1582 – John Barclay, French-born Scottish writer, satirist, and neo-Latin poet.
1608 – Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, Italian physiologist, physicist, mathematician, and author; Father of Biomechanics; and first person to design a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus; he became head of Mathematics at the University of Pisa, though Galileo recommended against hiring him.
1841 – Sir Henry Morton Stanley, Welsh journalist and explorer who found missing missionary David Livingstone and said, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
1853 – José Martí y Perez, poet, essayist, journalist, revolutionary philosopher, and Cuban national hero.
1873 – Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, French author who wrote under the pen name “Colette”; she is best known for the novel Gigi.
1886 – Marthe Bibesco, Romanian writer, poet, biographer, novelist, essayist, style icon, and princess.
1897 – Valentin Petrovich Kataev, Russian and Soviet novelist and playwright who wrote penetrating works discussing post-revolutionary social conditions and was noted for his relentless imagination, sensitivity, and originality.
1901 – Shinkichi Takahashi, award-winning poet who was one of the pioneers of Dadaism in Japan and the only major Zen poet of modern Japanese literature.
1913 – Rajendra Shah, award-winning Indian Gujarati poet, writer, lyricist, translator, and publisher whose writing focused on the beauty of nature and the everyday lives of indigenous peoples and fishing communities.
1915 – Nien Cheng, Chinese author whose memoir recounts her experiences during the Cultural Revolution.
1927 – Vera Williams, American peace activist and author and illustrator of children’s books.
1928 – Philip Levine, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet.
1929 – Richard Clement Charles “Clem” Thomas, Welsh rugby player who became a rugby journalist and author.
1930 – Camilla Carlson, Norwegian poet, novelist, and literary critic.
1930 – Margo Glantz Shapiro, award-winning Mexican writer, essayist, literary critic, and academic.
1931 – Sakyo Komatsu, Japanese writer, screenwriter, journalist, and novelist who was one of the most highly regarded science-fiction authors in Japan.
1935 – Manuel dos Santos Lima, Angolan poet, dramatist, novelist and revolutionary.
1935 – David John Lodge, English literature professor and satirical novelist.
1936 – Ismail Kadare, bestselling Albanian novelist and poet.
1941 – Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, noted New Zealand weaver and author who was a key figure in the Maori cultural renaissance and helped lift Maori weaving from a craft to an art.
1945 – John Perkins, controversial American author and conspiracy theorist who also wrote about mysticism in indigenous cultures.
1954 – Rick Warren, evangelical pastor and self-help book author.
1959 – Megan McDonald, American author of children’s books, best known for the “Judy Moody” series.
1961 – Arnaldur Indriðason, Icelandic author of crime fiction.
1969 – Susan Choi, award-winning American novelist, children’s author, and professor.
1973 – Carrie Vaughn, American short-story writer and novelist who is known for urban fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal romance.
1988 – Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, award-winning Zimbabwean novelist and short-story writer.
1994 – Pieretta Dawn (Pen name of Praekarn Pier Nirandara), the youngest English-writing published author in Thailand, she received critical acclaim at age 15 when her debut young-adult novel The Mermaid Apprentices, was published.