2011 – The 2011 Super Outbreak devastates parts of the Southeastern United States, especially the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. Two hundred five tornadoes touched down on April 27 alone, killing more than 300 and injuring hundreds more.
1994 – South African general election: The first democratic general election in South Africa, in which black citizens could vote. The Interim Constitution comes into force.
1992 – Betty Boothroyd becomes the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history.
1978 – Former United States President Nixon aide John D. Ehrlichman is released from an Arizona prison after serving 18 months for Watergate-related crimes.
1961 – Sierra Leone is granted its independence from the United Kingdom, with Milton Margai as the first Prime Minister.
1953 – Operation Moolah offers $50,000 to any pilot who defected with a fully mission-capable Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 to South Korea. The first pilot was to receive $100,000.
1936 – The United Auto Workers (UAW) gains autonomy from the American Federation of Labor.
1911 – Following the resignation and death of William P. Frye, a compromise is reached to rotate the office of President pro tempore of the United States Senate.
1906 – The State Duma of the Russian Empire meets for the first time.
1861 – American President Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus.
1813 – War of 1812: American troops capture York, the capital of Upper Canada, in the Battle of York.
1805 – First Barbary War: United States Marines and Berbers attack the Tripolitan city of Derna (The "shores of Tripoli" part of the Marines' Hymn).
1777 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Ridgefield: A British invasion force engages and defeats Continental Army regulars and militia irregulars at Ridgefield, Connecticut.
1565 – Cebu is established becoming the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines.
1296 – First War of Scottish Independence: John Balliol's Scottish army is defeated by an English army commanded by John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey at the Battle of Dunbar.
1994 – Corey Seager, American baseball player. Corey Drew Seager (born April 27, 1994) is an American professional baseball shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB).
1987 – Taylor Chorney, American ice hockey player. Taylor Chorney (born April 27, 1987) is a Canadian-born American professional ice hockey defenceman who is currently playing with HC Lugano in the National League (NL).
1984 – Patrick Stump, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. He is the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Fall Out Boy, originally from Wilmette, Illinois.
1983 – Ari Graynor, American actress and producer. Ariel Geltman "Ari" Graynor (born April 27, 1983) is an American actress, known for her roles in TV series such as The Sopranos and Fringe, in stage productions such as Brooklyn Boy and The Little Dog Laughed, and in films such as Whip It and For a Good Time, Call....
1981 – Joey Gathright, American baseball player. Joey Renard Gathright (born April 27, 1981) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox.
1979 – Will Boyd, American bass player. William James Boyd (born April 27, 1979), is the former bass guitarist of alternative metal band Evanescence.
1975 – Chris Carpenter, American baseball player and manager. Christopher John Carpenter (born April 27, 1975) is an American retired professional baseball starting pitcher.
1975 – Rabih Abdullah, American football player. Rabih Abdullah (born April 27, 1975) is a former American football running back.
1974 – Frank Catalanotto, American baseball player. The Long Island native batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
1969 – Cory Booker, African-American lawyer and politician. Cory Anthony Booker (born April 27, 1969) is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from New Jersey since 2013 and a member of the Democratic Party.
1968 – Dana Milbank, American journalist and author. Dana Timothy Milbank (born April 27, 1968) is an American author, and columnist for The Washington Post.
1967 – Jason Whitlock, American football player and journalist. Whitlock is a former sportswriter for ESPN and a former columnist at the Kansas City Star, AOL Sports and Foxsports.com, as well as a radio personality for WHB and KCSP sports stations in the Kansas City area.
1961 – Andrew Schlafly, American lawyer and activist, founded Conservapedia. He is the son of the conservative activist, lawyer, and controversial figure Phyllis Schlafly.
1959 – Sheena Easton, Scottish-American singer-songwriter, actress, and producer. Easton came into the public eye in an episode of the first British musical reality television programme The Big Time: Pop Singer, which recorded her attempts to gain a record contract and her eventual signing with EMI Records.
1957 – Willie Upshaw, American baseball player and manager. Willie Clay Upshaw (born April 27, 1957 in Blanco, Texas) is a retired Major League Baseball player who played first base for the Toronto Blue Jays (1978, 1980–1987) and Cleveland Indians (1988), both of the American League.
1956 – Bryan Harvey, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2006). Bryan Stanley Harvey (born June 2, 1963) is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher.
1955 – Eric Schmidt, American engineer and businessman. He is known for being the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, executive chairman of Google from 2011 to 2015 and executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. from 2015 to 2017.
1954 – Herman Edwards, American football player, coach, and sportscaster. He played cornerback for ten seasons (1977–1986) with the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, and Atlanta Falcons.
1953 – Arielle Dombasle, French-American actress and model. She is best known to American audiences for her appearance on Miami Vice where she played Callie Basset in Season 2, episode 12.
1952 – George Gervin, American basketball player. George Gervin (born April 27, 1952), nicknamed "The Iceman", is an American retired professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Virginia Squires, San Antonio Spurs, and Chicago Bulls.
1952 – Larry Elder, American lawyer and talk show host. Laurence Allen "Larry" Elder (born April 27, 1952) is an American libertarian attorney, author, and radio program host.
1951 – Ace Frehley, American guitarist and songwriter. Paul Daniel "Ace" Frehley (/ˈfreɪli/; born April 27, 1951) is an American musician and songwriter best known as the original lead guitarist and co-founding member of the rock band Kiss.
1948 – Frank Abagnale Jr., CEO of Abagnale & Associates, famous criminal, was 15 to 21 years old.
1948 – Kate Pierson, American singer-songwriter and bass player. Catherine Elizabeth Pierson (born April 27, 1948) is an American singer, lyricist, and one of the singers and founding members of the B-52's.
1947 – Ann Peebles, American soul singer-songwriter. Ann Lee Peebles (born April 27, 1947) is an American singer and songwriter who gained celebrity for her Memphis soul albums of the 1970s for Hi Records.
1947 – G. K. Butterfield, African-American soldier, lawyer, and politician. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
1945 – August Wilson, American author and playwright (d. 2005), was an American playwright whose work included a series of ten plays, The Pittsburgh Cycle, for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Each work in the series is set in a different decade, and depicts comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th century.
1944 – Cuba Gooding Sr., American singer (d. 2017). He was the most successful lead singer of the soul group The Main Ingredient, replacing former lead singer Donald McPherson who was diagnosed with leukemia in 1971.
1944 – Herb Pedersen, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Herbert Joseph Pedersen (born April 27, 1944 in Berkeley, California) is an American musician, guitarist, banjo player, and singer-songwriter who has played a variety of musical styles over the past forty years including country, bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, folk, folk rock, country rock, and has worked with numerous musicians in many different bands.
1942 – Jim Keltner, American drummer. He was characterized by Bob Dylan biographer Howard Sounes as "the leading session drummer in America".
1942 – Ruth Glick, American author. Ruth Glick née Burtnick, (born April 27, 1942, in Lexington, Kentucky), is a writer of cookbooks, romance and young adult novels.
1941 – Lee Roy Jordan, American football player. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
1938 – Earl Anthony, American bowler and sportscaster (d. 2001), was a left-handed American professional bowler who amassed records of 43 titles and six Player of the Year awards on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour. For over two decades, his career title count was listed as 41.
1937 – Sandy Dennis, American actress (d. 1992), was an American theater and film actress. At the height of her career in the 1960s she won two Tony Awards, as well as an Oscar for her performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
1932 – Casey Kasem, American disc jockey, music historian, radio celebrity, and voice actor; co-created American Top 40 (d. 2014), was an American DJ, music historian, radio personality, and actor. He was the host of several music radio countdown programs, notably American Top 40 from 1970 until his retirement in 2009.
1932 – Chuck Knox, American football coach, was an American football coach at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. He served as head coach of three National Football League (NFL) teams, the Los Angeles Rams (twice), Seattle Seahawks, and Buffalo Bills.
1932 – Gian-Carlo Rota, Italian-American mathematician and philosopher (d. 1999). Rota was born in Vigevano, Italy.
1932 – Pik Botha, South African lawyer, politician, and diplomat, 8th South African Ambassador to the United States, was a South African politician who served as the country's foreign minister in the last years of the apartheid era. He was considered a liberal – at least in comparison to others in the ruling National Party and among the Afrikaner community – but the bulk of his career was spent defending South Africa's apartheid system of racial segregation against foreign criticism.
1927 – Coretta Scott King, African-American activist and author (d. 2006), was an American author, activist, civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King Jr. An active advocate for African-American equality, she was a leader for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
1927 – Joe Moakley, American soldier, lawyer, and politician (d. 2001), was an American politician who served as the United States Representative for Massachusetts's 9th congressional district from 1973 until his death in 2001. Moakley won the seat from incumbent Louise Day Hicks in a 1972 rematch; the seat had been held two years earlier by the retiring Speaker of the House John William McCormack.
1926 – Basil A. Paterson, American lawyer and politician, 59th Secretary of State of New York (d. 2014), was a longtime political leader in New York and the father of the 55th Governor of New York, David Paterson. His mother was Jamaican, and his father was Carriacouan.
1926 – Tim LaHaye, American minister, activist, and author (d. 2016), was an American evangelical Protestant minister who wrote more than 85 books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the Left Behind series of apocalyptic fiction, which he co-authored with Jerry B. Jenkins.
1924 – Vernon B. Romney, American lawyer and politician, 14th Attorney General of Utah (d. 2013), was an American lawyer who served as the attorney general of Utah from 1969 to 1977, and the Republican candidate for Governor of Utah in 1976.
1922 – Jack Klugman, American actor (d. 2012), was an American stage, film, and television actor.
1920 – James Robert Mann, American colonel, lawyer, and politician (d. 2010). James Mann is the name of:
1916 – Enos Slaughter, American baseball player and manager (d. 2002), was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) right fielder. He played for 19-seasons on four major league teams from 1938–1942 and 1946–1959.
1916 – Robert Hugh McWilliams, Jr., American sergeant, lawyer, and judge (d. 2013), was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and a Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.
1913 – Irving Adler, American mathematician, author, and academic (d. 2012), was an American author, mathematician, scientist, political activist, and educator. He was the author of 57 books (some under the pen name Robert Irving) about mathematics, science, and education, and the co-author of 30 more, for both children and adults.
1913 – Philip Abelson, American physicist and author (d. 2004), was an American physicist, a scientific editor, and a science writer.
1905 – John Kuck, American javelin thrower and shot putter (d. 1986), was an American athlete who won a gold medal in the shot put at the 1928 Summer Olympics setting a new world record at 15.87 m. Earlier that year he set two more world records, but they were not recognized officially.
1899 – Walter Lantz, American animator, producer, screenwriter, and actor (d. 1994), was an American cartoonist, animator, film producer, director and actor best known for founding Walter Lantz Productions and creating Woody Woodpecker.
1898 – Ludwig Bemelmans, Italian-American author and illustrator (d. 1962), was an Austrian-born American writer and illustrator of children's books. He is known best for the Madeline picture books.
1896 – Rogers Hornsby, American baseball player, coach, and manager (d. 1963). Rogers Hornsby Sr. (April 27, 1896 – January 5, 1963), nicknamed "The Rajah", was an American baseball infielder, manager, and coach who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB).
1896 – Wallace Carothers, American chemist and inventor of nylon (d. 1937), was an American chemist, inventor and the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont, credited with the invention of nylon.
1894 – George Petty, American painter and illustrator (d. 1975), was an American pin-up artist. His pin-up art appeared primarily in Esquire and Fawcett Publications's True but was also in calendars marketed by Esquire, True and Ridgid Tool Company.
1893 – Allen Sothoron, American baseball player, coach, and manager (d. 1939). Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians and the St.
1887 – Warren Wood, American golfer (d. 1926), was an American amateur golfer who competed in the 1904 Summer Olympics.
1882 – Jessie Redmon Fauset, American author and poet (d. 1961), was an African-American editor, poet, essayist, novelist, and educator. Her literary work helped sculpt African-American literature in the 1920s as she focused on portraying a true image of African-American life and history.
1861 – William Arms Fisher, American composer and music historian (d. 1948), was an American composer, music historian and writer.
1822 – Ulysses S. Grant, American general and politician, 18th President of the United States (d. 1885). Before his presidency, Grant led the Union Army in winning the American Civil War.
1812 – William W. Snow, American lawyer and politician (d. 1886). Snow (April 27, 1812 – September 3, 1886) was a United States Representative from New York.
1791 – Samuel Morse, American painter and inventor, co-invented the Morse code (d. 1872). After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs.
2015 – Alexander Rich, American biologist, biophysicist, and academic (b. 1924)
2015 – Gene Fullmer, American boxer (b. 1931)
2015 – Verne Gagne, American football player, wrestler, and trainer (b. 1926)
2014 – Daniel Colchico, American football player and coach (b. 1935)
2012 – Bill Skowron, American baseball player (b. 1930)
2012 – Daniel E. Boatwright, American soldier and politician (b. 1930)
2011 – Marian Mercer, American actress and singer (b. 1935)
2009 – Frankie Manning, American dancer and choreographer (b. 1914)
2006 – Julia Thorne, American author (b. 1944)
2002 – George Alec Effinger, American author (b. 1947)
2002 – Ruth Handler, American inventor and businesswoman, created the Barbie doll (b. 1916)
1999 – Al Hirt, American trumpet player and bandleader (b. 1922)
1998 – Browning Ross, American runner and soldier (b. 1924)
1998 – Carlos Castaneda, Peruvian-American anthropologist and author (b. 1925)
1996 – William Colby, American diplomat, 10th Director of Central Intelligence (b. 1920)