February 4 Writer Birthdays

1820 – Božena Nemcová, Czech writer of the National Revival movement who wrote novels as well as books of fairy tales and legends; her image is featured on Czech banknotes.

1853 – Isa Asp, Finnish writer and poet who is considered her country’s first woman poet and first lesbian icon; she died of tuberculosis at the age of 19 but left behind about 100 poems, including her most popular one, “Lullaby to a Wave.”

1902 – Charles Lindbergh, American aviator, military officer, author, and environmental activist who wrote The Spirit of St. Louis about making the first solo transatlantic flight; he was controversial because of his extramarital affairs, racist views, and belief in eugenics.

1904 – Buell Gordon Gallagher, American professor, minister, professor, and college president who wrote about civil rights and race relations in higher education.

1904 – MacKinlay Kantor, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, many of whose works were set during the Civil War.

1906 – Agniya Lvovna Barto, Soviet poet, screenwriter, translator, children’s writer, and radio personality of Russian Jewish origin.

1908 – Ellisiv Steen, Norwegian writer, biographer, literary historian, and professor.

1910 – Uys Krige, South African writer, poet, journalist, linguist, and translator.

1917 – Abdul Rahman Badawi, Egyptian writer, philosopher, and professor who was drawn to classical Greek philosophy and studied the relationship between Islam and the western world.

1919 – Marta Schumann, award-winning Norwegian poet, short-story writer, historical fiction writer, and science-fiction novelist.

1921 – Betty Friedan, influential American feminist writer and a key figure in the women’s movement in the U.S.; she is best known for her book The Feminine Mystique.

1925 – Russell Hoban, American expatriate author of books for children and adults; he wrote fantasy, science fiction, magic realism, mainstream fiction, and poetry.

1925 – Stanley Karnow, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and historian, best known for his writings on the Vietnam war.

1931 – Thomas Risley Odhiambo, Kenyan entomologist and environmental activist who directed research and scientific development in Africa; he founded the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology but also encouraged the younger generation of thinkers to go into the fine arts.

1958 – Keigo Higashino, Japanese author, screenwriter, and engineer best known for his mystery novels.

1960 – Siobhan Dowd, British writer of children’s fiction.

1961 – Stewart O’Nan, American novelist, short-story writer, and nonfiction author.

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