August Birthdays of Note

Ever since the inception of Spokeo’s Famous People Birthday’s Page, we’ve wanted to have the most inclusive birthday page when considering who to showcase. Every day we feature 18 people (9 contemporary, 9 historical) and I wanted to highlight just a few of the fascinating people I learned about through this intensive people search process. Specifically, we’re spotlighting some of the men and women born this month who (in my opinion) are underrated; some of them contributed great things to society, some of them were a lot more strange. Let’s take a look at some of famous figures celebrating August birthdays who you may not know:

 

James Baldwin
James Baldwin

August 2:  Two great individuals to look up:

1. James Baldwin – a Left Bank writer who wrote “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” an American classic that dealt with the roles of religion and sexuality within the black community.

2. Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, a French architect of note. You might not have heard of his name, but you would recognize his most famous piece: the Statue of Liberty.

 

KatherineLeeBates
Katherine Lee Bates

August 12: Born in 1859, Katherine Lee Bates was a writer and teacher who wrote the lyrics for “America the Beautiful” and popularized the character of Mrs. Claus.

August 7: One of the more unusual characters in history, the Countess Elizabeth Bathory was born on this day.  The reason for her notoriety?  She was one of the most prolific serial killers who was a woman.  Her evil exploits garnered a reputation close to that of Vlad the Impaler.

August 18:

This was one of the most interesting dates in August we came across.  We could talk about everyone born on this date, but let’s point out three in particular.

1. Lydia Lityvak was a female Soviet fighter pilot during World War II. She was the first woman to win the title of ace.

HenriettaLacks
Henrietta Lacks

2. Another amazing woman born on this day was Henrietta Lacks. Her cells were used to develop the polio vaccine.  Her cells are still being used for research in cancer, aids, and gene mapping because of their unique quality.  I highly recommend further reading with The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

3.Finally, a man born today who has been portrayed as being terrified of being forgotten – a contemporary of Mozart’s – Antonio Salieri. Their rivalry is fictionalized in Milos Forman’s brilliant film Amadeus as a composer who recognized and envied the mammoth shadow cast by Mozart.

 

AltheaGibson
Althea Gibson

August 25: This day has two great names on two different sides of history. On one hand, you have the great Althea Gibson who broke the color barrier in international tennis – winning the French Open, Wimbeldon, and the U.S. National (which would become the U.S. Open).  All tennis (and sports fan) should remember her skill and contribution to the sport. Ironically, she shares her birthday with someone on the wrong side of history – Governor George Wallace – who stoked racial tensions and proclaimed the infamous words: “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.” Another notable person born this was the founder of the detective agency, Allan Pinkerton. His agents did everything from guard Abraham Lincoln, to track down Jesse James.

August 27:  Ed Gein, the inspiration for Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence of the Lambs, was born in August.  The history of American serial killers begins with Gein’s terrifying legacy.

JackKirby
Jack Kirby

August 28: Jack “the King” Kirby, who was born on this day, helped define The Hulk, The X-Men, and the Fantastic Four with Marvel Comics and also created some of DC’s legendary characters like THE NEW GODS!  His life also served as inspirations for plot points in the wonderful novel “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.”

August 29:  On this day, Otis Boykin the great African-American inventor was born.  He created resistors for use in computers and missiles, however, his greatest invention was the pacemaker.

August 31: Two prominent African-Americans were born on this day – Kenny Washington was the first black man to sign an NFL contract for the Los Angeles Rams.  He led an amazing life, also fighting the Nazis in World War II and being one of the soldiers to liberate Auschwitz.  Donyale Luna was the first African-American model to be featured on a high fashion magazine – Vogue.  She was also a model and actress for Andy Warhol’s factory.

Amrita Pritam was also born on this date in 1919; an important figure in Punjabi literature, she wrote beautifully about the partition of India.

These are just some of the wide variety of  people who were born this month.  Be sure to take a look at our August birthday profiles and try to find your birthday; it’ll be fun to find which interesting people share your birthday!