Famous People Born in the Year of the Horse
Genghis Khan, 1162-1227
Genghis Khan was the founder and emperor of the Mongol Empire. Born on the Mongolian plateau, he developed an extraordinary skill for surviving in challenging environments. With that skill, and with brilliant political and military strategies, he conquered neighboring tribes and transformed the once nomadic society into a powerful empire. His empire covered a vast territory that included parts of Europe and Asia. As a result, traffic between the East and the West became more convenient and cultural exchange more frequent.
According to Chinese historical records, Genghis Khan was a calm and calculating person. He decided to unify the Mongols and conquer the world when he was just a child. He was a cautious man, with a talent for making the most out of human potential, and he had a strong sense of justice.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Ryn, 1606-1669
Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Ryn is greatly admired by many as one of the most powerful artists of all time and he has been hailed as the “King of Painters.” Biographers describe him as “the painter of light,” often comparing his stature to that of Shakespeare’s in literature. As they see him, Rembrandt had a spirit for Shakespearean drama that fueled his artistic imagination.
Recognized as a genius, Rembrandt increased his knowledge and understanding of art through a painstaking process to supplement his natural skill. He depicted the intrinsic quality of light and his subjects with realism. His extraordinary skill at expressing the contrast of light and dark has been described as no less than miraculous.
Rembrandt’s ability to accurately portray life, from cradle to grave, was born of his direct and intimate experience of people and his ability to perceive people’s hearts.
Louis Pasteur, 1822-1895
Louis Pasteur, a 19th century scientist, devoted his life to researching vaccines for infectious diseases, developing pasteurization, and curbing silkworm and livestock diseases. One of the founders of bacteriology, he is often called the “father of microbiology.” The vaccines he invented have saved many lives from once incurable diseases and vaccinations are still broadly used today.
In 1870, the French army suffered defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. In addition to securing monetary compensation, Prussia demanded that France cede territory. The humiliation of surrender caused the national French psyche to fall into a deep abyss of disappointment and frustration. However, Pasteur’s discoveries promptly revived tremendous hope and courage for France and in the French.
People admired him as a “compassionate scientist.” Because he had suffered the loss of his children and witnessed countless such deaths, Pasteur decided to devote himself to “saving lives and protecting people from disease.” Until his death, his determination never wavered.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1882-1945
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States. He devoted his life to pursuing world peace, conquering his polio, and leading the American people out of the Great Depression. He was one of the most successful political leaders in modern history.
In 1918, Roosevelt toured European battlefields to get a full appreciation of the war situation. Roosevelt became a staunch advocate for peace after witnessing the brutality of modern warfare, and he was deeply moved by battlefield letters and other accounts of the effects of war. From his point of view, world peace could only be had through mutual agreements and with every country having its own place in the world. Only in this way, he believed, could all nations have a voice in issues affecting their people.
In addition to advocating for world peace, Roosevelt fought to overcome a personal disability. At 39, he contracted polio and spared no effort in overcoming what could have been a mentally as well as physically debilitating condition. With extraordinary courage and firm determination, he overcame the limitations of polio. He worked to establish a nationwide foundation that researches prevention and treatment of polio.
Other famous Horse people:
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt
Russian President Boris Yeltsin
Actors James Dean, Clint Eastwood, and Harrison Ford
Singers Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and Janet Jackson