1733 – Mikhailo Mikhailovich Shcherbatov, Russian prince who was a statesman, historian, writer, and philosopher.
1807 – Karolina Pavlova, Russian poet, novelist, and translator known for her unusual use of rhyme and imagery; she was a friend of Tolstoy and translated his works into German.
1818 – Betty (Katarina Elisabeth) Ehrenborg, Swedish writer, psalm writer, and pedagogue who is regarded as the founder of the Swedish Sunday school.
1849 – Emma Lazarus, American poet, novelist, and playwright, best known for her sonnet “The New Colossus,” which appears on the base of the Statue of Liberty (“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….”)
1859 – Lok Okhna Suttantaprija Ind, Cambodian monk, writer, and poet; the title, Okhna (Lord in English), was bestowed upon him by the King of Cambodia due to his writings, his poetic skills, and his extensive work in helping to preserve Khmer literature.
1859 – Maria Janitschek (née Tölk), German author and poet of Austrian origin; she wrote under the pseudonym Marius Stein.
1881 – Margery Williams Bianco, Newbery Medal-winning English/American author of children books who began writing professionally when she was still in her teens and is best known for the classic book The Velveteen Rabbit.
1884 – Odell Shepard, Pulitzer Prize-winning American professor, poet, and biographer who was also Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut.
1886 – Hella Wuolijoki, Estonian-born Finnish novelist and playwright, often known by her pen name Juhani Tervapää; she was imprisoned for allegedly being a Soviet spy but released after a year. Later she became a member of the Finnish Parliament.
1893 – Torvald Tu, Norwegian poet, playwright, novelist, and writer of humoresques; he wrote in the Nynorsk language, with strong hints of his own Jæren dialect.
1898 – Stephen Vincent Benét, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, novelist, and short-story writer, best known for John Brown’s Body, a book-length poem about the Civil War.
1900 – Edward Dahlberg, American novelist, biographer, and essayist who was nominated for a National Book Award.
1900 – Zdeněk Kalista, Czech poet, historian, translator, editor, and literary critic.
1902 – Daniel Mainwaring, American mystery novelist and screenwriter who sometimes used the pen name Geoffrey Homes; before he became a writer, he worked as a journalist and a private detective.
1903 – Betty Roland, Australian writer, journalist, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, children’s author, and comics writer.
1907 – Baruch Kurzweil, Israeli writer, rabbi, and literary theorist who was a pioneer of Israeli literary criticism.
1908 – Amy Vanderbilt, bestselling American author, journalist, and television host who was best known as an authority on etiquette.
1910 – Pauline Gower (full name Pauline Mary de Peauly Gower Fahie), award-winning British pilot and writer who established the women’s branch of the Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War.
1910 – Alan McCrae Moorehead, Australian journalist, war correspondent, and author of popular histories, most notably two books on the nineteenth-century exploration of the Nile.
1915 – Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah, Indian-born Pakistani author, translator, and politician who was ambassador to Morocco and the first female representative in the First Constituent Assembly of Pakistan; she wrote a biography of her uncle, Pakistani Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, and other works dealing with Pakistani history, women in Islam, and literary criticism.
1924 – Patience Abbe, French author and editor who wrote her first bestselling book when she was 12 but stopped writing in her teens.
1925 – Jack Matthews, American professor who was also a novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and playwright.
1926 – Bryan Forbes, popular English film director, screenwriter, film producer, actor, and novelist; his books include such well-known novels as International Velvet and The Soldier’s Story.
1929 – Solomon Alexander Amu Djoleto, Ghanaian writer, poet, novelist, children’s author, nonfiction author, and educator.
1930 – John Jeremy Lloyd, English writer, screenwriter, author, poet, and actor who was best known as writer of several successful British television sitcoms, including Are You Being Served? and ‘Allo ‘Allo!.
1931 – Patricia Calvert, American author of fiction and nonfiction books for children.
1931 – Riane Eisler, Austrian-born author, historian, sociologist, human-rights activist, anthropologist, and peace researcher; her work has impacted such diverse fields as history, literature, philosophy, art, economics, psychology, sociology, education, human rights, organizational development, political science, and healthcare. She is best known for her books The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future, and Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body.
1936 – Tom Robbins, American author, essayist, art reviewer, and journalist whose poetic, irreverent novels have been a counterculture favorite; Writer’s Digest named him one of the 100 Best Writers of the 20th Century. His novel-writing process has been described like this: “First he writes a sentence. Then he rewrites it again and again, examining each word, making sure of its perfection, finely honing each phrase until it reverberates with the subtle texture of the infinite. Sometimes it takes hours. Sometimes an entire day is devoted to one sentence, which gets marked on and expanded upon in every possible direction until he is satisfied. Then, and only then, does he add a period.”
1939 – Gila Almagor, Israeli writer, screenwriter, children’s author, actress, and film producer who has been called “queen of the Israeli cinema and theatre.”
1940 – Maria Tore Barbina, Italian poet, writer, translator, and university teacher.
1941 – David M. Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian and author.
1942 – Mazhar Kaleem, Pakistani novelist chiefly known for his Urdu spy fiction; he also wrote short stories for children and was a radio talk show host.
1943 – Masaru Emoto, Japanese author and pseudoscientist who said that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water; in particular, his early work revolved around the hypotheses that water could react to positive thoughts and words and that polluted water could be cleaned through prayer and positive visualization.
1946 – Ryoki Inoue (born José Carlos Ryoki de Alpoim Inoue), Brazilian writer and science-fiction author of both Japanese and Portuguese descent; the Guinness World Records calls him the world’s most prolific writer, with 1075 books published under his own name or 39 pseudonyms.
1947 – Albert Brooks, American comedian, novelist, screenwriter, actor, and director.
1948 – Neil Hardwick, award-winning British-born Finnish screenwriter, essayist, and director for theater and television; he is acclaimed for depictions of the pathetically humorous daily life of ordinary people.
1948 – S.E. (Susan Eloise) Hinton, American author and screenwriter whose work includes novels for children, adults, and teenagers; she is best known for her young-adult novel The Outsiders, written when she was still in her teens.
1948 – Cecilia Vicuña, Chilean writer, poet, artist, and filmmaker who is considered one of the most authentic and multifaceted voices in contemporary poetry; her work is noted for themes of language, memory, dissolution, extinction, ecological destruction, cultural homogenization, and exile.
1952 – Zakaria Ariffin, Malaysian playwright, theater director, author, theater critic, and educator.
1957 – David Abbasi (also known as Siyavash Awesta), Persian-French writer, journalist, and Islamologist.
1957 – Mairéad Byrne, Irish poet and professor who currently lives in the United States.
1957 – Pavel Shumil, Russian writer and science-fiction author; he is best known for his The Word About a Dragon series.
1961 – Lisa Robertson, Canadian poet, essayist, and translator who is based in France.
1965 – Anita Daher, Canadian author, children’s writer, screenwriter, and actress.
1966 – Gustavo Bolívar, Colombian novelist, screenwriter, politician, journalist, and film director.
1971 – Akhil Sharma, Indian-born American professor, novelist, and short-story writer.
1972 – Enrique Laso, Spanish novelist and nonfiction writer.
1973 – Ece Temelkuran, Turkish poet, journalist, columnist, author, lawyer, and television presenter; she was twice named Turkey’s “most read political columnist” but has also been fired for writing articles critical of the government.
1985 – Kateryna Babkina, Ukrainian writer, translator, journalist, short-story writer, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and children’s author.