1414 – Jami (full name Nur ad-Din ‘Abd ar-Rahman Jami, but also known as Mawlana Nur al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman or Abd-Al-Rahman Nur-Al-Din Muhammad Dashti), prolific write,r poet, philosopher, music theorist, and writer of mystical Sufi literature. He is recognized for his eloquence and for his analysis of the metaphysics of mercy.
1834 – Wlodzimierz Zagórski, Polish writer, novelist, and satirist who also wrote under the pseudonyms Chochlik and Publicola (or Publikola).
1872 – Leonora Speyer, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and violinist who is best known for her book Fiddler’s Farewell.
1879 – Leon Trotsky, Russian writer, Marxist theorist, politician, and Bolshevik revolutionary who was one of the leaders of the Russian October Revolution; he wrote many books including The Revolution Betrayed, Their Morals and Ours, History of the Russian Revolution, and Fascism: What It Is and How to Fight It.
1893 – Margaret Leech, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian, author, and biographer.
1897 – Armstrong Sperry, Newbery Medal-winning American children’s author and illustrator, historical fiction writer, and biographer.
1901 – Cecília Meireles, Brazilian writer, poet, translator, journalist, novelist, and educational reformer who is a key figure in the Brazilian Modernist movement; she is considered one of the best Portuguese-language poets ever.
1913 – Albert Camus, Nobel Prize-winning Algerian-born French author, journalist, and philosopher praised “for his important literary production, with which clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times.” He is usually considered an existentialist, but hated the term, instead calling himself an absurdist.
1914 – R.A. Lafferty, American science-fiction and fantasy author known for his clever wordplay; he wrote novels, short stories, and autobiographical fiction.
1920 – Elaine Morgan, Welsh writer, screenwriter, author, anthropologist, columnist, and feminist who wrote several books on evolutionary anthropology, especially the aquatic ape hypothesis; she has been named one of the 50 greatest Welsh men and women of all time.
1937 – Mary Daheim, American author of romance and mystery novels whose books tend to be set near her home in the Pacific Northwest.
1940 – Antonio Skármeta, Chilean novelist, short-story writer, and television host.
1942 – Helen Garner, award-winning Australian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist.
1942 – Tom Peters, American business writer, best known for the bestselling book In Search of Excellence.
1943 – Stephen Greenblatt, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning American literary critic and scholar.
1946 – Chrystos, award-winning Native American writer, poet, artist, teacher, and activist of the Menominee people, who has published books and poems that explore indigenous Americans’ civil rights, social justice, and feminism.
1954 – Guy Gavriel Kay, Canadian author of historical fantasy, radio scripts, and poetry, most of whose novels take place in fictional settings that resemble real places during real historical periods; he also assisted Christopher Tolkien in editing his father J.R.R. Tolkien’s work for publication.
1956 – Anna Ogino, award-winning Japanese writer, novelist, and professor.
1956 – Zhang Wei, Chinese writer and novelist who won the Mao Dun Literature Prize, the highest national literary award, for On the Plateau, a 10-volume work that took a decade to write.
1959 – Odete Semedo, writer, poet, linguist, and educator from Guinea-Bissau; she writes in both Portuguese and Guinea Creole.
1960 – Linda Nagata, Nebula Award-winning American author of speculative fiction, science fiction, and fantasy novels, novellas, and short stories who frequently writes in the Nanopunk genre, which features nanotechnology and the integration of advanced computing with the human brain.
1960 – Olubayi Olubayi, Kenyan writer, scientist, and academic who was Vice Chancellor/President of the International University of East Africa in Uganda; he has written on microbiology, biotechnology, social science, and education.
1968 – Yuyi Morales, Caldecott Medal-winning Mexican author and illustrator of books for children.
1975 – Danny Lim, Malaysian writer, journalist, and photographer.