February 2 Writer Birthdays

1745 – Hannah More, popular English novelist, religious writer, poet, and playwright.

1882 – James Joyce, Irish modernist author, novelist, short-story writer, poet, and critic, known for his command of the English language and his provocatively complex works of fiction; he is considered one of the most important and influential authors of his era.

1883 – Johnston McCulley, American author who created the character Zorro.

1886 – William Rose Benét, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet.

1895 – Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr., American poet and playwright best known for Caleb, the Degenerate, one of the earliest dramas by an African-American writer.

1905 – Ayn Rand, Russian-American novelist, philosopher, and Conservative/Libertarian political activist; she is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing the philosophical system Objectivism.

1916 – Ngô Xuân Diệu, prominent Vietnamese poet more commonly known by the pen name Xuân Diệu.

1923 – James Dickey, Poet Laureate of the United States and author of the novel Deliverance, which was made into the 1972 film.

1940 – Susan Wittig Albert, American mystery writer.

1940 – Thomas Disch, American poet and Hugo Award-winning science-fiction author.

1921 – Jan Slepian, American author of books for children and young adults.

1923 – Liz Smith (Mary Elizabeth Smith), American gossip columnist for The Washington Post, New York Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and Newsday, and was known as “The Grand Dame of Dish.”

1931 – Judith Viorst, American journalist, psychoanalysis researcher, and author of popular children’s books, including the beloved picture book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day.

1948 – Ina Rosenberg Garten, American cookbook author, food columnist, host of the Food Network program Barefoot Contessa, and a former staff member of the White House Office of Management & Budget.

1969 – Dambisa Felicia Moyo, Zambian economist and author who analyzes the macroeconomy and global affairs.

1970 – Santa Montefiore (Santa Palmer-Tomkinson), British novelist and socialite of Argentinian background; her father, Charles Anthony Palmer-Tomkinson, represented Britain on the Olympic ski team and is a close friend of Prince Charles.

1883 – Johnston McCulley, American author who created the character Zorro.

1886 – William Rose Benét, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet.

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