1734 – Eleonore von Grothaus, German poet, writer, and musician.
1778 – William Hazlitt, English writer, drama, literary critic, painter, social commentator, and philosopher.
1835 – Henry Villard, German-born American journalist, financier, and railroad president.
1847 – Joseph Pulitzer, Hungarian-born American newspaper publisher; the Pulitzer Prize is named after him.
1867 – George William Russell, Irish poet, theosophist, artist, and political activist.
1887 – Pavel Golia, Slovenian writer, poet, playwright, and children’s author.
1890 – Mary Buff, American children’s book author who, with wrote with her illustrator husband Conrad; the two were four-time runners-up for the Caldecott or Newbery medals.
1903 – Clare Boothe Luce (born Ann Clare Boothe), American playwright, author, short-story writer, essayist, journalist, war correspondent, U.S. Congresswoman, U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and managing editor of Vanity Fair magazine; she was famous for her acid wit, and coined such often-quoted lines as “No good deed goes unpunished.” She was also the first female winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1903 – Clare Turlay Newberry, American children’s book author of four Caldecott Honor books.
1905 – Norma Lochlenah Davis, Australian poet who wrote under a variety of pseudonyms; her house in Perth, Tasmania, is now the Jolly Farmer Inn.
1910 – Margaret Clapp, Pulitzer Prize-winning American scholar, author, and biographer.
1912 – Jeanine Moulin (née Jeanine Rozenblat), Belgian poet, literary scholar, and researcher.
1914 – Maria Banuș, Romanian poet, essayist, writer, diarist, anthologist, translator, and anti-fascist activist.
1922 – Vesna Parun, Croatian writer, poet, children’s author, illustrator, and translator who has written romantic lyrical poetry as well as erotic poetry and satiric verses directed at politics.
1925 – Mongush Borakhovitch Kenin-Lopsan, Russian writer, poet, historian, archaeologist, and shamanism researcher.
1928 – Seydou Badian Kouyaté, award-winning Malian writer, novelist, and politician who is best known for writing the lyrics to the Malian national anthem, “Le Mali.”
1933 – Park Jaesam (박재삼), Korean poet, journalist, and editor whose poetry “expressed the eternal and delicate beauty of nature and the hidden dignity of humble human daily life through the medium of traditional Korean lyrics.”
1934 – David Halberstam, American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose nonfiction featured politics and sports.
1934 – Richard Peck, Newbery Medal-winning American young-adult novelist; after leaving a job teaching junior-high English, he began writing, and wrote 41 books over the next 41 years.
1937 – Bella Akhmadulina, Soviet and Russian poet, short-story writer, screenwriter, translator, and actress who was part of the Russian New Wave literary movement; poet and essayist Joseph Brodsky called her the best living poet in the Russian language.
1939 – Claudio Magris, Italian scholar, translator, and writer who was popular in much of Europe.
1939 – Penny Vincenzi, bestselling British novelist and short-story writer whose books include Old Sins and Wicked Pleasures.
1940 – Clark Blaise, Canadian/American author, professor, essayist, and short-story writer; he is married to novelist Bharati Mukherjee.
1941 – Paul Theroux, American travel writer and novelist.
1947 – David Adler, American author of children’s and young-adult books, most notably the Cam Jansen series.
1947 – Mirela Roznoveanu, Romanian novelist, poet, essayist, literary critic, columnist, nonfiction author, and journalist who was part of the dissident group of journalists who took over the Romania libera newspaper from the Communist government, making it the first independent and anti-communist newspaper in Romania.
1953 – Pamela Wallin, Canadian journalist, politician, diplomat, and autobiographer.
1954 – Anne Lamott, American novelist, nonfiction writer, essayist, memoirist, and political activist.
1957 – John Michael Ford, American science-fiction and fantasy writer and poet.
1962 – Dani Shapiro, novelist, memoirist, and magazine writer.
1963 – Peter Morgan, British playwright and screenwriter.
1966 – Chido Onumah, Nigerian journalist, author, and rights activist; he was once arrested and detained by Nigeria’s State Security Services on his arrival from Spain for wearing a T-shirt with the inscription, “We Are All Biafrans.”
1970 – Micheline Maylor, award-winning Canadian poet, academic, critic, anthologist, and editor.
1972 – Kojo Baffoe (full name Frank Kojo Baffoe, Jr.), German-born South African writer, poet, blogger, media consultant, columnist, journalist, and editor.