1860 – Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts, Canadian poet and prose writer who is known as the Father of Canadian Poetry and also published works on Canadian exploration and natural history; one of the first Canadian authors to be recognized worldwide, he was also a tireless promoter of Canadian literature.
1883 – Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy (nicknamed the Comrade Count), Russian (and Soviet) writer who wrote in many genres but specialized in science fiction and historical novels and who also investigated atrocities committed by Nazi soldiers during the German occupation of the Stavropol region; he was related on his father’s side to the better known writer Leo Tolstoy, and on his mother’s side to writer Ivan Turgenev.
1887 – Robinson Jeffers, American poet known for his work about the California coast; he is considered an icon of the environmental movement.
1892 – Dumas Malone, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian, best known for his six-volume biography of Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson and His Time.
1915 – Cynthia Freeman, pseudonym of American author Bea Feinberg, who wrote multigenerational sagas about Jewish families.
1928 – Philip Levine, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet whose work centers on the Detroit area.
1936 – Stephen Ambrose, American historian, biographer, and professor whose most popular work was the bestselling Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West.
1937 – Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian.
1947 – George Alec Effinger, Nebula and Hugo Award-winning American author of science fiction novels, short stories, and comics.
1950 – Suchitra Bhattacharya, Indian novelist whose work explored contemporary social issues and the changing urban milieu of the Bengali middle class.
1955 – James Alan Gardner, award-winning Canadian science-fiction author of novels and short stories who is also a technical writer and an educator.
1955 – Yasmina Khadra (Green Jasmine) pen name for successful Algerian novelist Mohammed Moulessehoul; an officer in the Algerian army, he adopted a woman’s pseudonym to avoid military censorship.
1959 – Fran Walsh, New Zealand screenwriter best known for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lovely Bones.
1961 – Steve Hamilton, American writer of detective fiction, notably the Alex McKnight series.