1612 – Samuel Butler, English poet and satirist.
1763 – Caroline von Wolzogen (born Caroline von Lengefeld), German novelist and biographer of Friedrich Schiller, her brother-in-law.
1811 – Horace Greeley, influencial American editor who founded the New York Tribune.
1826 – Walter Bagehot, English economist and journalist whose father-in-law was the founder of the Economist, which Bagehot edited.
1842 – Sidney Lanier, American musician, poet, author, critic, and lawyer who served in the Confederate States Army, worked on a blockade-running ship for which he was imprisoned, was a church organist, and worked at a hotel where he gave musical performances.
1870 – Ada Negri, Italian poet and writer.
1874 – Gertrude Stein, quotable American expatriate writer, novelist, poet, and playwright whose memoir The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas made her into a cult literary figure.
1883 – Clarence Mulford, writer of the American West who wrote the Hopalong Cassidy novels.
1893 – Xu Dishan, Chinese author, translator, educator, and folklorist who was best known for his novels that focus on the people of the southern provinces of China and Southeast Asia; he was also the first Chinese professor who taught Sanskrit at a Chinese university.
1907 – James Michener, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of meticulously researched historical sagas.
1909 – Simone Weil, French essayist, philosopher, and Resistance fighter.
1927 – Joan Lowery Nixon, popular, award-winning American author of historical fiction and mysteries for children and young adults; she was also a journalist.
1947 – Paul Auster, American author of genre-bending fiction.
1948 – Henning Mankell, Swedish mystery writer, crime author, children’s writer, and screenwriter best known for his popular Kurt Wallander series.
1957 – Marlon Riggs, American poet, documentary filmmaker, and activist.