1236 – Wen Tianxiang, Chinese poet and politician of the Southern Song Dynasty; he is a popular symbol of patriotism and righteousness in China.
1606 – Pierre Corneille, French playwright who has been called the father of French tragedy; he also wrote many comedies.
1799 – Alexander Pushkin, celebrated Russian author and poet who is considered the founder of modern Russian literature.
1875 – Thomas Mann, Nobel Prize-winning German novelist, short-story writer, and social critic.
1901 – Jan Struther, pen name for the English writer born Joyce Anstruther and best remembered for her character Mrs. Miniver.
1909 – Isaiah Berlin, British philosopher and essayist.
1913 – Yechiel Granatstein, Polish-born Jewish author and writer in Yiddish and Hebrew who was a partisan fighter in World War II and a Jewish refugee activist.
1923 – V.C. Andrews, bestselling American author whose works, including the wildly popular novel, Flowers in the Attic, often combined Gothic horror, family secrets, and forbidden love.
1925 – Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and author who was U.S. Poet Laureate.
1927 – Peter Spier, Dutch-born American author and illustrator of more than 30 children’s books; he was a Caldecott Medal winner and a National Book Award finalist.
1929 – Nader Naderpour, Iranian poet who is considered the Father of New Persian Poetry.
1954 – Cynthia Rylant, Newbery Medal-winning American children’s author, poet, nonfiction writer, autobiographer, illustrator, and librarian; many of her books deal with the joys and hardships of family life, with animals and the outdoors, especially in the Appalachian region.
1970 – Sarah Dessen, award-winning American author of young-adult and women’s fiction.
1973 – Patrick Rothfuss, American author of epic fantasy books, game writer, and podcaster.