1859 – Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam, Nobel Prize-winning Swedish poet and novelist.
1878 – Eino Leino, Finnish journalist and poet who is considered one of the pioneers of Finnish poetry.
1886 – Marc Bloch, influential Medieval historian and author who was killed by the Gestapo for being a leader in the French Resistance.
1890 – Dhan Gopal Mukerji, Indian autobiographer, poet, playwright, and Newbery Medal-winning children’s book author; before entering the Brahmin priesthood as a teenager he spent two years as a beggar in order to understand how other people lived; eventually he gave up the priesthood to study and become a writer.
1892 – Will James, Newbery Medal-winning Canadian-born American cowboy, rustler, artist, and author.
1900 – Kathryn Hulme, American novelist, memoirist, nonfiction writer, and relief worker.
1930 – Gloria Skurzynski, American author of YA and children’s books, best known for her nonfiction books about science and her novels with science-related themes.
1935 – Norman Sherry, British-born American novelist, educator, and biographer, best known for his three-volume biography of author Graham Greene.
1935 – Lhamo Thondup, the 14th (and current) Dalai Lama, also known by his religious name Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, or Tenzin Gyatso for short; Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader and book author.
1937 – Bessie Head, South African-born teacher, journalist, nonfiction writer, short-story writer, and novelist who is considered Botswana’s most influential author.
1944 – Bernhard Schlink, German novelist, short-story writer, and lawyer who is best known for his bestselling book The Reader, which has been called one of the greatest triumphs of German literature since The Tin Drum, and has also been made into a film.
1951 – Cheryl Harness, American author and illustrator of children’s and young-adult books, best known for historical fiction.
1952 – Hilary Mantel, English novelist, essayist, film critic, and memorist who is a two-time winner of the Booker Prize; she is best known for her historical novels.
1951 – Mickey Kaus, American journalist, blogger, author, and pundit.
1954 – Kathi Appelt, American poet, teacher, and children’s book author.
1955 – William Wall, Irish novelist, poet, and short-story writer.
1957 – Susan Ford Bales, American author, photojournalist, public-health activist, and former nonprofit chairman who is the daughter of U.S. President Gerald Ford.
1962 – Peter Hedges, American novelist, screenwriter, and film director best known for writing both the novel and screenplay for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; he is married to poet and actress Susan Bruce Titman.
1962 – Andrew Martin, British journalist and crime-fiction author.
1971 – Josh Elliott, American sports journalist.
1972 – Laurent Gaudé, French playwright and novelist.