1394 – Charles d’Orléans (Duke of Orléans), French poet who wrote chansons, ballades, and rondeaux in French, Latin, and English.
1632 – Benedict [Baruch] de Spinoza, Dutch philosopher, author, and lens-grinder.
1713 – Laurence Sterne, Anglo-Irish novelist, travel writer, memoirist, and clergyman, best known for his novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.
1826 – Carlo Collodi, Italian journalist and author also known as Carlo Lorenzini; he is best known as the creator of Pinocchio
1849 – Frances Hodgson Burnett, English playwright and beloved author whose children’s stories like The Secret Garden are considered classics; she also wrote novels for adults and hosted literary salons in Washington, D.C. while living for a time in the U.S.
1858 – Marie Bashkirtseff, Russian/.Ukrainian writer, biographer, diarist, painter, and sculptor who is best known for the diary she began keeping at age 13, which has been called “a strikingly modern psychological self-portrait of a young, gifted mind.”
1885 – Anna Louise Strong, American author, journalist, activist, trade unionist, and peace activist who was best known for her reporting on communist movements in the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.
1888 – Dale Carnegie, American writer and lecturer whose most famous work is How to Win Friends and Influence People.
1912 – Garson Kanin, American playwright and producer who was a friend of actress Katharine Hepburn.
1921 – Yoshiko Uchida, award-winning Japanese-American memoirist, children’s author, short-story writer, editor, autobiographer, novelist, folklorist, and teacher; her writing is considered part of the Folk Art literary movement.
1925 – William F Buckley Jr., American conservative author who founded the magazine National Review.
1927 – Ahmadou Kourouma, Ivorian (Ivory Coast) novelist, satirist, activist who shone a light on colonialism in Africa.
1935 – Mordecai Gerstein, Caldecott Medal-winning American children’s book author and illustrator.
1948 – Spider Robinson, award-winning American-born Canadian author of science fiction and humor; he has also written short stories and book reviews.
1961 – Arundhati Roy, Indian author and political activist, best known for her novel The God of Small Things.
1970 – Marlon James, award-winning Jamaican author who almost gave up his writing career after receiving 70 rejections for his first novel.
1972 – Samira Bellil, French feminist writer, autobiographer, and activist or the rights of girls and women; she became famous in France with the publication of an autobiographical book that discusses the violence she and other young women endured in the immigrant outskirts of Paris, where she was repeatedly gang-raped as a teenager; her book depicts the predicament of young girls in the poor, outlying suburbs (banlieue) of French cities.
1974 – Stephen Merchant, British comedian and television writer whose credits include The Office.
1975 – Thomas Kohnstamm, American author and travel writer.