1872 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar).
January - April
May - August
September - December
- January 6 - Alexander Scriabin, composer (d. 1915)
- January 23 - Goce Delchev, Bulgarian revolutionary (d. 1903)
- January 31 - Zane Grey, writer (d. 1939)
- March 7 - Piet Mondrian, painter (d. 1944)
- April 29 – Harry Payne Whitney , businessman, horse breeder (+ 1930)
- May 18 - Bertrand Russell, philosopher and logician
- May 31 - Heath Robinson, British cartoonist and illustrator.
- July 1 - Louis Blériot, French aviation pioneer
- July 4 - Calvin Coolidge, American president
- July 16 - Roald Amundsen, Explorer
- August 3 - King Haakon VII of Norway
- August 10 - Bill Johnson, jazz musician (d. 1972)
- August 15 - Shri Aurobindo
- August 21 - Aubrey Beardsley, British artist
- October 11 - Harlan F. Stone, Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1946)
- November 30 - John McCrae, Canadian soldier and poet (d. 1918)
- Charles Greely Abbot , American astrophysicist.
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