1564 – Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, mathematician, and writer who played a major role in the Renaissance’s scientific revolution; called the “father of observational astronomy,” the “father of modern physics,” and the “father of science,” he is known for confirming the phases of Venus, discovering the four largest satellites of Jupiter (the Galilean moons), and observing and analyzing sunspots; his insistence that the earth revolved around the sun, along with his views on science and the church, led to his conviction for heresy and his house arrest for the rest of his life. The Catholic Church pardoned him in 1992.
1883 – Sax Rohmer, English novelist, best known for his Fu Manchu series.
1896 – James Phinney Baxter III, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian.
1898 – Masuji Ibuse, Japanese novelist and short-story writer.
1909 – Miep Gies, (born Hermine Santruschitz), Austrian/Dutch activist who hid Anne Frank, Anne’s family, and four other Jews from the Nazis in an annex above Anne’s father’s business during World War II; she later wrote a book, Anne Frank Remembered, but her biggest contribution to literature was her gathering of the pages of Anne’s diary after the Nazis ransacked the hiding place and arrested the people hiding there, and saving the diary until after the war to give to Anne’s father, the only survivor among the eight Jews who hid there; she died in 2010 at the age of 100.
1928 – Norman Bridwell, American’s children’s book author and illustrator, known for the “Clifford The Big Red Dog” books.
1937 – Gregory Mcdonald, American mystery writer, author of the Fletch books.
1945 – Jack Dann, American science-fiction and fantasy writer and anthologist.
1945 – Douglas Hofstadter, Pulitzer Prize-winning American professor of cognitive science.
1948 – Art Spiegelman, Swedish-born American cartoonist, best known for his graphic novel Maus.
1954 – Matthew Abram “Matt” Groening, American cartoonist, writer, producer, animator, and voice actor, best known as creator of the animated television series, The Simpsons.