Birthdays in History on May 31

  • May
  • 1443 Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII of England (d. 1509)
  • 1469 Manuel I, King of Portugal (1495-1521) during era of exploration
  • 1472 Erardus van der Mark, prince-bishop of Luik/cardinal
  • 1535 Alessandro Allori, Italian painter and carpet designer, born in Florence, Italy (d. 1607)
  • 1557 Feodor I (Fyodor/Theodore Ivanovich), Tsar of Russia (1584-98)
  • 1640 Michał Wiśniowiecki, King of Poland (d. 1673)
  • 1664 Giulio Alberoni, Spanish/Italian minister/cardinal
  • 1699 Alexander Cruden "Alexander the Corrector", Scottish biblical scholar and eccentric, compiler of a concordance to King James Bible, born in Aberdeen, Scotland (d. 1770)
  • 1744 Richard Edgeworth, writer, Bath
  • 1753 Pierre V Vergniaud, French politician/police leader
  • 1773 Ludwig Tieck, German writer, born in Berlin (d. 1853)
  • 1801 Johann Georg Baiter, Swiss philologist (d. 1887)
  • 1810 Horatio Seymour, Gov (Union), (d. 1886)
  • 1817 Georg Herwegh, German poet, born in Stuttgart (d. 1875)
  • 1818 John Albion Andrew, Gov (Union), (d. 1867)

Person of interestWalt Whitman

1819 Walt Whitman, American poet (Leaves of Grass) and volunteer nurse during the Civil War, born in West Hills, New York (d. 1892)

Poet and Nurse Walt Whitman
Poet and Nurse
Walt Whitman

  • 1835 Hijikata Toshizō, Japanese military leader (d. 1869)
  • 1837 Ernest Daudet, French writer (White Terror)
  • 1837 Stephen Dodson Ramseur, Mjr General (Confederate Army), (d. 1864)
  • 1837 William Henry Fitzhugh "Rooney" Lee, Major General (Confederate Army)
  • 1838 Henry Sidgwick, English philosopher (Wife at University)
  • 1852 Francisco Moreno, Argentine explorer (d. 1919)
  • 1857 Pius XI, [Ambrogio DA Ratti], Italian 259th Pope (1922-39)
  • 1860 Walter Richard Sickert Munich, Danish/English painter (The Miner)
  • 1861 Emily Perkins Bissell, welfare worker (1st christmas seal drive, 1907)
  • 1863 Francis E Younghusband, British journalist/explorer
  • 1872 Charles G Abbot, American astronomer (Constant Sun)
  • 1872 William Heath Robinson, England, illustrator/cartoonist (Don Quixote)
  • 1882 Sándor Graf Festetics, Hungarian politician (d. 1956)
  • 1883 Lauri Kristian Relander, 2nd President of Finland (d. 1942)
  • 1885 Alois Hudal, bishop, helped Nazis escape trial (d. 1963)
  • 1887 Saint-John Perse, French poet/diplomat (Nobel 1960) [or Mar 31]
  • 1892 Gregor Strasser, German pharmacist/NSDAP-Reich organization leader
  • 1892 Konstatin G Paustovski, Russian author (Bespokojnaja Joenostj) [NS]
  • 1892 Michel Kikoine, Belarus painter (d. 1968)
  • 1892 Konstantin Georgiyevich Paustovsky, Russian writer (d. 1968)
  • 1898 Norman Vincent Peale, Ohio, clergyman (Power of Positive Thinking)
  • 1899 Ilse Lagner, German antiwar writer, born in Breslau (d. 1987)
  • 1899 Leonid Leonov, Russian writer, born in Moscow (d. 1994)
  • 1900 Helma Wolf-Catz, Dutch author (Undercurrent, Coral Reef)
  • 1907 Valston Hancock, British air marshal

  • 1909 Jan Lewando, British director (Marks & Spencer)
  • 1910 Francis Avery Jones, British gastro-enterologist
  • 1911 Edward Adamson, art therapist/collector
  • 1912 Henry M "Scoop" Jackson, (Sen-D-Wash)
  • 1912 Martin Schwarzschild, US astronomer (evolution)
  • 1912 Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese-American experimental physicist (conducted the Wu experiment), born in Liuhe, China (d. 1997)
  • 1913 Peter Gibson, British Rear-Admiral
  • 1916 Bert Haanstra, Holten Netherlands, director (Fanfare)
  • 1921 Andrew Grima, British jeweller
  • 1921 Robert Arthur Ley, UK, sci-fi author (Telepath, Power of X)
  • 1922 Elisabeth, arch duchess of Austria/princess of Liechtenstein
  • 1923 Rainier III, Monaco, Prince of Monaco (1949-2005)
  • 1924 Patricia Roberts Harris, (Rep-D),1st African American woman cabinet member, born in Mattoon, Illinois (d. 1985)
  • 1926 Derek Birley, founding Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster
  • 1926 Martin Peake, 2nd Viscount Ingleby, British peer and business man (d. 2008)
  • 1927 Isabel Stoate, British diplomat
  • 1927 James Eberle, British admiral, director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs)
  • 1927 Michael Sandberg, British CEO (Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp)
  • 1929 Neil Shaw, British CEO (Tate & Lyle)
  • 1930 William Taylor, British Chairman of Convocation (London University)
  • 1931 John Schrieffer, US physicist (Nobel 1972)
  • 1931 Steve Horn, (Rep-R-California)
  • 1932 Elizabeth Southey, British CEO (National Fed of Women's Institutes)
  • 1932 George Vallings, British Vice Admiral
  • 1932 Ronald Hampel, British CEO (ICI)
  • 1932 Jay Miner, American microchip designer (d. 1994)
  • 1935 Jim Bolger, 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • 1937 Vladislav Ivanovich Gulyayev, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1938 John Prescott, British Labour MP
  • 1938 Peter Yarrow, American (Peter, Paul & Mary-Puff the Magic Dragon), born in NYC, New York
  • 1939 Terry Waite, English Anglican Church envoy/Lebanese hostage, born in Bollington, Cheshire
  • 1940 Gilbert Shelton, American underground comics illustrator
  • 1941 June Clark, British Professor of Nursing (Middlesex U)
  • 1941 Louis J. Ignarro, American pharmacologist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1941 William Nordhaus, American economist (Nobel Prize 2018, climate change modelling), born in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 1942 John Daniel, British Vice-Chancellor (Open U)
  • 1943 Richard Timothy George Mansfield Parker, 9th Earl of Macclesfield
  • 1945 Linda Davies, British Judge
  • 1945 Bernard Goldberg‎, American journalist
  • 1946 Ted Baehr, American media critic
  • 1947 William H Campbell Jr, rocker
  • 1948 Duncan L Hunter, (Rep-R-CA, 1981- 2009), born in Riverside, California
  • 1948 Svetlana Alexievich, journalist and author (Noble Prize for Literature 2015), born in Stanislav, Ukraine
  • 1950 Edward Barker, cartoonist
  • 1955 Ben de Lisi, British fashion designer
  • 1957 Stephen Jones, British milliner
  • 1958 Mkhuseli Jack, South African UDF-leader (consumer boycots)
  • 1963 Viktor Orbán, Hungarian politician, Prime Minister of Hungary (2010-), born in Székesfehérvár, Hungary
  • 1964 Leonard Asper, Canadian businessman
  • 1974 Adrian Tomine, American cartoonist
  • 1977 Joel Ross, British disc jockey
  • 1990 Liberty Irene Kasem, daughter of Casey & Jean Kasem