1793 – John Clare, English poet, essayist, and violinist, known especially for his poetry about nature and preserving the environment in the face of the agricultural revolution.
1894 – Isaak Babel, Russian journalist, translator, dramatist, and short-story writer who was arrested and executed during Stalin’s purges.
1918 – Marcia Brown, American children’s author, illustrator, and three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal.
1922 – Louis R. Harlan, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Booker T. Washington.
1923 – Ashley Bryan, American writer and illustrator of children’s books, best known for his books based on African and African-American folklore.
1933 – David Storey, English playwright, screenwriter, and Booker Prize-winning novelist who was also a former professional rugby player.
1934 – Akinwande Oluwole “Wole” Soyinka, Noble Prize-winning Nigerian playwright and poet.
1938 – Helga Königsdorf, German author and physicist; her published works include novels, short-story collections, and nonfiction books about science and mathematics.
1946 – Anna Grossnickle Hines, American author and illustrator of children’s books.
1948 – Tony Kornheiser, American sportswriter, sports analyst, columnist, broadcaster, and author.
1957 – Cameron Crowe, American actor, film director, author, and screenwriter who was an editor at Rolling Stone magazine; he is married to musician Nancy Wilson of the rock band Heart.
1957 – Jane Hamilton, American novelist and short-story writer whose first two books, The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, gained fame as Oprah’s Book Club picks.
1973 – Carolyn Mackler, American author of bestselling teen novels.