October 21 Writer Birthdays

1772 – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet, philosopher, and literary critic, best known for his works The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan; he was one of the Lake Poets and is considered a founder (along with his friend, poet William Wordsworth) of the Romantic movement in English poetry.

1845 – William McKendree Carleton, American poet who wrote about rural life.

1846 – Edmondo De Amicis, Italian novelist, journalist, poet, children’s author, and short-story writer.

1850 – Salomé Ureña de Henríquez (better known as Salomé Ureña), revered Dominican Republic poet and educator.

1894 – Edogawa Ranpo, pen name of Japanese author and critic Tarō Hirai, who helped developed Japanese mystery fiction.

1904 – Patrick Kavanagh, Irish poet and novelist who is considered one of the foremost poets of the 20th century.

1914 – Martin Gardner, American popular math and science writer and puzzle creator; he wrote a math games column in Scientific American for many years.

1929 – Ursula K. LeGuin, American science-fiction and fantasy author, multiple winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; she has also written realistic fiction, essays, and children’s books, and was designated a Grand Master by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

1936 – Simon James Holliday Gray, English playwright, memoirist, and university lecturer.

1940 – Frances FitzGerald, American journalist and author, best known for her account of the Vietnam War.

1943 – Ann Cameron, popular author of children’s and young-adult books who works with Lake Atitlan Libraries, a foundation that aims to improve literacy by supporting libraries in Latin America.

1947 – Ai Ogawa, National Book Award-winning American poet whose original name was Florence Anthony.

1947 – Mary Pipher, American psychologist and author.

1952 – Patti Davis, actress, novelist, and autobiographer who is the daughter of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

1956 – Carrie Fisher, American actress, bestselling novelist, and screenwriter who was best known for her role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” film series; Fisher was the daughter of iconic actress, singer, and dancer Debbie Reynolds and singing star Eddie Fisher.

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