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.