From presidents and royals to musicians and movie stars, we’ve identified the most famous person born every year of the 20th century, as well as some honorable mentions. Who was the brightest star the year you were born — other than you, of course? Read on to find out.
1900: The Queen Mother
Birthday: August 4, 1900
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (whew) was the Queen consort from 1936-1952. She became the Queen Mother when her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, took the throne in 1952, and remained a beloved public figure until her death at the age of 101 in 2002.
Honorable mention: Spencer Tracy
As a two-time Oscar winner and one of the most iconic actors in Hollywood, Spencer Tracy deserves a shout-out.
1901: Walt Disney
Birthday: December 5, 1901
Cartoons, movies, TV shows, theme parks, merchandise — is there anyone more famous than Walt Disney, even more than 50 years after his death? We think not.
Honorable mention: Louis Armstrong
Satchmo remains one of the most influential musicians in jazz even today.
1902: John Steinbeck
Birthday: February 27, 1902
The Nobel Prize in Literature winner authored 27 books, including East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath.
Honorable mention: Ray Kroc
Entrepreneur Ray Kroc went through a number of jobs before he found success franchising a little burger joint called McDonald’s, originally based in San Bernardino, California.
1903: Bob Hope
Birthday: May 29, 1903
Hope started his showbiz career on the vaudeville circuit and eventually went on to star in a number of movies, including the popular “Road” series with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. He hosted the Academy Awards 19 times, and was also well-known for his USO tours.
Honorable mention: George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair, better known as author George Orwell, gave us literature that has withstood the test of time, including Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm.
1904: Cary Grant
Birthday: January 18, 1904
The American Film Institute named Cary Grant the second greatest male film star, behind only Humphrey Bogart. With more than 70 movies under his belt, everyone has a favorite Cary Grant performance.
Honorable mention: Dr. Seuss
We like this author in a box. We like this author with a fox. We like this author in a house. We like this author with a mouse. Seuss, AKA Theodor Geisel, has kept generation after generation of children entertained with his fantastically inventive tales and characters.
1905: Greta Garbo
Birthday: September 18, 1905
Almost 100 years after her silver-screen debut, Greta Garbo’s legacy as one of the biggest and most talented stars Hollywood has ever seen remains untouched.
Honorable mention: Howard Hughes
Long before Bill Gates and Elon Musk entered the picture, business magnate Howard Hughes was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his lifetime. In his later years, Hughes became more notorious for his eccentricities and severe OCD.
1906: Satchel Paige
Birthday: July 7, 1906
One of the most famous baseball players of all time, Paige attracted large crowds wherever he was playing. At 42, he became the oldest man to debut in Major League Baseball.
Honorable mention: Bugsy Siegel
More infamous than famous, Bugsy Siegel was one of the first “celebrity” gangsters. He was also instrumental in turning Las Vegas into a glamorous gambling and entertainment mecca in the 1940s.
1907: John Wayne
Birthday: May 26, 1907
There’s no doubt that the Academy Award-winning actor best known for his Westerns is not just the most famous person born in 1907, but perhaps one of the most famous people ever.
Honorable mention: Frida Kahlo
The Mexican artist has become more famous posthumously than she was during her lifetime, recognized both for her artwork and her distinctive style. The phenomenon has been dubbed “Fridamania.”
1908: Jimmy Stewart
Birthday: May 20, 1908
Between his Oscar-winning acting career and his decorated military career, Jimmy Stewart may be one of the most celebrated Americans of the 20th century.
Honorable mention: Bette Davis
Actress Bette Davis has a lot of impressive “firsts” to her name: the first person to be nominated for five consecutive Academy Awards, the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the first person to receive 10 Oscar nominations for acting.
1909: Carmen Miranda
Birthday: February 9, 1909
Honorable mention Errol Flynn may have been the bigger star of the day, but Miranda’s fruity fashion sense has made her an enduring icon in a way unparalleled by others.
Honorable mention: Errol Flynn
Flynn’s swashbuckling roles made him one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood during the 1930s and ‘40s.
1910: Mother Teresa
Birthday: August 26, 1910
The Roman Catholic nun and Nobel Peace Prize winner is so well-known for her good works that her name is now synonymous with them: “Who are you: Mother Teresa?”
Honorable mention: Jacques Cousteau
Not many oceanographers reach the level of fame that Jacques Cousteau did, but his documentaries and advocacy for conservation helped him become a household name. The red cap probably didn’t hurt, either.
1911: Ronald Reagan
Birthday: February 6, 1911
As a young man with a booming film career, Reagan was already famous for his movie roles such as “The Gipper” in Knute Rockne, All American. But it was his political career as governor of California and, of course, as the 40th president of the United States that led to international renown.
Honorable mention: Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball wasn’t just an uncommonly talented actress — she was a comedian, producer, businesswoman and studio executive. And that’s probably why she’s still so beloved.
1912: Julia Child
Birthday: August 15, 1912
Julia Child didn’t publish her first cookbook until she was 49. Her first TV show, The French Chef, debuted two years later.
Honorable mention: Woody Guthrie
Singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie wrote hundreds of folk songs and political songs, influencing later artists such as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, and Bruce Springsteen.
1913: Rosa Parks
Birthday: February 4, 1913
The Civil Rights icon and activist made a stand against segregation in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus. She later received the Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, among other awards, for her contributions.
Honorable mention: Richard Nixon
Nixon had a long political career, serving in the House of Representatives, the Senate, the vice presidency, and, of course, as the 37th president of the United States. He resigned in 1974.
1914: Joe DiMaggio
Birthday: November 25, 1914
Joltin’ Joe is still considered one of the best baseball players in history, with a record 56-game hitting streak and nine World Series titles.
Honorable mention: Alec Guinness
Before a whole new generation of fans knew Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Guinness was already an award-winning actor with an Oscar, BAFTA, Tony and Golden Globe under his belt.
1915: Frank Sinatra
Birthday: December 12, 1915
Ol’ Blue Eyes was well-known for his acting and singing talents, and he remains one of the best-selling musical artists of all time.
Honorable mention: Billie Holiday
Born Eleanora Fagan, Billie Holiday’s unique vocal style influenced a dazzling number of artists that came after her — including Frank Sinatra. She won four posthumous Grammy Awards.
1916: Walter Cronkite
Birthday: November 4, 1916
For more than 40 years, broadcast journalist and anchorman Walter Cronkite earned his “Most Trusted Man in America” title by informing Americans about WWII bombings, the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the assassinations of JFK and John Lennon. And that’s the way it is.
Honorable mention: Olivia de Havilland
From 1935 through 1988, the Academy Award-winning actress appeared in 49 films, including Gone with the Wind.
1917: John F. Kennedy
Birthday: May 29, 1917
Though his time in office was cut short by his assassination, the 35th president of the United States is still one of the most influential politicians in American history.
Honorable mention: Dean Martin
The Rat Pack wouldn’t have been the same without Dino.
1918: Nelson Mandela
Birthday: July 18, 1918
Following 27 years in prison for his activism against apartheid, Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994.
Honorable mention: Rita Hayworth
Actress and dancer Rita Hayworth was one of the most glamorous stars of the 1940s, starring in the film noir Gilda and alongside Fred Astaire in two musicals for Columbia Pictures.
1919: Jackie Robinson
Birthday: January 31, 1919
Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball when he started as the first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
Honorable mention: Liberace
During the height of his fame, “Mr. Showmanship” was the highest-paid entertainer in the world.
1920: Pope John Paul II
Birthday: May 18, 1920
The second-longest serving Pope in history, John Paul II was canonized in 2014, just nine years after his death.
Honorable mention: Ray Bradbury
The New York Times called Bradbury “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.” And with works like Fahrenheit 451 and I Sing the Body Electric, it’s easy to see why.
1921: John Glenn
Birthday: July 18, 1921
The first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn also represented Ohio in the United States Senate for nearly 25 years.
Honorable mention: Lana Turner
Famous for roles in movies such as The Postman Always Rings Twice and Peyton Place, Lana Turner became part of Hollywood legend when her teenage daughter fatally stabbed Turner’s abusive boyfriend in 1958.
1922: Judy Garland
Birthday: June 10, 1922
From The Wizard of Oz and Meet Me in St. Louis to A Star is Born, Judy Garland starred in some of Hollywood’s most classic films.
Honorable mention: Betty White
Betty White is not only known for the longevity of her career with roles like Sue Ann Nivens and Rose Nylund: in 1953, she became the first woman to produce a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth).
1923: Hank Williams
Birthday: September 17, 1923
In an industry full of legends, Hank Williams stands out even today. Despite his untimely death at the age of 29, Williams’ contributions were so vast that he is still known as one of the most influential talents in country music.
Honorable mention: Maria Callas
One of the most celebrated and influential opera singers in history, Maria Callas had talent, beauty and a larger-than-life persona.
1924: Marlon Brando
Birthday: April 3, 1924
The two-time Academy Award winner was known for his Method acting in movies including On the Waterfront, Mutiny on the Bounty and The Godfather.
Honorable mention: Truman Capote
Author Truman Capote was well-known for his works Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, but was almost more famous for his oversized personality and celebrity stature. Former presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter get nods here as well.
1925: Johnny Carson
Birthday: October 23, 1925
As the host of The Tonight Show for three decades, Carson was in the homes of millions of Americans nearly every night.
Honorable mention: Paul Newman
Actor, director, race car driver, philanthropist — was there anything Paul Newman didn’t do?
1926: Queen Elizabeth II
Birthday: April 21, 1926
The longest-reigning British monarch and mother of corgis joins her mum (1900) on our list.
Honorable mention: Marilyn Monroe
Just 36 when she died, the legend of Marilyn Monroe, AKA Norma Jeane Mortenson, has become more famous than the woman herself.
1927: Sidney Poitier
Birthday: February 20, 1927
In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first black actor to win an Academy Award. He was knighted in 1974 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Honorable mention: Eartha Kitt
Orson Welles once called this actress, singer, dancer and activist “the most exciting woman in the world.” Her 1953 version of “Santa Baby” remains a holiday staple.
1928: Andy Warhol
Birthday: August 6, 1928
Artist, director and producer Andy Warhol once said that everyone experienced 15 minutes of fame in their lifetimes — but he did a little bit better than that.
Honorable mention: Fred Rogers
It’s hard to top the revered Mr. Rogers, who made children feel safe, smart and loved for decades on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. But Shirley Temple, Gordie Howe and Maya Angelou were all 1928 babies as well.
1929: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Birthday: January 15, 1929
The minister and activist remains one of the most inspiring beacons of the civil rights movement. His 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech is still one of the most iconic speeches in history.
Honorable mention: Anne Frank
The 15-year-old’s diary of the Holocaust has been read by more than 30 million people since it was published in 1947. Another 1929 debut: Audrey Hepburn.
1930: Neil Armstrong
Birthday: August 5, 1930
As the first person to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man” was also a giant leap for his fame.
Honorable mention: Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood’s 50+ years in Hollywood mean he’s served in a number of roles, including actor, director, producer and composer. Still, many know him best for Westerns like The Outlaw Josey Wales and Pale Rider.
1931: James Dean
Birthday: February 8, 1931
The Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden actor was one of the biggest stars of the 1950s, and only became more famous after his death in a car accident in 1955.
Honorable mention: Toni Morrison
Morrison’s books Song of Solomon and The Bluest Eye brought her critical acclaim. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Also born in 1931: Regis Philbin and Mickey Mantle.
1932: Elizabeth Taylor
Birthday: February 27, 1932
Taylor may be most well-known for her acting career, shooting to fame after her role in National Velvet in 1944. She was also accomplished as a businesswoman and humanitarian.
Honorable mention: Johnny Cash
The Man in Black may have sold more than 90 million albums, but he’s vying against Little Richard — “The Architect of Rock and Roll” — for the 1932 honorary mention.
1933: James Brown
Birthday: May 3, 1933
The Godfather of Soul’s career spanned more than half a century, earning him 17 #1 singles on Billboard’s R&B chart.
Honorable mention: Carol Burnett
Everyone loves actress, comedian and singer Carol Burnett, but 1933 was definitely a good year — Willie Nelson, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Gene Wilder also made their debuts.
1934: Hank Aaron
Birthday: February 5, 1934
Hammerin’ Hank held the Major League Baseball record for career home runs for 33 years, and is one of only two players to hit 30 or more home runs per season at least 15 times.
Honorable mention: Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall is best known for her lifelong scientific and social studies of chimpanzees, and has also worked extensively in the areas of conservation and animal welfare.
1935: Elvis Presley
Birthday: January 8, 1935
From movies to music, there’s hardly been a bigger pop culture phenomenon than the King of Rock and Roll.
Honorable mention: Julie Andrews
From Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music to The Princess Diaries, Julie Andrews’ talents have delighted generation after generation.
1936: Buddy Holly
Birthday: September 7, 1936
Holly infamously died in a plane crash at the age of 22, but his music influenced everyone from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to Elvis Costello and Elton John.
Honorable mention: Burt Reynolds
The ’70s and ’80s were particularly good to Reynolds, including movies like Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, and The Cannonball Run. Also notable: Mary Tyler Moore.
1937: Jack Nicholson
Birthday: April 22, 1937
With 12 Academy Award nominations to his name, Jack Nicholson is the most nominated male actor in history. He has two Best Actor wins — one for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975, and one for As Good As It Gets in 1997.
Honorable mention: Hunter S. Thompson
The writer and founder of gonzo journalism wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, among other things, but was just as well-known for his part in the 1970s counterculture. And this was another big year for famous births — Morgan Freeman and Jane Fonda were also born in ’37.
1938: Natalie Wood
Birthday: July 20, 1938
First known for her role as Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street, Wood became the youngest person to score three Oscar nominations (a record later broken by Jennifer Lawrence) and had a successful career in film and television. Her suspicious death by drowning in 1981 while on a boat with Christopher Walken and her husband Robert Wagner remains one of Hollywood’s biggest mysteries.
Honorable mention: Ted Turner
Turner transformed his father’s billboard business into a $2.1-billion media fortune. He founded TBS in 1976, CNN in 1980, TNT in 1988 and TCM in 1994. Turner also owned the Atlanta Braves.
1939: Tina Turner
Birthday: November 26, 1939
The singer-songwriter famous for “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and “Proud Mary” has 12 Grammys and several hit movies to her name.
Honorable mention: Lily Tomlin
Tomlin’s breakout role was on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In in 1969 and she’s hardly let up since, as evidenced by Grace and Frankie, her successful Netflix series with Jane Fonda. Another 1939 birth worth noting: Ralph Lauren.
1940: John Lennon
Birthday: October 9, 1940
Along with Paul McCartney, Lennon was one half of the most successful songwriting duo in history. His assassination in 1980 at age 40 shocked the world.
Honorable mention: Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was a man of many talents — actor, director, philosopher, martial artist. His popularity has been credited with changing the way Asians were represented in film and TV in the U.S.
1941: Bob Dylan
Birthday: May 24, 1941
Dylan is one of the most decorated singer-songwriter-activists still working, with 10 Grammys, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Honorable mention: Martha Stewart
The founder of a media empire that includes books, TV shows, magazines and more, Martha could recently be seen as a guest judge on Chopped.
1942: Muhammad Ali
Birthday: January 17, 1942
He was The Greatest. What else do you need to know, really? Ali is still known as one of the best boxers and sportsmen of all time.
Honorable mention: Jimi Hendrix
There aren’t many people that could take the “most famous” title from Jimi Hendrix, but Muhammad Ali is one of them. The year 1942 also produced superstars Paul McCartney and Barbra Streisand.
1943: Mick Jagger
Birthday: July 26, 1943
The Rolling Stones frontman has been gyrating and strutting for more than 50 years, without showing much sign of slowing down.
Honorable mention: Janis Joplin
Even nearly 50 years after her death, the Recording Industry Association of America still ranks Janis Joplin as one of the top-selling artists, with more than 17.5 million albums sold. Other notable 1943-ites: George Harrison and Robert De Niro.
1944: Diana Ross
Birthday: March 26, 1944
As the lead singer of the Supremes, Ross fronted the most successful “girl group” in history. As a solo act, Ross bagged 6 #1 hits and 12 top-10s.
Honorable mention: George Lucas
The creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones certainly left his mark on our world — and created his own.
1945: Bob Marley
Birthday: February 6, 1945
The influential Jamaican singer-songwriter has sold more than 45 million records. When he died from cancer at the age of 36 in 1981, Marley received a state funeral in Jamaica.
Honorable mention: Eric Clapton
Clapton is the only person to be inducted three times into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a member of the Yardbirds, once as part of Cream, and once as a solo musician.
1946: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump (tie)
The three U.S. presidents were all born within a couple months of each other in 1946, the first year of the baby boom generation.
Honorable mention: Steven Spielberg
Spielberg’s contributions to film are unparalleled, starting with directing Jaws in 1975. His work has made him the highest-grossing film director in history. Other children of 1946: Freddie Mercury, Liza Minnelli, and Dolly Parton.
1947: David Bowie
Birthday: January 8, 1947
Bowie changed the music industry with his glam-rock style, selling 140 million albums and introducing the world to his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust.
Honorable mention: Elton John
Since 1969, Elton John has sold more than 300 million records, won five Grammys, had nine singles reach the top of the Billboard charts and had seven consecutive number-one albums. Other 1947 honorable mentions: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Letterman, Stephen King and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
1948: Ozzy Osbourne
Birthday: December 3, 1948
Osbourne made a name for himself in the 1970s as the lead singer of Black Sabbath, co-penning songs like “War Pigs” and “Iron Man.” He later became even more of a household name with the hit reality show The Osbournes.
Honorable mention: Prince Charles
As the first grandchild to King George VI, the first son to Queen Elizabeth II, father to William and Harry, and much-reviled ex-husband of Diana, Prince Charles has made (or inherited) quite a name for himself. Singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks was also born in 1948.
1949: Bruce Springsteen
Birthday: September 23, 1949
No one understands working-class Americans like The Boss, and the world has rewarded him by purchasing 135 million of his records.
Honorable mention: Meryl Streep
No actress in history can match the awards and accolades Meryl Streep has earned in her illustrious career — and that’s so far.
1950: Tom Petty
Birthday: October 20, 1950
Tom Petty gave us a lot of great music as a Heartbreaker, a Wilbury and as himself. From “Breakdown” to “Free Fallin’,” fans responded to the tune of 80 million records.
Honorable mention: Bill Murray
It’s hard to top Bill Murray — after all, he’s Bill Murray. (He’s also Steve Zissou, Peter Venkman, Phil Connors, and Carl Spackler.) But celebs born in 1950 that come close include John Candy and Stevie Wonder.
1951: Robin Williams
Birthday: July 21, 1951
We won’t even try to list all of Robin Williams’ great roles here. But suffice it to say that few actors could go the extremes in humor and drama — and do them both equally brilliantly — that Williams did.
Honorable mention: Mark Hamill
Star Wars made him a household name, but Hamill’s versatile pipes have also made him one of the most sought-after voice-over talents in Hollywood.
1952: Patrick Swayze
Birthday: August 18, 1952
We had the time of our lives watching Swayze in movies like Ghost, Road House, and Dirty Dancing.
Honorable mention: Dan Aykroyd
Another Ghostbuster and Saturday Night Live alum gets an honorable mention, but Liam Neeson deserves a 1952 nod as well.
1953: Tim Allen
Birthday: June 13, 1953
A fixture on the stand-up comedy circuit for years, Allen entered the mainstream as Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor on Home Improvement in the ’90s. The successful film career that has followed includes hits like Galaxy Quest, The Santa Clause series, and, of course, voicing Buzz Lightyear in all things Toy Story.
Honorable mention: Hulk Hogan
Did Hulkamania ever really end? Terry Bollea was one of the first superstar wrestlers — and the WWF/WWE hasn’t been the same since.
1954: Oprah Winfrey
Birthday: January 29, 1954
Oprah’s so famous, we don’t even need to explain ourselves.
Honorable mention: Jerry Seinfeld
The show about nothing sure did something for Jerry Seinfeld. The eponymous sitcom not only made Seinfeld a star, it set him up for life financially — Forbes ranks him #83 on their list of top celebrity earners. Another 1954 baby we love: Denzel Washington.
1955: Bill Gates
Birthday: October 28, 1955
As the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates is one of the richest people in the world — but he’s also pledged to give away the majority of his wealth to worthy causes, and has convinced at least 150 other billionaires to do the same.
Honorable mention: Steve Jobs
Speaking of billionaires. Jobs was the co-founder of Apple, the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, and a member of the Walt Disney Company board of directors. Though he died of pancreatic cancer in 2011, his presence and influence are still felt across the industries. And 1955 was a big year, when Whoopi Goldberg, Bruce Willis, Kevin Costner and 1 also arrived.
1956: Tom Hanks
Birthday: July 9, 1956
National Treasure Tom Hanks. What else do we need to say?
Honorable mention: Carrie Fisher
Born into fame thanks to celebrity parents Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher proved her own brilliance as an actress and a writer.
1957: Gloria Estefan
Birthday: September 1, 1957
One of the biggest global superstars ever, Estefan is a three-time Grammy winner who has sold 115 million records worldwide. She has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Kennedy Center Honors for her contributions to American Culture Life.
Honorable mention: Spike Lee
Filmmaker Spike Lee is known for his provocative movies, starting with She’s Gotta Have It in 1986 and most recently with 2018’s BlacKkKlansman, for which he won the Adapted Screenplay Oscar.
1958: Michael Jackson
Birthday: August 29, 1958
Michael Jackson knew unfathomable fame beginning at the age of 6. Between the Jackson 5 and his solo career, he sold 350 million records worldwide — and Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with 66 million copies sold. His sound and dance style continue to influence top artists today.
Honorable mention: Prince
The King of Pop just edged out the Purple One on the fame scale, but it was a close call. Prince’s biggest commercial success, Purple Rain, sold 25 million copies — while the movie of the same name, which he also starred in, made $80 million worldwide. Other 1958 notables include Ellen DeGeneres and Mark Cuban.
1959: Magic Johnson
Birthday: August 14, 1959
Magic Johnson is a five-time NBA champion and a star player on the 1992 Olympic Dream Team. In 1991, Johnson announced that he was HIV-positive and helped to change public opinion on HIV and AIDS. He continues to be involved with HIV and AIDS activism and awareness issues.
Honorable mention: John McEnroe
The original bad boy of tennis racked up the highest men’s combined total of the Open Era, with 77 singles and 78 doubles titles. But his infamous temper tantrums are now part of tennis legend. Simon Cowell and Emma Thompson also have 1959 birthdays.
1960: John F. Kennedy Jr.
Birthday: November 25, 1960
The son of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, JFK Jr. was born into fame, quite literally — he was born two weeks after his father was elected president. His fame only increased when he grew up, as he dated celebrities like Daryl Hannah and Cindy Crawford, started a political magazine called George and hit the New York social scene. He, his wife and his sister-in-law died in 1999 when the plane he was piloting crashed, making many wonder if the Kennedy Curse might be real.
Honorable mention: Sean Penn
Known for his intensity and quick temper, actor-director-writer Sean Penn has had quite the career, from Fast Times at Ridgemont High to his 2018 novel Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. Another 1960 birthday: Hugh Grant.
1961: Barack Obama
Birthday: August 4, 1961
The 44th president of the United States has been the most admired man in the world for 11 consecutive years, according to Gallup polls.
Honorable mention: Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana’s marriage into the royal family made her one of the most well-known people in the world, but her activism, kindness and charitable works made her one of the most beloved. Other 1961 notables: Wayne Gretzky, George Clooney, Eddie Murphy, Michael J. Fox and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
1962: Tom Cruise
Birthday: July 3, 1962
Born on the Fourth of July — almost. Tom Cruise has been an A-lister since the early 1980s, with films that have grossed more than $10.1 billion worldwide.
Honorable mention: Jim Carrey
It was a great year for acting — in addition to the versatile Jim Carrey, Demi Moore and Steve Carell were also born in ‘62.
1963: Michael Jordan
Birthday: February 17, 1963
You’ve probably heard of Michael Jordan. He spent 15 seasons in the NBA, most of them with the Chicago Bulls. He won six championships, with a three-peat from 1991-1993 and another from 1996-1998, and has two Olympic gold medals — one when he was in college, and one when he was part of the Dream Team. And let’s not forget Space Jam.
Honorable mention: Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt has come a long way since he stole Louise’s purse in Thelma and Louise. Whether he’s acting, directing or producing, Pitt is still creating box-office hits. And we’d be remiss not to mention another ’63 baby, Whitney Houston, who sold 25 million copies of her Grammy-winning debut album in 1985 — and more than 200 million albums overall.
1964: Keanu Reeves
Birthday: September 2, 1964
Keanu has been on the scene for a long time, but his recent resurgence with the John Wick movies, a new Bill & Ted, and voicing Canadian stuntman Duke Caboom in Toy Story 4 have given him superstar status all over again.
Honorable mention: Jeff Bezos
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s first “centi-billionaire” — a billionaire that has topped the $100 billion mark. Sandra Bullock, Courteney Cox and Rob Lowe also make the top 1964 birthdays list.
1965: J.K. Rowling
Birthday: July 31, 1965
J.K. Rowling’s tales are pretty famous — her own personal story, and the ones she wrote. The author was a single mother of two and struggling to make ends meet when she wrote Harry Potter. Now, the story of the boy wizard and his friends battling evil forces has become the best-selling book series of all time, making Rowling the first billionaire author in history.
Honorable mention: Robert Downey, Jr.
Iron Man (and Sherlock Holmes) himself made his acting debut in his father’s film Pound when he was just five years old. He’s had some career ups and downs since then, but it’s safe to say he’s on an upswing right now. Also born in 1965: Dr. Dre and Shania Twain.
1966: Janet Jackson
Birthday: May 16, 1966
Janet was the ninth and youngest child of the famous Jackson family — but she made her own name for herself, selling more than 100 million albums and appearing in movies such as Poetic Justice and Why Did I Get Married?
Honorable mention: Mike Tyson
Famous for his talents in the ring and infamous for biting Evander Holyfield’s ears (among other incidents), Mike Tyson remains one of the most recognizable boxers and heavyweight champions. Other 1966 arrivals: Adam Sandler and Halle Berry
1967: Julia Roberts
Birthday: October 28, 1967
After several small film roles in the late ’80s, Roberts hit it big with Pretty Woman in 1990 and has been consistently bankable ever since: Her movies have raked in more than $2.9 billion at the box office. She earned an Academy Award for Best Actress for the titular role of Erin Brockovich in 2000.
Honorable mention: Kurt Cobain
Even 25 years after his death, the lead singer of Nirvana is still known as one of the most influential musicians of Generation X. Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell were also born in 1967.
1968: Will Smith
Birthday: September 25, 1968
From the Fresh Prince to Aladdin, Will Smith’s career hasn’t slowed down since “Parents Just Don’t Understand” won a Grammy in 1989. His movies have made a total of $8.8 billion at the box office, and his debut album Big Willie Style was certified nine times platinum.
Honorable mention: Hugh Jackman
The multi-talented Hugh Jackman is just an Oscar away from an EGOT: He won an Emmy for hosting the Tony Awards, a Grammy for The Greatest Showman soundtrack, and a Tony for his role in The Boy from Oz.
1969: Jennifer Lopez
Birthday: July 24, 1969
Singing, dancing, acting, producing, designing — there’s not much Jenny from the Block doesn’t do, and she’s good at all of it. Lopez is widely regarded as one of the most powerful women in the world, not just for her hit movies, albums, TV shows and Vegas residency, but also for her charitable foundation, the Lopez Family Foundation.
Honorable mention: Jay-Z
Jay-Z (AKA Shawn Carter) has sold 125 million records and, with 22 awards, has the most Grammy wins by a rap artist. His business ventures into music streaming, fashion, restaurants, and entertainment agencies have repeatedly landed Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce on Forbes’ list of top-earning celebrity couples. 1969 also brought us Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Aniston.
1970: Mariah Carey
Birthday: March 27, 1969 or ’70
It’s possible that Mariah Carey was born in 1969, but she’s certainly not spilling the beans. Noted for her five-octave range and ability to sing in the whistle register, Mariah Carey became instantly famous when her debut album was released in 1990. She became the only artist ever to have her first five singles hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. She’s one of the world’s best-selling artists with more than 200 million albums sold.
Honorable mention: Matt Damon
From Good Will Hunting to the Bourne and Ocean’s movies, Damon is one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars — so we’ll forgive him for We Bought a Zoo. Also born in 1970: Tina Fey.
1971: Tupac Shakur
Birthday: June 16, 1971
Considered one of the best and most influential musicians of any decade, Tupac was a central figure in West Coast hip-hop. Tupac has sold more than 75 million albums, many of which were sold after his death in 1996. He was inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2010, and made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, his first year of eligibility.
Honorable mention: Elon Musk
Elon Musk dabbles in a lot of spaces — technology, engineering, entrepreneurship, investments. He was the co-founder of PayPal, the founder of The Boring Company, the co-founder of Tesla, and the founder of SpaceX, among other things. His ventures have made him the 23rd richest person in the world as of October 2019, with a net worth of about $22.9 billion. Also born in ’71: Snoop Dogg and Lance Armstrong.
1972: Dwayne Johnson
Birthday: May 2, 1972
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has had quite the career, from college football champion and WWE superstar to producer and one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. In 2019, he landed on Time’s Most Influential People in the World list. His movies have grossed more than $10.5 billion worldwide.
Honorable mention: Eminem
1999’s The Slim Shady LP made Eminem, AKA Marshall Mathers, a star. In 2002, his song “Lose Yourself” from the movie 8 Mile (which he also starred in) made him the first hip hop artist to win an Oscar. His work continues to resonate — he had the most album sales of any artist in 2018. Exes Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck also have 1972 birthdays.
1973: Heidi Klum
Birthday: June 1, 1973
Klum became internationally famous in the late ’90s after she appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and became a Victoria’s Secret Angel. She turned her modeling career into a business empire, from the hugely successful Project Runway reality show to fragrance and fashion lines.
Honorable mention: Dave Chappelle
Best-known for his hit sketch comedy series Chappelle’s Show, Dave Chappelle has been named one of the best and most influential comedians of all time by both critics and his peers. He received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2019. Also born in 1973: Heidi Klum’s pal and sometimes co-worker Tyra Banks.
1974: Leonardo DiCaprio
Birthday: November 11, 1974
His feature film debut may have been in the direct-to-DVD movie Critters 3, but Leonardo DiCaprio has more than made up for it. After critically acclaimed roles in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Basketball Diaries, and Romeo + Juliet, DiCaprio hit superstardom after playing Jack in Titanic. His movies continue to be commercial and critical successes; after four nominations, he finally won a Best Actor Oscar for The Revenant.
Honorable mention: Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon was a standout on SNL from 1998-2004, and after a few mixed-review movies in the mid-2000s, Fallon found success with Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. 1974 also brought us Batman and a Spice Girl: Christian Bale and Victoria Beckham (respectively, of course), plus Amy Adams and Derek Jeter.
1975: Angelina Jolie
Birthday: June 4, 1975
Angelina Jolie has been a household name since she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1999 at the age of 24 (for Girl, Interrupted). She also serves as a director, producer and humanitarian, winning the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, the Citizen of the World Award, and the Freedom Award for her international efforts.
Honorable mention: Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods changed the way we think about golf in the 1990s and early 2000s, and made a comeback in 2018 and 2019 with a Tour Championship and Masters win, respectively. Other 1975 birthdays: David Beckham, Alex Rodriguez and Bradley Cooper.
1976: Ryan Reynolds
Birthday: October 23, 1976
Actor-writer-producer-gin owner Ryan Reynolds has been acting since 1991, with success in movies such as Van Wilder, The Amityville Horror and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But Deadpool was the role that was made for him (literally), cementing his A-List status.
Honorable mention: Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon is one of the highest paid actresses in the world, but she also produces, owns her own clothing company, and serves on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund. Also notable: Peyton Manning.
1977: Kanye West
Birthday: June 8, 1977
Kanye has 21 Grammys under his belt, making him one of the industry’s most awarded artists — and with 140 million albums sold, also one of the best-selling artists of all time. His awards-show antics, controversial Tweets, and marriage to Kim Kardashian have only increased his constant coverage in the media.
Honorable mention: Tom Brady
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has won six Super Bowls, the most of any player in NFL history. Many analysts consider him to be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Joining Brady in the 1977 birthday club is Shakira.
1978: Kobe Bryant
Birthday: August 23, 1978
In 1996, Kobe Bryant joined the NBA directly out of high school. He’s been making headlines ever since, with five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, 18 All-Star appearances, and even an Oscar (Best Animated Short for Dear Basketball in 2018).
Honorable mention: Ashton Kutcher
Known for playing Michael Kelso on That ‘70s Show, Walden Schmidt on Two and a Half Men, and currently Colt Bennett on The Ranch, Kutcher is also a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. Actress Katie Holmes was also born in 1978.
1979: Chris Pratt
Birthday: June 21, 1979
Pratt was already doing pretty well for himself with roles in TV shows like Everwood and Parks and Rec — and then he landed the part of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy and took his fame to another level entirely.
Honorable mention: Heath Ledger
Birthday: April 4, 1979
Heath Ledger is our top honorable mention for 1979, but it was definitely a star-studded year: Other birthdays include Jason Momoa, Kevin Hart, and John Krasinski.
1980: Kim Kardashian
Birthday: October 21, 1980
Love Kim K. or hate her, her fame is definitely not in question. From TV shows to fashion lines, endorsement deals and now a high-profile foray into a legal career, there aren’t many arenas Kardashian hasn’t made her mark in.
Honorable mention: Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell’s first major role was as the title character in the teen drama Veronica Mars, and she’s had hit after hit ever since — including voicing Princess Anna in Frozen and starring in The Good Place. Other 1980 birthdays: Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Gosling.
Birthday: September 4, 1981
She’s sold more than 160 million albums between her solo career and her work with Destiny’s Child, and is the most-nominated woman in Grammy history, leading to 23 wins. She has a cult following unmatched by other artists, and has consistently been ranked in Time’s Person of the Year lists and Forbes’ Most Powerful Women lists.
Honorable mention: Justin, Britney, Serena and Roger
Justin Timberlake was the youngest member of NSYNC, which is one of the top-selling boy bands of all time. But his career didn’t stop there — as a solo act, he’s sold more than 32 million albums. You’ve probably also spotted him (or heard his voice) in movies such as Trolls and Friends with Benefits. Also born in 1981: Timberlake’s ultra-famous ex, Britney Spears, and tennis legends Serena Williams, who’s won an astonishing 23 Grand Slam singles titles, and Roger Federer, who’s won 20.
1982: Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (tie)
Birthdays: June 21, 1982, and January 9, 1982
It doesn’t get much more famous than the future king and queen (or queen consort) of England.
Honorable mention: Dwyane Wade
D-Wade has won three NBA championships and an Olympic gold medal, played in 13 All-Star games and was the 2009 NBA scoring champion. Other ‘82 birthdays include Seth Rogen and Anne Hathaway.
1983: Chris Hemsworth
Birthday: August 11, 1983
It’s hard to best Thor when it comes to fame. Largely due to his role as one of the Avengers, Hemsworth is one of the highest-paid actors in the world.
Honorable mention: Mila Kunis
That ‘70s Show and Bad Moms actress Mila Kunis deserves an honorable mention, as do additional 1983 celebs Donald Glover and Emily Blunt.
1984: LeBron James
Birthday: December 30, 1984
Move over, Michael Jordan — some consider LeBron James to be the greatest basketball player of all time. His achievements include three NBA championships, four NBA MVP awards and two Olympic gold medals.
Honorable mention: Mark Zuckerberg
As co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has forever changed the way we interact with each other — and changed his own personal fortunes, to the tune of $72.3 billion. Katy Perry and Scarlett Johansson were also born in 1984.
1985: Michael Phelps
Birthday: June 30, 1985
Swimmer Michael Phelps is the most-decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals — including 23 golds.
Honorable mention: Chrissy Teigen
Model, TV personality and entrepreneur Chrissy Teigen made her debut in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in 2010. 1985 also produced Anna Kendrick, Keira Knightley and Bruno Mars.
1986: Lady Gaga
Birthday: March 28, 1986
Between her jaw-dropping pipes, her Oscar-nominated performance in A Star is Born, and her social activism for LGBT rights, Lady Gaga (AKA Stefani Germanotta) is a force to be reckoned with.
Honorable mention: Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan’s roles in Mean Girls, Freaky Friday and The Parent Trap made her a star. Other 1986 babies: Robert Pattinson and Rafael Nadal.
1987: Zac Efron
Birthday: October 18, 1987
He may have gotten his start in the Disney Channel’s High School Musical, but Zac Efron is a bonafide triple threat now — a singer, actor and dancer who has starred in hits like The Greatest Showman and dark films such as Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.
Honorable mention: Maria Sharapova
It was a great year for tennis — both Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray were born in ’87.
Birthday: February 20, 1988
Born Robyn Fenty, Rihanna has made a name for herself not just as a nine-Grammy-winning artist, but also as a businesswoman and fashion designer. Her fashion and makeup lines have won high praise from critics and consumers alike.
Honorable mention: Stephen Curry
So far, Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors has won three NBA championships and has been named MVP twice. Also great in ’88: Emma Stone and Adele.
1989: Taylor Swift
Birthday: December 13, 1989
It’s hard to miss Taylor Swift — she’s one of the best-selling artists of all time, with seven studio albums, 10 Grammys and 23 Billboard Music Awards.
Honorable mention: Daniel Radcliffe
Only Taylor Swift could be more famous than Harry Potter. Since playing the titular role in the blockbuster movies, Radcliffe has split his time between films and the theatre.
1990: Jennifer Lawrence
Birthday: August 15, 1990
With her role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games trilogy, Jennifer Lawrence became the highest-grossing action heroine ever (at the time — she has since been surpassed by Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones in the new Star Wars movies, and Brie Larson in Captain Marvel). She’s the youngest actress to receive four Academy Award nominations, and the second-youngest to win Best Actress (for Silver Linings Playbook).
Honorable mention: Emma Watson
Emma Watson rose to fame as a child actress, playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. As an adult, she has starred in movies such as Beauty and the Beast and Little Women, and is also an activist for women’s rights.
1991: Ed Sheeran
Birthday: February 17, 1991
With 150 million albums sold and his 2017-2019 tour becoming the highest-grossing tour of all time, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is doing pretty well for himself at a young age.
Honorable mention: Shailene Woodley
The actress starred in The Secret Life of the American Teenager at the age of 17 and has since starred in movies such as Divergent and the HBO series Big Little Lies. She is also an environmental activist.
1992: Miley Cyrus
Birthday: November 23, 1992
Known for her controversial performances, it’s safe to say Miley Cyrus has eclipsed her famous father Billy Ray when it comes to fame and fortune. Miley’s star rose as a Disney Channel star in Hannah Montana, and she has since had nine top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
Honorable mention: Nick Jonas
The youngest of the Jonas Brothers (the ones in the band, anyway), Nick has found success as part of the Jonas Brothers, with his solo ventures, and with his acting career. Also born in 1992: Selena Gomez and Kyrie Irving.
1993: Ariana Grande
Birthday: June 26, 1993
Grande’s four-octave soprano and ability to hit the whistle register have made her one of the most successful singers ever. In 2019, she became the first artist to have three songs simultaneously holding the 1, 2, and 3 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 since the Beatles did it in 1964.
Honorable mention: Meghan Trainor
Since her debut single “All About That Bass” hit it big in 2014, Meghan Trainor has gone on to become a Grammy and People’s Choice Award winner. Another 1993 birth: Chance the Rapper.
1994: Justin Bieber
Birthday: March 1, 1994
The Biebs was discovered at the young age of 13 by a talent manager who spotted videos of him performing cover songs on YouTube. His 2010 debut album went Platinum, and Bieber Fever swept the world. In 2016, Bieber became the first artist to top 10 billion (yes, billion) views on Vevo.
Honorable mention: Harry Styles
Fans went crazy for Styles as the lead singer of boy band One Direction, but he’s since ventured out on his own, releasing a solo album and kicking off his acting career with a role in the 2017 Oscar-nominated film Dunkirk.
1995: Post Malone
Birthday: July 4, 1995
A relative newcomer to the music scene, Post Malone has sold 60 million albums in the U.S. as of 2019 — and his debut album was in 2016.
Honorable mention: Kendall Jenner
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star has bumped Gisele Bundchen from the top-paid model in the world spot, with a paycheck of $22 million per year.
1996: Sophie Turner
Birthday: February 21, 1996
English actress Sophie Turner made her television debut as Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones when she was just 14. She has also portrayed Jean Grey in the X-Men movies since 2016.
Honorable mention: Bella Hadid
Along with sister Gigi, Hadid is one of the world’s most sought-after models.
1997: Malala Yousafzai
Birthday: July 12, 1997
Malala has been an activist and advocate for female education in her native Swat Valley in northwestern Pakistan. In 2012, a member of the Taliban attempted to assassinate 15-year-old Malala in retaliation for her activism, boarding her bus and shooting her and two other girls. She survived the attempt and uses her fame as a platform for human rights advocacy. Time magazine has named her one of the most influential people in the world.
Honorable mention: Kylie Jenner
A member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan and star of the reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kylie Jenner is the owner and founder of the successful skincare and cosmetics line Kylie Cosmetics. Forbes pegged her net worth at $1 billion.
1998: Shawn Mendes
Birthday: August 8, 1998
Known for songs like “Stitches” and “Senorita,” a collaboration with Camila Cabello, the 21-year-old singer-songwriter already has two American Music Awards and two Grammy nominations to his name.
Honorable mention: Elle Fanning
The younger sister to fellow actress Dakota Fanning, Elle has been featured in movies including I am Sam, Because of Winn-Dixie and Maleficent.
1999: Kiernan Shipka
Birthday: November 10, 1999
Actress Kiernan Shipka made a name for herself as Don and Betty Draper’s daughter Sally on Mad Men, but now she’s serving up shivers on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Honorable mention: Cameron Boyce
Disney star Cameron Boyce was in a number of Disney Channel series, including starring as Carlos, Cruella de Vil’s son, in the Descendants made-for-TV movies. Sadly, Boyce passed away from an epileptic seizure in July 2019.