Famous People Born In 1940

Discover the most famous people born in 1940. The list includes people like John Lennon, Bruce Lee, James Brolin, Al Pacino, Chuck Norris and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, journalists, composers and blues musicians born in 1940. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, Germany & Italy and many more countries.
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 1 
Bruce Lee
(The Most Influential Martial Artist of All Time)
Bruce Lee
116
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: 27th November
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: July 20, 1973

An iconic actor and martial artist, Bruce Lee, in his short life, gained international fame and developed his own form of martial arts, Jeet Kune Do. In films, he debuted as a child actor and became a huge Hollywood star after the release of his last film Enter the Dragon.

 2 
Pele
(One of the Greatest Football Players of All Time)
Pele
73
Listed In: Football Players
Birthdate: 23rd October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tres Coracoes, Brazil

Brazilian football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was named the Football Player of the Century by the IFFHS. He called football “The Beautiful Game” and was one of the world’s highest-paid athlete for a while. His 1279 goals in 1363 games is a Guinness World Record.

 3 
John Lennon
(The Founder, Co-Songwriter, Co-Lead Vocalist & Rhythm Guitarist of 'The Beatles')
John Lennon
383
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 9th October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Died: December 8, 1980

John Lennon was part of the hugely successful and popular music band, Beatles. It became the first British band to break out big in the US. However, they eventually broke up. Subsequently, Lennon went solo, with 1971 album, Imagine, being his most successful and acclaimed post-Beatles efforts. Sadly he was shot dead by a deranged fan in New York.

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 4 
Al Pacino
(One of the Few Actors To Achieve the 'Triple Crown of Acting' )
Al Pacino
71
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 25th April
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Harlem, New York, United States

Considered one of the greatest actors, Al Pacino gained wide acclaim and recognition for his portrayal of Michael Corleone in the movie, The Godfather in 1972. He’s been a part of many successful and iconic films and won an Oscar for playing a blind military veteran in the movie Scent of a Woman. Pacino has three children, but has never been married.

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 5 
Chuck Norris
(Martial Artist and Actor Best Known for His Action Movies)
Chuck Norris
58
Birthdate: 10th March
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ryan, Oklahoma, United States

A black belt in Tang Soo Do, Brazilian jiu jitsu and Judo, Chuck Norris is an American martial artist, screenwriter and a popular action film star. He has won many martial arts championships. He later founded his own discipline, Chun Kuk Do. He has also written books on martial arts, philosophy, politics, Christianity, plus Western novels and biography.

 6 
Patrick Stewart
32
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 13th July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mirfield, Yorkshire, England

Eminent British actor, Patrick Stewart, is best known for his work in television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and four films associated with it. Another project that brought him immense recognition was the X-Men film series. A passionate stage artist, he has devoted considerable time to stage and delivered strong performances in Anthony and Cleopatra and A Christmas Carol

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 7 
Ringo Starr
(The Drummer of the Rock Band 'The Beatles')
Ringo Starr
80
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: 7th July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dingle, Liverpool, England

English musician, singer, and songwriter, Ringo Starr, gained international fame as the drummer for the rock band, the Beatles. Raised by a single mother, he had a difficult childhood. He sought solace in music and it became his vocation. After finding success with the Beatles, he embarked on a solo career as well.

 8 
Richard Pryor
(Greatest Stand-Up Comedian of All-Time)
Richard Pryor
29
Birthdate: 1st December
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, United States
Died: December 10, 2005

Considered one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, Richard Pryor entertained his audience and influenced generations of stand-up comedians with his pointed observations and skilful art of storytelling. He began by performing at clubs and gained immense fame with his third comedy album, That Nigger’s Crazy. He also became an acclaimed actor and an award winning writer.

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 9 
Alex Trebek
(Game Show Host & Television Personality)
Alex Trebek
50
Listed In: Game Show Hosts
Birthdate: 22nd July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Greater Sudbury, Canada
Died: November 8, 2020

An eminent television personality, Alex Trebek is best known for hosting the popular game show Jeopardy since it was revived in 1984. He has also hosted many other game shows, both in America and Canada. In February 1991, he became the first person to host three American game shows at the same time. He is currently undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

 10 
Raquel Welch
(Actress)
Raquel Welch
23
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 5th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: February 15, 2023
Raquel Welch is best known for appearing in a trendsetting bikini in One Million Years B.C. She also delivered a Golden Globe-winning performance in The Three Musketeers. A trained ballerina, she later launched her beauty and fitness book and videos, and her own line of wigs, jewelry, and skincare products. 
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 11 
James Caan
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Sonny Corleone’ in the Film ‘The Godfather’)
James Caan
21
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 26th March
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Died: July 6, 2022

Best known for playing the iconic character of Sonny Corleone in the movie, The Godfather, James Caan is a practising martial artist, apart from being an actor and director. He has trained under Japanese-American master of karate, Takayuki Kubota, for almost 30 years. For his contributions to arts, he was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 12 
Tom Jones
(Singer)
Tom Jones
23
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 7th June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Treforest, Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales

Tom Jones is a Welsh singer who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His life and work inspired the 2016 musical, Tom: A Story of Tom Jones. In 2005, for his services to music, Tom Jones was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

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 13 
Ricky Nelson
(Musician)
Ricky Nelson
27
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 8th May
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Teaneck, New Jersey, United States
Died: December 31, 1985

Ricky Nelson was an American pop pioneer, rock & roll star, and singer-songwriter. After establishing himself as a top teen idol during the 1950s, Ricky Nelson went on to release several chartbusting songs. He achieved great popularity and was ranked 91st on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

 14 
Frank Vincent Zappa
(One of the Most Innovative and Stylistically Diverse Musicians of His Generation)
Frank Vincent Zappa
37
Listed In: Guitarists
Birthdate: 21st December
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: December 4, 1993

Frank Zappa was an American composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and bandleader. Widely regarded as one of the most stylistically diverse and innovative rock musicians of his generation, Zappa was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list in 2004. Zappa's works have influenced other musicians like Alice Cooper, Jimi Hendrix, Simon Phillips, Steve Vai, and Warren DeMartini.

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 15 
Smokey Robinson
(Ffounder and Front Man of the Motown Vocal Group 'The Miracles')
Smokey Robinson
18
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: 19th February
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Singer, songwriter, and record producer, Smokey Robinson, first gained fame as the founder and frontman of the vocal group, The Miracles, in the 1950s. He embarked on an equally successful solo career after leaving the group. He is the recipient of many awards, including the prestigious Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.

 16 
Jack Nicklaus
(One of the Greatest Golfers of All Time)
Jack Nicklaus
28
Listed In: Golfers
Birthdate: 21st January
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Jack Nicklaus, also known as “The Golden Bear,” has 18 major golf championships to his credit. He has been part of 164 major golf tournaments and has won 117. He now designs golf courses through his company, Nicklaus Design. He has also authored many golf-related books, including an autobiography.

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 17 
John Hurt
(Actor)
John Hurt
20
Birthdate: 22nd January
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, UK
Died: January 27, 2017
John Hurt is best remembered for his Academy Award-nominated performances in Midnight Express and The Elephant Man. His death scene in Alien is considered one of the most memorable in history. He lent his voice to The Lord of The Rings and appeared in the Harry Potter and Hellboy films.
 18 
Dionne Warwick
(One of the Most-Charted Vocalists of All Time)
Dionne Warwick
19
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 12th December
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States

Dionne Warwick is an American singer, TV host, actress, and former FAO Goodwill Ambassador. Warwick was one of the most successful singers between 1955 and 1999, ranking among the 40 biggest hitmakers according to the Billboard Hot 100. 80 of her singles have been featured on Billboard's music charts, making Warwick one of the most-charted female singers in history. 

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 19 
Michael Gambon
(Best Known for His Role as Professor ‘Albus Dumbledore’ in the ‘Harry Potter' Film Series)
Michael Gambon
29
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 19th October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cabra, Ireland

Actor Michael Gambon is best known for playing Albus Dumbledore in the popular Harry Potter movie series. Not surprisingly, Gambon is one of the most recognized faces in the world and a favorite actor among Harry Potter fans. Ranked 28th in Ireland's greatest film actors list published by The Irish Times, Gambon was knighted for hisservices to drama, in 1998.

 20 
Martin Sheen
(Best Known for His Role in the Film 'Apocalypse Now' and TV Series 'The West Wing')
Martin Sheen
64
Birthdate: 3rd August
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States

One of the most celebrated actors of Hollywood, Martin Sheen has won multiple Emmys and Golden Globes. Best known to fans as Captain Benjamin Willard from Apocalypse Now, he has also been involved in countless protests against nuclear power and strongly opposes abortion, capital punishment, and euthanasia.

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 21 
Sam Waterston
(Best Known for His Iconic Role as ‘Jack McCoy’ on the NBC TV Series “Law & Order”)
Sam Waterston
10
Birthdate: 15th November
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Sam Waterston is an American actor, director, and producer. He is popular for his contribution across all three major acting mediums. An active humanitarian, Sam Waterston works closely with organizations, such as Meals on WheelsRefugees International, Oceana, and The United Way. In 2012, he was honored with the Goodermote Humanitarian Award for his support of refugees.

 22 
James Brolin
15
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 18th July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Westwood, California, United States
James Brolin is best known for his Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning performance as Steven Kiley in Marcus Welby, MD. Also known as Barbara Streisand’s husband and Josh Brolin’s father, he portrayed Ronald Reagan in the miniseries The Reagans. Fans also loved him in the movie Traffic and the series Hotel.
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 23 
Katharine Ross
(Actress and Author Known for Her Films: ‘The Stepford Wives’ and ‘Voyage of the Damned’)
Katharine Ross
20
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 29th January
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Katharine Ross is an American actress who became a prominent Hollywood personality in the late-1960s and early-1970s. She is known for her performance in popular films, such as The Graduate and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Much of her acting career was overshadowed by her highly publicized personal life and five marriages to popular personalities.

 24 
John Mahoney
(Known for Playing 'Martin Crane' on the NBC Sitcom 'Frasier')
John Mahoney
9
Birthdate: 20th June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Blackpool, Lancashire, England
Died: February 4, 2018
English-born American actor, John Mahoney left his job in medical journalism in his late thirties to embark on an acting career. He first became known for his roles in films like Moonstruck, Tin Men, Eight Men Out. He was best known for playing Martin Crane on the NBC sitcom Frasier for which he also bagged a Screen Actors Guild Award. 
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 25 
James Cromwell
(Actor Known for His Character Roles)
James Cromwell
12
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 27th January
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

James Cromwell established himself as a leading character actor in American movies in the 1980s. Best known for his Academy Award-nominated role in Babe and his Emmy-winning role in American Horror Story: Asylum, he is also an animal rights activist and supported the Black Panther Party in the past.

 26 
Raul Julia
(Golden Globe- and Emmy-Winning Puerto Rican Actor)
Raul Julia
19
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 9th March
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Floral Park, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Died: October 24, 1994
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 27 
Vicente Fernández
(Mexican Ranchera Singer, Actor and Film Producer)
Vicente Fernández
14
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 17th February
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Huentitán El Alto, Jalisco, Mexico
Died: December 12, 2021
One of Mexico’s best-known cultural icons, singer-actor Vicente Fernández gained nicknames such as The King of Ranchera Music. Known for his signature oversized sombrero and eye-catching costumes, he sold more than 50 million albums throughout his career and won 3 Grammys and 9 Latin Grammys. He also produced Mexican films.
 28 
Nancy Sinatra
(Actress and Singer Best Known for Her Song 'These Boots Are Made for Walkin')
Nancy Sinatra
23
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 8th June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States

The oldest daughter of Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra established herself as a popular singer and actress during the 1960s and 1970s. At the age of 54, she posed for Playboy magazine, becoming one of the oldest women to do so. In 2006, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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 29 
Carlos Slim
(Mexican Businessman and Owner of the Global Conglomerate Company 'Grupo Carso')
Carlos Slim
43
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: 28th January
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim owns the conglomerate Grupo Carso and has served as the CEO of América Móvil and Telmex. He was the world’s richest person from 2010 to 2013 and the fifth-richest in 2020, according to Forbes. He also owns three charity organizations focusing on Mexico City. 
 30 
Frankie Avalon
(Actor and Singer Best Known for His 1959 Hit Songs ‘Venus’ and ‘Why’)
Frankie Avalon
11
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 18th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Frankie Avalon gained fame with his Billboard-charting singles Venus and Why. He was also part of various Beach Party movies, teaming up with actor Annette Funicello. He is also known for his role in the stage production of Grease. He later launched a cosmetic brand and also published a cookbook.
 31 
Jill St. John
(American Former Actress Known for Her Role as ‘Tiffany Case’ in the Movie ‘Diamonds Are Forever’)
Jill St. John
9
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 19th August
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Jill St. John is an American actress best known for portraying the first American Bond girl Tiffany Case in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever. Jill St. John is also credited with founding the Aunts Club, a group of women who provide financial support for children.

 32 
Peter Fonda
(Known for His Role of 'Wyatt' in the Film 'Easy Rider')
Peter Fonda
19
Birthdate: 23rd February
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: August 16, 2019

Peter Fonda, son of Henry Fonda and brother of Jane Fonda, was an icon of the anti-establishment 1960s’ counterculture. He is best known for his Academy Award-nominated screenplay of Easy Rider and his Golden Globe-winning performances in the TV film The Passion of Ayn Rand and the film Ulee's Gold.

 33 
Cliff Richard
(One of the Best-Selling Music Artists of All Time)
Cliff Richard
11
Listed In: Pop Singers
Birthdate: 14th October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lucknow, India
The third-top-selling artist in UK Singles history, Cliff Richard has sold over 250 million records. He charted 67 top-ten and 14 number-one singles in the U.K. He mostly performed with his backing band, The Shadows, and redefined the rock-and-roll genre with singles such as Move It, which inspired The Beatles.
 34 
Margrethe II of Denmark
(Queen of Denmark)
Margrethe II of Denmark
12
Birthdate: 16th April
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Margrethe II, the reigning queen of Denmark, ascended to the throne after the death of her father, King Frederick IX, becoming the first female monarch of her country since Margrethe I. At 13, she was named her father’s heir through a constitutional amendment allowing daughters to inherit the Danish throne.
 35 
Rene Auberjonois
(Actor & Director Best Known for His Role of 'Odo' on 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine')
Rene Auberjonois
5
Birthdate: 1st June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 8, 2019

René Auberjonois is best remembered as Odo from the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He also delivered a Tony-winning performance in the play Coco. He had voiced many video-game characters, such as Karl Schafer in the Uncharted video games. He had also narrated many books, including several Pendergast novels

 36 
Levon Helm
(American Musician and Actor Who Achieved Fame as the Drummer)
Levon Helm
9
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: 26th May
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Elaine, Arkansas, United States
Died: April 19, 2012
 37 
Julie Christie
(Oscar Award Winning Famous British Film Actress Known for Films: 'Darling' and 'Doctor Zhivago')
Julie Christie
8
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 14th April
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chabua, Assam, India

British actress Julie Christie, considered one of the icons of the Swinging Sixties, has performed in several notable films of which six found place in the list of BFI Top 100 British films of 20th century. Recipient of BAFTA Fellowship, Christie gained international fame performing in films like Doctor Zhivago and Darling, of which the latter won her an Oscar

 38 
Wilma Rudolph
(The First American Woman to Win Three Gold Medals in a Single Olympic Games)
Wilma Rudolph
20
Listed In: Athletes
Birthdate: 23rd June
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
Died: November 12, 1994

Sprinter Wilma Rudolph made history by becoming the first American female athlete to win three track and field gold medals in a single Olympic game. As a child, she needed orthopedic shoes to help her walk. The sports icon lost her life to cancer but was immortalized through books and movies.

 39 
Mario Andretti
(Former Racing Driver and Winner of 1978 Formula One World Championship)
Mario Andretti
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: 28th February
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Motovun, Croatia

 Italian-born American former racing driver, Mario Andrett,i is the only driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, and the Formula One World Championship. He is considered one of the most successful Americans in the history of the sport.  Over the course of his long career, he has is the only person to be named United States Driver of the Year in three decades (1967, 1978, and 1984). 

 40 
Herbie Hancock
(Singer-songwriter, Bandleader, Conductor, Jazz musician, Keyboardist, Actor, Musician, Pianist, Film score composer)
Herbie Hancock
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: 12th April
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago
 41 
George A. Romero
(Film Director Known for His Iconic Horror Films: ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and ‘Dawn of the Dead’)
George A. Romero
7
Birthdate: 4th February
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Died: July 16, 2017

Legendary horror filmmaker George A. Romero is best known for his Night of the Living Dead series and for popularizing the zombie film genre. He also gained fame for his collaborations with horror novelist Stephen King, the most notable of them being the film version of King’s novel The Dark Half.

 42 
Burt Young
(Known for His Role as Rocky Balboa’s Pushy Brother-In-Law in the 'Rocky' Film Franchise)
Burt Young
3
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 30th April
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Best known for his rough character roles and his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Paulie Pennino in the Rocky film franchise, actor Burt Young had been a boxer during his time in the Marine Corps. He has also contributed to book covers as an illustrator and penned screenplays and the novel Endings.

 43 
Terry Gilliam
(Film director, Screenwriter, Actor, Animator, Film actor)
Terry Gilliam
17
Birthdate: 22nd November
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Minneapolis
 44 
H. R. Giger
(Painter)
H. R. Giger
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 5th February
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chur
Died: May 12, 2014

H. R. Giger was a Swiss artist remembered for his airbrushed images of machines and humans intertwined in cold biomechanical relationships. He is also remembered for his work as part of the special effects team that worked in Ridley Scott's 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, for which the team won an Academy Award

 45 
Tom Brokaw
(Journalist)
Tom Brokaw
18
Listed In: Journalists
Birthdate: 6th February
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Webster, South Dakota, United States
 46 
Merlin Olsen
(American Football Player)
Merlin Olsen
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: 15th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Logan, Utah, USA
Died: March 11, 2010
 47 
Brian De Palma
(Film director, Screenwriter)
Brian De Palma
7
Birthdate: 11th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
 48 
Giorgio Moroder
3
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 26th April
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Urtijëi, South Tyrol

Italian composer and record producer Giovanni Moroder, also known as the Father of Disco, produced Take My Breath Away, the Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning track by Berlin, which was part of the Top Gun soundtrack. His scores for Flashdance and Midnight Express, too, won Academy Awards.

 49 
Barry Corbin
(Actor)
Barry Corbin
0
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 16th October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lamesa, Texas, USA
 50 
James Brady
(White House Press Secretary)
James Brady
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 29th August
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Centralia, Illinois, USA
Died: August 4, 2014