1661 – Florent Carton (aka Dancourt), French actor and playwright, best known for his comedies.
1769 – Garlieb Helwig Merkel, Baltic German writer and activist who was forced into exile after he wrote a book that described the life of peasants and the atrocities of German landowners.
1871 – Stephen Crane, U.S. war correspondent, novelist, short-story writer, and poet who pioneered the use of psychological realism in fiction.
1880 – Sholem Asch, Polish-born Jewish novelist, dramatist, and essayist who wrote in Yiddish.
1886 – Hermann Broch, Nobel Prize-nominated Austrian novelist of the Modernist movement.
1886 – Sakutarō Hagiwara (萩原 朔太郎), Japanese poet, essayist, and literary critic who is credited with liberating Japanese free verse from traditional rules; he is considered the “father of modern colloquial poetry in Japan.”
1892 – Mabel Leigh Hunt, two-time Newbery Honor-winning librarian and children’s author.
1895 – David Jones, modernist British poet, writer, essayist, painter, illustrator, and engraver; both T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden considered him to be a poet of major importance.
1896 – Edmund Blunden, English poet, author, and critic.
1897 – Naomi Mitchison, Scottish novelist, poet, science-fiction author, linguist, and nurse.
1898 – Rose Antonia Maria Valland, French art historian and author who was a member of the French Resistance, captain in the French military, and one of the most decorated women in French history; she secretly recorded details of Nazi plundering and saved thousands of works of art.
1923 – Gordon R. Dickson, Canadian science-fiction author best known for space opera.
1926 – Hilary Knight, American writer-artist who wrote nine books and illustrated more than fifty; he is best known as the illustrator of the Eloise books.
1938 – Nicholasa Mohr – American novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and young-adult author whose work focuses on growing up in U.S. Puerto Rican communities and the difficulties faced by Puerto Rican women in the U.S.; one of the best known Puerto Rican American authors, she has been a finalist for the National Book Award.
1954 – H.G. Bissinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and author.
1959 – Susanna Mary Clarke, Hugo Award-winning English novelist and short-story author best known for her bestselling debut novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, an alternative history set in a magical England and written in the style of 19th century authors.
1962 – Kamaria S. Muntu (born Tracey De Sandra Martin), African-American feminist poet, writer, literary magazine editor, and arts activist.
1972 – Alessandra Silvestri-Levy, Brazilian art historian, art writer, curator, biographer, diplomat and human rights activist who became the Princess of Bismarck and the French Ambassador to Cuba.
1978 – Jessica Valenti, American nonfiction author, editor, memoirist, columnist, and feminist blogger whose work explores women’s issues.