1593 – George Herbert, Welsh poet, orator, and priest who was a key figure in devotional lyrics; he is also associated with metaphysical poetry.
1783 – Washington Irving, influential American author, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat, best known for his short stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.”
1837 – John Burroughs, American naturalist and essayist; a key figure in the U.S. conservation movement.
1880 – Otto Weininger, Austrian philosopher and author (now widely considered misogynistic and antisemitic); he fatally shot himself in the chest at the age of 23 in the same room where Beethoven died.
1894 – Dora Black Russell, British countess who was an author, feminist, and birth-control activist; she married author and philosopher Bertrand Russell.
1898 – Henry Luce, American journalist, editor, and magazine magnate; the founder of Time, Life, and Fortune magazines, he has been called “the most influential private citizen in the America of his day.”
1916 – Herb Caen, San Francisco-based journalist and columnist for almost 60 years.
1934 – Jane Goodall, British primatologist, anthropologist, author, and animal-rights activist; the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, she is the only human ever known to be accepted in chimpanzee society.
1957 – Unni Lindell, Norwegian novelist, poet, and children’s book writer.
1958 – Vanna Bonta, Italian-born American science-fiction novelist, poet, and actress; she invented a spacesuit that was tested in zero-gravity on the History Channel; a haiku she wrote is on a NASA spacecraft headed to Mars.