Birthdays in History on October 17

  • 1253 Ivo of Kermartin, Catholic saint and patron of Brittany, born in Kermartin, Duchy of Brittany (d. 1303)
  • 1563 Jodocus Hondius, Flemish mathematician/cartographer
  • 1577 Cristofano Allori, Italian painter (Judith)
  • 1582 Johann Gerhard, German Lutheran leader (d. 1637)
  • 1623 Francis Turretin, Swiss theologian (d. 1687)
  • 1626 Simon van Leeuwen, lawyer/historian (Roman-Holland regt)
  • 1696 August III, king of Poland/monarch Frederik August II of Saksen
  • 1704 Willem Bentinck, orangist
  • 1711 Jupiter Hammon, Lloyd Harbor NY, slave and poet, 1st African American to publish poetry
  • 1719 Jacques Cazotte, French writer (d. 1792)

John WilkesJohn Wilkes (1725-1797)

English radical, journalist (The North Briton) and politician, born in London

  • 1734 Grigori G. Orlov, Russian guard officer and favorite of Catherine II
  • 1811 Albertus C van Raalte, Dutch/US vicar (owned land in Mich)
  • 1813 Georg Büchner, German playwright (d. 1837)
  • 1815 Emanuel Geibel, writer
  • 1817 Samuel Ringgold Ward, Maryland, minister/abolitionist (Fugitive Negro)
  • 1817 Syed Ahmad Khan, Indian Muslim leader, born in Delhi, Mughal Empire
  • 1833 Paul Bert, French Zoologist, Physiologist and pioneer of aerospace medicine whose study of the effects of air pressure on the body, such as altitude sickness and 'the bends', made possible space and ocean exploration, born in Auxerre, Burgundy (d. 1886)
  • 1840 Yaa Asantewaa, Ghanaian queen of Ashanti Empire, led fight against British colonialism, born in Besease, Ghana (d. 1921) appropriate date
  • 1845 Franz Ehrle, German prefect of Vatican library
  • 1853 Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia (d. 1920)
  • 1864 Elinor Glyn, British novelist (3 Weeks)
  • 1865 James Rudolph Garfield, American politician (d. 1950)
  • 1875 Alfred Polgar, Austrian writer (Yes & No!)
  • 1892 Theodor Eicke, Nazi official (d. 1943)
  • 1893 Fritz Ascher, German Expressionist artist, born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1970)
  • 1895 Doris Humphrey, American dancer (Dances of Women), born in Oak Park, Illinois
  • 1898 Mildred Knopf, cookbook writer
  • 1898 Simon Vestdijk, Dutch writer/poet (5th Seal)
  • 1903 Nathanael West, American novelist (Day of the Locusts)
  • 1905 Franco Albini, Italian architect
  • 1912 John Paul I [Albino Luciano], 263rd Roman Catholic pope (1978), born in Canale d'Agordo, Belluno, Veneto region of Northern Italy
  • 1914 Jerry Siegel, American comic book writer (co-creator, with Joe Shuster, of "Superman"), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1996)
  • 1914 John Mosely, recording expert/entrepreneur

Arthur MillerArthur Miller (1915-2005)

American playwright (Death of a Salesman, Crucible), born in NYC, New York

  • 1917 Sumner Locke Elliott, Australian-born American novelist (d. 1991)
  • 1919 Isaak Markovich Khalatnikov, Russian physicist, Ekaterinoslav (now Dnipro), Ukraine (d. 2021)
  • 1920 Miguel Delibes, Spanish writer
  • 1921 George Mackey Brown, poet
  • 1921 Pricilla Lanford Buckly, editor/columnist (National Review)
  • 1922 Louis Benjamin, showman
  • 1926 Karl Gordon Henize, American astronomer and NASA astronaut (STS-51-F), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1993)
  • 1928 Zacharias J de Beer, South African physician/MP (DP)
  • 1930 Jimmy Breslin, American investigative journalist, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist (NY Post; Daily News: Newsday), and novelist The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight), born in NYC, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1930 Robert Atkins, American nutritionist (d. 2003)
  • 1931 Ernst Hinterberger, Austrian writer
  • 1932 William J. Hughes, American politician and diplomat (Rep-D-New Jersey, 1975-95), born in Salem, New Jersey (d. 2019)
  • 1933 William A Anders, Maj Gen, USAF/astronaut (Apollo 8), born in Hong Kong
  • 1934 (Donald) "Der" Scutt, American architect (Grand Hyatt; One Astor Place; Trump Tower), born in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania (d. 2010)
  • 1934 Barend P Tammeling, Dutch journalist (Trouw, Groninger Gezinsbode)
  • 1936 David Hobson, American politician (Rep-R-Ohio 1991-2009), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1936 Hiroo Kanamori, Japanese seismologist

Evel KnievelEvel Knievel (1938-2007)

American motorcycle daredevil (Snake River Canyon), born in Butte, Montana

  • 1940 Peter Stringfellow, British nightclub owner (Stringfellows), born in Sheffield, England (d. 2018)
  • 1946 Adam Michnik, Polish activist
  • 1946 Drusilla Modjeska, Australian writer and editor
  • 1946 Sir Cameron Mackintosh, British stage producer
  • 1947 Charles A Ingene, macromarketing researcher
  • 1947 Gene Green, American politician (Rep-D-Texas 1993-2019), born in Houston, Texas
  • 1950 Michael Lynn Synar, American politician (Rep-D-Oklahoma, 1979-95), born in Vinita, Oklahoma
  • 1955 Georgios Alogoskoufis, Greek politician
  • 1955 Kerry James Marshall, American artist whose works seek to challenge the marginalization of African-Americans, born in Birmingham, Alabama

Mae JemisonMae Jemison (66 years old)

1956 1st African American woman in space (STS 47), born in Decatur, Alabama

  • 1956 Robin LO Linschoten, Dutch ass. secretary of Social Affairs (VVD)
  • 1959 Mark Peel, Australian historian and academic
  • 1959 Ron Drummond, American writer
  • 1962 Mike Judge, Ecuadorian born American cartoonist, born in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Doug McMillonDoug McMillon (56 years old)

1966 American businessman and CEO of Walmart (2014-), born in Memphis, Tennessee

  • 1971 Martin Heinrich, American politician (Senator-D-New Mexico 2013-), born in Fallon, Nevada
  • 1974 Ariel Levy, American feminist writer
  • 1982 Nick Riewoldt, Australian rules footballer
  • 1984 Randall Munroe, American webcomic author