1831 – Frederic William Farrar, Indian-born cleric, schoolteacher, author, and poet; he was a pallbearer at the funeral of Charles Darwin in 1882.
1848 – Alice James, American diarist; she was the daughter of theologian Henry James, Sr., and sister of psychologist William James and novelist Henry James,
1890 – Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, labor leader, activist, and feminist who played a leading role in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and was Chair of the Communist Party USA; she was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and a visible proponent of women’s rights, birth control, and women’s suffrage.
1903 – Louis Leakey, British archaeologist and author who helped establish the theories of early human evolution beginning in Africa.
1906 – Nelson Goodman, influential American philosopher.
1928 – James Randi, Canadian-American stage magician and skeptic, whose writings debunk pseudoscience and paranormal subjects.
1928 – Betsy Byars, American author of children’s fiction who has won a Newbery Medal, the National Book Award, and an Edgar Award; she is best known for her novel Summer of the Swans.
1933 – Jerry Pournelle, American scientist, essayist, journalist, and science-fiction writer who also wrote in the technology and computer field; he is best known for his collaborations with Larry Niven, including The Mote in God’s Eye.
1942 – Garrison Keillor, American author, poet, and radio personality, best known for his long-running show A Prairie Home Companion.
1949 – Matthew Francis Parris, South African/British journalist and politician.
1950 – Alan Lee Keyes, American conservative political activist, author, diplomat, and perennial candidate for public office.
1950 – Terry Randolph Hummer, American poet, critic, essayist, editor, and professor.
1952 – Larry J. Sabato, political scientist, analyst, and prognosticator who is a University of Virginia professor.
1953 – Anne Fadiman, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning American author.
1955 – Vladimir Sorokin, popular Russian poet and dramatist.
1957 – Paul Dini, comic-book author, screenwriter and producer who works in the television and comic-book industries.
1960 – David Duchovny, American actor, writer, producer, director, and novelist; he is best known for his role as Fox Mulder in the TV series, The X-Files.
1960 – Deborah Ellis, bestselling Canadian author and anti-war activist who often writes about the children coping with difficult decisions in troubled parts of the world; her best known book is The Breadwinner.
1963 – Rochelle Alers, American writer of romance novels who has also written under the pen names Susan James and Rena McLeary.
1968 – Francesca Gregorini (born Countess Francesca McKnight Donatella Romana Gregorini di Savignano di Romagna), Italian screenwriter and film director; she is the daughter of former Bond girl Barbara Bach and the stepdaughter of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.
1969 – Scott Hanford Stossel, American journalist who is editor of The Atlantic magazine.
1983 – Brit Heyworth Marling, American actress, screenwriter, and film producer.