1009 – Su Xun, Chinese Song dynasty poet and essayist.
1772 – Ram Mohan Roy, Indian writer, translator, philosopher, religious and social reformer, and humanitarian known for efforts to abolish child marriage and the practice of sati (the sacrifice of a widow on her deceased husband’s pyre); he is considered the “father of the Indian Renaissance.”
1790 – Bianca Milesi, Italian writer, painter, and educator who studied the philosophy of the Enlightenment.
1808 – Gérard de Nerval, pen name of French writer, translator, essayist, and Romantic poet Gérard Labrunie.
1824 – Amélie Linz, German author who wrote books for children and adults; she wrote under the name Amélie Godin.
1846 – Rita Cetina Gutiérrez, influential Mexican poet, writer, educator, and feminist activist who promoted secular education in the nineteenth century.
1859 –Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish physician and writer, best known for his Sherlock Holmes mysteries.
1859 – Tsubouchi Shōyō, Japanese novelist, playwright, critic, translator, university teacher, and theater director.
1863 – Josephine Cecilia Diebitsch Peary, American author and arctic explorer.
1866 – Ilya Tolstoy, Russian writer, journalist, and teacher who was the third son of acclaimed writer Leo Tolstoy.
1870 – Eva Gore-Booth, Irish writer, poet, playwright, suffragist, labor unionist, social worker, and feminist activist.
1885 – Kansuke Naka, Japanese novelist, essayist, poet, and journalist who was unusual in his willingness to criticize Japanese nationalists.
1907 – Hergé, pen name of Belgian comic-book artist Georges Prosper Remi, creator of The Adventures of Tintin.
1913 – Dominique Rolin, award-winning Belgian writer, novelist, autobiographer who developed a unique, feminist voice in French novel-writing, blending autobiography and fiction.
1914 – Vance Packard, American journalist, editor, and author who wrote a popular series on sociology.
1922 – Mirjana Gross, Yugoslav-Croatian Jewish historian and writer.
1922 – Elvira Orphée, award-winning Argentine novelist and short-story writer
1925 – Emilio Carballido, award-winning and prolific Mexican novelist, short-story writer, and playwright who was part of the group of writers known as the Generación de los 50; he was especially renowned for his plays.
1927 – Peter Matthiessen, National Book Award-winning American novelist, naturalist, wilderness writer, and CIA agent; he co-founded The Paris Review, which he started as a cover for his CIA activities.
1933 – Arnold Lobel, Caldecott Medal-winning American children’s author and illustrator, known for the “Frog and Toad” picture books.
1934 – Gary Wills, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, journalist, and historian who specializes in U.S. history, politics, and religion, especially the history of the Roman Catholic Church; he is best known for his book, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America.
1942 – Souad Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti economist, writer and poet; in her work, she expresses the concerns of Arabic women in general and Kuwaiti women in particular, and presents the dualities of life and death, men and women, and treachery and loyalty.
1943 – Lisa Carducci (also known as Li Shasha), award-winning Canadian writer, short-story writer, poet, and translator of Italian descent, living in China.
1944 – Lynn Barber, British journalist, magazine writer, editor, and memoirist.
1944 – John Flanagan, Australian fantasy writer who is best known for his medieval fantasy series, the Ranger’s Apprentice.
1947 – Anthony Holden, British author, literary critic, translator, biographer, broadcaster, and poker player who was first president of the International Federation of Poker.
1950 – Irène Frain (née Le Pohon), French novelist, journalist, and historian.
1951 – Coral Bracho, award-winning Mexican poet, linguist, and translator.
1954 – Katalin Lévai, Hungarian writer, novelist, and liberal politician who is a Member of the European Parliament and one of Hungary’s most fervent supporters of same-sex marriage, gender equality, and full access for people with disabilities.
1957 – Katrin Ottarsdóttir, award-winning Faroese poet, novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, film director, and actress whose work prominently features her native Faroe Islands, which make up an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark.
1959 – Andy Andrews, American novelist, self-help author, and motivational speaker.
1972 – Max Brooks, horror author and screenwriter; son of comedy filmmaker Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft.
1975 – Inés Bortagaray Sabarrós, award-winning Uruguayan author, short-story writer, and screenwriter.
1976 – Shane Koyczan, Canadian poet and “talk rock” artist.
1976 – Ingrid Storholmen, Norwegian poet, novelist, and literary critic.
1978 – Tansy Rayner Roberts, award-winning Australian fantasy writer who has published short stories, novels, and children’s fiction; she also writes crime fiction under the name Livia Day.