1304 – Petrarch (born Francesco Petrarca), Italian poet and scholar who is considered one of the earliest humanists.
1822 – Gregor Mendel, German-speaking Austrian scientist and monk who is considered the founder of modern genetics; he coined the terms “dominant” and “recessive” genes in his writings about his experiments with pea plants, such as his groundbreaking monograph, Experiments With Plant Hybrids.
1901 – Elizabeth Dilys Powell, British journalist, author, and film critic.
1951 – Paulette Bourgeois, Canadian author and illustrator of children’s books, best known as creator of Franklin the Turtle.
1864 – Eric Axel Karlfeldt, Nobel Prize-winning Swedish symbolist poet, teacher, and journalist.
1924 – Thomas Berger, American author of darkly comic novels, best known for his book Little Big Man.
1927 – Simin Beh’bahāni (Persian: سیمین بهبهانی), Iranian poet who is one of the most prominent figures in modern Persian literature and who was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize.
1930 – William H. Goetzmann, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian known for his research into exploration and settlement of the American West.
1933 – Cormac McCarthy, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and playwright, known for his books The Road, All the Pretty Horses, and No Country for Old Men.
1936 – Alistair MacLeod, Canadian novelist, short-story writer, and academician;
1953 – Thomas Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and author who is known for his books on globalization, climate change, and the Middle East.
1965 – Jess Walter, American author of novels, short stories, and nonfiction; he was a finalist for the National Book Award.
1977 – Timothy Ferriss, American author, public speaker, and entrepreneur.