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, Russian playwright, Romantic poet, writer, historian, translator, literary critic, children’s writer, novelist, librettist, prosaist, opinion journalist, and book collector who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet ever and 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.