1671 – Colley Cibber, English dramatist, autobiographer, actor, and Poet Laureate.
1784 – Laure Junot (Duchesse d’Abrantès), French memoirist and nonfiction author.
1831 – Anna Leonowens, Indian-born English/Canadian writer, teacher, pedagogue, memoirist, autobiographer, traveler, suffragist, and social activist who became well known with the publication of her memoirs, beginning with The English Governess at the Siamese Court, which chronicled her experiences in Siam (modern Thailand), as teacher to the children of the Siamese King Mongkut; her account has been fictionalised in Margaret Landon’s bestselling novel Anna and the King of Siam, as well as films and television series based on the book, most notably Rodgers and Hammerstein’s hit musical The King and I.
1880 – Robert Musil, Austrian novelist whose unfinished book, The Man Without Qualities (Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften), is considered an important modernist novel.
1883 – Jonas Lauritz Idemil Lie, Norwegian novelist who was considered one of the Four Greats of 19th-century Norwegian literature.
1898 – Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain, writer and anthropologist who was the first woman Haitian anthropologist; in addition to her interest in Haitian folklore and social issues and the condition of women in Haiti and Africa, her research focused on the origins of Creole language.
1907 – Catherine Crook de Camp, American science-fiction and fantasy novelist, editor, and nonfiction writer; much of her fiction was written was coauthored with her husband, novelist Sprague de Camp.
1919 – Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, award-winning Portuguese poet, writer, politician, translator, and children’s writer who was one of the most important Portuguese poets of the 20th century.
1921 – James Jones, American novelist, nonfiction author, and short-story writer whose work explored World War II and its aftermath; his first novel, From Here to Eternity, was adapted for both film and television.
1926 – Zig Ziglar, American motivational speaker and author of autobiography and self-improvement books.
1938 – Diana E. H. Russell, South African feminist researcher, writer, and activist.
1940 – Ingeborg Day, Austrian-born writer, author, and novelist who was best known for the semi-autobiographical erotic novel Nine and a Half Weeks, which she published under the pseudonym Elizabeth McNeill, and which was later made into a film starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke.
1943 – Berlie Doherty, award-winning English novelist, poet, playwright, children’s author, and screenwriter.
1946 – Viivi Luik, Estonian poet, writer, and children’s author.
1950 – Linda LeGarde Grover, American Chippewa novelist, short-story writer, essayist, columnist, and professor whose work concerns the Anishinaabe group of indigenous peoples.
1952 – Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, screenwriter, and professor, best known for his novel The Hours.
1954 – Karin Fossum, Norwegian crime fiction writer who has been called the Norwegian Queen of Crime.
1954 – Stephen Watson, South African creative writing teacher, poet, and critic.
1955 – Catherine Asaro, award-winning American science-fiction and fantasy writer, author of the Saga of the Skolian Empire series; she is also a physicist, chemist, and dancer.
1955 – Maria Shriver, American journalist, author, and television personality who was the niece of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and was married to actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
1957 – Camille Laurens, award-winning French writer and novelist.
1965 – Clare Vanderpool, Newbery Medal-winning American children’s author.
1969 – Colson Whitehead, National Book Award-winning and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, nonfiction writer, and columnist.
1982 – Zhang Yueran, Chinese novelist, short-story writer, and educator who is part of China’s Post-’80s Generation literary movement.