On This Day

Birthdays in History on July 17

  • 1487 Ismail I, Shah of Persia, converted Iran from Sunni to Shi'ah, born in Ardabīl, Iran (d. 1524)
  • 1744 Elbridge Gerry, American statesman who invented gerrymandering and 5th Vice President of the United States, born in Marblehead, Massachusetts Bay (d. 1814)
  • 1763 Johannes Hendricus van der Palm, Dutch theologist and Minister of Education, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1840)

Person of interestJohn Jacob Astor

1763 John Jacob Astor [Johann Jakob Astor] German-American businessman (first multi-millionaire in the United States), born in Walldorf, Electoral Palatinate, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1848)

Businessman John Jacob Astor
Businessman
John Jacob Astor
  • 1797 Hippolyte Delaroche, French painter, born in Paris (d. 1856)
  • 1827 Frederick Able, English chemist and inventor (cordiet), born in Woolwich, England (d. 1902)
  • 1830 Eelco Refer, linguist (Dictionary for the Dutch translator)
  • 1831 Xianfeng, Emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, born in Old Summer Palace, Beijing, Qing dynasty, China (d. 1861)
  • 1839 Ephraim Shay, American inventor of Shay type of geared steam locomotive, born in Huron, Ohio (d. 1916)
  • 1859 Luis Muñoz Rivera, Puerto Rican journalist (founded Federalist Party), born in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico (d. 1916)
  • 1871 Lyonel Feininger, German-American cartoonist and painter, born in NYC, New York (d. 1956)
  • 1876 Maxim M Litvinov, [Meyer H Wallach], Russian diplomat
  • 1876 Rosa Jackson Lumpkin, lived to be 115 years old, born in Flint, Georgia (d. 1991)
  • 1883 Bart de Ligt, anti militarist theologist (Acting Peace)
  • 1888 Shmuel Agnon, Israel, novelist (Day Before Yesterday-Nobel 1966)

Person of interestErle Stanley Gardner

1889 Erle Stanley Gardner, American detective writer (Perry Mason), born in Malden, Massachusetts (d. 1970)

Detective Writer Erle Stanley Gardner
Detective Writer
Erle Stanley Gardner

  • 1894 Georges Lemaître, Belgian Catholic Priest, astronomer and physics professor, who initially proposed the universe expansion and big-bang theories, born in Charleroi, Belgium (d. 1966)
  • 1897 Elbert Parr Tuttle, lawyer/judge
  • 1898 Berenice Abbott, photographer (World of Atget), born in Springfield, Ohio
  • 1901 Bruno Jasieński, Polish poet (d. 1938)
  • 1902 Christina Stead, Australia, novelist (Man Who Loved Children)
  • 1909 Hardy Amies, royal dressmaker (Queen Elizabeth II), born in London, England
  • 1911 Yang Jiang, Chinese writer (Six Chapters From My Life ‘Downunder,’), born in Beijing (d. 2016)
  • 1913 Roger Garaudy, French philosopher
  • 1913 Bertrand Goldberg, American architect (d. 1997)
  • 1914 James Purdy, American writer (The House of the Solitary Maggot), born near Fremont, Ohio, (d. 2009)
  • 1915 Habib Rajab, South African trader and collector of oriental art who fought against a takeover of the Grey Street complex by White traders, born in Durban, South Africa (d. 1973)
  • 1917 Kenan Evren, Turkish soldier and politician, (President of Turkey 1980-1989 by military coup), born in Alaşehir, Manisa Province (d. 2015)
  • 1918 Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, President of Guatemala (d. 2003)

Person of interestGordon Gould

1920 Gordon Gould, American physicist (inventor of the laser), born in NYC, New York (d. 2005)

Physicist Gordon Gould
Physicist
Gordon Gould
  • 1922 Donald Alfred Davie, poet/critic
  • 1923 John Cooper, English race car designer (d. 2000)
  • 1928 Jean Muir, British fashion designer and dressmaker, born in London (d. 1995)
  • 1929 Sergei K. Godunov, Russian mathematician
  • 1932 Hal Riney, American advertising executive (d. 2008)
  • 1934 Rainer Kisch, German writer, born in Döbeln

  • 1934 Lucio Tan, Chinese Filipino businessman (Philippine Airlines), in Amoy China
  • 1937 Jose Ignacio Cabrujas, writer
  • 1939 Warwick Hutton, artist
  • 1942 Peter Sissons, British newsreader, born in Liverpool, England (d. 2019)
  • 1945 Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia, born in Claridge's, London

Person of interestCamilla Parker Bowles

1947 Camilla Parker Bowles, English wife of Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall, born in London, England

Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker Bowles
Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla Parker Bowles
  • 1948 Phillip Harris, rocker
  • 1952 Robert R. McCammon, American sci-fi author (Baal, Mystery Walk), born in Birmingham, Alabama

Person of interestAngela Merkel

1954 Angela Merkel, German politician, Chancellor of Germany (2005-), born in Hamburg, West Germany

Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Angela Merkel
  • 1954 J. Michael Straczynski, American author, born in Paterson, New Jersey
  • 1955 Paul Stamets, American mycologist and environmentalist, born in Columbiana, Ohio
  • 1956 Julie Bishop, Australian Liberal Party politician and Minister for Foreign Affairs (2013-present), born in Lobethal, South Australia
  • 1959 Janet Lynn Kavandi, American scientist and NASA astronaut (sk:STS 91), born in Carthage, Missouri
  • 1963 Letsie III, King of Lesotho, born in Morija, Basutoland
  • 1966 Sten Tolgfors, Swedish politician, born in Forshaga, Sweden
  • 1966 Nemesio Cervantes [El Mencho], Mexican drug lord, most-wanted man in Mexico, responsible for 1/3 all drugs into US, born in Aguililla, Mexico
  • 1971 Cory Doctorow, Canadian author and activist, born in Toronto, Ontario
  • 1975 Terence Tao, Australian-Chinese mathematician, born in Adelaide, Australia
  • 1976 Gino D'Acampo, Italian celebrity chef, born in Torre del Greco, Italy
  • 1978 Ricardo Arona, Brazilian mixed martial artist, born in Niterói, Brazil
  • 1998 Felipe Juan Froilán de Marichalar y de Borbón, Spanish royal, born in Madrid, Spain