1826 – Princess Alexandra Amalie of Bavaria, German writer and translator who was a member of the royal House of Wittelsbach but devoted her life to literature.
1875 – Sir John Buchan (1st Baron Tweedsmuir), Scottish writer, novelist, historian, and politician who served as Governor General of Canada.
1880 – Guillame Apollinaire, French poet, playwright and novelist who coined the term Surrealism.
1884 – Earl Biggers, American novelist and playwright who is remembered primarily for his novels, especially those featuring the fictional Chinese-American detective Charlie Chan.
1885 – Jules Romains, French novelist, playwright, and poet who was the founder of the Unanimism literary movement.
1901 – Eleanor Dark, Australian author whose best known work is the historical novel, The Timeless Land; she also wrote under the name Patricia O’Rane.
1903 – Caroline Pafford Miller, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author who gathered folktales, stories, and archaic dialects of the rural communities of her home state of Georgia and wove them into her work.
1904 – Christopher Isherwood, English-American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, autobiographer, and diarist.
1910 – Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu), Albanian/Macedonian Catholic nun, humanitarian, teacher, activist, and Nobel Prize winner whose name has become synonymous with selfless works of charity; a book published after her death, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light – The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta compiled her letters and reflections.
1914 – Julio Cortázar, Brussels-born Argentine novelist and poet.
1922 – Elizabeth Brewster, prolific Canadian novelist, short-story writer, and poet.
1922 – Irving R. Levine, American journalist, nonfiction author, and longtime television news correspondent whose three books about life in the Soviet Union were bestsellers.
1941 – Barbara Ehrenreich, American author, political journalist, essayist, activist, and historian who is best known for her book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, a memoir of her three-month experiment surviving on minimum wage as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart clerk that was described by Newsweek as “jarring” and “full of riveting grit,” and by The New Yorker as an exposé that put “human flesh on the bones of such abstractions as ‘living wage’ and ‘affordable housing.'”
1952 – Will Shortz, iconic American puzzle creator and crossword puzzle editor for the New York Times.
1957 – Nikky Finney, National Book Award-wining American poet and professor.
1961 – Ato Quayson, Ghanaian literary critic and professor whose writings on African literature, postcolonial studies, disability studies, urban studies, and literary theory have been widely published; he is President of the African Studies Association.
1963 – Stephen J. Dubner, American journalist, author, and radio host who co-wrote, with economist Steven Levitt, the bestselling book Freakonomics.
1964 – Balabhadrapatruni Ramani, award-winning Indian Telugu novelist, sshort-story writer, playwright, and screenwriter.