Birthdays in History on May 15

  • 1565 Henrick de Keyser, architect/master builder of Amsterdam
  • 1608 René Goupil, French Catholic missionary (Canadian Martyrs) (d. 1642)
  • 1689 Mary Wortley Montagu, English essayist, feminist, eccentric (baptism 26 May)
  • 1720 Maximilian Hell, Slovakian astronomer (d. 1792)
  • 1749 Levi Lincoln, Sr., American revolutionary, statesman, politician, and acting Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1820)
  • 1773 Clemens L Metternich, Austrian prince
  • 1786 General Dimitris Plapoutas, a Revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence (d. 1864)
  • 1791 Baron Floris A van Hall, Dutch minister of Justice/Finance
  • 1802 Isaac Ridgeway Trimble, Major General (Confederate Army), (d. 1888)
  • 1810 Jacob Thompson, (Confederacy), (d. 1885)
  • 1817 Debendranath Tagore, Indian religious reformer (d. 1905)
  • 1819 Thomas Leonidas Crittenden, American lawyer, politician, and Major General (Union Army), born in Russellville, Kentucky (d. 1893)
  • 1830 Laurence Simmons Baker, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1907)
  • 1830 Martinus W van der Aa, author/Dutch head-editor (The Time)
  • 1845 Ilya Mechnikov, Russian zoologist and bacteriologist known as the "father of natural immunity" (Nobel 1908), born in Ivanovka, Kharkov Governorate, Russian Empire
  • 1848 Viktor Vasnetsov, Russian painter (d. 1926)
  • 1855 Eduard von Keyserling, Baltic German writer (Dritte Stiege)
  • 1856 (Lyman) L. Frank Baum, American children's book author (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), born in Chittenango, New York (d. 1919)
  • 1857 Williamina Fleming, Scottish-born astronomer (d. 1911)
  • 1859 Pierre Curie, French physicist (Nobel 1903) and husband of Marie Curie, born in Paris, France (d. 1906)
  • 1860 Ellen Louise Axson Wilson, 1st wife of US President Woodrow Wilson
  • 1862 Arthur Schnitzler, Austrian playwright (La Ronde - Reigen), and novelist (Fräulein Else), born in Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austrian Empire (d. 1931)
  • 1862 John Reeves Ellerman, British accountant, businessman, and shipping magnate, born in Kingston upon Hull, England (d. 1933)
  • 1865 Albert Verwey, Dutch poet/literature historian (Motion)
  • 1880 Otto Dibelius, German theologist/bishop (Confessional Church)
  • 1888 Jean Wahl, French philosopher
  • 1889 Bessie Abramowitz Hillman, Russian-American labor leader and founder of Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, born in Linoveh, Russia (d. 1970)
  • 1890 Katherine Anne Porter, American novelist (Ship of Fools)
  • 1891 David Vogel, Russian-born Hebrew writer (Huwelijksleven), born in Satanov, Russian Empire (d. 1944)
  • 1891 Fritz Feigl, Austrian Brazilian chemist (spot tests), born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1971)
  • 1891 Mikhail Bulgakov, Russian playwright and novelist (The Master and Margarita, Black Snow), born in Kiev, Russian Empire (d. 1940)
  • 1893 Stanley Lupino, English comic (Cheer Up; Over She Goes), born in London (d. 1942)
  • 1895 Charles Lamont, director (Abbott & Costello Go to Mars), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1895 William D. Byron, U.S. Congressman (d. 1941)
  • 1899 Jean-Etienne Valluy, French general (d. 1970)
  • 1901 Xavier Herbert, Australian author (d. 1984)
  • 1902 Richard J Daley, American politician (38th Mayor-Chicago-D:1955-76), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1976)
  • 1903 Maria Reiche, German-born mathematician and archaeologist (d. 1998)
  • 1907 Phillip Piratin, communist
  • 1907 Sukhdev Thapar, Indian freedom fighter (d. 1931)
  • 1911 Herta Oberheuser, Nazi doctor (d. 1978)
  • 1911 Max Frisch, Swiss architect/writer (Stiller, Biedermann)
  • 1912 Alexis Kagame, Rwandan philosopher, historian, poet and Tutsi intellectual and cultural leader, born in Kiyanza, Rwanda, German East Africa (d. 1981)
  • 1914 Jack Pepys, immunologist
  • 1915 Paul A Samuelson, economist (1970 Nobel, 1947 John Bates Clark Medal)
  • 1920 Hugh Henry Home Popham, aviator/writer/poet
  • 1922 Enrico Berlinguer, Italian communist/Secretary-General (CPI) [or May 25]
  • 1922 Jakucho Setouchi, Japanese writer and Buddhist nun
  • 1922 Selma Engel [Saartje Wijnberg], Dutch born Jew, the first to tell of Nazi Sobibor extermination camp, born in Groningen, the Netherlands (d. 2018)
  • 1923 Richard Avedon, American photographer (1957 ASMP award)
  • 1924 Jaime Garcia Terre, poet/essayist
  • 1924 Maria Koepcke, German ornithologist (d. 1971)
  • 1925 Jos Jacobs, Flemish director (Madonna of Nedermunster)
  • 1925 Mary Lyon, English geneticist (X-chromosome inactivation), born in Norwich, Norfolk (d. 2014)
  • 1926 Anthony Shaffer, Engish playwright (Sleuth), twin brother to Peter, born in Liverpool (d. 2001)

Peter ShafferPeter Shaffer (1926-2016)

English playwright (Equus, Amadeus), twin brother to Anthony, born in Liverpool

  • 1929 Frank Evans Heart, American computer engineer (worked on first routing computer for ARPANET, the Internet's predecessor), born in the Bronx, New York (d. 2018)
  • 1930 Jasper Johns, painter/sculptor (Green Target), born in Augusta, Georgia
  • 1931 F Korthals Altes, Dutch minister of Justice (VVD)
  • 1934 David Robin Francis Guy Greville, 8th Duke of Warwick
  • 1936 Donald [Anthony] Moffitt, American sci-fi author (Jupiter Theft)
  • 1936 Paul Zindel, playwright (Effects of Gamma Rays on Marigolds)
  • 1936 Ralph Steadman, British cartoonist
  • 1936 Wavy Gravy, American clown and activist

Madeleine AlbrightMadeleine Albright (1937-2022)

American diplomat (UN Delegate, 1993-97), and 1st female US Secretary of State (1997-2001), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia

  • 1939 Brian Hartley, British mathematician (group theory) (d. 1994)
  • 1942 Anthony Wayne England, PhD/astronaut (STS 51-F), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1942 Doug Lowe, 35th Premier of Tasmania
  • 1944 Bill Alter, Missouri State Senator
  • 1945 Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, heir to the Portuguese crown
  • 1949 Frank L Culbertson Jr, American US Navy officer and NASA astronaut (STS-38), born in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1951 Frank Wilczek, American Physicist (2004 Nobel Prize), born in Mineola, New York
  • 1952 David Brandon, American businessman (Toys "R" Us, Domino's Pizza), born in Dearborn, Michigan
  • 1954 Robert P. Harrison, American thinker
  • 1957 Juan José Ibarretxe, Basque Lehendakari (Prime Minister)
  • 1963 George Heidweiler, Suriname, Dutch painter
  • 1968 Cecilia Malmström, Swedish politician

Zara PhillipsZara Phillips (41 years old)

1981 English daughter of Princess Anne, born in London

  • 1998 Mohammed El Kurd, Palestinian poet and activist, born in Jerusalem
  • 1998 Muna El Kurd, Palestinian activist, born in Jerusalem