I had not intended to include dates of births or deaths as part of this undertaking, but January 4th is truly a boring day in the history of the world, so I will deviate from my original plan. I hope not to do this often, but in this case, the person for whom I am making the exception is certainly worthy of it.
January 4. On January 4, 1643, Sir Isaac Newton was born in a small hamlet in Lincolnshire County, England. One of the most influential men in human history, he was born prematurely, and three months after his father died.
Even a brief summary of his accomplishments could go on and on. Suffice to say that his most famous work, Principia, is almost without doubt the most influential written work in the history of science. Lesser known is that it may well have never seen the light of day without the encouragement and financial assistance of Edmond Halley (more famously known for having a comet named after him). Very irascible and eccentric in his later years, Newton was found after his death to have a high level of mercury in his body (perhaps as a result of his various experiments), which may have accounted for his unpleasant demeanor.
Also lesser known is that he wrote extensively regarding religious matters, and had a considerable impact (although unorthodox) in that sphere as well.
"I love signature blocks on the Internet. I get to put whatever the hell I want in quotes, pick a pretend author, and bang, it's like he really said it." George Washington