • 1554 King Sebastian of Portugal (d. 1578)
  • 1622 Susanna van Baerle, Dutch poet/wife of Geeraert Burns
  • 1651 Edward Tyson, British Physician and father of comparative anatomy (The Anatomy of a Pygmy, 1698)
  • 1654 Michiel de Swaen, South Netherland physician/poet
  • 1664 Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina, Italian writer and jurist (d. 1718)
  • 1716 Carlos III, King of Spain (1759-88) and King of Naples and Sicily (1734-59), born in Royal Alcazar of Madrid, Spain (d. 1788)
  • 1716 Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, French writer and numismatist (d. 1795)
  • 1732 Richard H Lee, US farmer (signed US Declaration of Independence)
  • 1775 André-Marie Ampère, French physicist (d. 1836)
  • 1781 Joseph Hormayr Freiherr zu Hortenburg, Austrian politician (d. 1848)
  • 1782 Johan B J F S, archduke of Austria
  • 1798 Anson Jones, 5th and last President of Texas, born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts (d. 1858)

  • 1804 Eugène Sue, French novelist (d. 1857)
  • 1806 Nathaniel Willis, writer/editor/founder (American Monthly Mag)
  • 1812 Ralph Pomeroy Buckland, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born Leyden, Massachusetts (d. 1892)
  • 1812 Thomas Meik, Scottish engineer (d. 1896)
  • 1813 Jacon Gartner Lauman, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Taneytown, Maryland (d. 1867)
  • 1820 Anne Clough, English suffragette, promoted higher education for women, first principal of New College, born in Liverpool, England (d. 1892)
  • 1831 Pieter J Joubert, general (South Africa)
  • 1834 George D. Robinson, 34th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1896)
  • 1837 David Josiah Brewer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (d. 1910)
  • 1843 Pierre-Paul Cambon, French diplomat (Madrid, Constantinople, London)
  • 1847 W R Pettiford, Founder (Alabama Penny Savings Bank)
  • 1865 Friedrich A H von Waldeck, brother of queen Emma/last ruler of Waldeck
  • 1866 Richard Le Gallienne, English writer (Maker of Gainborg)
  • 1873 Charles A Ellwood, American sociologist/psychologist
  • 1873 Johannes V Jensen, Danish novelist/poet (Energy Storage, Nobel 1944)
  • 1880 Walter W. Bacon, American politician (d. 1962)
  • 1883 Betram Home Ramsay, English admiral/Commander Allied Naval Forces
  • 1884 A[braham] Merritt, American sci-fi author (The Moon Pool, Burn Witch Bun ), born in Beverly, New Jersey (d. 1943)
  • 1889 Allan Haines Loughead, American aviation executive (d. 1969)
  • 1893 Kaj Birket-Smith, Danish etnologist/anthropologist (Eskimos)

  • 1894 Harold L Gray, creator (Little Orphan Annie)
  • 1898 U Razak, Burmese politician (d. 1947)
  • 1899 Kenjiro Takayanagi, Japanese engineer, born in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka (d. 1990)
  • 1903 Sybil Marion Rosenfeld, English theatre historian, born in London, England (d. 1996)
  • 1904 Renato Caccioppoli, Italian mathematician, born in Campania, Italy (d. 1959)
  • 1904 Theodore Brameld, American philosopher & educator (Use of Explosive Ideas), born in Neillsville, Wisconsin (d. 1987)
  • 1907 Roy Welensky, Northern Rhodesian politician, born in Harare, Zimbabwe (d. 1991)
  • 1908 Wilfred Conwell Bain, American music educator, born in Shawville, Canada (d. 1997)

Person of interestJoy Adamson

1910 Joy Adamson [Friederike Viktoria Gessner], Austrian naturalist and author (Born Free), born in Troppau, Austria-Hungary (d. 1980)

Naturalist and Author Joy Adamson
Naturalist and Author
Joy Adamson
  • 1910 Lauritz Lauritzen, German politician, born in Kiel, Germany (d. 1980)
  • 1915 C. W. Ceram, German/ journalist & author (March of Archaeology), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1972)
  • 1915 Ghulam Ishaq Khan, President of Pakistan, born in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan (d. 2006)
  • 1916 Johan Adolf Pengel, Surinamese politician (Prime Minister, 1963-69), born in Paramaribo, Suriname (d. 1970)
  • 1916 Walter Bartley, English biochemist, born in Brighton, London (d. 1994)
  • 1920 Peter Clemoes, British historian, born in Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom (d. 1996)
  • 1920 Richard J. C. Atkinson, British archaeologist, born in Evershot, United Kingdom (d. 1994)
  • 1920 Sam Gibbons, American politician (Rep-D-FL, 1963- ), born in Tampa, Florida (d. 2012)
  • 1921 Bernt Engelmann, German writer, born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1994)
  • 1922 James Hanson, English industrialist, born in Huddersfield, United Kingdom (d. 2004)
  • 1925 Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan Catholic priest, politician and writer, born in Granada, Nicaragua
  • 1925 Eugen Gomringer, Bolivian-born German poet, born in Cachuela Esperanza, Bolivia
  • 1926 Jamiluddin Aali, Pakistani poet & writer, born in New Delhi, India (d. 2015)
  • 1926 Qurratulain Hyder, Indian Urdu novelist & writer, born in Aligarh, India (d. 2007)
  • 1927 Geoffrey Atkins, British World Champion racket player (1954-72)
  • 1927 Olivier Strebelle, Belgian sculptor, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 2017)
  • 1929 Bob Denard, French soldier & mercenary, born in Grayan-et-l'Hôpital, France (d. 2007)

Person of interestBuzz Aldrin

1930 Buzz Aldrin, American astronaut & fighter pilot (Gem 12, Ap 11), born in Montclair, New Jersey

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin
Astronaut
Buzz Aldrin
  • 1931 Sawako Ariyoshi, Japanese writer (Compound Pollution, Doctor's Wife), born in Wakayama, Japan (d. 1984)
  • 1935 Joan Weston, American Roller Derby Queen, born in Huntington Beach, California (d. 1997)
  • 1939 Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, Sri Lankan-born British mathematician & astronomer, born in Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 1939 Paul Coverdell, American politician, born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 2000)
  • 1941 Richard Friedman, American psychoanalyst who proved sexual orientation was biological, born in the Bronx, New York (d. 2020)
  • 1944 Eddie Shah, English businessman & publisher (Today, Post), born in Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1946 Susan Vreeland, American author (The Passion of Artemisia), born in Racine, Wisconsin (d. 2017)
  • 1947 Stephen A. Schwarzman, American CEO of The Blackstone Group & Chairman of President Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum, born in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
  • 1948 Jerry Ross, American Air Force officer & NASA astronaut (STS 61B, 27, 37, 55, 74, sk:88), born in Crown Point, Indiana
  • 1948 Natan Sharansky, Israeli politician & human rights activist, born in Donetsk, Ukraine
  • 1948 Nancy Kress, American science fiction writer, born in Buffalo, New york
  • 1950 Edward Hirsch, American poet, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1950 Mahamane Ousmane, President of Niger, born in Zinder, Niger
  • 1951 Magomed Omarovich Tolboyev, Russian cosmonaut & test-pilot, born in Sogratl', Russia
  • 1955 Joe Doherty, Irish IRA activist (jailed in US), born in Belfast, Ireland
  • 1956 Maria Larsson, Swedish politician, born in Långasjö, Sweden
  • 1959 Joel Rifkin, American serial killer believed to have killed up to 17 victims between 1989 and 1993 in NYC and Long Island, born in New York
  • 1959 Bernard Tyson, American healthcare advocate & 1st African American CEO of Kaiser Permanente, born in San Francisco Bay Area, California
  • 1964 Kazushige Nojima, Japanese video game writer, born in Hokkaido, Japan
  • 1969 Patrick K. Kroupa, American hacker & activist, born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1972 Nikki Haley, American politician & diplomat (Governor South Carolina, 2011-17; US UN Ambassador, 2017-), born in Bamberg, South Carolina
  • 1973 Queen Mathilde of Belgium, born in Uccle, Belgium
  • 1980 Philippe Cousteau Jr., French oceanographer and grandson of Jacques Cousteau, born in Santa Monica, California
  • 1980 Brigitte Olivier, Belgian judoka, born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo