1776 – Adelaide O’Keeffe, Irish poet, children’s writer, and novelist who authored what is considered by some to be the first verse novel for children.
1849 – Rui Barbosa, Brazilian writer, politician, and abolitionist.
1850 – Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American author and poet, best known for her work, “Solitude,” which contains the lines, “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.”
1857 – Ida Tarbell, American author, teacher, and investigative journalist whose work led to the breakup of the Standard Oil monopoly.
1883 – Ricardo Miró Denis, Panamanian poet, writer, and diplomat who is considered to be the most noteworthy poet of this country and has been called the national poet of Panama; his work is nostalgic, filled with the author’s thoughts about living away from his own native land. He also served his country as director of the National Archives and as a secretary for the Academia Panameña de la Lengua.
1885 – Will Durant, American writer and historian, known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning 11-volume work on the history of civilization, written with his wife Ariel; he was also an activist for women’s suffrage and labor rights.
1909 – Milena Pavlovic-Barili, Serbian writer, poet, and painter.
1926 – John Berger, Booker Prize-winning English art critic, painter, novelist, and poet.
1927 – Thomas Gibbons Aylesworth, American author and editor of books for children and young adults.
1934 – Ivonne Aline Bordelois, Argentine poet, essayist, and linguist.
1935 – Christopher Hovelle Wood, English novelist and screenwriter who adapted two James Bond novels for the screen and wrote historical fiction, semi-autobiographical fiction, adventure stories, and comic erotica; some of his work was published under the pseudonym Timothy Lea.
1936 – Om Prakash Aditya, popular Indian Hindi poet and satirist.
1943 – Sam Shepard, Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, actor, and film director.
1944 – Carole Nelson Douglas, American novelist and short-story writer best known for her mystery novels.
1948 – Baba Punhan (born Atababa Seyidali oglu Madatzadeh), Azerbaijani poet who known for his Meykhana, an Azerbaijani literary and folk rap tradition that is recited in time to a beat.
1953 – Joyce Maynard, American author and memoirist who was criticized for writing about her relationship with J.D. Salinger.
1971 – Rana Dasgupta, British/Indian novelist and essayist.
1974 – Susana Chávez Castillo, Mexican poet, journalist, and human-rights activist who worked to end a wave of killings of women in her hometown of Juárez; she was found murdered and mutilated at the age of 36 for speaking out.
1982 – Uzodinma Iweala, U.S./Nigerian novelist, essayist, and medical student.