1009 – Su Xun, Chinese Song dynasty poet and essayist.
1790 – Bianca Milesi, Italian writer, painter, and educator who studied the philosophy of the Enlightenment.
1808 – Gérard de Nerval, pen name of French writer, translator, essayist, and Romantic poet Gérard Labrunie.
1846 – Rita Cetina Gutiérrez, influential Mexican poet, writer, educator, and feminist activist who promoted secular education in the nineteenth century.
1859 –Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish physician and writer, best known for his Sherlock Holmes mysteries.
1863 – Josephine Cecilia Diebitsch Peary, American author and arctic explorer.
1907 – Hergé, Pen name of Belgian comic-book artist Georges Prosper Remi, creator of The Adventures of Tintin.
1913 – Dominique Rolin, award-winning Belgian writer, novelist, autobiographer who developed a unique, feminist voice in French novel-writing, blending autobiography and fiction.
1914 – Vance Packard, American journalist, editor, and author who wrote a popular series on sociology.
1922 – Mirjana Gross, Yugoslav-Croatian Jewish historian and writer.
1927 – Peter Matthiessen, National Book Award-winning American novelist, naturalist, wilderness writer, and CIA agent; he co-founded The Paris Review, which he started as a cover for his CIA activities.
1933 – Arnold Lobel, Caldecott Medal-winning American children’s author and illustrator, known for the “Frog and Toad” picture books.
1934 – Gary Wills, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, journalist, and historian who specializes in U.S. history, politics, and religion, especially the history of the Roman Catholic Church; he is best known for his book, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America.
1944 – Lynn Barber, British journalist, magazine writer, editor, and memoirist.
1944 – John Flanagan, Australian fantasy writer.
1947 – Anthony Holden, British author, literary critic, translator, biographer, broadcaster, and poker player who was first president of the International Federation of Poker.
1951 – Coral Bracho, award-winning Mexican poet, linguist, and translator.
1959 – Andy Andrews, American novelist, self-help author, and motivational speaker.
1972 – Max Brooks, horror author and screenwriter; son of comedy filmmaker Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft.
1976 – Shane Koyczan, Canadian poet and “talk rock” artist.