1685 – John Gay, English playwright and poet best remembered for The Beggar’s Opera.
1798 – Alexander Dyce, Scottish scholar, clergyman, editor, biographer, and literary historian.
1888 – Wanda Dynowska (Umadevi), Polish theosophist, writer, translator, publisher, social activist who promoted intercultural exchanges between India and Poland and founded the Indian-Polish Library
1908 – Winston Graham, English author who wrote short stories, plays, nonfiction, thrillers, and historical fiction; he is best known for his Poldark series of historical novels set in Cornwall.
1911 – Czesław Miłosz, Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet, writer, translator, and diplomat who “with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man’s exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts.”
1911 – Nagarjun (pen name for Vaidyanath Mishra), Indian Hindi and Maithili writer, poet, literary biographer, short-story writer, and travel writer who was known as the People’s Poet and is regarded as a key figure of the modernist movement in Maithili.
1922 – Mollie Hunter (aka Maureen Mollie Hunter McIlwraith McVeigh), Scottish novelist who wrote fantasy for children, historical stories for young adults, and realistic novels for adults; much of her work was inspired by history and folklore, with elements of magic.
1927 – James Goldman, influential American screenwriter and playwright whose brother was the acclaimed novelist William Goldman.
1934 – Harry Blackstone, Jr., American stage and television magician who wrote books on magic.
1936 – Sara Aboobacker, award-winning Indian Kannada novelist, short-story writer, and translator whose work addresses the plight of Muslim women in Kerala and Karnataka.
1936 – Assia Djebar (pen name for Fatima-Zohra Imalayen), Algerian novelist, translator, and filmmaker whose works deal with obstacles faced by women.
1939 – José Emilio Pacheco, Mexican poet, essayist, and translator.
1940 – David McPhail, award-winning American author and illustrator of children’s books who is known for his animal characters, especially pigs and bears.
1943 – Ahmed Sofa, Bangladeshi novelist, nonfiction author, short-story writer, essayist, poet, intellectual, and activist; his work was characterized by “a freshness of language” and experimentation with subject matter and narration.
1959 – Daniel Goldhagen, American author, political scientist, and professor who has written controversial books on the role of the German people during the Holocaust.
1969 – Margot Lee Shetterly, American nonfiction writer who has also worked in investment banking and media startups and who founded a magazine; her first book, Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race is about African-American women mathematicians working at NASA who were instrumental to the success of the United States space program.
1974 – July Toe, German writer, jurist, poet, lawyer, and science-fiction author.