1792 – Percy Bysshe Shelley, English romantic poet who is considered one of the finest lyric and epic poets in the English language; he was married to novelist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who is best known as the author of Frankenstein.
1839 – Walter Horatio Pater, English essayist, literary and art critic, fiction writer, and humanist whose advocacy of “art for art’s sake” became a key doctrine of the Aestheticism movement.
1841 – William Henry Hudson, author, naturalist, and ornithologist.
1859 – Knut Hamsun, Nobel Prize-winning Norwegian novelist.
1869 – Evelyn Sharp, English writer, journalist, novelist, autobiographer, children’s writer, and a key activist for women’s suffrage who was twice imprisoned.
1904 – Witold Marian Gombrowicz, Polish novelist, short-story writer, and playwright whose works are characterized by deep psychological analysis, satire, existentialism, and anti-nationalist thought.
1912 – Virgilio Piñera, Cuban novelist, short-story writer, poet, playwright, essayist, and translator.
1913 – Robert Hayden, essayist, educator, and the first African-American U.S Poet Laureate.
1913 – Noboru Nakamura, Oscar-nominate Japanese film director and screenwriter.
1918 – Iceberg Slim, pen name for Robert Beck, a reformed pimp and American author of urban fiction.
1920 – Helen Thomas, American author and news service reporter, opinion columnist, and “Dean of the White House Press Corps.”
1922 – Anbara Salam Khalidi, Lebanese author, poet, translator, and feminist who significantly contributed to the emancipation of Arab women.
1951 – Stephen Kinzer, American author, journalist, academic, and New York Times foreign correspondent.
1960 – Keka Ferdousi, Bangladeshi television chef and writer.
1960 – Joby Warrick, multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and author; he writes for the Washington Post on the Middle East, diplomacy, and national security.
1961 – Barack Obama, 44th U.S. President and the first African-American to hold the office; he has also written several books.
1965 – Dennis Lehane, American author of popular novels.
1969 – Jojo Moyes, English journalist and romance novelist.
1977 – Yuuko Kohara, Japanese manga artist and writer.