Born in 1897

Jan 1 Theodor Kramer an Austrian poet of Jewish origin. He was persecuted during the Second World War and fled to the United Kingdom. After his death his significant poetic output fell into obscurity, but has been rediscovered in recent decades. Several of his poems have been set to music
Jan 1 Ruhulla Akhundov the communist leader of Azerbaijan SSR from 1925 to 1926, under the Soviet leadership of Joseph Stalin.
Jan 2 Gaston Monnerville a French politician and lawyer.
Jan 2 Jim Londos a Greek professional wrestler who was one of the most popular stars who performed on the professional wrestling circuit during the Great Depression.
Jan 3 Pola Negri a Polish stage and film actress who achieved worldwide fame during the silent and golden eras of Hollywood and European film for her tragedienne and femme fatale roles.
Jan 3 Dorothy Arzner an American film director whose career in feature films spanned from the late 1920s into the early 1940s. Through much of that time she was one of the few woman working in the field
Jan 3 Marion Davies an American film actress, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist.
Jan 4 Chen Cheng a Chinese political and military leader, and one of the main National Revolutionary Army commanders during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War. After moving to Taiwan at the end of the civil war, he served as the Governor of Taiwan Province, Vice President and Premier of the Republic of China. He represented the ROC in visits to the United States. He also helped to initiate land reforms and tax reduction programs that caused Communism to become unattractive in Taiwan, where peasants were able to own land. However, his good reputation endures even to today. His alias was Chen Tsyr-shiou
Jan 5 Dragutin Friedrich a Croatian footballer who represented the national team of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes at the 1924 Summer Olympics.
Jan 6 Ionel Teodoreanu a Romanian novelist and lawyer. He is mostly remembered for his books on the themes of childhood and adolescence
Jan 6 Ferenc Szálasi the leader of the fascist Arrow Cross Party – Hungarist Movement, the "Leader of the Nation" , being both Head of State and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary's "Government of National Unity" for the final three months of Hungary's participation in World War II, after Germany occupied Hungary and removed Miklós Horthy by force. During his brief rule, Szálasi's men murdered 10,000–15,000 Jews. After the war, he was executed after a trial by the Hungarian court for crimes against the state committed during World War II
Jan 6 Péter Veres (politician) a Hungarian politician and writer, who served as Minister of Defence from 1947 to 1948.
Jan 7 Luis Enrique Erro a Mexican astronomer, politician, and educational reformer.
Jan 8 Dennis Wheatley an English author whose prolific output of thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world's best-selling writers from the 1930s through the 1960s. His Gregory Sallust series was one of the main inspirations for Ian Fleming's James Bond stories
Jan 8 Walter Gramatté a German expressionist painter who specialized in magic realism. He often painted with a mystical view of nature
Jan 8 Percy Alliss an English professional golfer. He was the father of commentator and former golfer Peter Alliss
Jan 9 Karl Löwith a German philosopher, a student of Heidegger. Löwith was one of the most prolific German philosophers of the twentieth century; the bibliography of his works comprising more than 300 titles
Jan 9 Steponas Darius a Lithuanian American pilot.
Jan 10 Lya De Putti a Hungarian film actress of the silent era, noted for her portrayal of vamp characters.
Jan 10 Sam Chatmon a Delta blues guitarist and singer. He was a member of the Mississippi Sheiks and may have been Charlie Patton's half brother
Jan 11 Bernard DeVoto an American historian and author who specialized in the history of the American West.
Jan 11 Kazimierz Nowak a Polish traveller, correspondent and photographer, born in Stryi, now part of Ukraine. After the First World War he lived in Poznań
Jan 11 Prince Gabriel of Bourbon-Two Sicilies a prince of the deposed dynasty which ruled the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Jan 11 August Heissmeyer a leading member of the After World War II, Heissmeyer was sentenced to a prison term as a war criminal. His nephew, Kurt Heissmeyer, an SS physician, was as well
Jan 12 Arthur Ripley an American film screenwriter, editor, producer and director.
Jan 13 Thoralf Strømstad a Norwegian Nordic skier who was awarded the Holmenkollen medal in 1923. Strømstad also earned silvers at the 1924 Winter Olympics both in 50 km cross country skiing and in the Nordic combined
Jan 14 Vaso Čubrilović a Bosnian Serb politician and scholar. In 1914, he was a student in Sarajevo, when Danilo Ilić recruited him and his friend, Cvjetko Popović, to help assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. His brother, Veljko Čubrilović, was also involved in the plot. Like Princip, he was a member of Young Bosnia, an underground organisation with the aspiration of the creation of a southern Slav state free from both Ottoman and Habsburg influence
Jan 14 Sergei Romanov (footballer) an association football player.
Jan 14 Panas Lyubchenko a Ukrainian and Soviet politician, who served as the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of Ukrainian SSR from 1934 to 1937.
Jan 14 Ivan Kulyk a Jewish-Ukrainian poet, writer, translator, diplomat and Communist Party activist. He also wrote under the names "R. Rolinato" and "Vasyl Rolenko"
Jan 14 Cagnaccio di San Pietro an Italian magic realist painter.
Jan 14 Hasso von Manteuffel a German soldier and classical liberal politician of the 20th century.
Jan 15 Xu Zhimo an early 20th-century Chinese poet. He was given the name of Zhangxu and the courtesy name of Yousen. He later changed his courtesy name to Zhimo
Jan 16 Väinö Penttala a Finnish wrestler and Olympic medalist.
Jan 16 Carlos Pellicer part of the first wave of modernist Mexican poets and was heavily active in the promotion of Mexican art and literature. An enthusiastic traveller, his work is filled with beautiful depictions of nature, and a certain sexual energy that is shared with his contemporary, Octavio Paz
Jan 17 Marcel Petiot a French doctor and serial killer. He was convicted of multiple murders after the discovery of the remains of 23 people in his home in Paris during World War He is suspected of killing around 60 victims during his life, although the true number remains unknown
Jan 17 Nils Asther a Danish-born Swedish actor active in Hollywood from 1926 to the mid-1950s, known for his beautiful face and often called "the male Greta Garbo". Between 1916 and 1963 he appeared in over 70 feature films, 16 of which were produced in the silent era
Jan 18 Anton Lopatin a Soviet officer during the Second World War, and Hero of the Soviet Union.
Jan 19 Emil Maurice an early member of the National Socialist German Workers Party and one of the founders of the Together with Erich Kempka, he also served as one of Hitler's personal drivers—despite having Jewish ancestry.
Jan 19 John Readitt an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Jan 19 Károly Kerényi a Hungarian scholar in classical philology, one of the founders of modern studies in Greek mythology.
Jan 21 Karol Šmidke a Slovak politician, member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.
Jan 21 René Iché For the town in Morocco see Iche, Morocco.
Jan 22 Rosa Ponselle an American operatic soprano with a large, opulent voice. She sang mainly at the New York Metropolitan Opera and is generally considered by music critics to have been one of the greatest sopranos of the past 100 years
Jan 22 Arthur Greiser a Nazi German politician, SS-Obergruppenführer and Reichsstatthalter of the German-occupied territory of Wartheland. He was one of the persons primarily responsible for organizing the Holocaust in Poland and numerous other crimes against humanity. Arrested by the Americans in 1945, he was tried, convicted and executed by hanging in Poland in 1946
Jan 22 Blind Willie Johnson a gospel blues singer and guitarist. While the lyrics of his songs were usually religious, his music drew from both sacred and blues traditions and is distinguished by his slide guitar accompaniment and gravelly false-bass voice, with occasional use of a tenor voice
Jan 23 Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky the first female Austrian architect and an activist in the Nazi resistance movement. She is mostly remembered today for designing the so-called Frankfurt Kitchen
Jan 23 Ieva Simonaitytė a Lithuanian writer. She represented the culture of Lithuania Minor and Klaipėda Region, territories of German East Prussia with large, but dwindling, Lithuanian population. She received critical acclaim for her novel Aukštujų Šimonių likimas
Jan 23 Subhas Chandra Bose an Indian nationalist whose attempt during World War II to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Japan left a troubled legacy. The honorific Netaji , first applied to Bose in Germany, by the Indian soldiers of the Indische Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin, in early 1942, is now used widely throughout India
Jan 23 William Stephenson best known by his wartime intelligence codename Intrepid. Many people consider him to be one of the real-life inspirations for James Bond. Ian Fleming himself once wrote, "James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is... William Stephenson."