1856 – L. Frank Baum, American author who created the classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
1890 – Katherine Ann Porter, American novelist, essayist, short-story writer, and political activist who won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.
1891 – Mikhail Bulgakov, Ukrainian-born Russian writer and playwright, best known for his novel The Master & Margarita.
1904 – Clifton “Kip” Fadiman, American intellectual, author, editor, and broadcaster.
1911 – Max Frisch, Swiss playwright, and novelist known for his ironic works.
1926 – Peter Shaffer & Anthony Joshua Shaffer, identical-twin English playwrights.
1927 – Assia Wevill, German-born poet and writer who escaped the Nazis to emigrate to Palestine and then the U.K., where she had a relationship with the English poet Ted Hughes; she killed herself and their four-year-old daughter Shura using a gas oven, similar to the suicide of Hughes’s first wife Sylvia Plath, six years earlier.
1931 – Norma Fox Mazer, American author and teacher who won a Newbery Honor and was nominated for the National Book Award.
1934 – John Keegan, British military historian and writer.
1951 – David Almond, British author of children’s and young-adult novels.
1957 – Meg Gardiner, UK-based American crime writer.
1962 – Julie Otsuka, Japanese-American author known for her historical fiction; winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, and finalist for the National Book Award.
1967 – Laura Hillenbrand, bestselling American author of nonfiction books & magazine articles, best known for her book Seabiscuit, about the racehorse that became an unlikely champion.
1969 – Lauren Myracle, American author of young-adult fiction.