1597 – Martin Opitz, considered the father of German poetry.
1828 – Mathilde Wesendonck, German writer and poet; possibly mistress to composer Richard Wagner.
1858 – Vladimir Nemirovitch-Dantshenko, Russian playwright and novelist who co-founded the Moscow Art Theatre.
1860 – Harriet Monroe, poet and literary critic who founded Poetry magazine.
1862 – Henri Pirenne, Belgian historian and influential medievalist.
1881 – Juan Ramon Jimenez, Nobel Prize-winning Spanish poet.
1886 – Albert Ehrenstein, Austrian Expressionist poet.
1902 – Norman Maclean, American short-story writer.
1923 – Leonard B. Stern, screenwriter for television comedies including Get Smart; co-creator of the Mad Lib.
1926 – Robert Bly, National Book Award-winning poet; men’s movement leader.
1937 – Avi, pen name of Edward Irving Wortis, prolific Newbery-winning American children’s book author.
1963 – Donna Tartt, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and short-story writer.
1965 – Martin Kratt, nature writer, screenwriter, and television host who, with his brother Chris, created children’s educational television programs including Kratts’ Creatures.