1807 – John Greenleaf Whittier, American Quaker poet and abolitionist.
1873 – Ford Madox Ford, English writer best known for his novel, The Good Soldier.
1903 – Erskine Caldwell, American Southern author who wrote about poverty and racism.
1916 – Penelope Fitzgerald, Booker Prize-winning British author of historical fiction; the Times included her in its list of “the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.”
1919 – Es’kia Mphahlele, South African fiction writer and human-rights activist
1929 – William Safire, American author, known for his novels and his works on writing and politics.
1937 – John Kennedy Toole, posthumous Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Confederacy of Dunces.
1944 – Jack L. Chalker, American science-fiction author and teacher.
1945 – Jacqueline Wilson, three-time Newbery Honor-winning American poet and author of books for children and teens.