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.