January 14 Writer Birthdays

1551 – Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak, Indian-born writer, poet, historian, translator, politician, and Grand Vizier of the Mughal emperor Akbar; he is best remembered as the author of the Akbarnama, the official history of Akbar’s reign in three volumes, and for his Persian translation of the Bible. He was one of the “Nine Jewels” of Akbar’s royal court and was the brother of Faizi, Akbar’s Poet Laureate.

1700 – Christian Friedrich Henrici (pen name Picander), German poet, writer, librettist, and civil servant who wrote lyrics for many of Bach’s cantatas.

1818 – Zachris Topelius, Finnish author, poet, journalist, historian, historical novelist, and rector of the University of Helsinki; he is best known for his novels related to Finnish history, written in Swedish.

1834 – Choe Ik-hyeon, Korean writer, poet, philosopher, politician, and general who was a vocal Korean nationalist and a strong supporter of Neo-Confucianism.

1850 – Pierre Loti, French novelist and naval officer, known for his exotic novels and short stories.

1871 – Pamela Adelaide Genevieve Wyndham Glenconner Grey (Lady Glenconner, Viscountess Grey of Fallodon), English writer, poet, children’s author, editor, and publisher who was friends with the literary and artistic stars of the day, including Henry James, Oscar Wilde, and Ezra Pound; John Singer Sargent painted her and her sisters in the 1899 portrait, The Wyndham sisters, which was described by The Times as “the greatest picture of modern times.”

1874 – Thornton Waldo Burgess, prolific American columnist, children’s writer, and conservationist who wrote about the beauty of nature and its living creatures in his books and his newspaper column, “Bedtime Stories”; he was sometimes known as the Bedtime Story Man.

1875 – Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Prize-winning French theologian, writer, organist, philosopher, and physician whose name has become synonymous with humanitarianism.

1882 – Hendrik Willem Van Loon, Dutch-American historian, journalist, and children’s book writer, known for his world history for children, The Story of Mankind, which 1n 1922 won the first Newbery Award.

1886 – Hugh Lofting, English civil engineer and author who created the classic children’s character, Doctor Dolittle.

1896 – John Dos Passos, American novelist and artist, known for his “USA Trilogy,” together ranked by the Modern Library as number 23 on the list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

1897 – Wasif Jawhariyyeh, Jerusalem-born Arab writer, poet, historian, and composer best known for his memoirs, The Diaries of Wasif Jawhariyyeh, which span more than six decades, covering Jerusalem’s turbulent modern history, including four regimes and five wars.

1900 – Abu Al-Asar Hafeez Jalandhari, Indian-born Pakistani Urdu-language poet who wrote the lyrics for the National Anthem of Pakistan.

1905 – Emily Hahn, prolific American journalist and author; considered an early feminist and called “a forgotten American literary treasure” by The New Yorker magazine, she wrote 54 books and more than 200 articles and short stories.

1913 – Tillie Olsen, American novelist and nonfiction writer associated with the political turmoil of the 1930s and an early generation of American feminists.

1914 – Dudley (Felker) Randall, African-American poet, editor, and publisher who was the first Poet Laureate of Detroit; his Broadside Press provided a forum for unknown Black writers.

1916 – Toyo Suyemoto, Japanese-American poet, memoirist, and librarian who was incarcerated by the United States during World War II due to her Japanese ancestry; her memoir, I Call to Remembrance: Toyo Suyemoto’s Years of Internment, was published posthumously.

1916 – John Oliver Killens, African-American novelist, essayist, playwright, editor, and short-story writer who was a co-founder of the Harlem Writers Guild; his novels focused on African-American life.

1919 – Sayyid Athar Hussein Rizvi (known as Kaifi Azmi), Indian Urdu poet, lyricist, and songwriter who brought Urdu literature to Indian motion pictures.

1919 – Andy Rooney, American author, journalist, and television personality, best known for his “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney” segments on the CBS newsmagazine show 60 Minutes.

1921 – Kenneth Bulmer, prolific British author, best known for his science fiction, but who also wrote realistic fiction, military fiction, sea stories, and magazine articles; he wrote under many pseudonyms, including Alan Burt Akers, Ken Blake, Ernest Corley, Arthur Frazier, Adam Hardy, Philip Kent, Bruno Krauss, Neil Langholm, Manning Norvil, Charles R. Pike, Dray Prescot, Andrew Quiller, Richard Silver, Tully Zetford, and Rupert Clinton.

1925 – Yukio Mishima, pen name of Japanese author and poet Kimitake Hiraoka, known for his avant-garde writing as well as his ritual suicide.

1926 – Mahaswetah Devi, award-winning Indian Bengali novelist, short-story writer, educator, and human-rights activist who worked for the rights and empowerment of tribal people.

1926 – Thomas Tryon, American actor and author of science-fiction, horror, and mystery novels and screenplays.

1947 – Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, historian, and Martin Luther King Jr. biographer who wrote about the Civil Rights movement.

1948 – John Lescroart, American author of legal and crime thriller novels.

1949 – Mary Robison, American novelist and short-story writer.

1950 – Arthur Byron Cover, American book author and short-story writer whose work is in the science-fiction, fantasy, and horror genres.

1952 – Maureen Dowd, American author and New York Times columnist.

1957 – David Bergen, award-winning Canadian novelist and short-story writer.

1957 – Anchee Min, Chinese-American author of fiction and memoirs.

1960 – Edward St. Aubyn, award-winning British author and journalist; his semi-autobiographical novels, some of which have been made into a television series, have been hailed as a powerful exploration of how emotional health can be carved out of childhood adversity.

1970 – Nuala Ní Chonchúir, award-winning Irish poet, novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and translator.

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