1533 – Michel de Montaigne, influential French Renaissance writer and philosopher who popularized the essay as a literary genre.
1814 – William Henry Giles Kingston, British writer of historical novels and travel books, who was best known for his popular tales for boys; often known as “W.H.G.” Kingston.
1824 – Karl-Maria Kertbeny (also called Károly Mária Kertbeny or Karl-Maria Benkert), Austrian-born Hungarian journalist, memoirist, and human rights campaigner, best known for coining the words heterosexual and homosexual.
1844 – Girish Chandra Ghosh, Bengali musician, poet, playwright, novelist, theatre director, and actor, considered the Father of Bengali Theatre.
1894 – Ben Hecht, prolific American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, and novelist who was sometimes called the Shakespeare of Hollywood.
1895 – Marcel Pagnol, French author, playwright, and filmmaker, best known for his novel Jean de Florette.
1902 – Marcela Paz, pen name of Esther Huneeus Salas de Claro, a popular Chilean writer and children’s author.; she also used the pen names of Paula de la Sierra, Lukim Retse, P. Neka, and Juanita Godoy.
1911 – Justus Cornelias Dirks, award-winning South African writer, novelist, and children’s author.
1946 – Steve Martini, American journalist, lawyer, and author of legal thrillers.
1948 – Donna Jo Napoli, American writer of children’s and young adult fiction, as well as a prominent linguist and professor.
1959 – Megan McDonald, American children’s author, best known for the Judy Moody books.
1965 – Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning Irish writer of literary fiction.
1970 – Lemony Snicket, Pen name of American novelist Daniel Handler, author of the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books.
1978 – Daria Sofia Elisabeth (Lisa) Aschan (better known as Lisa Aschan), award-winning but controversial Swedish film director and screenwriter.