Birthdays in History on May 17

  • 1155 Jien, Japanese poet and historian, born in Kyoto (d. 1225)
  • 1443 Edmund, Earl of Rutland, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of England, born in Rouen, Normandy (d. 1460)
  • 1451 Engelbert II, Earl of Nassau-Dillenburg-Dietz and viceroy of Luxembourg, born in Breda, Netherlands (d. 1504)

Albert of PrussiaAlbert of Prussia (1490-1568)

1st Duke of Prussia, born in Ansbach

  • 1551 Martin Delrio, Flemish theologian and occultist, born in Antwerp (d. 1608)
  • 1576 Ferdinand van Apshoven the Older, Flemish painter, baptized in Antwerp
  • 1628 Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Austria and Regent of the Tyrol, born in Innsbruck, Austria (d. 1662)
  • 1682 Bartholomew Roberts, Welsh pirate (raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719-1722), born in Puncheston, Pembrokeshire, Wales (d. 1722)
  • 1706 Andreas Felix von Oefele, German historian and librarian, born in Munich (d. 1780)
  • 1718 Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, English diplomat and politician (d. 1778)
  • 1741 John Penn, American attorney (signed US Declaration of Independence), born in Port Royal, Caroline County, Virginia (d. 1788)
  • 1743 Seth Warner, American revolutionary leader, born in Roxbury, Connecticut (d. 1784)

Edward JennerEdward Jenner (1749-1823)

English physician, father of (western) immunology, pioneered smallpox vaccinations, born in Berkeley

  • 1758 John St Aubyn, British fossil collector, born in Golden Square, London (d. 1839)
  • 1768 Caroline of Brunswick, Queen Consort of King George IV (1820-21), born in Brunswick, Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1821)
  • 1768 Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, English general, born in London (d. 1854)
  • 1794 Anna Brownell Jameson, Anglo-Irish historian and writer (Loves of the Poets), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1860)
  • 1796 Martinus Niewindt, Dutch Bishop of Curacao (advocate for fair treatment and abolition of slavery), born in Amsterdam (d. 1860)
  • 1803 Robert Smith Surtees, British novelist (Jorrocks’s Jaunts and Jollities), born in The Riding, England (d. 1864)
  • 1804 Ottho Gerhard Heldring, Dutch preacher and reformer (Heldring Institutions), born in Zevenaar, Netherlands (d. 1876)
  • 1812 Joseph Warren Revere, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1880)
  • 1821 Sebastian Kneipp, Bavarian priest and naturopathist (known for "Kneipp Cure" form of hydrotherapy), born in Stephansried, Germany (d. 1897)
  • 1836 Sir Norman Lockyer, English physicist, co-founder of helium gas, founder and editor of "Nature" magazine, born in Rugby, Warwickshire (d. 1920)
  • 1836 Virginie Loveling, Flemish writer (Sophie) and poet, born in Nevele, East Flanders, Belgium (d. 1923)
  • 1844 Julius Wellhausen, German biblical scholar (analysis of the structure and dating of the Pentateuch), born in Hamelin, Hanover, Germany (d. 1918)
  • 1846 Edmund Bishop, English Roman Catholic historian and Secretary of Thomas Carlyle, born in Totnes, England (d. 1917)
  • 1860 Austin Lane Crothers, American politician (Governor of Maryland, 1908-12), born in Conowingo, Maryland (d. 1912)
  • 1867 Gerrit Mannoury, Dutch mathematician and philosopher, born in Wormerveer, Netherlands (d. 1956)
  • 1868 Horace Elgin Dodge, American automobile manufacturing pioneer (co-founder of Dodge Brothers Company), born in Niles, Michigan (d. 1920)
  • 1871 Henk Bremmer, Dutch art historian (Modern Kunstwerken), born in Leiden, Netherlands (d. 1956)
  • 1873 Dorothy M. Richardson, English novelist (Pilgrimage), born in Abington, Berkshire (d. 1957)
  • 1873 Henri Barbusse, French novelist (Le Feu), born in Asnieres, France (d. 1935)

Alfonso XIIIAlfonso XIII (1886-1941)

King of Spain (1886-1931), born in Madrid, Kingdom of Spain

  • 1889 Alfonso Reyes, Mexican writer (Simpatías y diferencias) and diplomat (Higenia Cruel), born in Monterrey, Mexico (d. 1959)
  • 1891 Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, granddaughter of King Edward VII and great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, born in East Sheen Lodge, Richmond, England (d. 1959)
  • 1893 Frederick McKinley Jones, American inventor (developments in refrigeration), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1961)
  • 1896 Hannah Tillich, German-American writer (Harbor Mouse) and wife of Paul Tillich, born in Rotenburg an der Fulda, Germany (d. 1988)
  • 1897 Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist (Nobel 1969 - the study of the three-dimensional geometric structure of molecules), born in Kristiana, Norway (d. 1981)
  • 1898 A. J. Casson, Canadian painter (member of Group of Seven), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 1992)
  • 1903 Douglas Packard, British Lieutenant General (d. 2000)
  • 1906 Eric Mensforth, British pioneer in the development of the helicopter in Britain, born in Stretford, Manchester (d. 2000)
  • 1907 Charles Cawley, British chief scientist and Minister of Power (1959-67) (d. 2000)
  • 1909 Edward Playfair, British senior civil servant, born in London (d. 1999)
  • 1911 Knut Anders Haukfield, SOE Operative
  • 1912 Archibald Cox, American lawyer and special prosecutor (Watergate), born in Plainfield, New Jersey (d. 2004)
  • 1913 Alec Ogilvie, CEO (Powell Duffryn)
  • 1913 Desmond Barel Hirshfield, Lord Hirshfield, British chartered accountant, born in Birmingham (d. 1993)
  • 1915 Joseph D Craggs, electrical engineer
  • 1916 Cornelis A Eman, Aruban politician
  • 1916 John Hinde, photographer/circus promoter
  • 1919 Merle Miller, American biographer (d. 1986)
  • 1920 Harriet Van Horne, columnist/panelist (Leave it to Girls), born in Syracuse, New York
  • 1921 John Garlick, British senior civil servant
  • 1923 Michael Beetham, Marshal (RAF)
  • 1923 Miles Wingate, deputy master (Trinity House)
  • 1924 Lord Tombs, CEO (Rolls Royce)
  • 1924 Thomas Baird, British vice-admiral
  • 1926 Cicely Berry, British theatre director (Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • 1926 David Ogilvy, Earl of Airlie, Scottish peer, Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth, born in London
  • 1926 David Young, Lt-Gen/CEO (Cairn Tech)
  • 1926 Geoffrey Caston, vice chancellor (U of South Pacific)
  • 1927 Ronald Halstead, deputy CEO (British Steel)
  • 1928 Donald Cameron Watt, historian
  • 1928 Ian Griggs, bishop (Ludlow)
  • 1928 Vivian Moses, biotechnologist
  • 1929 George Weinberg, American psychotherapist (coined "homophobia"), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1929 Raymond Hide, geophysicist
  • 1931 Marshall Applewhite, American cult leader (Heaven's Gate), born in Spur, Texas (d. 1997)
  • 1932 Arthur Jones, principal (Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester)
  • 1932 Colin Hope, British industrialist (Turner and Newall), born in Birkenhead (d. 2015)
  • 1932 Rodric Braithwaite, British ambassador to USSR
  • 1935 Dennis Potter, British TV dramatist (The Singing Detective, Karaoke, Midnight Movie), born in Gloucestershire, England (d. 1994)
  • 1935 Ivan Slone, world-famous watchmaker
  • 1936 Lars Gustafsson, Swedish poet and novelist (The Death of a Beekeeper, The Cracks in the Wall), born in Västerås, Sweden (d. 2016)
  • 1937 Hazel R. O'Leary, United States Secretary of Energy
  • 1938 Trinus Riemersma, Dutch-Frisian writer (Conquest of Leeuwarden)
  • 1939 Gary Paulsen, American author of young adult literature, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1939 Wim de Bie, CEO (Simplistic Covenant)

Alan KayAlan Kay (82 years old)

1940 American computer scientist (GUI design and object-oriented programming), born in Springfield, Massachusetts

  • 1941 Ben Nelson. American politician
  • 1942 Caroline Charles, fashion designer
  • 1944 Canon P B Price, general secretary, USPG
  • 1945 D A S Pennefather, Maj-General/Commandant (General Royal Marines)
  • 1945 George Miller, American politician (Rep-D-CA, 1975-2015), born in Richmond, California
  • 1946 F. Paul Wilson, American novelist
  • 1949 Timothy Cordy, British director (Town/Country Planning Association)
  • 1950 Alan Johnson, British politician (Home Secretary 2009-10), born in London
  • 1950 Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian politician
  • 1951 I R Evans, CEO (Hyder, Welsh Water)
  • 1951 Simon Hughes, British politician and government minister (SD)
  • 1952 Howard Hampton, Canadian politician
  • 1953 Nicholas Bacon, premier baronet of England
  • 1956 Dave Sim, Canadian cartoonist
  • 1962 Lise Lyng Falkenberg, Danish writer
  • 1965 Richard Baumhammers, American spree killer
  • 1971 Gina Raimondo, American politician, 1st woman Governor of Rhode Island (2015-), born in Smithfield, Rhode Island
  • 1971 Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, Queen of the Netherlands (2013-present), born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 1975 Cheick Kongo, French martial artist
  • 1975 Jonti Picking, British cartoonist
  • 1980 Davor Džalto, Serbian art historian
  • 1987 Edvald Boasson Hagen, Norwegian cyclist (Norwegian National Road Race Champions 2012), born in Rudsbygd, Norway