1712 – Edward Moore, English dramatist and poet.
1771 – Heinrich D. Zschokke, German/Swiss author and reformer.
1846 – Randolph Caldecott, British artist and illustrator; influential in children’s book art; the Caldecott Medal is named for him.
1901 – Gabrielle Roy, influential and critically acclaimed French-Canadian author.
1908 – Louis L’Amour, popular novelist of the American West.
1908 – Albrecht Goes, German poet, author, and theologian.
1910 – Nicholas Montserrat, British author of sea stories inspired by his time the Royal Naval Reserve.
1911 – Jack Popplewell, British author, playwright, songwriter, and rhubarb farmer.
1922 – Stewart Stern, Emmy Award-winning American screenwriter; twice Oscar-nominated, he was best known for the James Dean film Rebel Without a Cause.
1930 – Stephen Sondheim, Tony Award-winning American lyricist, best known for West Side Story.
1931 – Igor Hajek, Czech writer, editor, and translator.
1931 – William Shatner, actor, starship captain, and author of the TekWar series of science-fiction books.
1931 – Leslie Thomas, major Welsh-born British author, journalist, and autobiographer.
1941 – Billy Collins, poet, professor, and U.S. Poet Laureate; the New York Times once called him, “the most popular poet in America.”
1946 – Rudy Rucker, American science-fiction author, mathematician, and computer scientist; one of the founders of cyberpunk fiction.
1947 – James Patterson, popular author of bestselling adult thrillers and young-adult novels.
1948 – Wolf Blitzer, German-born, U.S.-based journalist, author, and television news anchor who has also worked in Israel.