On This Day

Birthdays in History on June 20

  • 236 BC Scipio Africanus, Roman statesman and general of the Second Punic War, born in Rome, Italia, Roman Republic (d. 183 BC)
  • 1005 Ali az-Zahir, 7th Caliph of the Fātimids (1021-36), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1036)
  • 1389 John Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Bedford, English prince, general (Hundred Years’ War) and statesman, born in Kenilworth, England (d. 1435)

Person of interestSigismund III Vasa

1566 Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1587-1632) and King of Sweden (1592-99), born in Gripsholm Castle, Sweden (d. 1632)

  • 1583 Jacob De la Gardie, Swedish soldier and statesman (1st Governor-General of Swedish Livonia), born in Reval (Tallinn), Swedish Estonia (d. 1652)
  • 1634 Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy (1638-75), born in Turin, Italy (d. 1675)
  • 1642 George Hickes, English linguist (Old German Philology), born in Newsham, Thirsk, Yorkshire (d. 1715)
  • 1647 Johann Georg III, Elector of Saxony (1680-91), born in Dresden, Germany (d. 1691)
  • 1674 Nicholas Rowe, English poet and playwright (Tamerlane), Poet Laureate (1715-18), born in Little Barford, Bedfordshire (d. 1718)
  • 1694 Hans Adolph Brorson, Danish Pietist bishop, born in Randerup, Denmark (d. 1764)
  • 1717 Jacques Saly, French sculptor, born in Valenciennes, France (d. 1776)
  • 1723 Adam Ferguson, Scottish sociologist and historian, born in Logierait, Perthshire, Scotland (d. 1816)
  • 1723 Theophilus Lindsey, English theologian and clergyman, born in Middlewich, Cheshire (d. 1808)
  • 1733 Betty Washington, younger sister of George Washington, born in Westmoreland County, Colony of Virginia (d. 1797)
  • 1737 Tokugawa Ieharu, tenth shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan (1760 to 1786), born in Edo, Japan (d. 1786)

Person of interestWolfe Tone

1763 Wolfe Tone, Irish republican and revolutionary figure (United Irishmen), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1798)

Irish Republican and Revolutionary Wolfe Tone
Irish Republican and Revolutionary
Wolfe Tone

  • 1770 Moses Waddel, American educator, minister and bestselling author (Memoirs of the Life of Miss Caroline Elizabeth Smelt), born in Rowan County, North Carolina (d. 1840)
  • 1771 Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, Scottish philanthropist, born in St Mary's Isle, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland (d. 1820)
  • 1786 Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, French poet (Bouquets et prières), born in Douai, France (d. 1859)
  • 1808 Samson Raphael Hirsch, German Orthodox rabbi and intellectual founder of the Torah im Derech Eretz school of contemporary Orthodox Judaism, born in Hamburg, French Empire (d. 1888)
  • 1823 Jesse Lee Reno, American Major General (Union Army), born in Wheeling, West Virginia (d. 1862)
  • 1824 George Edmund Street, English architect, born in Woodford, London (d. 1881)
  • 1824 John Tyler Morgan, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Athens, Tennessee (d. 1907)
  • 1833 Léon Bonnat, French painter, born in Bayonne, France (d. 1922)
  • 1858 Medardo Rosso, Italian sculptor (portraits), born in Turin, Italy (d. 1928)
  • 1858 Charles W. Chesnutt, American writer (The Conjure Woman), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1932)
  • 1861 Frederick Gowland Hopkins, British biochemist (Nobel Prize 1929), born in Eastbourne, England (d. 1947)
  • 1864 Pier Pander, Dutch sculptor, born in Drachten, Friesland (d. 1919)
  • 1866 Ivans [Jacob van Schevichaven], Dutch lawyer and detective writer, born in Sneek, Netherlands (d. 1935)
  • 1868 Helen Miller Shepard, American philanthropist who established Hall of Fame, born in Manhattan, New York (d. 1938)
  • 1872 George Carpenter, 5th General of The Salvation Army (d. 1948)
  • 1875 Othenio Able, Austrian artist, fossil creator and founder of paleobiology, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1946)
  • 1885 Andrzej Gawroński, Polish Indologist and scholar, born in Geneva (d. 1927)
  • 1887 Kurt Schwitters, German-British dada-artist and poet (collages), born in Hanover (d. 1948)
  • 1889 John S. Paraskevopoulos, Greek-South African astronomer, born in Piraeus, Greece (d. 1951)
  • 1891 John A. Costello, 3rd Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, born in Dublin (d. 1976)

  • 1892 Sergei Tretyakov, Russian constructivist writer, playwright and special correspondent for Pravda, born in Kuldīga, Latvia (d. 1937)
  • 1894 George Delacorte, American philanthropist and publisher (Dell Books), born in NYC, New York (d. 1991)
  • 1894 Lloyd Hall, African-American chemist and pioneer in food chemistry (science of food preservation), born in Elgin, Illinois (d. 1971)
  • 1899 Jean Moulin, French hero of the Résistance during World War II, born in Béziers, France (d. 1943)
  • 1901 Iri Maruki, Japanese artist (The Hiroshima Panels), born in Hiroshima (d. 1995)
  • 1904 Heinrich von Brentano, German politician (Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs), born in Offenbach, German Empire (d. 1964)

Person of interestLillian Hellman

1905 Lillian Hellman, American playwright (Toys in the Attic, Little Foxes), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1984)

Playwright Lillian Hellman
Lillian Hellman
  • 1911 John Brightman, Baron Brightman, British judge of appeals, born in Sandridge, Hertfordshire (d. 2006)
  • 1912 Anthony Buckeridge, English author (Jennings), born in London (d. 2004)
  • 1915 Dick Reynolds, Australian rules footballer and coach (d. 2002)
  • 1916 William Balchin, English geographer, born in Aldershot, England (d. 2007)
  • 1916 Jean-Jacques Bertrand, 21st Premier of Quebec (1968-70), born in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, Canada (d. 1973)
  • 1917 Ash Brownridge, American conservationist (National Wildlife Federation), creator of Ranger Rick, born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2015)
  • 1918 Zoltán Sztáray, Hungarian writer, born in Magyarcsaholy, Hungary (d. 2011)
  • 1920 Haydn Tudor Evans, British high court judge, born in Cardiff (d. 2012)
  • 1923 Marcus Bakker, Dutch politician (CPN)
  • 1924 Rainer Barzel, German politician (CDU-CSU) and minister, born in Braunsberg, East Prussia, Free State of Prussia (d. 2006)
  • 1924 Fritz Koenig, German sculptor (Sphere at World Trade Center), born in Wurzburg (d. 2017)
  • 1926 Arthur Bell, Director of Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens), born in Gosforth, Northumberland (d. 2006)
  • 1928 David Mitchell, British MP, born in rural Buckinghamshire, England (d. 2014)

  • 1928 Jean-Marie le Pen, French leader (National Front party)
  • 1929 Edith Windsor [née Schlain], American LGBT rights activist (lead plaintiff in United States v. Windsor), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2017)
  • 1930 John Waine, bishop (Chelmsford)
  • 1930 Magdalena Abakanowicz, Polish artist
  • 1931 Richard Southwood, zoologist/chancellor (Oxford University)
  • 1932 Robert Rozhdestvensky, Soviet poet, born in Kosikhinsky District, Russia (d. 1994)
  • 1933 Claire Tomalin, English biographer and editor, born in London, England
  • 1933 Earl of Cranbrook, CEO (Nature Conservancy Council)
  • 1933 Peter T. Kirstein, British computer scientist 'European father of the internet' (Internet Protocol,), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 2020)
  • 1934 Brian Barder, British high commissar (Australia)
  • 1935 Anthony Pilkington, CEO (Pilkington Pic)
  • 1940 Eugen Drewermann, German theologian
  • 1941 Ulf D Merbold, German physicist/astronaut (STS 9, 42, Soyuz TM-19)
  • 1945 David S Monson, (Rep-R-UT, 1985- )
  • 1945 James F Buchli, New Rockford ND, USMC/astr (STS 51C, 61A, 29, 48)
  • 1946 Birgitte Eva Henriksen, Duchess of Gloucester, born in Odense, Denmark
  • 1946 Xanana Gusmão, President of East Timor
  • 1947 David French, British director (Deep Sleep, Bingo)
  • 1947 Josef Clemens, German bishop and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
  • 1947 Ivo Milazzo, Italian comic book artist
  • 1948 Nigel Morris, rocker (Isotope)
  • 1948 Ludwig Scotty, President of Nauru
  • 1951 Paul Muldoon, Northern Irish poet
  • 1952 Vikram Seth, Indian poet and novelist (A Suitable Boy), born in Calcutta, India
  • 1953 Brian J Duffy, American USAF Major and astronaut (STS-45, -57, -72), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1953 Willy Rampf, German F1 technical director (BMW Sauber)
  • 1954 Ilan Ramon, Israeli combat pilot and astronaut (d. 2003)
  • 1969 Michael Gerber, American parody author, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • 1970 Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco, born in Rabat, Morocco
  • 1970 Andrea Nahles, German politician, Leader of Social Democratic Party (2018-), born in Mendig, West Germany
  • 1978 Quinton Jackson, American Mixed Martial Artist
  • 1983 Patrisse Cullors, American artist and civil rights activist (co-founded #BlackLivesMatter), born in Los Angeles, California