1698 – Pietro Antonio Domenico Trapassi, better known by his pseudonym, Metastasio, Italian poet and librettist, considered the most important writer of opera seria libretti.
1886 – John Gould Fletcher, American Imagist poet; first Southern poet to win the Pulitzer Prize.
1892 – J.R.R. Tolkien, English philologist popularly known as the father of modern fantasy. I hope everyone has heard of him by now…
1898 – Carolyn Haywood, American children’s author and illustrator, best known for her Eddie and Betsy books.
1931 – Plantagenet Somerset Fry (born Peter George Robin Fry), British historian and author of more than 50 books; Plantagenet was a nickname he adopted at university, relating to his advocacy of Richard III.
1938 – Alma Flor Ada, Cuban-born American author of children’s books, poetry, and novels; also a professor, she is recognized for her work promoting bilingual and multicultural education in the United States.
1963 – Alex Wheatle, Jamaican-British novelist, memoirist, lyricist, and DJ whose works tend to deal with the Brixton riots and the music scene.
1964 – Toshiyuki Horie (堀江 敏幸), Japanese author and translator.
1969 – Marie Darrieussecq, French Basque novelist who writes on themes of disappearance and absence, identity, and belonging.
1973 – Roderick ‘Rory’ James Nugent Stewart, Hong Kong-born British academic, author, and Conservative politician.
1975 – Jun Maeda (麻枝 准), Japanese scenario writer, lyricist, and musical composer for visual novels.
1975 – Danica McKellar, American actress, author, and mathematician; best known for her role on The Wonder Years television show, she has also written several books aimed at popularizing mathemathics, including Math Doesn’t Suck and Kiss My Math.