1483 – Francesco Guicciardini, Italian writer, historian, politician, diplomat, and philosopher.
1486 – Francysk Skaryna (or Francisk Skorina), Belarusian humanist, physician, and translator who was one of the first book printers in Eastern Europe, laying the groundwork for the development of the Belarusian language.
1619 – Cyrano de Bergerac, Pen name of Hercule-Savinein de Cyrano de Bergerac, a French dramatist and duelist whose life furnished the framework for many later works about him.
1780 – Lucy Barnes, 18th-century American writer whose book The Female Christian may have been the first written by a woman in defense of Universalism.
1806 – Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English poet of the Victorian Era; one of the most prominent poets of her generation; she was married to acclaimed poet Robert Browning, but her reputation far exceeded his. Many of her poems addressed social injustice.
1838 – Mary “Mamie” Dickens, English biographer and eldest daughter of novelist Charles Dickens; in conjunction with her aunt, Georgina Hogarth, she also edited the first collection of his letters.
1885 – Ring Lardner, American writer of sports columns, short stories, and satirical essays.
1917 – Will Eisner, American cartoonist and writer who popularized the term “graphic novel.”
1926 – Andrzej Wajda, Polish film director and screenwriter.
1927 – Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author of fantasy and magic realism, praised for “his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts.”
1931 – Carla Lonzi, Italian art critic and feminist activist, best known as a co-founder of the Rivolta Femminile (Feminine Revolt).
1947 – Teru Miyamoto, Japanese novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter.
1954 – Wang Anyi, Chinese writer and professor who is a leading figure in contemporary Chinese literature and is vice-chair of the Chinese Writers Association; she often writes about the countryside in Anhui, where she was “send down” during the cultural revolution. Her mother was renowned writer Ru Zhijuan.
1959 – Chris Raschka, Caldecott Medal-winning American children’s author and illustrator.
1972 – Isol (pen name for Marisol Misenta), award-winning Argentine writer of children’s picture books who is also a pop singer.