1633 – Samuel Pepys, English diarist and member of Parliament; the detailed diary he kept during the 1660s was first published in the 19th century and is one of the most important historical sources on the English Restoration period, including eyewitness accounts of such events as the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London.
1787 – Emma Hart Willard, American author, educator, and women’s rights activist.
1868 – W.E.B. duBois, American author, editor, autobiographer, professor, sociologist, historian, and civil-rights activist whose best known work is The Souls of Black Folk.
1873 – Liang Qichao, Chinese writer, historian, journalist, translator, philosopher, and reformist.
1877 – Frederic L. Paxson, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, historian, and professor.
1899 – Erich Kästner, German author, poet, satirist, children’s writer, and screenwriter.
1904 – William M. Shirer, National Book Award-winning American journalist, broadcaster, and historian whose best-known book was The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
1937 – Amina Haider al-Sadr (also known as Bint al-Huda al-Sadr, Iraqi writer, educator, and political activist who in 1980 was executed by Saddam Hussein, along with her brother, Ayatullah Sayyid Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr.
1937 – Claude Brown, American novelist, autobiographer, and sociologist whose best known book is Manchild in the Promised Land.
1942 – Haki R. Madhubuti (born Don Luther Lee), African-American poet, essayist, critic, and publisher who founded Third World Press and was a key member of the black arts movement.
1944 – John Sandford (pen name of John Roswell Camp), Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and bestselling author of thrillers.
1944 – Bernard Cornwell, British author of historical novels, contemporary thrillers, and history.
1950 – Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, American novelist, philosopher, writer, biographer, classical scholar, and philosopher, who writes both fiction and nonfiction, often centered around science and philosophical rationalism.
1953 – Walter Wick, American artist and photographer known for his intricate photographs in the I Spy series of picture books for children.
1967 – Anupama Chopra, Indian author, journalist, film critic, and director of the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
1968 – Sonya Hartnett, Australian novelist, young-adult author and children’s writer who has been called, “the finest Australian writer of her generation.”