Ten Famous People Born on Christmas Day

Updated on August 30, 2019
MelRootsNWrites profile image

Melody is a genealogist who enjoys learning the history of people and places.

These ten famous people were born on Christmas.
These ten famous people were born on Christmas. | Source

Many Famous People Were Born On Christmas

Is December 25th your birthday? If so, you get to share your birthday with a long of scientists, athletes, entertainers, writers, and world leaders. And lucky you! In most countries, you get the whole day off because of this holiday called Christmas! Stretch it out and you might be off until New Years

There were way many fascinating and famous people born on this day. I've whittled my list down to ten people? My list includes Isaac Newton, Humphrey Bogart, Clara Barton, Demaryius Thomas, Annie Lennox, Cab Calloway, Rickey Henderson, Carlos Castenada, Emma Slater, and Robert Ripley. That's an impressive list if you ask me!

Why don't we get right to it and see who these famous folks are?

Isaac Newton, 1696, Painting by Godfrey Kneller
Isaac Newton, 1696, Painting by Godfrey Kneller | Source

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1703)

Isaac Newton Jr. was born in 1642 at Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, England, to Isaac Newton Sr. and Hannah Ayscough. His father died three months before he was born. Newton never married, though was engaged once.

He was an unremarkable student and was once sent back home where his mother tried to turn him into a farmer. I guess that was enough to make him return to school. He excelled the second time around and went on to Trinity College in Cambridge.

Newton was a part of the 17th Century Scientific Revolution. He was a physicist, alchemist, and mathematician. We all know him for “Newton's Law of Universal Gravity". But, did you know that he helped develop calculus and laid the foundation for modern physics? His greatest contributions were in his book “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica”.

In addition to contributing to our scientific knowledge, he held several positions including being a member of parliament (1689-1690 and 1701), Master of the Mint in 1696, and President of the Royal Society in 1703.

He died in his sleep at the age of 83.

Clara Barton, ca 1865
Clara Barton, ca 1865 | Source

Clara Barton (1823-1912)

Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born in 1821 in Oxford, MA to Stephen Barton and Sarah Stone. As a child, healing came naturally to her. When her brother injured himself falling off the barn, Clara was the one who sat by his side aiding his recovery. She was 10 years old.

She became a teacher in 1838 and later opened her own free school in New Jersey. After teaching for 12 years, she went to work for the U.S. Patent Office. She may have been the first woman to hold a job in the U.S. government.

In 1862, she was given permission to provide care on the front lines during the U.S. Civil War. After the war, she found herself in Switzerland in 1873 observing a group called the Red Cross. She was quite impressed and determined to bring this organization to the United States. When she returned, she met with President Hayes but he wasn't interested. Her later meeting with President Arthur turned out more favorable.

Barton became the first president of the American Red Cross in 1881. She held the post until 1904 when her health declined. Barton died of TB at the age of 92.

I Bet You Know What Movie This Is From

Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957)

Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in 1899, New York City, NY to Belmont DeForest Bogart and Maud Humphrey. His father was a cardiopulmonary surgeon and his mother a commercial illustrator.

Bogart was a bad student and had no prospects when he left school. He joined the Navy in 1918 and was in the reserves after WWI.

He debuted on the stage in 1921 and had a small part in a film called “Dancing Town” in 1928. He made several films in the 1930s, but his bring break was “High Sierra” in 1941. He made one of my favorite movies that year, "The Maltese Falcon." “Casablanca” followed in 1942.

He made a total of 42 films between 1928-1940; 26 films between 1941-1950, and 14 films between 1951-1956. It's hard to believe he was only nominated for three Oscars. He won the best actor award in 1951 for The African Queen.

He was outspoken about his political beliefs. He founded a group called “Organized Committee for the First Amendment” to fight the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and their unrelenting attack on alleged communists.

He was married 4 times. His most notable marriage was to the woman who co-starred in several of his films, Lauren Bacall. They married in 1945.

No doubt we would have seen many more films from this actor had his health not taken a bad turn in the 1950s. He died from esophageal cancer at the age of 57.

Calloway portrait, ca. 1937
Calloway portrait, ca. 1937 | Source

Cab Calloway (1907-1999)

Cabell Calloway III was born in 1907, Rochester, New York to Cabell Calloway II and Winona Betty Conacher. Both his parents were college graduates and professionals--his father a lawyer and his mother a teacher.

At 15, he began getting voice lessons and right after graduating high school he joined a musical revue. He did make an effort at college but pursued music instead.

Cab Calloway is most notable for his ability to scat. It is said he learned scat from Louis Armstrong. He formed an orchestra in the 1920s that played on radio shows and in clubs across the country. His most famous song was "Minnie the Moocher" which was recorded in 1931. You know it by its “Hi De Ho” call and response. I don't think Calloway ever sang it the same way twice. He had 44 songs hit the charts from 1930-1948.

In 1932, he appeared in his first film. From there he made 13. Those from my generation will remember his performance in the 1980s film “The Blues Brothers”.

He died of a stroke at the age of 86. He left behind a wife and son. He was admitted posthumously to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Never heard Calloway? Here's Minnie the Moocher

Your Traits If You Were Born on December 25th

Some believe that people born on a certain day share certain personality traits. I'm not sure I buy that, but it's interesting to consider.

Let's talk about the upside. Those born on December 25th are considered mature. That's always a good thing to be especially when you're an adult. They also possess a high level of intelligence and creativity. They are good in a crisis because they don't panic easily. Always nice to have a cool head around.

On the downside (there is always a downside), they can be overly curious. They have a reputation for being a nosy neighbor. Perhaps Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched was born on this day. They are worriers, too. Sleepless nights await them.

If you were born on this day, do these traits sound like you? How about the people on my list? Well, we know several of them were smart and artistic. And, Clara Barton was definitely was great to have around in an emergency.

Your Special Day

Were you born December 25?

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Robert Ripley holding "Believe It Or Not" apples.
Robert Ripley holding "Believe It Or Not" apples. | Source

Robert Ripley (1890-1949)

Robert Ripley was born in 1890 in Santa Rosa, CA to Isaac Davis Ripley and Lillie Bell. In 1906, he played semi-pro baseball. An injury ended his dream of going to the pros. In 1926, he was New York State Handball Champion. He wrote a book on the topic as well.

Ripley began his publishing career as a cartoonist. In 1906, he sold his first one to Life magazine. He then worked for the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Globe. He also published a travel journal in 1925 based on his travels. He did a radio show that was recorded at odd places along his travels like a cave or underwater.

In 1929, he caught the eye of William Randolph Hearst. This is when Believe It Or Not column took off. In 1930, in cooperation with Warner Brothers Vitaphone, he produced the first Believe It or Not short films.

While keeping up that side of his career, Ripley opened his first museum in 1932. It was in Chicago and he called it the Odditorium. Seems appropriate. 10 years later, he had five museums in five cities.

In 1948, his radio and cartoon series both came to an end. He started a TV show based on the Believe It or Not stories. He made 13 episodes before his health issues got in the way. He died of a heart attack at the age of 58.

How Well Do You Know These Christmas Celebrities?

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Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998)

Carlos Castenada was born in 1925 in Cajamarca, Peru. He came to the US in the early 1950s where he got his university education.

He earned a Ph.D. in anthropology at UCLA. As a student, he set out in 1968 to do scholarly research on the Yaqui Indians in Mexico. He met up with a shaman named Don Juan Matus who taught him about the mystical path including extensive use of hallucinogenic drugs. That first meeting lead to a lifelong journey for Castaneda.

He documented his experiences in twelve of books starting with “The Teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui Way of Knowledge”. His works were seen as groundbreaking and he was applauded for his efforts. However, skepticism began to grow over the veracity of his works. Some claim them to be works of pure fiction, some claim them as outright falsehoods, while others think they were allegories and never to be taken at face value.

Whatever the case, we will never know since Castaneda went into seclusion in 1973. He died of cancer at the age of 72.

Annie Lennox (1954- )

Annie Lennox was born in 1954 in Aberdeen, Scotland to Thomas and Dorothy Lennox. She was a student of the Royal Academy of Music for three years. Lennox can play the flute, piano, keyboards, guitar, harpsichord, harmonium, and bass guitar. Oh, and she can sing.

Lennox started with a group called Dragon's Playground and then went on to the new wave group The Tourist in the late 1970s. In the early 80s, she teamed up with Dave Stewart to form the Eurythmics. They burst on the scene in 1983 with “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)”. It was a huge hit for the group.

Right from the start, she earned accolades for her work. In 1984, she won Best British Female Artist in the BRIT Awards, the group won Best New Artist at the Grammy's, and they won the Best New Artist at the MTV Music Awards.

The Eurythmics went on to produce eight studio albums. Lennox, as a solo artist, produced six studio albums. I am particularly fond of her duet with Al Green, “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”, that came out in 1988.

She was married three times and has three children. She is politically active and has supported many humanitarian causes. She received the Order of the British Empire in 2011.

Henderson being honored in Oakland, 1 Aug 2009.
Henderson being honored in Oakland, 1 Aug 2009. | Source

Rickey Henderson (1958- )

Rickey Nelson Henley was born in 1958 in Chicago, IL to John and Bobbie Henley. He was 2 years old when his father walked out on them. His mother remarried to Paul Henderson and the family moved to Oakland, CA. He was seven years old.

He was an excellent athlete throughout his school career. When he graduated from Oakland Tech in 1976, he was playing baseball, basketball, and football.

He was drafted by the Oakland A's in 1976 and made his debut in 1979. It was with the Oakland A's that he set so many base-stealing records. Henderson played for 9 teams over his career. He didn't officially retire until 2009. In 2011, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The player known simply as "Rickey" was one of the true characters of the game.

Some of Rickey's records include:

  • 1980: Only American League player to steal more than 100 bases. He broke the single-season steal record in 1982 with 130.
  • 1983: First player to have three seasons with 100 runs, 100 stolen bases, and 100 walks.
  • 1991: Stole his 939th base breaking Lou Brock's record.
  • End of career: Set base-stealing record at 1,406.

Christmas Birthdays—Take It or Leave It

I know a couple of people who have Christmas birthdays. It seems that each of them has the same complaint. While their siblings got fantastic birthday parties filled with presents and goodies that were all their own, the Christmas babies had to share their birthday with Jesus.

Not that celebrating with Jesus was a bad thing. However, some felt that they were cheated because they didn't get separate presents. You know the drill, "Here's your present! It's for both your birthday and Christmas!"--as if that made it extra special. Also, that birthday party they dreamed of never quite happened because their friends were with their families or away for the winter holidays. Their parents were too tired after the holiday celebrations to put together yet another party. By the time school started back up, it was too late.

Of course, we're all supposed to be grateful for what we've got. But, when you're a kid, you'd like your birthday to be special, to be all your own. And, some Christmas babies don't feel they got that.

Are Christmas Birthdays All They Are Cracked up to Be?

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Thomas making a catch in a college game, 2007
Thomas making a catch in a college game, 2007 | Source

Demaryius Thomas (1987- )

Demaryius Antwon Thomas was born in 1987 in Montrose, Georgia to Bob Thomas and Katrina Smith. His childhood was rocked with turmoil. Both his mother and grandmother were convicted of cocaine distribution when he was 12. They are serving 20 years to life sentences. Because of this, he was raised by an aunt and uncle.

He went to West Laurens High School where he played football and basketball. In 2004, as a Junior, he was named an all-Heart of Georgia and all-region player. He repeated those honors his Senior year. He also played in the North-South All-Star game. Scout.com rated him as Georgia's 22nd ranked college prospect when he graduated.

Thomas went to the Georgia Institute of Technology. He majored in management. He got some playing time on the football team the first two years, but it wasn't until his junior year that he really stood out. He earned 1st Team All-ACC honors that year.

He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010. They signed him to a five-year contract. He was one of only 9 players since 1970 to make at least 8 reception in their first game.

In his short time with the NFL, Thomas has racked up the honors. He made the Pro Bowl twice, was named to the 2013 All-Pro Team, and has the honor of most receptions made in one Super Bowl (13).

Slater, 2013
Slater, 2013 | Source

Emma Slater (1988- )

Emma Slater was born in 1988 in Tamworth, England. Her ballroom dancing training started at the young age of 10 and she was in numerous school productions. She was a national champion a couple of times and won many competitions as a teenager.

Her early career boasts appearance in music videos, exercise videos, and on the stage. She was in a touring company production of “Simply Ballroom.”

She made her film debut in 1988 playing Hen in “Mamma Mia.” She appeared on the South African version of Dancing with the Stars. She has worked her way into American hearts as one of the dancing professionals on the American version of the show. Since 2012, she has partnered with Bill Engvall, Billy Dee Williams, and Michael Waltrip.

Now, For the Final Poll

Who is your favorite on this list?

See results

© 2014 Melody Lassalle

Share Your Thoughts About Christmas Birthdays!

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    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      2 years ago from California

      Thanks, Leland! I didn't know Rod Serling was born on Christmas. He fits right in with Ripley.

    • Leland Johnson profile image

      Leland Johnson 

      2 years ago from Midland MI

      Hi Melody, really cool hub! Add Rod Serling to the list :)

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      2 years ago from California

      Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year to you to!

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

      2 years ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

      Hi wishing you a very happy New year! I enjoyed reading your article :) It's very interesting :) I liked the videos aswell :) Take care and may God bless you!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      4 years ago from California

      Thank you for your comments and the angels, pstraubie48! I am glad you enjoyed my article.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      4 years ago from California

      Ladyguitarpicker, did you son always feel a bit cheated having a December birthday? My sister's is the 30th and she always felt that her birthday wasn't quite hers. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from North Central Florida

      Very interesting...that is an impressive list...

      it is fun to peek into the lives of those of whom we have heard to learn a bit more.

      Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 

      4 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi, my son was born on Friday the 13 of December and has many of these traits. Thank you for such an amazing hub. shared

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Mel, thanks for your comments! Your sister is right alongside my sister whose birthday falls 5 days after. My Mom did well trying to keep her birthday separate from Christmas but other relatives sometimes sent the joint presents. Now, we wait a month before celebrating. As adults, we're too tired to have a birthday party right after Christmas. :D

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      My sister's birthday is 2 days after Christmas and that is bad enough, because people tend to want to consolidate her birthday and Christmas presents, or they are just so tired of buying presents that they forget her altogether. This was a very interesting hub, great job!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      I am glad that you enjoyed it, PaintDrips! Thanks for your comments.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      5 years ago from Fresno CA

      Fascinating and informative. I really enjoyed reading this.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Annart, thank you for your comments! Annie Lennox does have a beautiful singing voice. I didn't realize she could play so many instruments. She is talented in so many ways.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      A Christmas Eve baby! Special for your family :) I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, too, Elsie!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 years ago from SW England

      Fascinating information here. I don't know all the names but really interesting nonetheless.

      Annie Lennox is my favourite because she has an amazing voice, is so gifted musically and she is a lovely person, forthright and full of humour. She's just brought out a new album which is great too.

      Great hub!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Very interesting. I have just spend today with my granddaughter who was born 24 December about 6.00 pm 23 years ago, she didn't quite make christmas day.

      Hope you have a great christmas and may 2015 be a great year for you.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Perspycacious, thank you for reading this. I'm glad that you enjoyed the biographies.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      This one made a hit! Biographies are great, aren't they. Thanks.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Sunshine, you get a 1/2 birthday, too? That's pretty clever. :) (Wish I had thought of it!) Thanks for your comment!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I celebrate my 1/2 birthday on Christmas Day since I was born on June 25th. Jimmy Buffett was also born on Christmas :)

    • sara0129 profile image

      Shamim Rajabali 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Enjoyed reading this. Well written.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Brite-Ideas, thanks for your comments! It does have a specialness to it. I think as a child when you hear things like "this present is for both Christmas and your Birthday!" you tend not to be all that excited about it. My sister was born 5 days later. She always felt her birthday was somewhat slapped together.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      that was interesting, quite a few - Sir Issac Newton too - I don't think I would want a birthday on Christmas Day but in a way you're sort of special too :) - one of my kids almost made an entry on Christmas Day though!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Thank you for your comments, FlourishAnyway! It sounds like your elementary school teacher knew that birthdays are important to children and made sure each got celebrated and not just a few.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      I enjoyed this. My elementary school teacher long ago had a solution for such birthdays that were "inconveniently timed" with the holidays -- celebrate 1/2 birthdays instead with the full party and all, calling them "UNbirthdays."

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      teaches12345, thanks for your comment! Yes, that is true. How could forget someone's birthday if it December 25th? I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I can only imagine how hard it would be to split the birthday celebration with the Christmas festivities. STill, I can't think of a better day for everyone to remember your birthday also. I didn't know anyone had a birthday on this special day. I enjoyed your article.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Thank you AliciaC! Yes, it did require quite a bit of research. I found myself getting lost in it especially when I got to Cab Calloway. I had no idea he left behind such a rich music legacy.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and informative hub. It must have required a lot of research! Thanks for creating it.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Barbara Kay, thanks for your comment! It could have its drawbacks. I have a relative who was born 5 days later and she swears she never got a proper birthday celebration. As parents, I guess you have to make sure the child feels their day is as special as your other children.

      As an adult in the USA, it's great. Depending on where you work, you should always have your birthday off. :)

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      5 years ago from USA

      I don't know that I'd like a birthday on Christmas or not. They do get cheated out of all the birthday fun. One of my friends was born on Christmas though and she loves to tell everyone that she was. It must not be so bad.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Graham, thanks for your comments! I'm glad that you enjoyed this peek into their lives.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Mel. A greatly interesting hub, I find it interesting to delve into the lives of others. Thanks for the follow.


    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Thank you so much, vocalcoach! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      Randall, my sister's birthday fall right after Christmas. She always felt the same way. Everyone else got a nice party later in the year. She always got something thrown together with the Christmas tree still hanging out in the living room.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      I'm glad you enjoyed it, billybuc! I am a bit of a trivia freak myself and the research was interesting for this one.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      A wonderful, historical piece on Ten Famous People Born on Christmas. Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. Enjoyed every bit of it. I'll be sharing this and thanks so much. Audrey

    • Randall Guinn profile image

      Randall Guinn 

      5 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      One of my brothers has a birthday on December 22. He never liked it because he got his birthday gift and Christmas gift together. Back then things were tight so having a birthday that close to Christmas meant you weren't getting much if you got anything at all. I know it's not about the gifts, but with kids, it's always about the gifts.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I always enjoy lists like this one. Maybe because I'm a trivia freak. Whatever the reason, thanks for this. Fun read.


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