1590 – Lady Anne Clifford, English diarist, letter writer, patron of the arts, women’s rights activist, and High Sheriff of Westmoreland; poet John Donne said of her that she could “discourse of all things from Predestination to Slea-silk.”
1628 – George Villiers (2nd Duke of Buckingham), English politician and writer of restoration comedies.
1775 – Walter Savage Landor, English critic and writer, known for his hot temper and his reverence for classical writers.
1786 – Virginia Randolph Cary, American author of nonfiction and inspirational books, including the influential advice book, Letters on Female Character, Addressed to a Young Lady, on the Death of Her Mother; her twelve sisters and brothers included Mary Randolph, author of the influential cookbook The Virginia House-Wife, and Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and as Governor of Virginia. After her mother died, three-year-old Cary lived at Monticello with her brother and sister-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. and Martha Jefferson, the daughter of Thomas Jefferson. Virginia’s brother-in-law, Richard Randolph of Bizarre, was descended from Pocahontas.
1866 – Frank Gelett Burgess, American artist, art critic, poet, author, and humorist; he coined the term “blurb” for a quote about a book that is printed on the cover to spur sales.
1878 – A.H. Tammsaare, Estonian writer whose work is among the most important in Estonian literature.
1887 – Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, Russian and Soviet short-story writer, lawyer, poet, translator, and literary historian who described himself as being “known for being unknown”; most of his writings were published posthumously.
1912 – Barbara Tuchman, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian and author.
1920 – Machiko Hasegawa, bestselling Japanese writer and artist who was one of the first female manga artists; she started her own comic strip, Sazae-san, which ran daily for nearly 30 years.
1921 – Hélène Deschamps Adams, Chinese-born French/American author, autobiographer, spy, and French Resistance fighter.
1924 – Lloyd Alexander, Newbery-winning American author of children’s and young-adult fantasy.
1925 – Jack Spicer, beat poet of the San Francisco Renaissance movement.
1928- Carmen Naranjo, Costa Rican poet, novelist, essayist, short-story writer, and diplomat.
1929 – Jacqueline Yvonne Meta (Jacque) van Maarsen, Dutch author and former bookbinder who is best known for her friendship with diarist Anne Frank; Jacque was the daughter of a Jewish father and a Christian mother, who was able to remove the J (Jew) signs from the family’s identity cards during the Second World War, an act that helped the van Maarsens escape from the Nazis.
1931 – Allan W. Eckert, Newbery-winning American naturalist and writer.
1931 – Shirley Hazzard, National Book Award-winning Australian/British/American novelist, essayist, and short-story writer.
1932 – Pooran Farrokhzad, Iranian writer, poet, translator, journalist, playwright, linguist, and lexicographer who was the author of the Encyclopedia of Women Culture Makers in Iran and in the World which was the first comprehensive women’s encyclopedia in Iran.
1935 – Richard Brautigan, American author of parody and black comedy.
1935 – Albie Sachs, South African author, lawyer, university teacher, writer, anti-Apartheid activist, and judge of the Constitutional Court who had his arm blown off by a car bomb in Mozambique, where he was living in exile.
1941 – Ahmad Kamal Abdullah (pen name Kemala), Malaysian poet, novelist, playwright, and literary critic who writes in Malay and is a Malaysian National Laureate.
1941 – Gregory Benford, Campbell Award and two-time Nebula Award-winning American astrophysicist, professor, editor, and science-fiction author.
1945 – Michael Dorris, professor and author of Native American-themed literature; he was married to novelist Louise Erdrich.
1955 – Judith Tarr, American fantasy author who also writes as Caitlin Brennen and Kathleen Bryan.
1974 – Jemima Khan, British writer, editor, heiress, and human-rights activist.