Birthdays in History on May 12

  • 1401 Emperor Shōkō, 101st Japanese Emperor (412-428) (d. 1428)
  • 1496 Gustav I of Sweden (1523-60), born in Rydboholm Castle, Sweden (d. 1560
  • 1590 Cosimo II de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (d. 1621)
  • 1626 Louis Hennepin, Flemish missionary who explorer the interior of North America, born in Ath, Spanish Netherlands (d. 1705)
  • 1662 Jan F van Bloom [Orizonte], Flemish painter, baptized
  • 1670 Frederick Augustus I/ August II, the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland (reputed to have sired 355 children) (d. 1733)
  • 1700 Luigi Vanvitelli, Italian architect (Palace of Caserta), born in Naples, Kingdom of Naples (d. 1773)
  • 1725 Louis Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, French Prince of the Bourbon House, born at the Palace of Versailles, France (d. 1785)
  • 1767 Manuel de Godoy 'Prince of the Peace', Spanish statesman, 1st Secretary of State of Spain, born in Badajoz, Spain (d. 1851)
  • 1790 [Johannes] Carsten Hauch, Danish poet and writer, born in Frederikshald, Norway (d. 1872)
  • 1803 Justus von Liebig, German agricultural and biological chemist who is considered the founder of organic chemistry, born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany (d. 1873)
  • 1804 Robert Baldwin, (L) help establish government in Canada (or 1904)
  • 1806 Amos Beebe Eaton, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Catskill, New York (d. 1877)
  • 1806 Johan Vilhelm Snellman, Finnish journalist, statesman and nationalist, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1881)
  • 1812 Edward Lear, English landscape painter and poet (Complete Nonsense Book), born in London, England (d. 1888)
  • 1812 Louis Ludwig Blenker, German-American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Worms, Germany (d. 1863)
  • 1813 Johann Czerski, German clergyman, founded German Catholicism, born in Warlubien, West Prussia (d. 1893)

Florence NightingaleFlorence Nightingale (1820-1910)

British nurse who revolutionized nursing during the Crimean War, born in Florence, Italy

  • 1828 Gabriel Dante Rossetti, English Pre-Raphaelite figure poet and painter, born in London, England (d. 1882)
  • 1850 Henry Cabot Lodge, U.S. statesman, born in Beverly, Massachusetts (d. 1924)
  • 1868 Halsey William Wilson, American publisher of reference books
  • 1874 Clemens Freiherr von Pirquet, Austrian physician (Reaction of Pirquet)
  • 1876 Harold, grandson of English queen Victoria
  • 1880 Lincoln Ellsworth, American polar explorer, led 1st transarctic, transantarctic flights, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1951)
  • 1880 W. Hupkes, Dutch engineer and Dutch Rail director
  • 1886 Albert Saverys, Flemish painter (d. 1964)
  • 1889 Otto Frank, German born father of Anne Frank who saw her diaries published, born in Frankfurt (d. 1980)
  • 1892 Fritz Kortner, Austrian-born director (d. 1970)
  • 1895 Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian philosopher (Songs of Life), born in Madanapalle, India (d. 1986)
  • 1899 Indra Devi, Latvian Yoga Instructor (d. 2002)
  • 1900 Helene Weigel, Austrian-German actress (Metropolis, Mutter Courage), born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1971)
  • 1902 Heinrich Kirchner, German sculptor (d. 1984)
  • 1906 Maurice Ewing, US pioneering geologist and geophysicist, born in Lockney, Texas (d. 1974)
  • 1907 Leslie Charteris, Chinese English American detective writer (Simon Templar character in The Saint), born in Singapore (d. 1993)
  • 1910 Charles B. Fulton, American jurist (d. 1996)

Dorothy HodgkinDorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994)

British biochemist who developed protein crystallography to study molecular structure, including that of vitamin B12 (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1964), born in Cairo, Egypt [1]

  • 1912 Archibald Cox, U.S. Solicitor General (d. 2004)
  • 1914 Bertus Aafjes, Dutch poet and writer, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1993)
  • 1914 Dan Daniel, American politician (Rep-D-VA, 1969-88), born in Chatham, Virginia (d. 1988)
  • 1915 Mary Kay Ash, American businesswoman, founded Mary Kay Cosmetics (d. 2001)

Julius RosenbergJulius Rosenberg (1918-1953)

1st American civilian executed for espionage after he and his wife were convicted of passing secret radar, jet and nuclear information to the Soviet Union, born in NYC, New York

  • 1921 Farley Mowat, Canadian writer and naturalist, born in Belleville, Ontario, (d. 2014)
  • 1921 Giovanni Benelli, Italian archbishop (Florence) and Papal candidate
  • 1921 Henry Mackie, designer of the Belfast Calorimeter
  • 1921 Joseph Beuys, German avant-garde painter (Fluxus, movement), born in Krefeld, Germany (d. 1986)
  • 1922 Barend Busnac, Dutch office clerk and resistance fighter (d. 1944)
  • 1922 Marco Denevi, Argentine writer (d. 1998)
  • 1923 Ewart Abner, American record company executive (President of Motown, manager of Stevie Wonder), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1997)
  • 1923 Giovanni Testori, Italian writer (Rocco e i suoi fratelli), born in Milan, Italy (d. 1993)
  • 1923 Hector Laing, English biscuit manufacturer (McVitie & Price), pilot and Director of the Bank of England (d. 2010)
  • 1924 Alexander Esenin-Volpin, Russian mathematician (ultrafinitism) and human rights activist, born in Leningrad, Soviet Union (d. 2016)
  • 1925 John Simon, American author, literary and theater critic (NY Times), born in Subotica, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
  • 1926 Earl Hutto, American politician (Rep-D-Florida, 1979-95), born in Panama City, Florida (d. 2020)
  • 1926 Mervyn Dymally, American politician (Rep-D-CA, 1981-93), born in Cedros, Trinidad and Tobago (d. 2012)
  • 1928 Manuel Lujan Jr, American politician (Rep-R-NM, 1969-89), born in San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico (d. 2019)
  • 1929 Sam Nujoma, Namibian revolutionary and politician, first President of Namibia (1990-2005), born in Ongandjera, Soutwest Africa
  • 1931 Johan Fleerackers, Flemish vice-president of Dutch One
  • 1933 Andrey Voznesensky, Russian poet, born in Moscow, Soviet Union (d. 2010)
  • 1934 Elechi Amadi, Nigerian novelist (The Concubine), born in Aluu (d. 2016)
  • 1936 Frank Stella, American artist, born in Malden, Massachusetts
  • 1936 Guillermo Endara, President of Panama (1989-94), born in Panama City, Panama (d. 2009)
  • 1937 Gerry Studds, American politician (Rep-D-MA, 1973-97), first openly gay member of US Congress, born in Mineola, New York (d. 2006)
  • 1938 Andrei Amalrik, Russian writer and dissident (Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984), born in Moscow, Soviet Union (d. 1980)
  • 1939 Ron Ziegler, American White House press secretary for Nixon, born in Covington, Kentucky (d. 2003)
  • 1942 Barry Longyear, American sci-fi author (City of Baraboo), born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • 1942 Dumitru Dediu, Romanian cosmonaut (Soyuz 40 backup)
  • 1944 Eva Demski, German writer, born in Regensburg
  • 1945 Patrick Ricard, French businessman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, born in Marseille, France (d. 2012)
  • 1946 L. Neil Smith, American sci-fi author (Lando Calrissian novels), born in Denver, Colorado
  • 1947 Catherine "Cat" Yronwode, American writer and editor-in-chief (Eclipse Comics), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1947 Michael Ignatieff, Canadian politician (Leader of the Liberal Party), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • 1958 Andreas Petroulakis, Greek political caricaturist
  • 1958 Christian Brando, son of Marlon who killed his sisters boyfriend, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2008)
  • 1975 Jared Polis, American businessman and politician, Governor of Colorado (2018-), born in Boulder, Colorado

Rishi SunakRishi Sunak (42 years old)

1980 British politician (British Chancellor 2020-22; Prime Minister, 2022-present), born in Southampton, England

  • 2003 Madeleine McCann, English child who mysteriously disappeared on holiday in Spain in 2007, born in Leicester, England