On This Day

Birthdays in History on October 20

  • 1435 Andrea Della Robbia, Florence, sculptor, nephew of Luca
  • 1475 Giovanni Rucellai, Italian poet (Le Api)
  • 1496 Claude de Lutherans, duke of Guise
  • 1616 Thomas Bartholin, Danish physician, mathematician, and theologian (d. 1680)
  • 1620 Aelbert Cuyp, Dutch painter (d. 1691)

Person of interestChristopher Wren

1632 Christopher Wren, English astronomer and architect (St. Paul's Cathedral), born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire (d. 1723)

Architect Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
  • 1637 Nicolaas van der Veken, Flemish sculptor (confessional chairs)
  • 1656 Nicolas de Largillière, French painter (d. 1746)
  • 1660 Robert Bertie, 1st Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, English statesman (d. 1723)
  • 1677 Stanislaus I Leszczyński, King of Poland (d. 1766)
  • 1679 Samuel von Cocceji, German lawyer
  • 1700 Charlotte Aglaé of Orléans, Duchess of Modena (d. 1761)
  • 1711 Timothy Ruggles, American-born Tory politician (d. 1795)
  • 1719 Gottfried Achenwall, German lawyer, statistician and economist
  • 1740 Belle van Zuylen, Dutch-Swiss writer (Three Women), born at Castle Zuylen near Utrecht (d. 1805)
  • 1751 Hendrik van Stralen, Dutch politician

  • 1759 Chauncey Goodrich, U.S. Senator from Connecticut (d. 1815)
  • 1780 M Pauline Bonaparte, Corsican duchess of Parma/Guastalla

Person of interestHenry John Temple

1784 Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, British Prime Minister (1855-58 and 1859-65), born in Westminster, Middlesex (d. 1865)

British Prime Minister Henry John Temple
British Prime Minister
Henry John Temple
  • 1785 George Ormerod, English historian and antiquarian (d. 1873)
  • 1792 Colin Campbell/Lord Clyde, British officer (Sepoy-uprising)
  • 1808 Karl [Theodor] Andree, German geographer/journalist (Globus)
  • 1812 Austin Flint, 19th century heart research pioneer
  • 1819 Daniel Edgar Sickles, American politician, diplomat and Major General (Union Army), born in NYC, New York (d. 1914)
  • 1819 The Báb, Persian founder of the Bábí Faith (d. 1850)
  • 1820 Benjamin Franklin Cheatham, Major General (Confederate Army)
  • 1820 George Jerrison Stannard, American farmer, teacher, governmental official and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Georgia, Vermont (d. 1886)
  • 1822 Mansfield Lovell, Major General (Confederate Army), (d. 1884)
  • 1823 Thomas Hughes, English politician and author (Tom Brown's School Days), born in Uffington (d. 1896)
  • 1832 Constantin Lipsius, German architect (d. 1894)
  • 1843 Victor de Stuers, Dutch art connoisseur

Person of interestArthur Rimbaud

1854 Arthur Rimbaud, French poet and adventurer (Illuminations), born in Charleville, France (d. 1891)

  • 1858 John Burns, English politician (d. 1943)

Person of interestJohn Dewey

1859 John Dewey, American philosopher, educational theorist and writer (learn by doing), born in Burlington, Vermont (d. 1952)

Philosopher, Psychologist, Writer John Dewey
Philosopher, Psychologist, Writer
John Dewey
  • 1864 James F. Hinkle, American politician, sixth Governor of New Mexico, born in Franklin County, Missouri (d. 1951)

Person of interestJames Chadwick

1891 James Chadwick, English physicist (Nobel 1935 discovered neutron), born in Bollington, Cheshire (d. 1974)

Physicist James Chadwick
James Chadwick

Person of interestJomo Kenyatta

1891 Jomo Kenyatta, Kenyan leader and 1st President of Kenya (1963-78), born in Gatundu, Kenya (d. 1978)

Founding Father of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta
Founding Father of Kenya
Jomo Kenyatta
  • 1897 Jevsei G Liberman, Ukrainian economist (Plan, profit, bonuses)
  • 1897 Crown Prince Eun of Korea (d. 1970)
  • 1899 Evelyn Brent, American actress (Panama Lady, Last Command), born in Tampa, Florida (d. 1975)
  • 1899 Marnix Gijsen [baron Jan-Albert Goris], Flemish writer (Grote God Pan)
  • 1900 Wayne Morse, (Sen-R/D-Ore)

Person of interestTommy Douglas

1904 Tommy Douglas, Canadian politician (Father of Medicare), born in Falkirk, Scotland (d. 1986)

Father of Medicare Tommy Douglas
Father of Medicare
Tommy Douglas
  • 1909 Sugiyama Yasushi, Japanese Nihonga style painter, and designer, born in Asakusa, (d. 1993)
  • 1917 Efrain Jonckheer, premier Dutch Antilles
  • 1917 Jean-Pierre Melville, director (A Cop), born in Paris, France
  • 1918 Robert Lochner, German journalist (d. 2003)
  • 1919 Tracy Hall, American inventor (d. 2008)
  • 1921 Hans Warren, Dutch writer/poet/critic (Secret Diary)
  • 1921 Pierre Laporte, Canadian journalist/statesman (Revolution Script)
  • 1923 Joe Minogue, journalist
  • 1924 Kenneth WIlliam Gatland, aerospace scientist
  • 1924 Stanley Eric Francis Booth-Clibborn, bishop (Manchester)
  • 1925 Art Buchwald, columnist and author (Have I Ever Lied to You), born in Mt Vernon, New York
  • 1925 Theodore Hall, American Physicist and atomic spy for the Soviet Union, born in NYC, New York (d. 1999)
  • 1927 Oskar Pastior, Romanian-born German writer (Oulipo), born in Sibiu (d. 2006)

  • 1927 Joyce Brothers, American pop psychologist ($64,000 Question, Naked Gun), born in NYC, New York (d. 2013)
  • 1928 Li Peng, Chinese leader, Premier of China (1987-98), born in Shanghai French Concession (d. 2019)
  • 1931 Ken Morrison, English supermarket maginate/multi-millionaire
  • 1934 Michiko, empress of Japan
  • 1937 Emma Tennant, English writer (Pemberley: Or, Pride and Prejudice Continued), born in London (d. 2017)
  • 1938 Iain Macmillan, Abbey Road photographer (d. 2006)
  • 1940 Robert Pinsky, American poet and Poet Laureate of the United States
  • 1945 Vladimir Kozlov, Russian cosmonaut, born in Moscow (d. 2012)
  • 1946 Elfriede Jelinek, writer
  • 1948 Robert A Borski, (Rep-D-PA, 1983- )
  • 1951 Patrick Hall, British politician
  • 1951 Leif Pagrotsky, Swedish politician
  • 1952 Mikhail Georgiyevich Potapov, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1955 David Profumo, English novelist
  • 1958 Lynn Flewelling, American fantasy author
  • 1959 Shuping Wang, Chinese doctor who exposed China's HIV crisis, born in Fugou County, Henan, China (d, 2019)
  • 1961 Les Stroud, Canadian survival expert (Survivorman), born in Etobicoke, Ontario
  • 1963 Julie Payette, astronaut, born in Montreal, Quebec

Person of interestKamala Harris

1964 Kamala Harris, American lawyer and politician, 1st African-American, Asian-American attorney general of California, born in Oakland, California

49th US Vice President and Senator Kamala Harris
49th US Vice President and Senator
Kamala Harris
  • 1966 Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda leader (d. 2006)
  • 1966 Stefan Raab, German entertainer
  • 1966 Patrick J. Volkerding, Founder and maintainer of the Slackware Linux distribution
  • 1970 Michelle Malkin, American political commentator and author