1479 – Giglio Gregorio Giraldi, Italian scholar and poet; his Historia de deis gentium marked a step forward in the systematic study of classical mythology; other writings of his helped to bring about the reform of the calendar.
1796 – Mathilda Valeria Beatrix d’Orozco, Swedish poet, writer, composer, singer, salonist, actress, and harpsichordist. (By marriage, she also used the surnames Cenami, Montgomery-Cederhjelm, and Gyllenhaal.)
1811 – Harriet Beecher Stowe, American abolitionist and author, known for the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
1899 – George Călinescu, Romanian writer, academic, historian, biographer, journalist, literary critic, and literary historian.
1899 – Yasunari Kawabata, Nobel Prize-winning Japanese novelist and short-story writer.
1904 – Margaret Bourke-White, American photographer, documentary photographer, and autobiographer.
1908 – Kathleen Raine, British poet, literary critic, and translator who often wrote about literary figures William Blake, W.B. Yeats, and Thomas Taylor; she was also known for her interest in various forms of spirituality, most prominently Platonism and Neoplatonism.
1911 – Irene Brin (born Maria Victoria Rossi), Italian fashion journalist, writer, and art dealer.
1917 – Maeve Patricia Mary Theresa Gilmore, British painter, sculptor, and writer.
1917 – Lise Nørgaard, Danish author, screenwriter, autobiographer, and journalist.
1920 – Acharya Shri Mahapragya (or Mahāprajña), Indian author, orator, poet, philosopher, yogi, and spiritual leader.
1923 – Anne Judith Kerr, German-born British writer and illustrator of children’s picture books and teen novels.
1925 – Dalton Jérson Trevisan, award-winning Brazilian short-story writer who has been described as an “acclaimed short-story chronicler of lower-class mores and popular dramas”; his concise and refined tales have been called “Haikus in prose” and often are based on dialogue and underline the torturing and absurd aspects of everyday life.
1928 – Che Guevara, Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military strategist who chronicled his travels in a memoir.
1928 – Janice May Udry, American author of children’s books.
1929 – Lensey Chao Namioka, Chinese-born mathematician and writer of children’s books.
1933 – Jerzy Kosiński, National Book Award-winning Polish-born American novelist.
1935 – Kirsten Sødal, Norwegian author and children’s writer.
1936 – Rut Irmelin Sandman Lilius, Swedish-speaking Finnish writer who has written picture books and novels for children as well as poetry, books for adults, autobiography, reviews, and translations.
1939 – Penelope Farmer, British author known especially for her children’s fantasy novels; her best known books is Charlotte Sometimes, a boarding-school story that features a multiple time slip.
1939 – Peter Mayle, British author best known for his semi-autobiographical novels about living in Provence.
1939 – Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Spanish writer, poet, politician, professor, journalist, and restaurateur.
1941 – John Edgar Wideman, award-winning African-American author of novels, memoirs, short stories, essays, and other works; among the most critically acclaimed American writers of his generation, he was the first person to win the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction twice. His writing is known for experimental techniques and a focus on the African-American experience.
1942 – Mila Haugová, Slovak poet and editor who also wrote under the name Mila Srnková.
1943 – Dorete Bloch (also known as Dorete Bloch Danielsen), Faroese Danish writer, biologist, zoologist, and museum director who wrote numerous books on the animals and plants of the Faroe Islands.
1945 – Joan Silber, American novelist and short-story writer.
1947 – Kat Martin, American romance novelist who also writes under the pen names Kathy Lawrence and Kasey Marx.
1948 – Laurence Yep, Newbery Award-winning Chinese-American author of novels for children and teens.
1949 – Harry Turtledove, American novelist known for his historical fiction, alternate history, science fiction, and fantasy.
1953 – Lieve Joris, Belgian journalist and nonfiction author who writes about the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
1957 – Zhang Da-chun, prolific Taiwanese author and literary critic.
1957 – Mona Simpson, American novelist and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist who first met her brother, the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, when she was 25 years old.
1971 – Kathrin Röggla, award-winning Austrian author, playwright, essayist, and translator.
1972 – Adrian Tchaikovsky (also spelled Czajkowski), British fantasy and science-fiction author.
1978 – Diablo Cody, American author and Oscar-winning screenwriter.
1984 – Cielo Latini, Argentine writer best known for Abzurdah, an autobiography she wrote as a teenager detailed her struggles with anorexia and bulimia.