1814 – Charles Reade, English dramatist and novelist who was popular, though not critically acclaimed, in his own time but who fell out of fashion by the turn of the century; George Orwell said of him, “it is unusual to meet anyone who has voluntarily read him.”
1874 – Clara Clemens, American author, biographer, and opera singer who was the daughter of Mark Twain and who wrote his biography.
1885 – Der Ling, Chinese historian, writer, memoirist, politician, princess, lady-in-waiting, and Hanjun bannerwoman who was educated in the West and studied dance in Paris with Isadora Duncan; her memoir, Two Years in the Forbidden City, provides unique insights into life at the Manchu court.
1903 – Marguerite Yourcenar, award-winning Brussels-born French novelist and essayist who was the first woman elected to the Académie Française.
1910 – María Luisa Bombal Anthes, acclaimed Chilean author whose works incorporated themes of eroticism, surrealism and feminism.
1915 – Ruth Stone, National Book Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-finalist American poet, author, and teacher whose work has been described as, “often reminiscent of Emily Dickinson’s double-edged verse, only in a more conversational style.” She was also Poet Laureate of Vermont.
1928 – Kate Wilhelm, Hugo Award-winning American writer, literary critic, novelist, mystery writer, and science-fiction writer; she is also known for co-founding the Clarion Writers’ Workshop.
1933 – Joan Rivers, stage name of Joan Molinsky, American comedian, writer, actress, and television host.
1937 – Gillian Clarke, Welsh poet, playwright, editor, educator, broadcaster, lecturer, and translator who co-founded a writers’ center in North Wales.
1942 – Andrew Weil, American celebrity doctor, teacher, and writer on holistic health, who advocates for alternative medicine.
1947 – Sara Paretsky, American author of detective fiction who is best known for the character V.I. Warshawski.
1951 – Alison Weir, British historian, writer, and biographer who has written nonfiction and historical fiction about British royalty.
1954 – Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning American scholar, writer, book reviewer, and biographer who specializes in uncovering and exploring the lives of women who have been forgotten by traditional historians and biographers.
1957 – Scott Adams, American cartoonist and writer who created the Dilbert comic strip.
1963 – Karen Kingsbury, American nonfiction author and writer of bestselling Christian-themed novels.
1965 – Karin Alvtegen, bestselling Swedish author of crime fiction and psychological thrillers.
1983 – Nino Haratischwili, award-winning Georgian novelist, playwright, and theater director, now based in Germany and writing in German.
She has received numerous awards, including the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, the Kranichsteiner Literaturpreis, and the Literaturpreis des Kulturkreises der deutschen Wirtschaft.