Birthdays in History on January 21

  • 1338 Charles V 'the Wise', King of France during Hundred Years War (1364-80), born at Château de Vincennes, France (d. 1380)
  • 1571 John Isacius Pontanus, Dutch physicist and historian (1st history of Amsterdam) (d. 16390
  • 1659 Adriaen van der Werff, Dutch painter, engraver and architect, born in Kralingen, Dutch Republic (d. 1722)
  • 1721 James Murray, British military officer, governor of Quebec (d. 1794)
  • 1743 John Fitch, American inventor (had a working steamboat years before Fulton), born in Windsor, Connecticut (d. 1798)
  • 1759 Johan Valckenaer, Dutch politician and law professor, born in Franeker, Netherlands (d. 1821)
  • 1792 Tsjalling Hiddes Halbertsma, Dutch Frisian story teller (Rhymes & Tales), born in Grou, Netherands (d. 1852)
  • 1796 John Gelinde van Blom, Dutch Frisian notary and poet (d. 1871)
  • 1804 Eliza Roxcy Snow, American poet (d. 1887)
  • 1812 Moses Hess, Jewish socialist and nationalist, born in Bonn, Germany (d. 1875)
  • 1815 Horace Wells, American dentist (pioneered use of medical anesthesia), born in Hartford, Vermont (d. 1848)
  • 1815 John Bingham, American lawyer, politician (US Representative from Ohio (R), 1865-73), and diplomat (US Ambassador to Japan, 1873-85), born in Mercer, Pennsylvania (d. 1900)
  • 1821 John C. Breckinridge, American politician (14th US VP (1857-61 at just 36) and Confederate general, born near Lexington, Kentucky (d. 1875)

Stonewall JacksonStonewall Jackson (1824-1863)

Confederate general during the American Civil War, born in Clarksburg, Virginia

  • 1825 Imre Madách, Hungarian writer (d. 1864)
  • 1827 Ivan Pervushin, Russian mathematician, born in Perm Oblast, Russia (d. 1900)
  • 1829 Oscar II Frederik, King of Sweden (1872-1907), King of Norway (1872-1905) and poet, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1907)
  • 1840 Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake, English physician and feminist who was one of the first female medical students at a British university, born in Hastings, England (d. 1912)
  • 1860 Karl Staaff, Prime Minister of Sweden (d. 1915)
  • 1867 Ludwig Thoma, German writer (d. 1921)
  • 1867 Maxime Weygard, French general (head of French armed forces during German Invasion of France WWII), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1965)
  • 1867 Willem Royaards, Dutch theater director (Summer Games), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1929)
  • 1868 Felix Hoffmann, German chemist (synthesized aspirin and heroin), born in Ludwigsburg, Germany (d. 1946)

Grigori RasputinGrigori Rasputin (1869-1916)

Russian monk and confidant of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, born in Pokrovskoye, Sibera, Russian Empire

  • 1875 John Lindworsky, German Jesuit and psychologist (Der Wille) (d. 1939)
  • 1875 Paul E. Kahle, German professor of oriental studies, born in Hohenstein, Prussia (d. 1964)
  • 1882 Pavel Florensky, Russian mathematician (d. 1937)
  • 1883 Amang Rodriguez, Filipino politician (d. 1964)
  • 1883 Olav Aukrust, Norwegian poet (advocated literary use of Nynorsk), born in Lom, Norway (d. 1929)
  • 1884 Roger Nash Baldwin, American founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, born in Wellesley, Massachusetts (d. 1981)
  • 1885 Umberto Nobile, Italian aviator and polar explorer (designed and flew 1st airship across the polar air cap), born in Lauro, Italy (d. 1978)
  • 1886 Gustaaf Sap, Belgian minister of Economic Affairs (d. 1940)
  • 1889 Pitirim Sorokin, Russian-American sociologist (Social mobility), born in Turya, Russia (d. 1968)
  • 1895 Cristóbal Balenciaga, Spanish couturier 'The Master', born in Getaria, Spain (d. 1972)
  • 1897 René Iché, French sculptor (d. 1954)
  • 1904 Richard P. Blackmur, American critic and poet (Good European), born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 1965)

Christian DiorChristian Dior (1905-1957)

French fashion designer (New Look), born in Granville, France

  • 1905 Karl "The Great" Wallenda, German acrobat (The Flying Wallendas) (d. 1978)
  • 1906 Fred Fehl, Austrian-American photographer, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1995)
  • 1906 Igor Moiseyev, Russian choreographer (d. 2007)
  • 1906 John Putz, British journalist (Guardian) (d. 1995)
  • 1910 Nicholas Cayzer, British shipping magnate (British and Commonwealth Shipping), born in Ayrshire, Scotland (d. 1999)
  • 1912 Konrad Emil Bloch, German-American biochemist (1964 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology for work on cholesterol), born in Neisse, Germany (d. 2000)
  • 1917 Erling Persson, Swedish entrepreneur (H&M stores), born in Borlänge, Sweden (d. 2002)
  • 1917 Rohan Butler, English historian (d. 1996)
  • 1918 Geoffrey Dawes, English physiologist (fetal and neonatal physiology.), born in Mackworth, England (d. 1996)
  • 1918 Herbert C. Jones, United States Navy ensign, Medal of Honor recipient, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1941)
  • 1918 Richard Winters, American army officer and war hero (commanded 'Easy Company' during Normandy Invasion portrayed in "Band of Brothers"), born in New Holland Pennsylvania (d. 2011)
  • 1920 Donald Cuthbert Coleman, British economic historian (d. 1995)
  • 1920 Errol Walton Barrow, Prime Minister of Barbados (DLP) (1966-76, 1986-87)
  • 1921 Barney Clark, 1st to receive a permanent artificial heart
  • 1921 Howard Unruh, American mass murderer
  • 1922 Jean P Vroom, Dutch sculptor
  • 1923 Judith Merril [Josephine Juliet Grossman], sci-fi writer
  • 1925 Oswald "Ossie" Stevens Nock, railway writer
  • 1928 Reynaldo Bignone, Argentine politician and human rights violator, 41st President (1982–1983), born in Morón, Buenos Aires, Argentina (d. 2018)
  • 1930 Valentin Ignatyevich Filatyev, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1933 Itzhak Fuks, Israeli El Al captain, crashed in Amsterdam
  • 1933 Joseph W. Eschbach, American doctor (d. 2007)
  • 1933 Norman Willis, English union leader (General Secretary of the UK's Trades Union Congress), born in Ashford, Middlesex (d. 2014)
  • 1933 William Wrigley III, American chewing gum mogul (Wrigleys)
  • 1937 Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria
  • 1938 Wolfman Jack [Robert Weston Smith], American disc jockey (The Midnight Special), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1995)
  • 1939 Mary Ellen McAnally, American poet (Dance of the Zygotes), born in Vandalia, Illinois
  • 1940 Robin Russell, 14th Duke of Bedford, English peer (Woburn Abbey, Country House TV series), born at the Ritz, London (d. 2003)
  • 1945 Andrew Stein, President of NYC council (D)
  • 1946 Vincent Placoly, Martinique, writer (L'eau-de-mort guildive)
  • 1950 Joseph R. Tanner, American astronaut (STS 66, 82, sk: 97), born in Danville, Illinois

Eric HolderEric Holder (72 years old)

1951 American lawyer and judge (1st African American US Attorney General 2009-2015), born in The Bronx, New York

  • 1952 Louis Menand, American writer and critic
  • 1952 Marco Camenisch, Swiss environmental activist
  • 1955 Jeff Koons, American artist (balloon animals), born in York, Pennsylvania
  • 1961 Kevin Cramer, American politician (Senator-R-North Dakota 2019-, Rep-R-2013-19), born in Rolette, North Dakota
  • 1962 Tyler Cowen, American economist
  • 1965 Jam Master Jay, American disc jockey (d. 2002)
  • 1966 Katrine Michaelsen, Gentokte Denmark, Miss Denmark (1984)
  • 1968 Ulrica Messing, Swedish politician
  • 1969 Tsubaki Nekoi, Japanese manga artist
  • 1972 Rick Falkvinge, Swedish politician
  • 2004 Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway