1795 – John Keats, English Romantic poet who is considered one of the greats of English literature, though he started out as a medical student; he spent the last year of his life in Italy and died there in 1821 at the age of 25.
1876 – Natalie Clifford Barney, American playwright, poet, and novelist who lived as an expatriate in Paris; her Left Bank salon brought together writers and artists from around the world, including many leading figures in French literature along with American and British Modernists of the Lost Generation.
1880 – Julia Peterkin, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist.
1895 – Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart (better known as Captain B. H. Liddell Hart), French-born English soldier and military historian.
1902 – Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Brazilian poet considered the most influential of the 20th century and one of the greatest Brazilian poets of all time.
1920 – Dick Francis, British jockey and crime writer, whose works focus on horse racing in England.
1925 – Lawrence A. Cremin, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian and author.
1932 – Katherine Paterson, American author of fiction for children and teens, best known for such works as Bridge to Terebithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins.
1944 – Holly Hobbie (born Denise Holly Ulinskas; Hobbie was her actual married name), American author and illustrator of the “Toot & Puddle” books, and creator of the beloved character named after herself.
1951 – Ziauddin Sardar, Pakistani-born, London-based scholar, writer and cultural critic who specializes in Muslim thought, the future of Islam, futures studies, and science and cultural relations; he has been named one of Britain’s top 100 intellectuals.
1955 – Susan Orlean, American author and journalist, best known for her novel The Orchid Thief and her nonfiction book, The Library Book.
1959 – Neal Stephenson, American author of speculative fiction, known for such works as Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon.
1964 – Frank Bruni, American journalist and New York Times restaurant critic.