1427 – Lucrezia Tornabuoni, Italian author, poet, playwright, and influential political adviser during the fifteenth century; she was connected by birth to two of the most powerful Italian families of the time, and also married into the Medici family, where she exerted significant influence and also worked to help the poor.
1856 – Henry Rider Haggard, English writer of adventure novels set in exotic locations.
1897 – Kathleen Freeman, Welsh-born British writer, classical scholar, professor, and author who was a lecturer in Greek; she also wrote detective novels under the pseudonym Mary Fitt.
1898 – Erich Marie Remarque, German author best known for his World War I novel All Quiet on the Western Front.
1903 – Nhok Them, Cambodian author, publisher, and educator, best known for his novel Kolab Pailin.
1906 – Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American author, poet, nonfiction writer, and aviator who married aviator Charles Lindbergh.
1906 – Seitzhan Omarov, prolific Kazakh editor and writer of short stories, sketches, and fairy tales.
1909 – Katherine Dunham, African-American anthropologist, ethnologist, author, writer, essayist, choreographer, dancer, and activist who is credited with bringing Caribbean and African influences to a European-dominated dance world; she sometimes wrote magazine articles under the pseudonym K. Dunn.
1913 – Sándor Weöres, Hungarian poet, author, and translator, many of whose poems have been set to music.
1915 – Mario Góngora del Campo, Chilean writer, historian, and professor who is considered one of the most important Chilean historians of the 20th century”; through his work, he examined the history of laborers and vagrants and Indian Law (Derecho Indiano).
1918 – Cicely Mary Strode Saunders, English physician, nurse, social worker, and writer who is noted for her work in terminal care research and her role in the birth of the hospice movement.
1921 – Radovan Ivšić, Croatian surrealist writer, playwright, and poet.
1935 – Zulu Sofola, Nigerian writer and professor who was the first published female Nigerian playwright and dramatist.
1940 – Abbas Kiarostami, Iranian screenwriter and film director.
1943 – Carlo Petrini, Italian activist, writer, journalist, screenwriter, editor, columnist, ecologist, and politician who is the founder of the International Slow Food Movement; he founded the University of Gastronomic Sciences, a university devoted to new gastronomists and innovators of sustainable food systems, and was chosen as one of Time magazine’s Heroes of the Year for 2004.
1945 – Maretha Maartens, South African author, freelance journalist, and editor who writes children’s and religious books that deal with the discrimination against Black people, especially women and children.
1946 – Kaarina Helakisa, award-winning Finnish children’s book writer and translator.
1947 – Octavia E. Butler, celebrated African-American author of science-fiction and fantasy novels and short stories, and winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards; her work was influenced by her view of humanity as inherently flawed by an innate tendency toward hierarchical thinking, which she said can lead to intolerance, violence and, if not checked, the ultimate destruction of the species. Her stories depict humanity’s domination of the weak by the strong as a type of parasitism, with the “others,” whether aliens, vampires, superhumans, or slave masters, defied by a protagonist who embodies difference, diversity, and change.
1947 – Gábor Nógrádi, award-winning Hungarian book author, children’s writer, screenwriter, playwright, essayist, publicist, and poet who is best known for his children’s novels, such as the Pigeon Granny and The Story of Pie (original title PetePite), which was ranked among the 100 most popular books in Hungary; he is Hungary’s best-selling modern children’s author, with his work is noted for its humor, realistic storytelling, and surprising twists.
1950 – Kari Storækre, award-winning Norwegian journalist, author, television presenter, and talk-show host.
1951 – Rosario Murillo, Nicaraguan poet, revolutionary, and politician who is both the Vice President and the First Lady of Nicaragua.
1952 – Urszula Irena Zybura, Polish poet, writer, publisher, and Esperantist.
1955 – Bashkim Shehu, Albanian writer and translator who lives in Barcelona, Spain.
1958 – Aila Johanna Sinisalo, award-winning Finnish science-fiction and fantasy novelist and short-story writer.
1964 – Dan Brown, American author of thrillers, best known for his bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code.
1964 – Jason Goodwin, British author and historian who writes both nonfiction history and a series of historical fiction mysteries.
1966 – Barbara Kathleen Nickel, award-winning Canadian writer, poet, and young-adult author.
1967 – James Forman Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning American legal scholar, professor, and nonfiction author who writes about criminal procedure and criminal law policy, constitutional law, juvenile justice, and education law and policy.
1968 – Yu Miri, award-winning Japanese-born Korean playwright, novelist, essayist, memoirist, and editor who writes in Japanese
1971 – Kambri Crews, American comedian whose best known work is her memoir Burn Down the Ground.
1971 – Kiran Manral, popular, award-winning Indian author and blogger whose novels include The Reluctant Detective; she has also written a nonfiction book, Karmic Kids, about parenting, based on her own experience of raising a son. She is the founder of India Helps, a network of volunteers who assist disaster victims.
1972 – Federica Federici (better known by her stage name Isabelle Adriani), Italian journalist, author, actress, producer, and singer.
1972 – David Rees, American cartoonist and humorist whose most recent book deals with artisanal pencil sharpening.
1975 – Keiichiro Hirano, award-winning Japanese novelist and essayist.
1976 – Yilin Zhong, China-born novelist, screenwriter, author, poet, and literary critic; she is now based in England.
1983 – Sally Nicholls, award-winning British children’s book author.