January 20 Writer Birthdays

1719 – Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, French writer best known for his work The Travels of Anarchis the Younger in Greece.

1804 – Eugène Sue, French author whose novel Mathilde contains the first recorded use of the phrase, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

1806 – Nathaniel Parker Willis (also known as N. P. Willis), American author, poet, and editor who worked with iconic American writers including Poe and Longfellow.

1873 – Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, Nobel Prize-winning Danish author.

1883 – Forrest Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, author, and Harriet Beecher Stowe biographer.

1908 – Jean S. Macleid, prolific British romance novelist who also wrote as Catherine Airlie.

1925 – Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan poet, politician, and Catholic priest who founded a primitivistic art colony.

1930 – Blair Lent, Caldecott Medal-winning American children’s author and illustrator.

1944 – William Henry Jackson Griffith, American cartoonist who signs his work Bill Griffith or Griffy, and is best known for the comic strip “Zippy”; he is credited with originating the popular catchphrase, “Are we having fun yet?”

1945 – Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning American short-story writer and novelist.

1948 – Nancy Kress, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning American science-fiction author, columnist, and educator.

1948 – Natan Sharansky, Soviet-born Israeli politician, author, autobiographer, and human-rights activist who was sent to prison in the Soviet Union for allegedly spying for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

1956 – Bill Maher, controversial American comedian, political commentator, television personality, and author.

1959 – Tami Hoag, bestselling American author of romance and thriller novels.

1959 – R.A. Salvatore, American author of bestselling fantasy and science fiction books, known for his “Forgotten Realms” and “Star Wars” books.

1964 – Fareed Zakaria, Indian-American journalist and author.

1967 – Alexander Ahndoril, Swedish novelist and playwright who has also written crime novels with his wife, Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril, under the joint pen name Lars Kepler.

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