1509 – John Calvin, French theologian, pastor, and reformer who wrote Bible commentaries, treatises, and many of the foundation documents for reformed churches.
1856 – Nikola Tesla, Serbian, Austrian, and American scientist, inventor, and engineer who wrote books and articles about his work, including an autobiography; he is best known for his work with electricity; among his discoveries: fluorescent light, laser beams, wireless communications, remote control, and more; his alternating-current induction motor is considered one of the ten greatest inventions ever, and a unit of magnetic field strength is named tesla after him. His mother, Djuka Mandic, was also an inventor, despite the fact that she was illiterate.
1871 – Marcel Proust, French novelist and short-story writer, best known for his seven-volume autobiographical stream-of-consciousness novel, À la recherche du temps perdu, which is currently translated as In Search of Lost Time but is also known as Remembrance of Things Past. He died before he could complete the last three volumes; they were edited by his brother and published posthumously.
1875 – Edmund Clerihew Bentley, English novelist and humorist; after whom is named the clerihew, an irregular form of humorous verse on biographical topics; he is also credited with writing the first modern detective novel.
1885 – Mary O’Hara, American author of fiction, nonfiction, autobiography, and children’s books; she was also a screenwriter, rancher, pianist, and composer; her most famous book is My Friend Flicka.
1903 – John Wyndham, pen name of John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, an English science-fiction writer known for post-apocalyptic novels; he also wrote under the names John Beynon and Lucas Parkes.
1905 – Mildred Wirt Benson, American journalist and children’s book author who wrote 23 early Nancy Drew mystery books under the pen name Carolyn Keene; she also wrote the Girl Scouts mystery series, and many other books, and was a pilot, amateur archaeologist, and adventurer.
1916 – Judith Jasmin, Canadian journalist and broadcaster who was the first woman in Canada to become a grand reporter (special correspondent); in 1966, Radio-Canada named Jasmin its United Nations correspondent and, later, its Washington correspondent.
1914 – Thein Pe Myint, Burmese politician, writer, and journalist who was the author of several politically and socially prominent books; he was also the founder of an influential newspaper, a leading Marxist intellectual, and an important player in the Burmese independence movement and postwar politics.
1916 – Martin Provensen, Caldecott Medal-winning American writer and illustrator of children’s books, who collaborated with his wife Alice Rose Provensen on many titles.
1922 – Pandit Pandharinathacharya Galagali, award-winning Indian scholar, author, poet, journalist, editor, and orator who has authored more than 50 books in Kannada and Sanskrit.
1922 – Jean Kerr, American author and playwright whose best-known book was a collection of humorous essays, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, which was made into a film and TV series; she was married to Pulitzer Prize-winning drama critic Walter Kerr.
1923 – Earl Hamner, Jr., American screenwriter, actor, writer, storyteller, film producer, and novelist who is best known as the creator of the long-running television series, The Waltons, which was based on his novel Spencer’s Mountain, inspired by his own childhood.
1924 – Antonio Paredes Candia, prolific Bolivian writer and researcher who is considered an icon of the Bolivian culture and identity; his work focuses mainly on Bolivian folklore, traditions, customs, and superstitions.
1926 – Fred Gwynne, six-foot, five-inch American actor best known as television’s Herman Munster; he also wrote and illustrated children’s books.
1931 – Julian Clare May, An American science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and children’s book author who has also written science articles for encyclopedias and two episodes of the Buck Rogers comic strip.
1931 – Alice Munro, Nobel Prize-winning Canadian short-story author.
1933 – Kevin Gilbert, award-winning Indigenous Australian author, activist, artist, poet, playwright, children’s writer, and printmaker whose work deals with aboriginal issues.
1939 – Krishen Jit, Malaysian author, drama critic, playwright, and theatre director who is remembered as an icon of the Malaysian theatre.
1941 – Wassyla Tamzali, Algerian writer, lawyer, and feminist.
1943 – Sanusi bin Junid, Malaysian writer and politician.
1944 – Vanya Petkova, Bulgarian poet, writer, translator, and journalist.
1947 – Emma Huismans, Dutch-born South African novelist, nonfiction author, journalist, and anti-apartheid activist who writes in Afrikaans.
1947 – Atsiri Thammachot, award-winning Thai short-story writer, novelist, journalist, and columnist.
1949 – Sarfaraz K. Niazi, Pakistani poet, writer, academic, science writer, translator, linguist, and photographer who is an expert in biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
1951 – Arja Uusitalo, award-winning Finnish poet, journalist, editor, broadcaster, and librettist who wrote in Swedish as well as Finnish.
1952 – Candice F. Ransom, popular and prolific American children’s and young-adult author who has written her own books as well as books for The Boxcar Children and other series; her work includes picture books, easy readers, middle-grade fiction, biographies, and nonfiction.
1957 – Luisa Etxenike, Spanish novelist, short-story writer, playwright, poet, columnist, and translator.
1959 – Hélène Desputeaux, award-winning Canadian educator, writer, children’s book author, and illustrator; with writer Christine L’Heureux, she created and illustrated the character Caillou, who appeared in a series of children’s books and a television series.
1964 – Yuka Murayama, award-winning Japanese novelist writer; her book Double Fantasy was adapted into a television drama.
1965 – Luz Maria Doria, Colombian author, columnist, and television executive.
1967 – Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh (born Margaret Whelan), Irish historian, author, and biographer; her work focused primarily on the contribution of women to Irish society, including their work in accountancy, medicine, nursing, sports, religion, and education. She also contributed articles to dictionaries and encyclopedias.
1970 – Petr Mader, Czech poet, novelist, editor, and educator.
1980 – Julia Wilhelm, German writer and journalist whose expertise is Jane Austen and her influence on women’s literature.
1981 – Juno Dawson, British author of young-adult fiction and nonfiction, including the novels This Book is Gay, Margot & Me, and The Gender Games.
1983 – Baris Pehlivan, Turkish journalist and writer who investigates topics concerning Turkish contemporary history and politics.
1991 – Marianne Durano, French writer, essayist, and philosopher,