1483 – Martin Luther, German priest and theological scholar whose writings sparked the Protestant Reformation.
1577 – Jacob Cats, Dutch poet, humorist, and politician.
1730 – Oliver Goldsmith, Irish novelist and playwright, best known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield and his comedic drama She Stoops To Conquer.
1759 – Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, German poet, philosopher, historian, lyricist, and playwright.
1828 – Wang Tao, Chinese scholar, writer, columnist, fiction author, newspaper publisher, politician, translator, author, journalist, and Bible translator
1871 – Winston Churchill (not THAT Winston Churchill, though the two actually did know each other), American novelist, poet, essayist, and artist; one of the best-selling authors of the early 20th century; he was also elected to the state legislature of New Hampshire and ran unsuccessfully for governor.
1879 – Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, American poet who is considered the father of modern singing poetry.
1879 – Andrea Evangelina Rodríguez Perozo, writer and poet who was the first woman medical school graduate in the Dominican Republic; she published poetry and nonfiction, and also wrote a novel but destroyed the manuscript in a fit of anger.
1884 – Zofia Nałkowska, Polish poet, prose writer, dramatist, journalist, essayist, diarist, and politician.
1893 – John P. Marquand, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of spy stories, satirical fiction, and more serious novels that often explored the confining nature of life in America’s upper class and among those who aspired to join it.
1910 – Bhashyam Iyengar (pen name Sandilyan or Chandilyan), Indian Tamil author who wrote historical romance and adventure novels.
1913 – Karl Shapiro, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and U.S. Poet Laureate who was also a novelist, editor, and professor; his early work, praised as “fresh and young and rash and live,” was traditional in form but with a modern sensibility that viewed such topics as automobiles, house flies, and drug stores as worthy of a poet’s attention, while his later work experimented with more open forms and with social criticism.
1929 – W.E.B. Griffin, pen name of William Edward Butterworth III, American author of military and crime fiction.
1933 – James D. Houston, American Book Award-winning novelist, poet, editor, and professor; one of his best known books is Farewell to Manzanar, coauthored with his wife, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, about her family’s forced internment at a camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II; he also wrote Snow Mountain Passage, about the Donner Party.
1944 – Mark E. Neely Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, professor, Civil War historian, and Lincoln biographer.
1944 – Sir Tim Rice, award-winning British lyricist and author, best known for Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and other musicals; some of his most famous works are his collaborations with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
1958 – Maria Galina, award-winning Soviet and Russian writer, novelist, poet, translator, columnist, literary critic, and marine biologist; some of her work was published under the name Maxim Golitsyn.
1960 – Neil Gaiman, prolific English-born author of award-winning science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, children’s books, short stories, TV scripts, and films; some of his more popular works include the comic book series “The Sandman” and novels Stardust, Good Omens, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won many awards, including the Newbery Medal and multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards.
1963 – Natalie Jane Prior, award-winning Australian author of children’s books, including picture books, fantasy, and crime fiction.
1966 – Aka Morchiladze (გიორგი ახვლედიანი), bestselling author, columnist, soap writer, and essayist in the Republic of Georgia.
1969 – Khalaf Ali Alkhalaf, Syrian-born Swedish poet and writer.
1971 – Holly Black, bestselling American fantasy novelist, screenwriter, and video game writer.
1988 – Godspower Oboido, Nigerian poet and cultural activist who founded the Nigerian Council for Cultural Diplomacy and Research.