22 December: today's birthdays

  • Marc Allégret - Swiss-born French film director and screenwriter. He is the brother of film director and screenwriter Yves Allégret
  • Johann Jakob Bachofen - Swiss historian, jurist and anthropologist
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat - Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American painter and graffiti artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent, and was a very close friend of Andy Warhol.
    Although Basquiat died young, he was a leading neo-expressionist. His work focused on social criticism of existing power structures and race relations, as well as combating colonialism and embracing class struggle.
    Basquiat's father was from Haiti, which was a French colony. Due to his origins, the name Jean-Michel Basquiat is a French name and is pronounced in French even if Basquiat was American.
    In French, the correct pronunciation of Jean-Michel Basquiat is Szohn Mee-shell Bah-skee-ah.
    In Basquiat, the "a" is pronounced as "ah", followed by -squi, which is pronounced like the word "ski". The final syllable, -at, is pronounced as "ah".
    The beginning of his first name, Jean, the "J" is pronounced like the "s" in "vision", followed by a short "o" or "oh" and a nasal "n", which sounds like an abbreviated "n".
    The second part of his name, Michel, is pronounced like the word "me" and then the word "shell".
  • Ralph Fiennes - English actor and film director, born Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes. He starred in The English Patient and The Constant Gardener. He is the brother of actor Joseph Fiennes
  • Joseph Maria Olbrich - Austrian architect
  • Vanessa Paradis - French actress and singer. She was married to Johnny Depp and she is the mother of Lily-Rose Depp
  • Giacomo Puccini - Italian composer. He composed Manon Lescaut, La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Turandot
  • Jean Racine - French writer and dramatist. He wrote Andromaque, Phèdre and Athalie
  • Thomas Südhof - German-American biochemist, Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2013
  • Edgar Varèse - French composer. He is considered the "father of electronic music" 
  • Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff - German philologist
  • Stanley Whittingham - English-born American chemist, born Michael Stanley Whittingham. He was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with John Goodenough e Akira Yoshino
  • Paul Wolfowitz - American politician
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