1851 – Lillien Jane Martin, a pioneer in the field of psychology, especially in her work with children and the elderly; she wrote 12 books, but her contributions were ignored in her own time because women were not accepted in her field.
1893 – Herbert Feis, Pulitzer Prize-winning American nonfiction author, professor, and economic advisor.
1904 – Simone Beck, French cooking teacher and cookbook author who collaborated with Julia Child.
1906 – Helene Johnson, Harlem Renaissance poet who was cousin to author Dorothy West.
1907 – Robert Heinlein, American novelist and short-story writer who was one of the most influential science-fiction authors of his time; he was a four-time Hugo Award winner and was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America; before he turned to writing, he was a Naval officer and Annapolis graduate.
1915 – Margaret Walker, African-American poet and novelist (full name Margaret Abigail Walker Alexander); Langston Hughes read some poetry she wrote at age 16 and urged her to move north (from her native New Orleans) to become a writer.
1931 – David Eddings, American author of epic fantasy novels, including his popular series, The Belgariad; some of his books were coauthored with his wife, Leigh Eddings.
1932 – T.J. Bass, American science-fiction author and doctor who also wrote a nonfiction book on exercise and nutrition.
1933 – David McCullough, American author, narrator, historian, and lecturer; best known for his presidential biographies; he is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1941 – Nancy Farmer, American author, best known for her children’s books, YA fiction, and science fiction; she wrote three Newbery Honor books and won the National Book Award.
1965 – Lesego Rampolokeng, South African playwright, poet, and novelist.