On this day in 1764 – September 17th – English astronomer John Goodricke was born in Groningen in the Netherlands.

An infection as an infant rendered him deaf and unable to speak. However he overcame the handicaps and became a highly proficient observer and pioneering investigator of variable stars. He theorized that the variable star Algol was a binary star whose variability was due to a dark companion periodically eclipsing it.