1432 – Luigi Pulci, Italian poet, writer, and diplomat best known for his epic parody poem Morgante, about a giant who is converted to Christianity; Pulci’s patrons included Lorenzo Medici.
1771 – Sir Walter Scott, Scottish baronet who was a historical novelist, poet, playwright, and historian, best known for the historical novel Ivanhoe and the narrative poem The Lady of the Lake.
1785 – Thomas de Quincey, English essayist, best known for his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.
1787 – Eliza Lee Cabot Follen, American author, poet, editor, hymn writer, and abolitionist.
1850 – Sibylle Riqueti de Mirabeau, prolific French novelist, playwright, journalist, memoirist, satirist, humorist, and salonnière ; her full name was Sibylle Aimée Marie-Antoinette Gabrielle de Riquetti de Mirabeau, Comtesse de Martel de Janville, but she wrote under the pseudonym Gyp. Her work often brazenly denounced fashionable society; because of her unpopular opinions, she was the victim of several attempts on her life as well as of a sensational kidnapping.
1858 – E. (Edith) Nesbit, English children’s author, whose most popular book is probably The Railway Children.
1861 – Christina Henderson, Australian-born New Zealand writer, editor, teacher, feminist, prohibitionist, and social reformer.
1862 – Fernanda Nissen (Petra Gregorine Fernanda Nissen, née Thomesen), Norwegian journalist, literary and theater critic, politician, and feminist pioneer.
1872 – Sri Aurobindo, Indian yogi and nationalist whose writings “synthesized Eastern and Western philosophy, religion, literature, and psychology.”
1875 – Otto Miguel Cione Falcone, popular Uruguayan journalist, novelist, playwright, and diplomat; as a journalist, he wrote under the pseudonym Martin Flores.
1885 – Edna Ferber, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author and playwright; several of her works were made into popular films.
1912 – Julia Child, influential American cookbook author, chef, and television personality whose Mastering The Art of French Cooking is still a classic of the genre; she also did top-secret research for the U.S. intelligence agency during World War II.
1922 – Leonard Baskin, American artist, illustrator, publisher, and author of books of his illustrations; he founded the Gehenna Press, one of the U.S.’s first fine arts presses.
1926 – Sukanta Bhattacharya, influential Indian poet and playwright who was one of the most popular Bengali poets of the 20th century; his work is characterized by its irreverence, patriotism, socialist leanings, humanism, and romanticism.
1944 – Linda Ellerbee, American journalist and author, known for her NBC News programs, her memoirs, and her “Girl Reporter” series of books.
1949 – Garry Disher, Australian author of crime fiction and young-adult literature.
1954 – Stieg Larsson, Swedish journalist and writer, most well known for the popular Millennium crime-fiction trilogy, which began with the bestselling book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; his Millennium books were published posthumously, after his death in 2004, after which the publisher commissioned writer David Lagercrantz to write more books, expanding the trilogy into a longer series.