1860 – Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American sociologist, feminist, and writer of novels, short stories, poetry, and nonfiction; now remembered best for her semi-autobiographical short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”; she was a niece of author Harriet Beecher Stowe.
1876 – Ralph Barton Perry, Pulitzer Prize-winning American philosopher and biographer.
1883 – Franz Kafka, German author of novels and short stories with themes of alienation, guilt, and psychological terror; he greatly influenced the existentialist literary movement and is best known for his novella The Metamorphosis.
1899 – Ernst Fischer, Bohemian-born Austrian journalist, writer, and politician; he also used the pseudonyms Ernst Peter Fischer, Peter Wieden, Pierre Vidal, and Der Miesmacher (“the Killjoy”).
1908 – M.F.K. Fisher, (full name Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher), a prolific American food writer whose books are mostly about traveling and eating in France and California.
1937 – Tom Stoppard, British playwright and screenwriter whose best-known work is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
1940 – Oya Baydar, Turkish writer, author, journalist, sociologist.
1943 – Elizabeth Morris “Lally” Graham Weymouth, American journalist and editor who was the daughter of Washington Post publishers Katharine and Philip Graham.
1947 – Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist and author of fiction and nonfiction; he is largely responsible for the annual celebration of International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 16. He also played lead guitar in the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock band made up of published authors.
1952 – Rohinton Mistry, Indian-born Canadian novelist and short-story writer who writes mostly about life in India; his brother is playwright and author Cyrus Mistry..
1954 – Franny Billingsley, National Book Award finalist American author of teen fantasy books.
1958 – Charlie Higson, English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and author, known for dystopian fiction and for writing the Young Bond series.
1959 – Julie Burchill, controversial British novelist, journalist, and self-proclaimed militant feminist.
1964 – Joanne Harris, British author whose novel Chocolat was made into a feature film.
1966 – Sandra Lee, television chef, editor, and author.
1968 – Alan Schwarz, American journalist and sportswriter.
1971 – Julian Paul Assange, Australian publisher, journalist, and activist, best known as editor of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, which he co-founded after a career in programming and hacking.