1503 – Nostradamus, author, astrologist, and alleged seer, credited with foreseeing many world events (possibly born on Dec. 21; accounts vary).
1777 – Juan N. Gallego, Spanish poet, priest & interpreter.
1895 – Paul Éluard, French poet who helped found the surrealist movement.
1916 – Shirley Jackson, influential mystery and horror writer of novels, memoirs, and short stories; she is best known for her short story, “The Lottery.”
1917 – Tove Ditlevsen, Danish poet, essayist, and novelist.
1929 – Charles W. Ryan, American technical writer and nonfiction book author.
1938 – Leonardo Boff, Brazilian priest, theologian & writer.
1940 – Carolyn Marie Rodgers, poet, playwright, short-story author, and founder of one of America’s oldest and largest Black presses; a founder of the Black arts movement.
1945 – Stanley Crouch, American poet, music and cultural critic, syndicated columnist, novelist and biographer, perhaps best known for his jazz criticism and his novel, Don’t the Moon Look Lonesome.
1948 – Boudewijn Maria Ignatius Büch, poet, author, and TV personality.
1951 – Amy Hempel, PEN/Faulkner-nominated American short story writer, journalist, and professor.
1953 – Joe Toplyn, comedy writer for David Letterman.
1966 – Lucrecia Martel, Argentinian screenwriter and film director.
1968 – Kelley Armstrong, bestselling Canadian fantasy author.