1785 – Lady Caroline Lamb, Anglo-Irish aristocrat, novelist, poet, parodist, and songwriter, best known for her Gothic novel Glenarvon and her love affair with the poet Lord Byron, who described her as “the cleverest, most agreeable, absurd, amiable, perplexing, dangerous, fascinating little being that lives now…” She published three novels, two parodies of Byron’s poetry, several poems, and a number of songs.
1850 – Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish novelist, poet, children’s writer, and travel author known for such classic works as Treasure Island, Kidnappped, A Child’s Garden of Verses, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
1908 – C. Vann Woodward, American Southern historian who often wrote about the history of race relations, as in his books The Strange Career of Jim Crow and The Origins of the New South, 1877-1913; he won a Pulitzer Prize for editing Mary Chesnut’s Civil War.
1914 – William Gibson, American playwright and novelist whose most famous play is the Tony Award-winning The Miracle Worker, the story of the relationship between Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan.
1917- Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh, one of the most prominent Indian Hindi writers, poets, authors, journalists, and literary critics.
1922 – Makarand Dave, Gujarati language poet, author, and journalist from India
1925 – Gholamreza Ghodsi, Iranian essayist and poet.
1930 – Nico Scheepmaker, Dutch sports journalist and poet.
1936 – Dacia Maraini, Italian screenwriter, writer, poet, playwright, and film director.
1937 – Malek Alloula, Algierian poet, writer, editor, and literary critic who is best remembered for his poetry and essays on philosophy.
1939 – George V. Higgins, American author, lawyer, newspaper columnist, and college professor who wrote bestselling crime novels.
1940 – William Taubman, American political scientist, author, and professor who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Nikita Khrushchev.
1948 – Humayun Ahmed, award-winning Bangladesh-born fiction and nonfiction author, dramatist, science-fiction writer, and film director.
1948 – Masuda Mizuko, Japanese award-winning writer, biochemist, and professor.
1957 – Stephen Baxter, British author of hard science-fiction and alternate history novels and short stories; he is also an essayist, columnist, and engineer.
1969 – Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Somali writer, feminist, and activist for the rights of Muslim women; in 2005 Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.