Birthdays in History on May 2

  • 1360 Yongle, Emperor of the Ming Empire (1402-24), born in Yingtian, Yuan Empire, China (d. 1424)
  • 1451 René II, Duke of Lorraine, born in Angers, France (d. 1508)
  • 1458 Eleanor of Viseu, Queen of Portugal (1481-95), born in Beja, Portugal (d. 1525)
  • 1551 William Camden, English historian (Brittania, Annales), born in London (d. 1623)
  • 1601 Athanasius Kircher, German Jesuit priest and inventor (magic lantern), born in Abbacy of Fulda, Germany (d. 1680)
  • 1695 Giovanni Niccolò Servandoni, Italian-French architect, born in Florence, Italy (d. 1766)
  • 1702 Friedrich Christoph Oetinger, German Lutheran theologian, born in Göppingen, Germany (d. 1782)

William PettyWilliam Petty (1737-1805)

2nd Earl of Shelburne, Prime Minister of Great Britain (1782-83), born in Dublin, Kingdom of Ireland

  • 1740 Elias Boudinot, American lawyer and patriot, President of the Continental Congress, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1821)
  • 1750 John André, British Army officer of the American Revolutionary War, born in London (d. 1780)
  • 1768 Jean-Louis-Marc Alibert, French dermatologist, born in Villefranche-de-Rouergue, Aveyron, France (d. 1837)
  • 1772 Novalis [Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg], German romantic writer ('Heinrich von Ofterdingen), born in Oberwiederstedt, Saxony (d. 1801)
  • 1773 Henrik Steffens, Norwegian-German philosopher, born in Stavanger, Norway (d. 1845)
  • 1779 John Galt, Scottish novelist (Annals of the Parish), born in Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland (d. 1839)

Abraham GesnerAbraham Gesner (1797-1864)

Canadian geologist (inventor of kerosene), born in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia

  • 1821 Abram Sanders Piatt, American farmer, publisher, poet, politician, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1908)
  • 1828 Désiré Charnay, French traveller and archaeologist, born in Fleurie, France (d. 1915)
  • 1837 Henry Martyn Robert, American soldier and parliamentarian (Robert's Rules of Order), born in Robertville, South Carolina (d. 1923)

Elijah McCoyElijah McCoy (1844-1929)

Canadian-American inventor of African descent, notable for his 57 US patents (lubrication of steam engines), born in Colchester, Ontario

  • 1859 Jerome K. Jerome, English writer (The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow), born in Walsall, Staffordshire, England (d. 1927)
  • 1860 D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Scottish zoologist and classicist (On Growth & Form), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1948)
  • 1860 Theodor Herzl, Austrian journalist and founder (Zionist movement), born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary (d. 1904)
  • 1860 William Maddock Bayliss, British physiologist, co-discoverer of hormones, born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire (d. 1924)

Clyde FitchClyde Fitch (1865-1909)

American playwright (Nathan Hale, The Girl with the Green Eyes), born in Elmira, New York [1]

  • 1872 G. G. van der Hoeven, Dutch editor-in-chief (NRC newspaper), born in Brielle, Netherlands (d. 1955)

James F. ByrnesJames F. Byrnes (1879-1972)

American politician and statesman influential in domestic and foreign policy in the mid-1940s, born in Charleston, South Carolina

  • 1879 Nannie Helen Burroughs, American educator and civil rights activist (founded National Training School for Women and Girls), born in Orange, Virginia (d. 1961)
  • 1884 François de Vries, Dutch economist, born in Groningen, Netherlands (d. 1958)
  • 1885 Hedda Hopper [Elda Furry], American gossip columnist, born in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania (d. 1966)
  • 1886 Gottfried Benn, German poet and essayist, born in Mansfelf, Germany (d. 1956)
  • 1890 E. E. Smith, American food engineer and sci-fi author (Triplanetary), born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (d. 1965)

The Red BaronThe Red Baron (1892-1918)

German World War I Fighter Ace, born in Wrocław, Poland

  • 1895 Alfred Kurella, German author and functionary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany in East Germany, born in Brieg, Silesia (d. 1975)
  • 1895 Peggy Bacon, American author and illustrator (Off With Their Heads), born in Ridgefield, Connecticut (d. 1987)
  • 1896 Helen of Greece and Denmark, Queen Mother of Romania, born in Athens, Greece (d. 1982)
  • 1898 Jef Last, Dutch poet and writer, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1972)
  • 1899 George Hamilton Combs, American politician and TV and radio commentator (Through the Curtain), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1977)
  • 1901 Lev Lunts, Russian writer (Outside the Law, City of Truth), born in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire (d. 1924)
  • 1901 Willi Bredel, German writer, born in Hamburg (d. 1964)

Benjamin SpockBenjamin Spock (1903-1998)

American pediatrician and writer (Common Sense Book of Baby Care), born in New Haven, Connecticut

  • 1906 Philippe Halsman, American portrait photographer, born in Riga, Latvia (d. 1979)
  • 1907 Pinky Lee, American children's show host (Pinky Lee Show), born in Saint Paul, Minnesota (d. 1993)
  • 1910 Alexander Bonnyman Jr., U.S. Marine Corps officer, born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 1943)
  • 1912 Axel Springer, German newspaper magnate (Bild Zeitung), born in Altona, Hamburg, German Empire (d. 1985)
  • 1912 Marten Toonder, Dutch comic writer and cartoonist (Tom Puss), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 2005)
  • 1918 Frederick Archibald Warner, British diplomat, born in Blagdon, England (d. 1995)
  • 1920 Otto Buchsbaum, Austrian writer and ecological activist, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2000)
  • 1921 Satyajit Ray, Indian director (Goddess, Adversary), born in Calcutta, India (d. 1992)
  • 1922 A. M. Rosenthal, American journalist and newspaper editor (NY Times), born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada (d. 2006)
  • 1924 Jamal Abro, Sindhi writer, born in Dadu, Pakistan (d. 2004)
  • 1926 Gérard D. Levesque, Canadian politician, born in Port-Daniel–Gascons, Canada (d. 1993)
  • 1930 Marco Pannella, Italian politician and activist, born in Teramo (d. 2016)
  • 1932 Kees de Galan, Dutch economist, born in Zaandam, Netherlands (d. 1987)
  • 1935 Faisal II, King of Iraq (1939-58), son of Ghasi I, born in Baghdad (d. 1958)
  • 1937 Gisela Elsner, German writer (Die Riesenzwerge, Rowohlt), born in Nuremberg, Middle Franconia (d. 1992)
  • 1938 Moshoeshoe II, King of Lesotho (1966-90), born in Morija, Lesotho (d. 1996)
  • 1939 Sumio Iijima, Japanese physicist, born in Koshigaya, Saitama, Japan
  • 1940 Sari van Heemskerck Pillis-Duvekot, Dutch governor and politician (VVD), born in Goes, Netherlands
  • 1941 Jules Wijdenbosch, Surinamese politician, President of Suriname (1996-2000), born in Paramaribo, Surinam
  • 1944 Franz Innerhofer, Austrian writer (Beautiful Days), born in Krimml, Salzberg
  • 1944 John Verity, English rocker (Argent), born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
  • 1947 Bill Lowery, American politician (U.S. House of Representatives from California, 1981-93), born in San Diego, California
  • 1947 James Dyson, British inventor, industrial designer, and entrepreneur (bagless vacuum cleaner; bladeless fan), born in Cromer, Norfolk, England
  • 1950 Duncan Gay, Australian politician, Vice-President of the Executive Council (2014-17), born in Crookwell, New South Wales
  • 1954 Bulelani Ngcuka, South African attorney and leader (UDF), born in Middlerift, South Africa
  • 1955 Donatella Versace, Italian fashion designer, born in Reggio di Calabria, Italy
  • 1957 Domonic L. Pudwill Gorie, American NASA astronaut (sk: STS-91), born in Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • 1961 Phil Vickery, English celebrity chef (This Morning), born in Folkestone, Kent, England
  • 1966 Belinda Stronach, Canadian businesswoman and politician, born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
  • 1968 Eric Holcomb, American politician, Governor of Indiana (2017-), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1977 Fredrik Malm, Swedish politician, Member of Parliament for the Liberal People's Party, born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2015 Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, daughter of Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, 3rd in line to the English throne, born in London