On This Day

Birthdays in History on May 18

  • 1048 Omar Khayyám, Persian mathematician, poet and philosopher, born in Nishapur, Khorasan (now Iran) (d. 1131)
  • 1186 Konstantin Vsevolodovich, Prince of Novgorod, born in Rostov, Russia (d. 1218)
  • 1610 Stefano della Bella, Italian printmaker, born in Florence (d. 1664)
  • 1662 George Smalridge, English bishop of Bristol (d. 1719)
  • 1692 Joseph Butler, English theologian and bishop, born in Wantage, England (d. 1752)
  • 1711 Ruggiero Boscovich [Rudzer Boskovic], Croatian Italian astronomer, born in Ragusa (Dubrovnik), Republic of Ragusa (d. 1787)
  • 1742 Lionel Lukin, British life boat pioneer, born in Great Dunmow, Essex (d. 1834)
  • 1778 Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (d. 1854)
  • 1785 John Wilson, Scottish writer and literary critic, born in Paisley, Scotland (d. 1854)
  • 1788 Hugh Clapperton, Scottish explorer of Africa, born in Annan, Scotland (d. 1827)
  • 1792 Margaret Ann Neve, British 1st recorded female Supercentenarian, who lived in three centuries, born in St. Peter Port, Guernsey (d. 1903)
  • 1797 Frederick Augustus II, King of Saxony (1836-54)
  • 1798 Ethan Allen Hitchcock, American Major General (Union Army), born in Vergennes, Vermont (d. 1870)
  • 1815 Thomas Stanhope Bocock, American politician (Speaker in Confederates House of Represetnatives), born in Buckingham County, Virginia (d. 1891)
  • 1817 James William Denver, American lawyer, politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Winchester, Virginia (d. 1892)
  • 1850 Oliver Heaviside, English physicist (predicted ionosphere), born in London, England (d. 1925)

  • 1851 James Budd, American politician, Governor of California (1895-99), born in Janesville, Wisconsin (d. 1908)
  • 1852 Gertrude Käsebier, American pioneering photographer, born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1862 Albert von Schrenk-Notzing, German psychologist who studied the paranormal (d. 1929)
  • 1863 William Heinemann, English publisher (Heinnemann), born in Surbiton, England (d. 1920)
  • 1864 Jan P. Veth, Bayern, Dutch painter, etcher, lithographer and art historian

Person of interestNicholas II

1868 Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia (1894-1917), born in Saint Petersburg, Russia (d. 1918)

  • 1869 Ruprecht, crown prince of Bavaria and WWI Commander of the 6th army, last heir to the Bavarian throne, born in Munich (d. 1955)
  • 1871 Franiska [Franny] zu Reventlow, German writer and feminist, born in Husum, Germany (d. 1918)

Person of interestBertrand Russell

1872 Bertrand Russell, English mathematician and philosopher (Nobel 1950), born in Trellech, England (d. 1970)

Philosopher Bertrand Russell
Philosopher
Bertrand Russell
  • 1883 Walter Gropius, German architect (founder of the Bauhaus school), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1969)
  • 1885 Eurico Gaspar Dutra, Brazilian leader, President of Brazil (1945-50), born in Cuiabá, Brazil (d. 1974)
  • 1887 Ernst Wiechert, German writer (The Simple Life), born in Kleinort, East Prussia (d. 1950)
  • 1889 Gunnar Gunnarsson, Icelandic writer (The Church on the Mountain), born in Fljótsdalur, Iceland (d. 1975)
  • 1889 Thomas Midgley, American chemist and inventor (leaded gasoline), born in Beaver Fall, Pennsylvania (d. 1944)
  • 1891 Rudolf Carnap, German American philosopher (German Logical Positivist), born in Ronsdorf, Germany (d. 1970)
  • 1895 Augusto Sandino, Nicaraguan patriot and revolutionary, born in Niquinohomo, Nicaragua (d. 1934)
  • 1898 Juan José Domenchina, Spanish poet and interpreter (sombra desterrada), born in Madrid, Spain (d. 1959)
  • 1900 Sarah Miriam Peale, American portrait painter (General Lafayette, 1825), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1885)
  • 1901 Vincent du Vigneaud, American biochemist (1955 Nobel Prize for Chemisty for work on cyclic peptide oxytocin), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1978)
  • 1904 Jacob K. Javits, American politician (Sen-R-NY), born in NYC, New York (d. 1986)

  • 1907 Robley Evans, American nuclear physicist, born in University Place, Nebraska (d. 1996)
  • 1907 Carl Mydans, American photojournalist (Life Magazine), born in Medford, Massachusetts (d. 2004)
  • 1910 Arthur van Schendel, Dutch art historian, and museum director (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, 1959-75) born Ede, Netherlands (d. 1979)
  • 1911 Michael Berry, Baron Hartwell, British newspaper proprietor and journalist (d. 2001)
  • 1912 Georg von Opel, German auto manufacturer
  • 1912 Richard Brooks, American film director (Blackboard Jungle; In Cold Blood), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1914 Pierre Balmain, French fashion designer, born in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, France (d. 1982)
  • 1915 Leon Shenandoah, native American leader (Iroquois Confederacy) (d. 1996)
  • 1917 Charles Wintour, English journalist (The Evening Standard), born in Dorset, England (d. 1999)

Person of interestJohn Paul II

1920 Pope Saint John Paul II [Karol Wojtyla], 264th Roman Catholic Pope (1978-2005), born in Wadowice, Poland (d. 2005)

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 1921 Anthony Epstein, English pathologist and virologist (Epstein–Barr virus)
  • 1922 GMcC Kitson, British principal (Central School of Speech/Drama)
  • 1922 Gerda Boyesen, Norwegian-born body psychotherapist (d. 2005)
  • 1924 Maya Kopitseva, Russian painter of the Leningrad school, born in Gagry, USSR (d. 2005)
  • 1927 Richard Body, British politician (C), born in Eton, Buckinghamshire
  • 1928 Peter Hammersley, British Rear-Admiral who served on submarines, born in Stoke-on-Trent, England (d. 2020)
  • 1929 John Nicolaas Block, Dutch aviation pioneer (Martinair, Transavia, Air Holland), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1994)
  • 1929 Norman St John-Stevas, Baron St John of Fawsley, British MP (C) (1964-1987), born in London
  • 1930 Barbara Goldsmith, American author (Little Gloria Happy At Last), born in NYC, New York (d. 2016)
  • 1930 Don Leslie Lind, American USN Commander, and pilot, and NASA astronaut (STS-51-B), born in Midvale, Utah

  • 1930 Fred[erick Thomas] Saberhagen, American sci-fi author (Book of Swords)
  • 1930 Warren Rudman, American politician (Sen-R-NH, 1980-93), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2012)
  • 1931 Don Martin, American cartoonist "Mad's Maddest Artist", born in Paterson, New Jersey (d. 2000)
  • 1933 Bernadette Chirac, French politician and wife of President Jacques Chirac, born in Paris, France
  • 1933 H. D. [Haradanahalli Doddegowda] Deve Gowda, Indian politician, Prime Minister of India (1996-97), born in Haradanahalli, Kingdom of Mysore
  • 1937 Jacques Santer, Luxembourg politician (President of the European Commission 1995-99), born in Wasserbillig, Lexembourg
  • 1938 Janet Fish, American realist artist, born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1939 Patrick Cormack, British politician (C), born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire
  • 1939 Giovanni Falcone, Italian magistrate, born in La Kalsa, Palermo, Kingdom of Italy (d. 1992)
  • 1939 Gordon O'Connor, Canadian politician, born in Toronto, Ontario
  • 1940 Marshall Stoneham, British physicist, born inn Barrow-in-Furness, England (d. 2011)
  • 1941 Malcolm Longair, British physicist (Jacksonian chair at Cavendish Laboratory), born in Dundee, Scotland
  • 1942 Keith Hellawell, English Chief Constable (West Yorkshire) and government 'drugs czar', born in Kirkburton, England
  • 1942 Simon Isaacs, 4th Marquess of Reading, English aristocrat, banker and philanthropist
  • 1944 Peter Ryan, British national director (Police Training)
  • 1944 W. G. Sebald, German-born writer (Austerlitz), born in Wertach, Germany (d. 2001)
  • 1945 Maarten van Traa, Dutch politician (PvdA)
  • 1946 Frank Hsieh, Taiwanese politician, Premier of Taiwan (2005-6), born in Taipei, Taiwan
  • 1947 John Bruton, Irish politician, Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland (1994-97), born in, Dunboyle, Ireland
  • 1949 Stuart Gannes, American writer (Fortune), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1952 Diane Duane, American sci-fi author (Door into Fire), born in New York City
  • 1952 Martin Hoke, American politician (Rep-R-Ohio), born in Lakewood, Ohio
  • 1952 Jeana Yeager, American aviator (1st non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world), born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 1953 Helen Chadwick, English artist, born in Croydon, England (d. 1996)
  • 1962 Mike Darnell, American television executive 'the King of Reality TV' (Fox, Warner Bros), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania