1622 – Molière (real name Jean-Baptiste Polian), French playwright who is considered one of the masters of comedy in Western literature.
1711 – Sidonia Hedwig Zäunemann (known as die Zäunemännin), German poet who became Poet Laureate of Göttingen at the age of 24.
1850 – Mihai Eminescu (born Mihail Eminovic), Romantic poet, novelist, editor, journalist, and translator; he is considered the most popular and influential Romanian poet.
1879 – Mazo de la Roche, Canadian author of the Jalna novels, one of the most popular series of books of her time.
1914 – Esther “Etty” Hillesum, Dutch Jewish writer whose letters and diaries describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation; she died in Auschwitz in 1943.
1932 – Joan Lingard, Scottish author of bestselling novels for children, teens, and adults.
1933 – Ernest J. Gaines, African-American author, short-story writer, and professor, best known for his novels A Lesson Before Dying and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
1935 – Robert Silverberg, multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning American science-fiction and fantasy author and editor; he was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
1944 – Jenny Nimmo, British author of children’s fiction; she is best known for the “Children of the Red King” (Charlie Bone) series.
1972 – Claudia Anne I. Winkleman, British journalist, television presenter, film critic, and radio personality.