10 Famous Americans Who Were Born on the Fourth of July

RuthBlack, iStock / Getty Images Plus
RuthBlack, iStock / Getty Images Plus

One of our favorite pieces of presidential trivia is that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, and James Monroe followed in their footsteps exactly five years later. However, there's only one president, who was born on the Fourth of July: Calvin Coolidge. Although they may not have been presidents, here are 10 other people who celebrate their birthdays on the same day as the United States.

1. Nathaniel Hawthorne // 1804

You no doubt remember Hawthorne from your ninth-grade English class: he wrote The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables, among other things. He also wrote a biography of president Franklin Pierce, whom he counted among his good friends.

2. Stephen Foster // 1826

Foster is sometimes called the "Father of American Music" because he wrote the tunes that have been frequently stuck in our heads ever since: "Oh! Susanna," "Camptown Races," "Beautiful Dreamer," "My Old Kentucky Home," and "Swanee River," to name a few. And, you'll notice he was born on the same date that Adams and Jefferson died.

3. Louis B. Mayer // 1882

The story goes that Mayer chose his own birthday when he came to America with his parents. He also chose his name, his birthplace, and his birth year—he was born Lazar Meir in a small town in Belarus, but by the time he became involved with the movie business, he was Louis B. Mayer, born July 4, 1885, from Minsk. You'd know him best as the third name in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a.k.a. MGM.

4. Rube Goldberg // 1883

Reuben "Rube" Goldberg wasn't just the namesake for large-scale, complex, ridiculous contraptions. He was also a famous political cartoonist and won a Pulitzer in 1948 for a cartoon called "Peace Today."

5. and 6. Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren // 1918

Twin advice columnists Ann Landers (born Esther "Eppie" Pauline Friedman) and Dear Abby (born Pauline "Popo" Esther Friedman) grew up in Sioux City, Iowa. It's safe to say that they didn't celebrate many adult birthdays together; although they were very close in their younger years (they even had a joint wedding), a falling out caused the two to stop speaking to one another for years.

7. Neil Simon // 1927

The New York playwright won numerous Tony Awards and a Pulitzer for his comedic shows, including The Odd Couple and Biloxi Blues. In 1983, he became the only living playwright to have a Broadway theater named for him.

8. George Steinbrenner // 1930

It's fitting that the legendary owner of the baseball team formerly known as the New York Americans was born on July 4th, don't you think? (That would be the Yankees—a newspaper editor coined that name in 1904.)

9. Geraldo Rivera // 1943

The tabloid talk show host/journalist was born "Gerald" in New York City, but when graduated college and headed into the reporting field, he changed it to what his Puerto Rican father's side of the family called him.

10. Ron Kovic // 1946

Kovic is the Vietnam Vet who wrote the book Born on the Fourth of July, which was later turned into the movie starring Tom Cruise. During his second tour of Vietnam, he became paralyzed from a gunshot wound that caused a spinal cord injury. Upon his return to the U.S., he became arguably the most famous veteran peace activist.

This story was updated in 2019.

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Treat Your Feline This Holiday Season With Fancy Feast’s Cat Food Advent Calendar

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Fancy Feast/Chewy

In anticipation of the holiday season, many children and adults get to unwrap mini presents each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas day, during what's known as Advent. Though Advent itself dates back to the 4th century, the version we know today, complete with the chocolate-filled calendars, was popularized in the early 1900s. And apparently it's no longer just for humans, because Fancy Feast is letting your feline roommate in on the fun with this unique cat food Advent calendar, now available at Chewy for $23.

For the 24 days leading up to Christmas, your cat will get to enjoy a variety of different wet foods, including favorites like grilled salmon, chicken, and more. There is even a unique ornament included with each calendar featuring a cat in the shape of a heart that can go right onto your tree. (Also, don't be surprised to find your actual cat making its way into the middle of your tree; they're known climbers.)

Now while you enjoy your Advent calendars from brands like LEGO, Funko, and more, your cat will be able to join in on the fun as well. To learn more about Fancy Feast's Feastivites Advent Calendar, head on over to Chewy.

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