1884 – Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin, Russian essayist, novelist, playwright, short-story writer, and science-fiction author.
1887 – Charles Nordhoff, English-born American novelist, nonfiction writer, journalist, and travel writer best known for the book, Mutiny on the Bounty, part of a trilogy written with co-author James Norman Hall.
1902 – Langston Hughes, African-American poet, novelist, playwright, columnist, and social activist who was a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance.
1903 – Maryse Choisy, French philosophical writer, journalist, essayist, novelist, critic, and founder of the journal Psyché; she was brought up by her rich aunts in a historical castle in the Basque country and once received psychoanalytical treatment from Sigmund Freud.
1918 – Muriel Spark, Scottish novelist, short-story writer, poet, and essayist whose best-known work is The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
1924 – Richard Hooker, American writer and surgeon who drew on his military service in the Korean War to write the book MASH, which was later turned into a film and long-running television series.
1925 – Lucille Eichengreen (born as Cecelia Landau), German-born, American-based survivor of the Lódz Ghetto and Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz, Neuengamme, and Bergen-Belsen; she published a memoir From Ashes to Life: My Memories of the Holocaust and is a frequent lecturer on the Holocaust.
1927 – Galway Kinnell, Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning American poet who served as Poet Laureate for the state of Vermont.
1930 – María Elena Walsh, Argentine poet, novelist, children’s writer, musician, playwright, and composer who is considered in her home country to be a “living legend, cultural hero (and) crest of nearly every childhood.”
1941 – Jerry Spinelli, Newbery Medal-winning American author of popular books for children and young adults.
1942 – Terry Jones, screenwriter, actor, writer, composer, comedian, television presenter, film director, children’s writer, Medieval historian, and member of the Monty Python comedy team; he passed away in January 2020.
1952 – Anissa Helou, Lebanese chef, cookbook author, television presenter, and teacher who specializes in the cuisines of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa.
1963 – Dan Fagin, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and nonfiction author.
1967 – Meg Cabot, American author of romantic and paranormal fiction; best known for her popular young-adult series The Princess Diaries.
1984 – Risa Wataya, bestselling Japanese novelist.