Famous historian, Celebrity Birthdays

  • Voltaire

    Francois Arouet, better known by his pen name Voltaire, was a literary genius whose brilliant writings often caused extreme controversy during his time. His prolific writings often attacked popular philosophical or religious beliefs. Many of his works were critical of political institutions resulting in his prosecution, including jail and exile. His works often evoked similar reactions from the masses who, on more than one occasion in more than one city, have burnt and destroyed his books. His extreme criticism earned him numerous enemies. He criticized his government as being ineffective, the common people as ignorant, the church as static, and the aristocracy as corrupt and parasitic. He became personal enemies with the Roman Catholic Church, the French Government, the Bible and the general masses. Despite this, he was far ahead of the times in his crusade for civil rights. He proclaimed the importance of freedom of religion, the right to a fair trial, the separation of church and state, and the freedom of speech. He produced writing in nearly every form including over 21,000 letters, 2,000 books and pamphlets, novels, essays, poetry, plays, historical works, and even scientific experimental works. Despite a life full of controversy, today he considered one of history's greatest writers and philosophers

    Voltaire

  • Mercy Otis Warren

    An American Revolutionary-era author of history, propaganda, and political satire, she is best known for her multi-volume work, History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution (1805). This was the first historical account of the American Revolution to be written by a woman.

    Mercy Otis Warren

  • Carter G. Woodson

    African American author, historian, and journalist who founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He became known as "The Father of Black History."

    Carter G. Woodson

  • Milton Friedman

    Milton Friedman was a well-known American economist and professor of statistics at the University of Chicago. He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He has made his mark among other economists and scholars and is best known for his theoretical and empirical research work in consumption analysis, monetary history and theory for demonstrating the complexity of stabilization policy. He acted as an economic advisor to the U.S. President Ronald Reagan. His political philosophy that propagated the virtues of a free market economic system with little intervention by government is practiced by many governments. His works greatly influenced the research agenda. He also served as the leader of the Chicago school of economics under the University of Chicago. Milton Friedman's works include monographs, books, scholarly articles, papers, magazine columns, television programs, videos, and lectures. He wrote on a variety of topics on microeconomics, macroeconomics, economic history, and public policy issues. Originally a Keynesian supporter of the New Deal, he insisted on the government intervention in the economy. He then founded The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. The Economist called him "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century¦possibly of all of it". He was a prolific writer, who apart from writing books, also contributed regularly to various magazines. His last column was published in ˜The Wall Street Journal' a day after his death at the age of ninety-four.

    Milton Friedman

  • GM Trevelyan

    English historian and Whig Party promoter. He penned numerous historical works, including England in the Age of Wycliffe, Lord Grey of the Reform Bill, and England Under Queen Anne.

    GM Trevelyan

  • William H. Prescott

    Nineteenth-century American historian and author whose most famous works include The History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843) and The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic (1837). His works focus primarily on Hispanic military and political history.

    William H. Prescott

  • Yosef Ben-Jochannan

    An African-born writer and historian better known as "Dr. Ben," he became one of the most prominent Afrocentric scholars of the Twentieth Century. His nearly fifty published works focus on the ancient civilizations of the Nile Valley.

    Yosef Ben-Jochannan

  • Charles Phoenix

    Historian and humorist who is famous for his Retro Slide Show presentations coupled with his comedic commentary. He has appeared as a guest commentator on NPR, as well as a guest judge on the popular cooking competition series Cake Wars. 

    Charles Phoenix

  • Ibn Khaldun

    Ibn Khaldun was a 14th century Arab Muslim historiographer and historian who is regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern sociology, historiography, and economics. In spite of his having lived centuries ago, his life is well documented unlike those of many of his contemporaries about whom not much credible information is available. Born into an upper-class Andalusian family of Arab descent, he received education from some of the best teachers in his city. Naturally intelligent, curious and bright, his education helped to shape him into an intellectual with deep interests in political and societal issues. In spite of being born into a wealthy, high ranking family his young life was fraught with difficulties. He lost both of his parents while still in his teens and then struggled to get himself established in a career. Having embarked on a political career as a young man, he participated in a rebellion which led to his imprisonment. Released later on, he was disillusioned and eventually became a scholar. He authored several works including an autobiography and the book ˜The Muqaddimah' for which he is best remembered. The book never lost its relevance and historians over the centuries have acknowledged the significance of his works. In view of his invaluable contributions to the fields of historiography and economics, he is considered to be one of the greatest philosophers to come out of the Muslim world

    Ibn Khaldun

  • Pierre De Coubertin

    Pierre de Coubertin was a French educator and historian who played a major role in the founding of the International Olympic Committee because of which he is considered the father of the modern Olympic Games. He was born into an established aristocratic family and received a privileged upbringing. Sent to a Jesuit school called Externat de la rue de Vienne, he was deeply influenced by his early education which instilled in him strong moral values. His father was an ardent patriot and Pierre too grew up to be a patriotic young man and was deeply troubled by French defeats during the Franco-Prussian War. After embarking on a career as an educator, he postulated that it was the lack of physical education and training that made the French soldiers weak and more prone to defeat at the hands of the more athletic rivals. On his travels to England he closely studied the English education system where physical education and sports were given an important place in the curriculum and was determined to adopt such strategies in the French education system as well. Eventually he worked on reviving the Olympic Games and played an instrumental role in the establishment of the first International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    Pierre De Coubertin

  • Suzannah Lipscomb

    Historian grown popular as a presenter for historical programs like Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home, Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home, and Bloody Tales. She is especially known for hosting numerous programs on Tudor history.

    Suzannah Lipscomb

  • Waldo Frank

    An influential cultural historian and critic, he is especially known for his work on Latin American and Spanish literature and culture. His published works include The Rediscovery of America (1929), South of Us (1931), and Virgin Spain (1926).

    Waldo Frank

  • David McCullough

    David Gaub McCullough, known as the ˜master of the art of narrative history', is an American writer, narrator, historian and lecturer. For his matchless historical writing he has won prestigious awards like the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. His contribution to the field of American history, whether about the Johnstown Flood or the creation of Panama Canal or on the life of Theodore Roosevelt or on the contributions of the second President of America John Adams, has been bigger than any other historical writer, which is why he is the receiver of America's highest civilian award, namely, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Many of McCullough's writings have been adapted into television movies or miniseries by HBO, like, ˜Truman', ˜John Adams', etc. Because of his impeccable knowledge of American history and hold over his narrative skills, he has narrated many documentaries and had been a host on the ˜American Experience' for over 12 years. What started for him as a literary interest at Yale was soon converted into a love for research and a passion to spread the details of American history all over the world, bound together with his literary and writing skills.

    David McCullough

  • Joaquin Torres Garcia

    Uruguayan artist and art theorist who established the Constructive Universalism movement. A fire at Rio de Janeiro's Museum of Modern Art destroyed much of his work when it was being exhibited there in 1978.

    Joaquin Torres Garcia

  • David Eisenhower

    Grandson of the 34th President of the United States who became a public policy professor at University of Pennsylvania and the namesake of Camp David. He was on the shortlist for the Pulitzer Prize in history for his book Eistenhower at Work, recounting his grandfather's leadership during the second half of WW II.

    David Eisenhower

  • Vjekoslav Klaic

    A turn-of-the-century historian and author, he is best known for his five-volume History of the Croats. Also the editor of the Croatian cultural magazine Vienac, he further promoted Croatian culture by establishing and conducting an orchestra that performed exclusively Croatian music.

    Vjekoslav Klaic

  • Stephen Ambrose

    American historian and author who wrote biographies of U.S. presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and <a title='Richard Nixon' href='/famous/richard-nixon.htm'>Richard Nixon</a>. His other popular historical works include D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II (1994) and Undaunted Courage: <a title='Meriwether Lewis' href='/famous/meriwether-lewis.htm'>Meriwether Lewis</a>, <a title='Thomas Jefferson' href='/famous/thomas-jefferson.htm'>Thomas Jefferson</a>, and the Opening of the American West (1996).

    Stephen Ambrose

  • Angie Debo

    Historian who wrote many works about Indians and their relationship to U.S. settlers.

    Angie Debo

  • Lynne Cheney

    Author and historian who is best known as the wife of former United States Vice President <a title='Dick Cheney' href='/famous/dick-cheney.htm'>Dick Cheney</a>. Her list of co-authored books includes Executive Privilege (1979), Academic Freedom (1992), and America: A Patriotic Primer (2002).

    Lynne Cheney

  • Inca Garcilaso

    Also known as El Inca, he is an important historian and scholar of Peruvian culture.

    Inca Garcilaso

  • Howard Zinn

    Perhaps most famous for his bestselling work A People's History of the United States (1980), this writer, historian, activist, and professor also penned several historically-themed plays, including Emma (1976) and Marx in Soho (1999).

    Howard Zinn

  • Doris Kearns Goodwin

    An American historian, political commentator, and biographer, she is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning work, "No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II." Her other works include "The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga" and "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln."

    Doris Kearns Goodwin

  • Sam Willis

    Historian and broadcaster best recognized for presenting the historical shows Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History, Castles: Britain’s Fortified History, and Britain’s Outlaws: Highwaymen, Pirates & Rogues.

    Sam Willis

  • Grace Raymond Hebard

    A turn-of-the-century American historian, suffragist, scholar, and writer, she is best known for her 1933 work, Sacajawea. Her earlier publications include The Government of Wyoming, Washakie, and The Pathbreakers from River to Ocean.

    Grace Raymond Hebard