1873 – Charles Péguy, important French poet, essayist, and editor.
1891 – Zora Neale Hurston, American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker of the Harlem Renaissance, best known for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.
1914 – Dorothy Lavinia Brown (also known as “Dr. D.”), African-American surgeon, legislator, and educator who wrote essays, an autobiography, and inspirational guides; she was the first female surgeon of African-American ancestry in the Southeastern United States and the first African-American woman to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly, where she fought for women’s rights, reproductive choice, and the rights of people of color.
1916 – Paul Keres, Estonian chess grandmaster, and renowned chess writer.
1928 – William Peter Blatty, American writer most well known for the novel (and screenplay) The Exorcist.
1936 – Edward Hunter Davies, British author, journalist, biographer, and broadcaster who wrote the only authorized biography of the Beatles.
1946 – Michael Roizen, American anesthesiologist and internist, known for his Real Age books and the YOU series.
1948 – Shobhaa Dé, Indian novelist and columnist who depicts socialites and sex in her books; she has been called the “Jackie Collins of India.”
1951 – Minfong Ho, award-winning Burmese-born Chinese-American writer of novels for adults, teens, and children, and picture books; her fiction deals with the lives of people living in poverty in Southeast Asian, always set against the backdrop of real events, such as the 1970s student movement in Thailand and the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime.
1957 – Nicholson Baker, American author of fiction, nonfiction, essays, and erotica; he has also written about and edited Wikipedia.
1977 – Sofi Oksanen, award-winning bestselling Finnish contemporary novelist and playwright.