February 12 Writer Birthdays

1809 – Charles Darwin, English naturalist, biologist, and geologist whose On the Origin of Species advanced the theory of natural selection and became the foundation for the science of evolution.

1828 – George Meredith, English novelist and poet who was nominated seven times for the Nobel Prize.

1893 – Fred Albert Shannon, Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer, professor, and historian whose work looked at American history from the perspective of average people.

1905 – Federica Montseny Mañé, Spanish anarchist, intellectual, trade unionist, and Minister of Health during the Spanish Revolution of 1936 who was one of the first female cabinet ministers in Western Europe and was also known as a novelist, poet, essayist, and children’s writer.

1919 – Subhash Mukhopadhyay, one of the foremost Indian Bengali poets of the 20th century.

1923 – Alan Dugan, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet whose work is known for everyday, no-nonsense language, irony, and a lack of sentimentality.

1929 – Donald Kingsbury, American-Canadian mathematics professor and author of science-fiction novels and short stories.

1932 – Axel Buchardt Jensen, Norwegian author of novels, poems, essays, a biography, and manuscripts for cartoons and animated films.

1938 – Judy Blume, bestselling American author primarily of children’s and young adult fiction whose works were groundbreaking in their handling of tough issues; a Library of Congress “Living Legend,” she has also been awarded a National Book Foundation Medal for distinguished contribution to American letters.

1939 – Yaël Dayan, Israeli novelist, columnist, memoirist, biographer, and politician; she served as a member of the Knesset and was the chair of Tel Aviv city council.

1945 – Janaki Srinivasa Murthy (nickname Vaidehi), popular, award-winning Indian writer of fiction, poetry, and children’s literature in the modern Kannada language.

1945 – David Small, Caldecott Medal-winning American children’s author and illustrator.

1948 – Ray Kurzweil, American author, inventor, and futurist who is a proponent of transhumanism and has written books on topics including health, artificial intelligence, and futurism.

1960 – George Elliott Clarke, Canadian novelist, poet, playwright, and professor.

1963 – Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award and Newbery Honor-winning African-American author who writes books for children and young adults; her works often explore issues of race and class and tackle subjects that were not commonly discussed when she began writing, including interracial couples, teenage pregnancy, and homosexuality.

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