1876 – José Palma y Velásquez, Filipino poet and soldier.
1879 – Alla Nazimova, Russian (Crimean) author, screenwriter, producer, and actor who relocated to the U.S.; she is credited with originating the phrase “sewing circle” as a discreet code for lesbian or bisexual actresses.
1895 – Robert Hillyer, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and professor who was identified with the Harvard Aesthetes group of poets.
1913 – Pedro Mir, Dominican poet and writer who was Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic.
1926 – Allen Ginsberg, American poet, activist, and social critic who, along with William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, was one of the leading figures in the Beat Generation. He was a National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist.
1930 – Marion Zimmer Bradley, American author of fantasy, historical fantasy, science fiction, and science fantasy novels, and is best known for the Arthurian fiction novel The Mists of Avalon, and the Darkover series; many of her works have feminist themes. She was also a founder of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
1931 – John Norman, American philosophy professor and fantasy author.
1936 – Larry McMurtry, American novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and bookseller who is best known as an author of western fiction, most famously, the Lonesome Dove saga.
1939 – Kathleen Woodiwiss, American novelist, who pioneered the historical romance genre.
1947 – Mala Sen, Indian author and human-rights activist, best known for her book India’s Bandit Queen: The True Story of Phoolan Devi, which led to the acclaimed 1994 film Bandit Queen; after researching the oppression of women in rural India, she also published Death by Fire.
1961 – Lawrence Lessig, American academic and political activist, notably in the areas of copyright.
1963 – Lucinda Margaret Grealy (Lucy Grealy), critically acclaimed Irish-American poet and memoirist who wrote Autobiography of a Face, which describes her childhood and early adolescent experience after cancer of the jaw left her face disfigured. Her college roommmate, writer Ann Patchett, later wrote about her in the memoir Truth and Beauty: A Friendship.
1966 – Kate Forsyth, Australian novelist, poet, fantasy writer, children’s author, and journalist best known for her historical novel Bitter Greens, which interweaves a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale with the true story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force. Forsyth has also published under her maiden name Kate Humphrey, and is a direct descendant of Charlotte Barton, the author of Australia’s earliest known children’s book. Forsyth’s older sister, Belinda Murrell, is also an author for children and young adults.
1967 – Anderson Cooper, American journalist, television personality, and memoirist; together with his mother, socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, he co-authored The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss.
1971 – John Hodgman, American humorist and author, as well as the “PC guy” in Apple ads.
1972 – Michela Murgia, award-winning Italian novelist and politician.