1711 – David Hume, Scottish historian, economist, and essayist; a key figure in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment.
1748 – Olympe de Gouges, (born Marie Gouze),French playwright, politician, journalist, philosopher, abolitionist, author, and women’s rights activist whose political writings reached a large audience who was executed by guillotine during the Reign of Terror for attacking the regime of the Revolutionary government.
1754 – Joseph Joubert, French moralist and essayist, unpublished until after his death.
1812 – Robert Browning, English poet and playwright, married to poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
1861 – Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali author; first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
1867 – Władysław Reymont, Nobel Prize-winning Polish epic novelist.
1892 – Archibald MacLeish, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet who also served as Librarian of Congress.
1927 – Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, two-time Academy Award-winning German-born British/American novelist and screenwriter who is the only person to have won a Booker Prize and an Oscar.
1931 – Gene Wolfe, American science-fiction and fantasy writer.
1932 – Nonny Hogrogrian, Armenian-American children’s author, two-time Caldecott Medal winner.
1939 – Volker Braun, German poet and playwright.
1939 – William Dempsey Valgardson, Canadian poet, novelist, and short story writer.
1940 – Angela Carter, English novelist.
1943 – Peter Carey, Australian novelist; two-time Booker Prize winner.
1946 – Michael Rosen, prolific author of children’s books and poems; Children’s Poet Laureate of Britain; columnist and TV presenter.
1950 – Tim Russert, American journalist, lawyer, broadcaster, and author.
1954 – Amy Heckerling, screenwriter, film director, and producer whose work includes such popular films as Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and National Lampoon’s European Vacation.
1960 – Almudena Grandes, award-winning Spanish writer, screenwriter, and journalist.
1964 – Elliot Perlman, Australian novelist and short story writer.