1674 – Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, French dramatist whose licentious plays portrayed the depravity of high Parisian culture.
1802 – Eduard von Bauernfeld, Viennese comedic playwright.
1832 – Horatio Alger Jr., American author known for his “rags-to-riches” children’s books about impoverished boys who improve their situations through courage, honesty, and hard work.
1853 – Nicolina Maria “Marie” Sloot, Indonesian-born Dutch writer, novelist, and philanthropist who is best known by her pen name Melati van Java, but who also wrote under the pen names Max van Ravestein and Mathilde; she was one of the first women to become a member of Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde, the Dutch literary society.
1871 – Mihal Grameno, Albanian writer, journalist, freedom fighter for Albanian nationalism, and politician.
1894 – Ramnath Biswas, Bengali Indian travel writer, revolutionary, soldier, and explorer who was best known for circumnavigating the globe by bicycle.
1901 – A.B. Guthrie Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer best known for his novel The Way West.
1906 – Zhou Youguang, Chinese linguist, sinologist, writer, translator, and economist who is known as the “father of Pinyin,” a system for the writing of Mandarin Chinese in Roman script.
1913 – Jean Verdi Salomon Razakandrainy (commonly known as Dox), Malagasy writer, poet, playwright, painter, translator, and composer who is considered one of the most important figures in the literary history of Madagascar.
1926 – Michael Bond, English author most famous for his children’s books about Paddington Bear.
1926 – Amanda Cross, pen name of bestselling American mystery writer and professor Carolyn Gold Heilbrun, who also wrote academic works on feminism under her own name.
1931 – Flora Nwapa, Nigerian novelist, poet, publisher, and activist.
1933 – Shahnon Ahmad, Malaysian novelist and satirist.
1934 – Oyeleye Oyediran, noted Nigerian political scientist, author, editor, and professor.
1934 – Carolyn See, American novelist, memoirist, and nonfiction author.
1938 – Nabaneeta Dev Sen (Nôbonita Deb Sen), prolific, award-winning Bengali Indian writer and academic who wrote poetry, novels, short stories, plays, literary criticism, personal essays, travelogues, humor, children’s literature, and translations.
1940 – Edmund White, American novelist, essayist, and memoirs; jis best-known books are his trio of autobiographic novels, A Boy’s Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, and The Farewell Symphony.
1950 – Sharon Robinson, African-American author, biographer, health writer, and nurse-midwife; her father was baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
1951 – Frank Peretti, American author of Christian fiction, often involving the supernatural.
1955 – Jay McInerney, American novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, essayist, editor, and wine columnist who is best known for the novel Bright Lights, Big City.
1957 – Lorrie Moore, award-winning American author known for her humorous and poignant novels and short stories.