1606 – Edmund Waller, English poet and member of Parliament.
1746 – Princess Izabela Dorota Czartoryska (née Fleming), Polish noblewoman, writer, and art collector who was a key figure in Enlightenment-era Poland; she founded of Poland’s first museum, the Czartoryski Museum.
1756 – William Godwin, English political philosopher, journalist, novelist, and anarchist who was the father of novelist Mary Shelley; he wrote works for adults and children, as well as the first mystery novel.
1797 – Emily Eden, popular English poet, novelist, artist, and travel writer who gave witty accounts of English life in the early 19th century and of her travels in India.
1863 – Arthur Machen, pen name of Arthur Llewellyn Jones, Welsh author and mystic known for horror fiction and fantasy.
1896 – Roy Franklin Nichols, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian and professor who specialized in U.S. history and government.
1899 – Yury (Karlovich) Olesha, Russian novelist and playwright.
1909 – Pandelis Prevelakis (Greek novelist, poet, dramatist, translator, and essayist who was one of the leading Greek prose writers of the “Generation of the ’30s”; most of his works are set in Crete.
1920 – Ronald Searle, British artist, illustrator, and satirical cartoonist, known for creating the St. Trinian’s School series.
1926 – James Merrill, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet praised for his stylish elegance, moral sensibilities, and transformation of autobiographical moments into complex meditations.
1927 – Nicolas Freeling, British crime novelist and nonfiction writer; he is best known for the Van der Velk series of detective mysteries.
1928 – Gudrun Pausewang (also known by her married name, Gudrun Wilcke), German author of children’s and young-adult literature.
1938 – Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal-winning American children’s writer of picture books, as well as novels for children and teens; she is best known for the book Sarah, Plain and Tall, set on the American frontier.
1943 – Aeronwy Bryn Thomas-Ellis, British poet, writer, and translator of Italian poetry ; she was the daughter of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
1945 – George Miller (George Miliotis), Australian film director and screenwriter best known for Mad Max.
1949 – Ron Chernow, American writer, journalist, historian, and biographer, winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize; his biography of Alexander Hamilton inspired the Broadway musical.
1955 – Caroline Lamarche, Belgian novelist, poet, and children’s author
1956 – Julia Glass, National Book Award-winning bestselling American novelist, journalist, and editor.
1957 – Nicholas Shakespeare, British novelist and biographer whose upbringing as a diplomat’s son is reflected in the variety of his work.
1957 – Stephen Budiansky, American historian, nonfiction author, science writer, biographer, and book reviewer with interests in the history of cryptography, military and intelligence history, and music.
1958 – Siti Musdah Mulia, Indonesian nonfiction writer, professor, and women’s rights activist; she was the first woman appointed as a research professor with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences and has chaired the Indonesian Conference on Religion for Peace.
1961 – John Matteson, Pulitzer Prize-winning American professor and author.
1971 – Tyler Florence, American chef, cookbook author, and television show host.
1982 – Tolu Ogunlesi, Scottish-born Nigerian journalist, poet, photographer, fiction writer, and blogger.