1763 – William Cobbett, English writer, reformer, and publisher who, under the pen name Peter Porcupine, wrote political pamphlets and gazettes with strong radical viewpoints in both America and England.
1814 – Taras Shevchenko, Ukranian national poet, writer, painter, and politician whose writing is regarded as the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and language.
1892 – David “Bunny” Garnett, English novelist and editor whose lifelong nickname came from the rabbit-fur cloak he wore as a child.
1892 – Vita Sackville-West (full name Victoria Mary Sackville-West), prolific British novelist, nonfiction author, newspaper columnist, letter-writer, diarist, and poet who published her first book at the age of 17; dhe was the inspiration for the androgynous protagonist of Orlando: A Biography, by her famous friend and lover, author Virginia Woolf.
1905 – Peter Quennell, English biographer, literary historian, editor, essayist, poet, and critic who wrote extensively on social history and was well known as a Byron scholar.
1918 – Mickey Spillane (real name Frank Morrison Spillane), American comic book writer and pulp detective novelist who created the character Mike Hammer; he was also an actor who once played Hammer in a movie, and also worked as a trampoline artist for the circus.
1928 – Lore Segal, Austrian-born American novelist, translator, linguist, professor, and children’s author who was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
1947 – Keri Hulme, Man Booker Prize-winning New Zealand novelist, poet, and short-story writer whose work explores themes of isolation; postcolonial and multicultural identity; and Maori, Celtic, and Norse mythology; she has also written under the pen name Kai Tainui.
1955 – Patrice Ann “Pat” Murphy, American science writer and columnist, educator, martial-arts specialist, and author of science-fiction and fantasy novels.
1958 – Elinor Sisulu, South African writer, biographer, economist, and human-rights activist.
1982 – Lindy West, American writer, editor, essayist, comedian, activist, and opinion writer for the New York Times; best known for the author of an essay collection, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, she often writes about feminism, popular culture, and the fat acceptance movement.
1985 – Gloria Álvarez, Guatemalan journalist, author, political scientist, radio host, and political commentator.