1478 – Thomas More, English Renaissance writer and humanist who coined the term “utopia.”
1812 – Charles Dickens, English writer and social critic; one of the major novelists of the Victorian age, his works are still widely read today.
1837 – James Murray, Scottish lexicographer, philologist, and primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.
1867 – Laura Ingalls Wilder, writer and journalist whose “Little House” book series for children was based on her childhood as a pioneer on the American frontier.
1885 – Sinclair Lewis, Nobel Prize-winning American novelist, playwright, and magazine writer lauded for his “vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters”; he was offered the Pulitzer Prize for his book Arrowsmith, but he turned it down.
1908 – Fred Gipson, American author best known for his 1956 novel Old Yeller.
1922 – Marion Cunningham, American food writer best known for her work on editions of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.
1932 – Gay Talese, American author, memoirist, and literary journalist.
1943 – Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian.
1950 – Karen Joy Fowler, American author of science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction, best known for The Jane Austen Book Club.
1974 – Emma McLaughlin, American novelist who wrote The Nanny Diaries with Nicola Krau.