Birthdays in History on March 17

  • 1231 Emperor Shijō of Japan (d. 1242)

James IVJames IV (1473-1513)

King of Scotland (1488-1513), born in Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland

  • 1537 Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japanese daimyō & warrior (Japan's second "great unifier"), born in Nakamura-ku, Japan (d. 1598)
  • 1578 Francesco Albana, Italian painter (Mary's Ascension)
  • 1628 Daniel van Papenbroeck [Papebrochius], Flemish historian
  • 1676 Thomas Boston, Scottish church leader (d. 1732)
  • 1685 Jean-Marc Nattier, French portrait painter
  • 1695 Antoine Court, French minister and itinerant preacher in the Reformed church who restored Protestantism to France, born in Villeneuve-de-Berg, France (d. 1760)
  • 1725 Lachlan McIntosh, Scottish-born American military and political leader (d. 1806)
  • 1754 Madame Roland [Marie-Jeanne Phlippon], French revolutionary (member of the Girondist faction), born in Paris, France (d. 1793)
  • 1775 Ninian Edwards, American politician (Governor of Illinois Territory, 1809–1813; U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1818–1824; Governor of Illinois 1826–1830), born in Montgomery County, Maryland (d. 1833)
  • 1777 Roger Brooke Taney, 5th Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court (Dred Scott decision), born in Calvert, Maryland (d. 1864)
  • 1780 Thomas Chalmers, Scottish minister and 1st moderator (Free Church of Scotland 1843-47), born in Anstruther, Scotland (d. 1847)
  • 1781 Dominique J de Eerens, governor-general of Neth Indies
  • 1781 Ebenezer Elliott, British Poet. Know as the "Corn Law Rhymer'" (d. 1849)
  • 1804 James Bridger, American scout, fur trader and mountain man par excellence, born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1881)
  • 1806 Norbert Rillieux, American chemical engineer and inventor (sugar refiner), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1894)
  • 1820 Jean Ingelow, English poet (d. 1897)
  • 1820 Patrick Edward Connor, Irish-American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in County Kerry, Republic of Ireland (d. 1891)
  • 1825 Rodolphe Bresdin, French cartoonist/lithographer (Le Bon Samaritain)
  • 1826 Oskar Peschel, German journalist/geography (Volkerkunder)
  • 1828 Patrick Cleburne, Irish -born American Major General (Confederate Army), born in Ovens, Ireland (d. 1864)
  • 1832 Moncure Daniel Conway, US abolitionist (Life of Thomas Paine)
  • 1832 Walter Quintin Gresham, American statesman, jurist, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Lanesville, Indiana (d. 1895)

Gottlieb DaimlerGottlieb Daimler (1834-1900)

German engineer and inventor, designed 1st motorcycle, born in Schorndorf, Kingdom of Württemberg

  • 1846 Kate Greenaway, English artist known for her children's book illustrations (Under the Window), born in London (d. 1901)
  • 1856 Mikhail Vrubel, Russian painter (d. 1910)
  • 1862 Silvio Gesell, Belgian economist (d. 1930)
  • 1863 Homer Plessy, American Creole shoemaker and civil rights pioneer (plaintiff in landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson 1896), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1925)
  • 1866 Pierce Butler, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (d. 1939)
  • 1870 Horace Donisthorpe, British entomologist (d. 1951)
  • 1873 Margaret Bondfield, British politician and 1st British female cabinet minister (1929-31), born in Chard, Somerset (d. 1953)
  • 1874 Stephen Samuel Wise, American Rabbi and President of Zionist Org of America, born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 1949)
  • 1877 Albert P Hahn, Dutch political cartoonist (People/Nutcracker)
  • 1880 Lawrence Oates, English army officer and Antarctic explorer (d. 1912)
  • 1880 Sir Patrick Hastings, British barrister (d. 1952)
  • 1881 Kristian Elster, Norwegian author (Less bror Harris)
  • 1881 Walter Rudolf Hess, Swiss physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1973)
  • 1883 Urmuz, Romanian writer (d. 1923)
  • 1886 Princess Patricia of Connaught, British princess (d. 1974)
  • 1887 Ben Sajet, Dutch physician/politician
  • 1888 Paul Ramadier, French politician (d. 1961)
  • 1894 Paul Green, American novelist/playwright (In Abraham's Bosom)
  • 1897 Jozef C. Mazur, American stained glass artist and painter (d. 1970)

Eisaku SatōEisaku Satō (1901-1975)

Prime Minister of Japan (1963-72) and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1974), born in Tabuse, Yamaguchi, Japan

  • 1904 Patrick Hamilton, English author and playwright (Gaslight, Rope), born in Hassocks, England (d. 1962)
  • 1906 Brigitte Helm [Gisele Eve von Kuenheim], German actress (Gloria, Gold, Metropolis), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1996)
  • 1907 Jean Van Houtte, Belgian politician (Prime Minister of Belgium, 1952-56; Finance Minister, 1950-52 and 1958-61), born in Ghent, Belgium (d. 1991)
  • 1908 Boris Polevoy, Russian journalist and writer, born in Moscow, Russian Empire (d. 1981) [OS=Mar 4]
  • 1909 Patrick Reilly, British diplomat, born in Ootacamund, India

Bayard RustinBayard Rustin (1910-1987)

American civil rights leader (March on Washington organizer, Social Democrats USA), born in West Chester, Pennsylvania

  • 1911 Patrick Maitland, 17th Earl of Lauderdale, Scottish Unionist politician
  • 1915 Hans Namuth, German-American photographer (Todos Santos, Guatemala)
  • 1915 Henry Bumstead, American art director (d. 2006)
  • 1916 David Stafford-Clark, English psychiatrist, born in Bromley, Kent, England (d. 1999)
  • 1916 Donald Gibson, British vice-admiral, Fleet Air Arm pilot of the WWII
  • 1917 Arthur Basil Cotle, medievalist
  • 1918 Józef Franczak, Polish soldier and anti-communist resistance fighter who was the last cursed soldiers, born in Kozice Górne, Kingdom of Poland (d. 1963)
  • 1918 Wilhelmus Russell, Dutch attorney and Member of 1st chamber (KVP/CDA)
  • 1920 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladeshi politician (founding father of Bangladesh, Prime Minister and President of Bangladesh), born in Tungipara, British India (d. 1975)
  • 1921 Donald Barron, Scottish accountant and CEO (Midland Bank), born in Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland (d. 2015)
  • 1922 Megan Bull, British head mistress (Holloway Jail)

Sheikh Mujibur RahmanSheikh Mujibur Rahman (1922-1975)

Founding father of Bangladesh and 1st and 4th President of Bangladesh (1971-72 and 1975-76), born in Tungipara, Bengal Presidency, British India

  • 1926 Siegfried Lenz, German writer (Ein Kriegsende)
  • 1927 Nancy Sheehan, writer
  • 1927 Roberto Suazo Córdova, President of Honduras (1982-86), born in La Paz, Honduras (d. 2018)
  • 1928 William John McKeag, Canadian politician (d. 2007)
  • 1930 James Irwin, American air force officer and NASA astronaut (Apollo 15, 8th person to walk on the moon), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1991)
  • 1931 David Peakall, British scientist (d. 2001)
  • 1932 Donald N. Langenberg, American physicist, born in Devil's Lake, North Dakota (d. 2019)
  • 1933 Myrlie Evers-Williams, American civil rights activist (NAACP chair), born in Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • 1933 Penelope Lively, British writer (Moon Tiger, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe), born in Cairo, Egypt
  • 1936 Ken Mattingly, American USN naval officer, and NASA astronaut (Apollo 16; STS-4, -51-C), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1936 Robert Daniel, American Republican Congressman for Virginia (1972-1983), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 2012)
  • 1937 Frank Calabrese [Frankie Breeze], American mafia hitman, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2012)
  • 1938 Keith O'Brien, Scottish Catholic archbishop (St Andrews & Edinburgh), born in Ballycastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • 1939 Jim Gary, American sculptor known for whimsical monumental art and sculptors of large, colorful dinosaurs made from discarded automobile parts, born in Sebastian, Florida (d. 2006)
  • 1940 Mark White, American politician, lawyer, and 43rd Governor of Texas (1983-7), born in Henderson, Texas (d. 2017)
  • 1941 Wang Jin-pyng, Taiwanese politician

John Wayne GacyJohn Wayne Gacy (1942-1994)

American serial killer who killed 33 young men, born in Chicago, Illinois

  • 1942 Sidney Barthelemy, American politician (Mayor of New Orleans), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1945 Michael Hayden, American general and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1947 James K. Morrow, American author (The Last Witchfinder), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1947 Jan Andersson, Swedish politician
  • 1948 Alexander Nelson Hood, 4th Viscount Bridport, British-born investment banker
  • 1948 Pat Lloyd, English rocker (The Equals), born in London, England
  • 1948 Robert Braunwart, who added thousands of dates to this database
  • 1948 William [Ford] Gibson, Canadian sci-fi author (Neuromancer, Count Zero)
  • 1950 Betty Dukes, American Walmart employee who fought against gender discrimination (2001 Betty Dukes v. Walmart lawsuit), born in Tallulah, Louisiana
  • 1951 Donald Findlay, Scottish lawyer, born in Cowdenbeath, Scotland
  • 1953 Filemon Lagman, Filipino communist revolutionary (d. 2001)
  • 1955 Cynthia McKinney, American politician (Rep-D-Georgia, Green Party presidential candidate 2008), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1956 Patrick McDonnell, American cartoonist (Mutts), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • 1962 Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, Dutch politician
  • 1962 Kalpana Chawla, Indian-American astronaut (1st woman of Indian origin into space, later died in Columbia disaster), born in Karnal, India (d. 2003)
  • 1967 Barry Minkow, American businessman, religious leader and convicted felon (fraud), born in Inglewwood, California
  • 1969 [Lee] Alexander McQueen, English fashion designer, born in London, England (d. 2010)
  • 1983 Martin Shkreli, American businessman (Pharma), former hedge fund manager and convicted felon, born in Brooklyn, New York