1776 – E.T.A. Hoffmann, German Romantic author whose novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was adapted into the ballet The Nutcracker.
1862 – Edith Wharton, American novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and designer who drew upon her insider’s knowledge of the upper class New York “aristocracy” to realistically portray the lives and morals of the Gilded Age; she was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature.
1864 – Marguerite Durand, French writer, journalist, editor, and actress who founded the first feminist newspaper, La Fronde (The Slingshot), organized the Congress For the Rights of Women, and owned a pet lion she named “Tiger”; the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand is named for her.
1870 – Muddana, Indian poet who wrote in the Kannada language; the name Muddana was a nickname that means “cute” in Kannada; he was also known as Mahakavi (“Great Poet”) or Mahakavi Muddana, but his real name was Lakshmi Naranappa. Despite all of those names, he chose to publish some of his works anonymously.
1888 – Hedwig “Vicki” Baum, Austrian writer who is best known for her novel Menschen im Hotel (People at a Hotel, published in English as Grand Hotel), an international success that was made into a 1932 film and a 1989 broadway musical.
1889 – Charles Hawes, American author of sea stories and the first American-born winner of the Newbery Medal.
1931 – Leonard Baker, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, journalist, and biographer.
1944 – David Gerrold, American science-fiction author and screenwriter best known for his “The Trouble With Tribbles” Star Trek episode.