1845 – Agnes Giberne, Indian-born British astronomer, science writer, children’s writer, short-story writer, and novelist who wrote science books, as well as fiction with moral or religious themes.
1854 – Danske Dandridge, Danish-born American poet, writer, historian, garden writer, and nurse who was considered a major poet of 19th century West Virginia.
1863 – Joanne Kyger, American poet, prose writer, and editor who was associated with the poets of the San Francisco Renaissance, the Beat Generation, Black Mountain, and the New York School.
1869 – Mirra Lokhvitskaya, Pushkin Prize-winning Russian poet who was called the “Russian Sappho” because of the erotic sensuality of her works; in modern times she has become regarded as one of the most original and influential voices of the Silver Age of Russian Poetry.
1873 – Maria da Conceição Infante de Lacerda Pereira de Eça Custance O’Neill, Portuguese writer, poet, journalist, and spiritualist of Irish descent.
1878 – Amelia Josephine Burr, American writer, poet, and world traveler who was a “popular lyricist, whose work yet flashes with genuine poetic feeling.”
1879 – Mait Metsanurk, Estonian writer, journalist, and literary critic who led the neo-realist school of Estonian literature.
1881 – Marie Hamsun, Norwegian writer, author, biographer, poet, and actor.
1899 – Allen Tate, American poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, biographer, and social commentator who served as U.S. Poet Laureate.
1900 – Anna Seghers, German writer, novelist, science-fiction writer who depicted the moral experience of World War II.
1907 – Jack Schaefer, American novelist and children’s author known for his westerns.
1909 – Peter Drucker, Austrian-born American business consultant, author, lawyer, educator, businessperson, economist, columnist, sculptor, university teacher, journalist, and philosopher whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation.
1922 – Yuri Knorozov, Soviet Ukrainian linguist, epigrapher, and ethnographer, who played a key role in deciphering pre-Columbian Mayan script.
1923 – Jane Trahey, American businesswoman and writer who was a pioneer of advertising writing in the 1960s.
1925 – Zygmunt Bauman, Polish sociologist, philosopher, and author who has written on globalization, modernity and postmodernity, consumerism, and morality.
1925 – John Gordon, British writer of young-adult supernatural novels and short stories, and a memoir.
1926 – Elsa Wiezell, award-winning Paraguayan poet, teacher, and painter.
1930 – Farid Seiful-Mulyukov, Soviet writer, journalist, and television writer and presenter.
1930 – Mercedes Rein, Uruguayan writer, literary critic, teacher, poet, and translator.
1942 – Sharon Olds, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and professor who is considered one of the leading voices in contemporary poetry; in her work, she eschews poetic convention, writing about unconventional subjects such as family, abuse, and sex.
1943 – Bhagwandas Patel, Indian Gujarati writer and folklorist who pioneered research into Gujarat’s tribal literature and brought the state’s oral literature to the attention of the literary community.
1945 – Frans Sammut, Maltese novelist and nonfiction writer.
1947 – Edna Alford, award-winning Canadian author, poet, and editor who is especially known for the collections, A Sleep Full of Dreams and The Garden of Eloise Loon.
1953 – Claire Dé (pen name of Claire Dandurand), award-winning Canadian novelist, playwright, translator, theatrical designer, and writer of erotic short stories.
1953 – Tony Hoagland, award-winning American poet, essayist, and literary critic; according to one critic, “His erudite comic poems are backloaded with heartache and longing, and they function, emotionally, like improvised explosive devices: The pain comes at you from the cruelest angles, on the sunniest of days.”
1958 – Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning and National Book Award-winning American historian, author, and professor who has written about the Hemings family at Monticello and is responsible for changing historians’ understanding of Thomas Jefferson in terms of his relationship with Sally Hemings and her children.
1958 – Charlie Kaufman, American screenwriter, playwright, producer, director, and lyricist who wrote such films as Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as well as television programs, and has been nominated for four Academy Awards; three of his scripts appear in the Writers Guild of America’s list of the 101 greatest movie screenplays ever written.
1958 – Michael Wilbon, American sportswriter, columnist, journalist, and sports commentator.
1959 – Maria Matios, award-winning Ukrainian poet, novelist, cookbook author, and politician; some of her work is based on the unique experiences of her family, whose roots go back as far as 1790.
1960 – Siân Busby, British novelist and nonfiction writer.
1961 – Xiao Qiang, Chinese writer, journalist, physicist, and human-rights activist.
1964 – Susie Dent, British writer, linguist, lexicographer, etymologist, and television personality.
1965 – Ewa Kassala, writer, journalist, trainer, screenwriter, and television host; some of her books have been published under the pen name Dorota Stasikowska-Wozniak.
1967 – Ruta Sepetys, award-winning bestselling Lithuanian-American writer of historical novels and young-adult fiction who considers herself a “seeker of lost stories” who gives voice to those who weren’t able to tell their own story.
1973 – Amanda Howard, Australian writer, crime author, and expert on serial killers.
1973 – Ryukishi07, Japanese screenwriter, writer, illustrator, novelist, and graphic novel writer; the pen name originates from Final Fantasy, “Ryukishi” being the term for “Dragoon” and “07” goroawase for “Lenna”.
1982 – Shin Dong-hyuk, North Korean defector who is a writer, journalist, and human-rights activist; he is reputed to be the only prisoner known to have successfully escaped from a “total-control zone” grade internment camp in North Korea.
1984 – Tamsin Omond, British author, environmental activist, and journalist who has campaigned for the U.K. government for action to avoid human-caused climate change.