On This Day

Birthdays in History on May 18

  • 1048 Omar Khayyám, Persian mathematician, poet and philosopher (d. 1131)
  • 1186 Konstantin of Rostov, Prince of Novgorod (d. 1218)
  • 1474 Isabella d'Este, Marquise of Mantua (d. 1539)
  • 1610 Stefano della Bella, Italian printmaker (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 G Boscovich, [Rudzer J Boskovic], Italian astronomer
  • 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 (d. 1854)
  • 1788 Hugh Clapperton, Scottish explorer of Africa, born in Annan, Scotland (d. 1827)
  • 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, rep (Confederacy), (d. 1891)
  • 1817 James William Denver, American lawyer, politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Winchester, Virginia (d. 1892)
  • 1850 Oliver Heaviside, physicist (predicted ionosphere), born in London, England

  • 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 Freiherr Albert von Schrenk-Notzing, German para-psychologist
  • 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/general-fieldmarshall
  • 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, architect (Bauhaus school of design), born in Berlin, Germany
  • 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 Fljótsdalur, Iceland (d. 1975)
  • 1889 Thomas Midgley, American chemist and inventor (d. 1944)
  • 1891 Rudolf Carnap, philosopher (German Logical Positivist)
  • 1898 Juan J Domenchina, Spanish poet/interpreter (sombra desterrada)
  • 1900 Sarah Miriam Peale, American portrait painter (Gen Lafayette-1825)
  • 1901 Vincent du Vigneaud, US biochemist
  • 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 photographer (d. 2004)
  • 1910 Arthur van Schendel, Dutch art historian
  • 1911 Michael Berry, Baron Hartwell, British newspaper proprietor and journalist (d. 2001)
  • 1912 Georg von Opel, German auto manufacturer
  • 1912 Richard Brooks, director (Blackboard Jungle, In Cold Blood), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1914 Anthony Fell, British MP
  • 1914 Boris Christoff, Bulgaria/Italian bass (Boris Godunov)
  • 1914 Pierre Balmain, French fashion designer, born in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, France (d. 1982)
  • 1915 Leon Shenandoah, native American leader
  • 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
  • 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 P G Hammersley, British Rear-Admiral
  • 1929 Johan N Block, aviation pioneer (Martinair/Transavia/Air Holland)
  • 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 astronaut (STS 51-B), born in Midvale, Utah
  • 1930 Fred[erick Thomas] Saberhagen, American sci-fi author (Book of Swords)
  • 1930 Geoffrey Littler, CEO (County NatWest Group)
  • 1930 Warren B Rudman, (Sen-R-NH, 1980- )
  • 1931 Don Martin, American cartoonist (d. 2000)
  • 1932 John Clement, chairman (Unigate Group)
  • 1933 Bernadette Chirac, French politician
  • 1933 H. D. [Haradanahalli Doddegowda] Deve Gowda, Indian politician, Prime Minister of India (1996-97), born in Haradanahalli, Kingdom of Mysore
  • 1937 Jacques Santer, President (European Commission)
  • 1938 Janet Fish, Boston USA, American realist artist
  • 1939 Patrick Cormack, British politician (C), born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire
  • 1939 Giovanni Falcone, Italian magistrate (d. 1992)
  • 1939 Gordon O'Connor, Canadian politician, born in Toronto, Ontario
  • 1940 A Marshall Stoneham, FRS, physicist
  • 1941 M S Longair, astronomer
  • 1942 Keith Hellawell, Chief Constable (West Yorkshire)
  • 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 (d. 2001)
  • 1945 John Richard Patterson, businessman
  • 1945 Maarten van Traa, Dutch politician (PvdA)
  • 1946 Frank Hsieh, former Premier of Taiwan
  • 1947 John Bruton, Prime Minister (Republic of Ireland)
  • 1949 Stuart Gannes, writer (Fortune), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1952 Diane E[lizabeth] Duane, American sci-fi author (Door into Fire)
  • 1952 Martin R Hoke, (Rep-R-Ohio)
  • 1952 Jeana Yeager, American aviator
  • 1953 Helen Chadwick, artist
  • 1962 Mike Darnell, American television executive
  • 1971 Desiree Horton, American helicopter pilot/television reporter
  • 1980 Aileen Campbell, Scottish Politician