1728 – Mercy Otis Warren, poet, playwright, and political writer and propagandist of the American Revolution; in 1790, she published a collection of poems and plays under her own name, which was highly unusual for a woman at the time; in 1805, she published one of the earliest histories of the American Revolution, the three-volume History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution, the first history of the American Revolution authored by a woman.
1843 – Lola Rodríguez de Tió, Puerto Rican poet, author, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist who was the first Puerto Rican-born woman poet to establish herself a literary reputation throughout Latin America.
1860 – Hamlin Garland, American novelist, poet, essayist, biographer, short-story writer, and researcher into the supernatural; he is best remembered for his fiction involving farmers in the Midwest.
1869 – Lyubov Fyodorovna Dostoevskaya, Russian author, short-story writer, and memoirist whose father was the famous novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky; she was also known as Aimée Dostoyevskaya.
1908 – Tsendiin Damdinsüren, Mongolian author, translator, and linguist who wrote teh text to one version of the national anthem of Mongolia.
1910 – Edith Thacher Hurd, prolific American children’s author who coauthored several of her books with famed writer Margaret Wise Brown; Hurd’s husband, Clement Hurd, illustrated many of her books.
1911 – William Howard Armstrong, Newbery Medal-winning American children’s author and educator, best known for the classic novel, Sounder, about an African-American sharecropping family in the southern U.S.
1929 – Suheil Bushrui, Israeli writer, poet, literary critic, translator, professor, and peace activist, well known for bringing Yeats’s poetry to an Arab-speaking audience.
1929 – Larry Collins, American novelist, journalist, editor, and nonfiction author.
1930 – Anne Bernays, American novelist, nonfiction author, editor, and professor; her book What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers (coauthored with Pamela Painter) is one of the most widely used guides to creative writing.
1931 – Ivan Klíma, award-winning Czech novelist and playwright.
1934 – Sarah Kofman, French writer, philosopher, autobiographer, and university teacher.
1934 – Kate Millett (full name Katherine Murray Millett), American feminist writer, educator, artist, and activist.
1938 – Tiziano Terzani, Italian journalist and author, best known for his extensive knowledge of East Asia and for being one of the few western reporters to witness and write about both the fall of Saigon to the hands of the Viet Cong and the fall of Phnom Penh at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.
1942 – Bernard MacLaverty, Irish novelist and short-story writer.
1948 – Marc Reisner, American environmentalist and writer best known for his book Cadillac Desert, a history of water management in the American West, which was included on a list of the 100 most notable English-language works of nonfiction of the 20th century.
1950 – John Steptoe, author and illustrator of children’s books that illuminate the African-American experience; his best known book, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, was considered a breakthrough in African history and culture.
1955 – Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning Australian-born journalist and author whose best known book is the novel March, which focuses on the absent father of the March family that is the subject of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, Little Women.
1968 – Shūichi Yoshida (吉田 修), award-winning Japanese novelist, short-story writer, and lyricist.
1971 – Henrietta Rose-Innes, award-winning South African novelist and short-story writer.
1973 – Asieh Amini, Iranian poet and journalist currently residing in Norway; she is an activist for women’s rights and against the death penalty, especially against the stoning of women and minors in Iran.