Birthdays in History on July 31

  • 1143 Emperor Nijo of Japan (d. 1165)

Philip the GoodPhilip the Good (1396-1467)

Duke of Burgundy (1419-67), born in Dijon, Burgundy

  • 1443 Albrecht III of Saxon-Meisen, duke of Saxon

Maximilian IIMaximilian II (1527-1576)

Holy Roman Emperor (1564-76), born in Vienna, Archduchy of Austria, Holy Roman Empire

  • 1578 Catharina Belgica of Nassau, daughter of Willem of Orange
  • 1595 Alessandro Algardi, Italian sculptor and architect, born in Bologna, Italy (d. 1654)
  • 1597 Sebastian Stosskopf, Elzassisch painter, baptized
  • 1654 Jacob Hop, Dutch politician and diplomat
  • 1702 Jean Denis Attiret, French Jesuit missionary and painter, born in Dole, France (d. 1768)
  • 1704 Gabriel Cramer, Swiss mathematician (paradox of Cramer), born in Geneva, Switzerland (d. 1752)
  • 1718 John Canton, English physicist, born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England (d. 1772)
  • 1724 Noël François de Wailly, French lexicographer, born in Amines, France (d. 1801)
  • 1737 Princess Augusta Frederica of Great Britain, born in London, England (d. 1813)
  • 1743 August R van Hekeren van Suideras, Dutch orangist
  • 1748 Isaac Ouwater, Amsterdam painter/cartoonist

John EricssonJohn Ericsson (1803-1889)

Swedish-American inventor (screw propeller, rotating turret), born in Långban, Sweden

  • 1816 George Henry Thomas, American Major General (Union Army), born in Newsoms, Virginia (d. 1870)
  • 1817 Philip Cook Jr, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1894)
  • 1818 Heinrich Kiepert, German cartographer/geographer
  • 1825 Thomas Hart Taylor, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1901)
  • 1825 William S. Clark, American senator and scholar (d. 1886)
  • 1834 Peter H Hugenholtz, Dutch reformer/founder (Free Parish)
  • 1835 Henri Brisson, French statesman (d. 1912)
  • 1835 Paul du Chaillu, French-American explorer who the 1st modern explorer to confirm existence of gorillas and pygmies [birth year disputed], born in St. Petersburg, Russia (d. 1903)
  • 1837 William Quantrill, American guerrilla leader in the Confederate Army who led Quantrill's Raiders in the Lawrence Massacre, born in Canal Dover, Ohio (d. 1865)
  • 1843 Peter Rosegger, Austrian poet and Nobel Prize laureate, born in Krieglach, Austria (d. 1918)
  • 1844 Ignazio Guidi, Italian orientalist and archaeologist, born in Rome, Italy (d. 1935)
  • 1854 Jose Canalejas, premier of Spain (1910-12), born in El Ferrol, Spain (d. 1912)
  • 1858 Richard Dixon Oldham, British geologist, born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1936)
  • 1860 Mary Vaux Walcott, American artist and naturalist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1940)
  • 1867 Sebastian S. Kresge, American merchant and philanthropist (Kmart), born in Bald Mountain, Pennsylvania (d. 1966)
  • 1880 Munshi Premchand [Dhanpat Rai], Indian author, born in Lamhi, Benares State, British India (d. 1936)
  • 1882 Grete Gulbransson, Austrian writer and poet (Geliebte Schatten), born in Thüringen, Austria (d. 1934)
  • 1884 Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, German Leipzig mayor and Nazi regime opponent (20th July Plot)
  • 1886 Constant Permeke, Flemish painter and statues artist (Sow), born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1952)
  • 1886 Salvatore Maranzano, Sicilian-born American organized crime figure, born in Sicily, Italy (d. 1931)
  • 1887 Hans Freyer, German sociologist and philosopher, born in Leipzig, Germany (d. 1969)
  • 1892 Joseph Charbonneau, French Canadian Roman Catholic archbishop of Montreal (1940-50), born in Lefaivre, Canada (d. 1959)
  • 1900 Elmo Roper, American pollster (Roper Poll), born in Hebron, Nebraska (d. 1971)
  • 1901 Jean Dubuffet, French painter and sculptor (Landscape with 2 Personages), born in Le Havre, France (d. 1985)
  • 1901 Renié [Conley], American Academy Award-winning costume designer (Cleopatra; Kitty Foyle), born in Republic, Washington (d. 1992)
  • 1904 Brett Halliday, American writer (Dividend on Death), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1977)
  • 1905 Trenchard Cox, British museum director, born in London (d. 1995)

Milton FriedmanMilton Friedman (1912-2006)

American economist (Nobel Prize Economics 1976), born in Brooklyn, New York

  • 1914 Jose Ignacio Domecq, Spanish wine maker, born in Jerez, Spain (d. 1997)
  • 1914 Raymond Aubrac, French resistance leader, born in Paris, France (d. 2012)
  • 1916 Sibte Hassan, Pakistani activist, journalist and writer, born in Ambari Azamgarh Uttar Pradesh, India (d. 1986)
  • 1918 Paul D. Boyer, American biochemist and Nobel Prize Laureate for research on the "enzymatic mechanism underlying the biosynthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)" (1997), born in Provo, Utah (d. 2018)
  • 1919 Curt Gowdy, American sportscaster, author (Ford C. Frick Award, Pete Rozelle Award, lifetime achievement Emmy 1992), born in Green River, Wyoming (d. 2006)
  • 1919 Primo Levi, Italian chemist and writer (Survival in Auschwitz), born in Turin, Italy (d. 1987)
  • 1920 James Esdras Faust, American religious leader, born in Delta, Utah (d. 2007)
  • 1921 Peter Benenson, British founder of Amnesty International, born in London (d. 2005)
  • 1921 Whitney Young Jr, American civil rights leader, head of the Urban League, born in Shelby County, Kentucky (d. 1971)
  • 1922 Lucy Killea, American Californian politician who supported pro-choice, born in San Antonio, Texas (d. 2017)
  • 1923 Ahmet Ertegun, Turkish-American businessman and co-founder of Atlantic Records, born in Istanbul, Turkey (d. 2006)
  • 1926 Hilary Putnam, American philosopher, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2016)
  • 1927 Walter Vogt, Swiss writer (Wüthrich) and psychiatrist, born in Zurich (d. 1988)
  • 1928 Bill Frenzel, American politician (Rep-R-MN, 1971-91), born in St Paul, Minnesota (d. 2014)
  • 1929 Lynne Reid Banks, British author (The Indian in the Cupboard), born in London
  • 1929 Oriana Fallaci, Italian journalist and writer, born in Florence, Italy (d. 2006)
  • 1930 Oleg Popov, Russian clown and circus artist, born in Vyrubovo, Moscow (d. 2016)
  • 1932 John Searle, American philosopher, born in Denver, Colorado
  • 1932 Robert W. Davis, American politician (Rep-R-MI, 1979-93), born in Marquette, Michigan (d. 2009)
  • 1933 Cees Nooteboom, Dutch writer and journalist (Rituelen), born in The Hague, Netherlands
  • 1935 Sergio Rossi, Italian shoe designer, born in San Mauro, Italy (d. 2020)
  • 1940 Stanley Jaffe, American producer (Fatal Attraction), born in New Rochelle, New York
  • 1941 Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician, born in Surat, India (d. 2004)
  • 1941 Heather McKay, Australian squash player (British Open 1962-77, inaugural women's World Open 1976), born in Queanbeyan, NSW
  • 1943 Stephanie Forrester, fictional character (The Bold and the Beautiful)
  • 1943 William Bennett, US Secretary of Education (1985-88)/drug tsar
  • 1944 Robert C. Merton, American economist and Nobel laureate in Economics, born in NYC, New York
  • 1945 Bill Weld, American politician (Governor (R) Massachusetts 1991-97), born in Smithtown, New York
  • 1946 Karen Zerby, American religious leader, born in Camden, New Jersey
  • 1947 Dennis Greenslade, rocker
  • 1948 Leaveil Degree, rocker (Whispers)
  • 1952 João Barreiros, Portuguese writer (Um Dia com Júlia na Necrosfera), born in Portugal
  • 1952 Pritawi Sudarmo, Indonesia, astronaut
  • 1953 Ted Baillieu, Australian Politician, Premier of Victoria (2010-13), born in Melbourne, Australia
  • 1956 Deval Patrick, 71st Governor of Massachusetts (2007-15), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1962 John Chiang, American politician (Democratic Party), born in NYC, New York

J. K. RowlingJ. K. Rowling (57 years old)

1965 English writer (Harry Potter novels), born in Yate, Gloucestershire

  • 1966 Marina V A Mowatt [Ogilvy], daughter of English princess Alexandra
  • 1967 Elizabeth Wurtzel, American author (Prozac Nation), born in NYC, New York (d. 2020)
  • 1969 Kenneth D. Schisler, American politician, born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • 1970 Ahmad Akbarpour, Iranian writer (The Train of That Night), born in Chah Varz, Lamerd, Iran
  • 1975 Simon Hirst, British radio DJ
  • 1988 Leonie Hanne, German fashion influencer, born in Hamburg, Germany
  • 1990 Olga Galchenko, Russian juggler, born in Penza, Russia