1347 – Saint Catherine of Siena, a laywoman associated with the Dominican Order who was a mystic, activist, and author who had a great influence on Italian literature and the Catholic Church.
1625 – Ann Fanshawe, English memoirist and cookbook author; in her 1665 book of recipes, she published the first known written recipe for ice cream (which she called “icy cream”).
1920 – Paul Scott, Booker Award-winning British novelist, playwright, and poet.
1925 – Flannery O’Connor, American novelist, short-story writer, and essayist in the Southern Gothic style whose work often features disturbing elements, deals with questions of morality and ethics, and revolves around morally flawed characters, many of whom are disabled or interact with people with disabilities; her writing is noted for a grasp of the nuances of human behavior.
1934 – Gloria Steinem, American journalist, columnist, editor, feminist, and leader of the Women’s Liberation movement; best known as a co-founder of Ms. magazine.
1939 – Toni Cade Bambara, African-American novelist, short story writer, essayist, documentary filmmaker, professor, and civil-rights activist whose work focused on the lives of African-Americans.
1939 – D.C. Fontana (Dorothy Catherine Fontana) – screenwriter, television producer, and story editor known for her work on the original Star Trek television series; she also wrote for Star Trek, the Next Generation, Star Trek DS9, and other popular television shows, as well as writing a Star Trek novel. She used her initials because women were not commonly accepted in writing science fiction for television at the time.
1942 – Ana Blandiana, Romanian poet, essayist, journalist, children’s writer, and political figure.
1946 – Stephen Hunter, Pulitzer Prize-winning American film critic and author of thrillers.
1948 – Bayyinah Bello, Haitian historian, teacher, writer and humanitarian worker.
1952 – Jung Chang, Chinese-born British writer, poet, historian, linguist, biographer, and autobiographer; she is best known for her family autobiography Wild Swans, which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide but was banned in the People’s Republic of China.
1954 – Thom Loverro, American sportswriter and columnist.
1958 – Susie Bright (a.k.a. Susie Sexpert), American feminist, author, journalist, critic, editor, publisher, producer, and performer, often on the subject of sexual politics and sexuality.
1960 – Linda Sue Park, Newbery Award-winning American author of teen fiction and children’s picture books.
1964 – Kate DiCamillo, two-time Newbery Award-winning American writer of children’s and young-adult fiction.
1965 – Melina Marchetta, Australian author, children’s writer, screenwriter, and teacher, best known for her young-adult novels.