Birthdays in History on May 8

  • 1326 Joan I, Countess of Auvergne, queen of France (1350-60) (d. 1360)
  • 1460 Frederick I, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1486-1536), born in Ansbach, Bavaria, Germany (d. 1536)
  • 1492 Andrea Alciato, Italian lawyer and writer, born in Alzate Brianza, Milan, Italy (d. 1550)
  • 1521 Saint Peter Canisius, Dutch Jesuit Catholic priest, born in Nijmegen, Netherlands (d. 1597)
  • 1587 Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy (1630-37), born in Turin, Piedmont, Savoy (d. 1637)
  • 1592 Francis Quarles, English poet (Argalus & Parthenia, Emblems), born in Romford, Essex (d. 1644)
  • 1622 Claes Rålamb, Swedish statesman, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1698)
  • 1629 Niels Juel, Danish-Norwegian admiral, born in Christiania, Norway (d. 1697)
  • 1632 Heino Heinrich Graf von Flemming, German field marshal and Governor of Berlin, born in Mierzęcin, Poland (d. 1706)
  • 1641 Nicolaas Witsen, Dutch statesman and mayor of Amsterdam, born in Amsterdam (d. 1717)
  • 1653 Claude-Louis-Hector de Villars, Marshal of France, born in Moulins, France (d. 1734)
  • 1670 Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans, English soldier (d. 1726)
  • 1720 William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire, 5th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1756-57), born in Hardwicke, England (d. 1764)
  • 1735 Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, English painter, born in London (d. 1811)

Edward GibbonEdward Gibbon (1737-1794)

English historian (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire), born in Putney, England

  • 1738 Mikhail Kamensky, Russian field marshal, born in Russian Empire (d. 1809)
  • 1753 Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Spanish Catholic priest, and leader of Mexican independence, born in Pénjamo, Guanajuato, Viceroyalty of New Spain (d. 1811)

Phillis WheatleyPhillis Wheatley (1753-1784)

American poet who was both the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman, born in West Africa

  • 1763 John Goldberg, Dutch patriot and statesman
  • 1786 Jean Vianney, French Catholic priest, and eventual saint, born in Dardilly, Lyonnais, Kingdom of France (d. 1859)
  • 1786 Thomas Hancock, British engineer, founded British rubber industry, born in Malborough, Wilshire (d. 1865)
  • 1803 Joseph Napoleon Ney, French politician, born in Paris (d. 1857)
  • 1810 James Cooper, American lawyer, politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Frederick County, Maryland (d. 1863)
  • 1814 Mikhail Bakunin, Russian revolutionary anarchist, born in Pryamukhino, Tver Governorate of the Russian Empire (d. 1876)
  • 1821 William Henry Vanderbilt, American businessman, member of the Vanderbilt family, born in New Brunswick, New Jersey (d. 1885)
  • 1824 William Walker, American physician and president of Nicaragua (1856-57), born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 1860)
  • 1825 George Bruce Malleson, English officer in India and author, born in Wimbledon, London (d. 1898)
  • 1828 Henri Dunant, Swiss humanitarian, Founder of Red Cross (Nobel 1901), born in Geneva, Switzerland (d. 1910)
  • 1828 Sharbel Makhluf, Lebanese Maronite monk, born in Bekaa Kafra, North Governorate, Lebanon (d. 1898)
  • 1833 Frank Wheaton, Bvt Major General (Union Army), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1903)
  • 1836 Bryan Morel Thomas, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Milledgeville, Georgia (d. 1905)
  • 1839 Francis Warre-Cornish, English scholar and writer (d. 1916)
  • 1842 Emil Christian Hansen, Danish physiologist, born in Ribe, Denmark (d. 1909)
  • 1855 John Gates ("Bet-a-million" Gates), American inventor and industrialist who established the market for barbed wire fencing, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1911)
  • 1858 John Meade Falkner, English novelist (Moonfleet), born in Manningford, England (d. 1932)
  • 1859 Johan Jensen, Danish mathematician (d. 1925)
  • 1882 Philips C. Visser, Dutch explorer and diplomat

Harry TrumanHarry Truman (1884-1972)

33rd US President (Democrat: 1945-53), born in Lamar, Missouri

  • 1895 Edmund Wilson, American critic/writer (Patriotic Gore)
  • 1895 Fulton J. Sheen, America bishop (Life is Worth Living), born in El Paso, Illinois (d. 1979)
  • 1895 James H. "Dutch" Kindelberger, American aerospace pioneer (d. 1962)
  • 1895 Jose Gomez [Joselito el Gallo], bullfighter
  • 1898 Vera Chapman, English writer and Tolkien Society founder, born in Bournemouth, England (d. 1996)
  • 1899 Jan F. van Hall, Dutch sculptor/resistance fighter
  • 1899 [Friedrich] August von Hayek, Aust/British economist (Road to Serfdom)
  • 1902 Andre Michel Lwoff, French physiologist (1965 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis), born in Ainay-le-Château, France (d. 1994)
  • 1911 Wilhelm F. de Gaay Fortman, Dutch lawyer and foreign minister
  • 1912 George Woodcock, Canadian writer of political biography and history (Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 1995)
  • 1912 Gertrud Fussenegger [Dorn], Austrian writer (Mohrenlegende)
  • 1914 Romain Gary, Polish writer (d. 1980)
  • 1916 João Havelange, Brazilian industrialist and FIFA President 1974-98, born in Rio de Janeiro (d. 2016)
  • 1916 Swami Chinmayananda, Indian spiritualist (d. 1993)
  • 1919 Leon Festinger, American psychologist, born in New York (d. 1989)

Mordecai AnielewiczMordecai Anielewicz (1919-1943)

Jewish commander of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, born in Wyszków, Second Polish Republic

  • 1920 Maurice Cranston, English philosopher and political scientist (John Locke biographies), born in Harringay, England (d. 1993)
  • 1920 Sloan Wilson, American novelist (Man in the Gray Flannal, born in Norwalk, Connecticut
  • 1920 Tom of Finland [Touko Laaksonen], Finnish fetish artist, born in Helsinki (d. 1991)
  • 1921 Graham Leonard, Bishop of London, most senior Anglican to convert to Catholicism since the reformation (d. 2010)
  • 1924 Tristan Jones, British sailor and author, born off Tristan da Cunha (d. 1995)
  • 1925 Ali Hassan Mwinyi, 2nd President of Tanzania (1985-1995) and the 3rd President of Zanzibar (1984-85), born in Kivure, Pwani Region, British Tanganyika
  • 1925 Charles Jauncey, Baron Jauncey of Tullichettle, Scottish judge and advocate, born in Edinburgh (d. 2007)
  • 1926 Ronald Waterhouse, British high court judge (d. 2011)
  • 1927 Ian Denholm, Scottish shipping CEO (Murray Investment Trust), born in Kilmacolm, Scotland (d. 2018)
  • 1927 Philip Wilkinson, British bank executive (National Westminster Bank) (d. 2007)
  • 1928 Theodore Sorenson, American presidential advisor to JFK and author (Kennedy), born in Lincoln, Nebraska (d. 2010)
  • 1929 Claude Castonguay, Quebec politician (task force on Quebec health care), born in Quebec City (d. 2020)
  • 1929 Miyoshi Umeki, Japanese-American actress (Katsumi-Sayonara, Mrs Livingston-Courtship of Eddie's Father), born in Otaru, Japan (d. 2007)
  • 1929 V. N. M. Korte-van Hemel, Dutch Secretary of Justice (CDA)
  • 1930 Alex Shigo, American Biologist and Plant Pathologist known for his study of tree decay and contributions to modern arboricultural practices, born in Duquesne, Pennsylvania (d. 2006)
  • 1930 Gary Snyder, American beat poet (Turtle Island - Pulitzer Prize, 1975; Rip Rap and Cold Mountain Poems), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1932 Julieta Campos, Cuban-Mexican writer (d. 2007)
  • 1934 Leonard Hoffmann, South African-British high court judge, born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1934 Roger Kendrick, British governor (Dartmoor Prison) (d. 2009)
  • 1935 Viscount Falkland, British peer (Lib-Dem)
  • 1936 James R. Thompson, American politician (longest serving Governor of Illinois, 1977-91), born in Chicago Illinois (d. 2020)
  • 1936 Neville Purvis, British vice admiral (Chief of Fleet Support)
  • 1937 Carlos Gaviria Díaz, Colombian politician
  • 1937 Daniel Robberechts, Belgian writer (Labia Majora)
  • 1937 Dennis DeConcini, American politician (Sen-D-AZ, 1977-95), born in Tucson, Arizona
  • 1937 Michael Simmons, Air Marshal (British Ministry of Defense)
  • 1937 Thomas Pynchon, American novelist (V, Gravity's Rainbow), born in Glen Cove, New York
  • 1938 - Algerian-French Catholic Bishop of Oran (murdered by Islamic extremists in Algeria, born in Bab El Oued, Algeria (d. 1996)
  • 1938 Jean Giraud, French comic artist (Alien, Tron), born in Val-de-Marne, French (d. 2012)
  • 1940 Irwin Cotler, Canadian politician (Attorney General of Canada 2003-6), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1940 James Blyth, Baron Blyth of Rowington, British businessman (CEO of Boots)

Peter BenchleyPeter Benchley (1940-2006)

American novelist (Jaws, The Deep), born in NYC, New York

  • 1941 James A. Traficant Jr, American politician (Rep-D-OH, 1985-2002), born in Youngstown, Ohio, (d. 2014)
  • 1941 Maurice Lindsay, British sports administrator (chairman Preston North End FC, Wigan Warriors RLFC; CEO RFL 1992-99), born in Horwich, England (d. 2022)
  • 1942 Norman Lamont, British politician, (Chancellor of Exchequer), born in Lerwick, Shetland
  • 1945 Arthur Docters van Leeuwen, Dutch jurist (Holland's secret service)
  • 1946 André Boulerice, Quebec politician and gay rights activist, born in Joliette, Quebec
  • 1947 H. Robert Horvitz, American biologist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2002 for"genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death"), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1947 Phil Sawyer, English rocker (Spencer Davis Group), born in London, England
  • 1948 John Reid, British politician (L), born in Bellshill, Scotland
  • 1950 Pierre de Meuron, Swiss architect (Herzog and de Meuron - Tate Modern), born in Basel, Switzerland
  • 1952 Charles J. Camarda, American astronaut, born in NYC, New York
  • 1953 Devi Shetty, Indian surgeon and health entrepreneur (Narayana Health), born in Dakshina Kannada, India
  • 1961 Bill de Blasio, American politician and NYC Mayor (2014-21), born in Manhattan, New York
  • 1963 Clemens Lothaller, Austrian physician cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-13 backup), born in Vienna, Austria
  • 1963 Izabela Kloc, Polish politician, born in Mikołów, Poland
  • 1963 Robin Jarvis, British young adult fiction, and fantasy writer (The Witching Legacy), born in Liverpool, England
  • 1968 Johan Pehrson, Swedish politician (leader of Liberals Party)
  • 1973 Hiromu Arakawa, Japanese manga artist (Fullmetal Alchemist), born in Makubetsu, Japan