1578 – George Sandys, English writer, poet, politician, translator, travel writer, explorer, and colonizer
1800 – Evgeny Baratynsky, Russian poet who was lauded by Alexander Pushkin as the finest Russian elegiac poet.
1817 – Janos Arany, Hungarian poet, translator and journalist who has been called “the Shakespeare of ballads.”
1820 – Eduard Douwes Dekker, Dutch author better known by his pen name Multatuli (from Latin multa tuli, “I have suffered much”); he is best known for his satirical novel Max Havelaar, which denounced the abuses of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies (today’s Indonesia) and for his feminism. He is considered one of the Netherlands’ greatest authors.
1831 – Metta Victoria Fuller Victor (pen name Seeley Regester), American author of groundbreaking detective fiction who is considered the first to extend the “puzzle plot” of the detective short story to the longer narrative form of the novel.
1859 – Sholem Aleichem, pen name of Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, Yiddish author whose Tevye the Milkman stories were the basis for the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
1873 – Marija Juric (pen name Zagorka), Croatian journalist, writer, and women’s rights activist who was the first female journalist in Croatia and is among the most read of Croatian writers.
1904 – Dr. Seuss (pen name of Theodore “Ted” Geisel), popular and influential American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, screenwriter, and filmmaker; his birthday has been adopted as Read Across American Day.
1908 – Olivia Mary Manning, British novelist, poet, writer, screenwriter, and reviewer; her fiction and nonfiction works, many of them detailing journeys and personal odysseys, were principally set in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East and are admired for her artistic eye and vivid descriptions of place.
1917 – David Goodis, American novelist and short-story writer known for his crime and noir fiction.
1931 – Tom Wolfe, influential American author and journalist, known for his earlier non-fiction writing and later novels; he is widely known for his association with New Journalism, a style of news writing and journalism developed in the 1960s and 1970s that incorporates literary techniques.
1933 – Leo Dillon, two-time Caldecott Medal-winning American artist best known for illustrating children’s books, but who also wrote children’s books and did magazine covers and adult book covers; he worked closely with his wife Diane Dillon.
1933 – Vasant Purushottam Kale (popularly known as Va Pu), Indian Marathi writer, storyteller, and architect.
1942 – John Irving, bestselling American-Canadian novelist, Academy Award-winning screenwriter, and educator known for his dense and psychological style; his best-known works include The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and The Cider House Rules.
1943 – Peter Straub, World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Award-winning American author of horror novels and poetry.
1950 – Ahmet Hüsrev Altan, Turkish author, journalist, and editor.
1961 – Sheila Black, American poet, novelist, and editor who writes for adults, young adults, and children; she is also an advocate for people with disabilities.
1966 – Ann Leckie, American author of science fiction and fantasy who has won the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards.
1979 – Kristina Ohlsson, award-winning Swedish writer, crime novelist, children’s author, and political scientist.