May 4 Writer Birthdays

1006 – Khwaja Abdullah Ansari, Persian Sufi poet known as the “Sage of Herat” for his oratory and poetic talents.

1825 – Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist and essayist who advocated for evolutionary theory; he was the grandfather of biologist Julian Huxley and novelist Aldous Huxley.

1905 – Boris J. Kochanowsky, Russian-American memoirist.

1916 – Jane Jacobs, American/Canadian journalist, author, urban planner, economist, sociologist, activist, and writer on urbanism; her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities argued that urban renewal did not respect the needs of city-dwellers, and organized grassroots efforts to protect neighborhoods from “slum clearance.”

1925 – Ruth First, South African writer, politician, author, university teacher, journalist, and anti-apartheid political activist who moved to Mozambique in exile from South Africa, and was assassinated there.

1928 – Thomas Kinsella, Irish poet, translator, and anthologist.

1939 – Amoz Oz (born Amos Klausner), Israeli writer, novelist, journalist, and literature professor.

1940 – Robin Cook, American physician and novelist known for his medical thrillers.

1941 – George Will, American conservative writer, journalist, and columnist whose works focus on politics or baseball.

1949 – Graham Swift, award-winning English author of magical realism novels.

1956 – David Guterson, American author best known for the novel Snow Falling on Cedars, which was made into a feature film.

1967 – Dalia IbelhauptaitÄ—, Lithuanian playwright, writer, and theatre director whose work combines the traditions of Russian and Western theatre.

1979 – Kristin Harmel, American author of women’s fiction.


Irish poet, translator, and anthologist Thomas Kinsella (1928)
I(1939; d.2018)

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