1236 – Wen Tianxiang, Chinese poet and politician who is a popular symbol of patriotism and righteousness in China.
1539 – Catherine Vasa of Sweden, writer, poet, princess of Sweden, and Regent of East Frisia.
1606 – Pierre Corneille, French playwright who has been called the father of French tragedy; he also wrote many comedies.
1646 – Hortense Mancini (Duchesse de Mazarin), Italian-born French writer who was the fourth of the five famous Mancini sisters, who, along with two of their female Martinozzi cousins, were known at the court of King Louis XIV of France as the Mazarinettes; Hortense was one of the first French women to put her memoirs into print.
1799 – Alexander Pushkin, Russian playwright, Romantic poet, writer, historian, translator, literary critic, children’s writer, novelist, librettist, prosaist, opinion journalist, and book collector who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet ever and the founder of modern Russian literature.
1828 – Milica Stojadinovic-Srpkinja, writer, poet, and diarist who is considered one of the greatest Serbian poets of the 19th century.
1841 – Eliza Orzeszkowa, Polish novelist and a leading writer of the Positivism movement during foreign Partitions of Poland.
1875 – Thomas Mann, Nobel Prize-winning German novelist, short-story writer, and social critic.
1888 – Ichiko Kamichika, journalist, feminist, writer, translator, and critic who served in the Japanese House of Representatives; her pen names included Ei, Yo, and Ou Sakaki.
1891 – Maasthi Venkatesha Iyengar, well-known, award-winning Indian short-story writer in the Kannada language; he was popularly referred to as Maasti Kannadada Aasti, which means “Maasti, Kannada’s Treasure,” but wrote under the pen name Srinivasa.
1892 – Will James, Newbery Medal-winning French Canadian artist and writer of the American West; he is known for writing Smoky the Cowhorse and numerous cowboy stories for adults and children.
1897 – Vicente Rama, Filipino writer, poet, journalist, publisher, and politician; he is considered the father of Cebu City.
1901 – Jan Struther, pen name for the English writer born Joyce Anstruther and best remembered for her character Mrs. Miniver.
1909 – Isaiah Berlin, British philosopher, political theorist, educator, and essayist.
1909 – Sophie Deroisin (real name Marie de Romrée de Vichenet), award-winning Belgian writer.
1911 – Nihar Ranjan Gupta, popular Indian Bengali novelist and dermatologist who created the fictional detective character Kiriti Roy; some of his writings were made into films in Bengal and Bollywood.
1913 – Yechiel Granatstein, Polish-born Jewish author and writer in Yiddish and Hebrew who was a partisan fighter in World War II and a Jewish refugee activist.
1923 – V.C. Andrews, bestselling American author whose works, including the wildly popular novel, Flowers in the Attic, often combined Gothic horror, family secrets, and forbidden love.
1925 – Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and author who was U.S. Poet Laureate.
1927 – Peter Spier, Dutch-born American author and illustrator of more than 30 children’s books; he was a Caldecott Medal winner and a National Book Award finalist.
1929 – Nader Naderpour, Iranian poet who is considered the Father of New Persian Poetry.
1932 – Elisa Lerner Nagler, National Book Award-winning Venezuelan playwright and essayist.
1934 – Taichi Yamada, Japanese screenwriter, writer, novelist and screenwriter whose real name is Taichi Ishizaka.
1948 – Illène Pevec, Brazilian author, journalist, children’s activist, and educator who works in developing youth gardens at schools and community centers.
1954 – Cynthia Rylant, Newbery Medal-winning American children’s author, poet, nonfiction writer, autobiographer, illustrator, and librarian; many of her books deal with the joys and hardships of family life, with animals and the outdoors, especially in the Appalachian region.
1964 – Yoram Hazony, Israeli philosopher, author, translator, journalist, and opinion journalist.
1970 – Sarah Dessen, award-winning American author of young-adult and women’s fiction.
1973 – Patrick Rothfuss, American author of epic fantasy books, game writer, and podcaster.
1983 – Guo Jingming (also known as Edward Guo), bestselling Chinese novelist, writer, film director, children’s author, and businessperson;
1987 – Akwaeke Emezi, award-winning Nigerian novelist and short-story writer.