1862 – Gerhardt Hauptmann, Nobel Prize-winning German dramatist and novelist.
1881 – Franklin Pierce Adams, American columnist, poet, and radio personality who was known for his wit; he often went by his initials F.P.A.
1887 – Marianne Moore, American Modernist poet noted for her irony and wit; she won both a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
1890 – Richmal Crompton, an English writer; she was best known for her humorous children’s books but also wrote for adults.
1910 – Beryl Epstein, American author of children’s nonfiction and fiction books who collaborated with her husband, Samuel Epstein; their books often focused on how things work and why things happen.
1915 – Elliott Chaze, American war veteran, journalist, and pulp novelist.
1926 – Thomas Williams, National Book Award-winning American novelist who was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
1930 – J.G. Ballard, English novelist, essayist, and short-story writer associated early in his career with the New Wave of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic science-fiction novels; he also wrote war stories and postmodernist fiction.
1941 – Daniel Pinkwater, American children’s and young-adult author whose books tend toward the humorous and absurd.
1949 – Maira Kalman, Israeli/American author and illustrator of children’s books, columnist for the New Yorker and The New York Times, and artist.
1951 – Ehsan Sehgal, Pakistani poet, author, journalist, magazine editor, and activist.
1952 – Rick Atkinson, American author and military historian who has won Pulitzer Prizes in both History and Journalism.
1959 – Tibor Fischer, British novelist and short-story writer.
1977 – Jonathan Benjamin Hurwitz, American screenwriter, director, and producer, best known for the “Harold and Kumar” movies.
1741 – Johann Kaspar Lavater, Swiss poet, theologian, mysticist, and physiognomist.