1802 – Alexandre Dumas, French adventure novelist whose famous works include The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo his son, also named Alexandre Dumas, was also a historical novelist and playwright.
1842 – Ambrose Bierce, American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer, fabulist, and satirist, best known for his short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”; he also wrote a satirical reference book called The Devil’s Dictionary.
1857 – Henrik Pontoppidan, Nobel Prize-winning Danish realist writer of novels and short stories that depicted social evils and the miserable situation of the peasant proletariat; German novelist Thomas Mann called him, “a full-blooded storyteller.”
1862 – James Percy FitzPatrick, South African author, politician, and mining financier who wrote the classic children’s book, Jock of the Bushveld.
1878 – Edward Plunkett (Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany), Irish novelist, essayist, short-story writer, and playwright who sometimes wrote under the pseudonym Lord Dunsany; many of his works are fantasies, set in a land called Pegāna; he was also the chess and pistol-shooting champion of Ireland.
1886 – Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, popular Japanese novelist who was a major figure in modern Japanese literature; he was best known for his book, Makioka Sisters, an account of a traditional, pre-World War II Osaka family.
1895 – Robert Graves, English poet, novelist, mythographer, critic, historican, and classical translator, best known for his historical novel I, Claudius, which has been adapted to film, radio, and theater.
1897 – Amelia Earhart, American airplane pilot and aviation pioneer who was also an author, journalist, travel writer, memoirist, and feminist who set many flight records and was the first woman aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean; during a 1937 attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island.
1899 – Chief Dan George, chief of the Salish Band in Burrard Inlet, British Columbia, Canada, who was also an author, poet, spokesman for native rights, and Oscar-nominated actor; as a writer, he is best known for the book My Heart Soars.
1900 – Zelda Fitzgerald, best known as the wife of American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, she also published a novel of her own, Save Me the Waltz, and has been called the Muse of the Jazz Age.
1911 – Elisa Lispector (full Leah Pinkhasovna Lispector), Ukrainian-born Brazilian novelist, short-story writer, and teacher; her sister Clarice Lispector was also a well-known writer.
1912 – Essie Summers (born Ethel Snelson Summers), bestselling New Zealand author of romance novels who was considered New Zealand’s “Queen of Romance.”
1916 – John D. McDonald, American crime and suspense novelist whose best known works include the Travis McGee series and The Executioners (which was adapted into the film Cape Fear); he also wrote under various pen names, including John Wade Farrel, Robert Henry, John Lane, Scott O’Hara, Peter Reed, and Henry Reiser.
1918 – Vi Hilbert (née Anderson; Lushootseed name: taqʷšəblu), Native American tribal elder, writer, and cultural and linguistic preservationist of the Upper Skagit, a tribe of the greater Puget Salish in Washington State; she was the last fully fluent heritage speaker of the Lushootseed language and wrote Lushootseed grammars, dictionaries, and books of stories, teachings, and place names. She was named a Washington State Living Treasure, and received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts from President Bill Clinton.
1921 – Trần Văn Khê, Vietnamese writer, educator, musician, musicologist, and ethnomusicologist; his book La musique viêtnamienne traditionnelle was for many years a standard text of Vietnamese musicology.
1924 – Thích Thanh Từ, influential Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk who has written many books about Buddhism and is credited with increasing traditional Vietnamese Buddhism practices in Vietnam.
1928 – Griselda Gambaro, Argentine novelist, playwright, short-story writer, and young-adult novelist whose work often concerns political violence in Argentina.
1928 – Rosemarie Schuder (also known as Rosemarie Hirsch), award-winning German journalist, writer, and historical novelist whose books deal with German history or with the lives of prominent people.
1931 – Oscar Ichazo, Bolivian-born human behavioral scientist, writer, and educator who created the Enneagram of Personality theories.
1932 – Madhukar Toradmal, Indian Marathi actor, writer, translator, and professor who was best known as an actor and as a translator of plays.
1933 – Jerzy Harasymowicz-Broniuszyc, Polish poet and prose writer of Ukrainian and Polish-German roots who founded the poetic groups Muszyna and Barbarus and belonged to the “Wspólczesnosc” (Present Day) literary movement. He often explored the Lemkos and Slav-Christian cultures in his works, and also wrote poems about sports and in praise of socialism.
1935 – Aaron Elkins, American author of mysteries featuring forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver; he is married to romance novelist Charlotte Elkins, who writes under the pen name Emily Spenser.
1935 – Patrick Bruce (Pat) Oliphant, Pulitzer Prize-winning Australian editorial cartoonist.
1936 – Albert Marrin, National Book Award-winning American historian and prolific author of children’s nonfiction books.
1937 – Saleha binti Abdul Rashid (better known by her pen name Salmi Manja), a Singaporean-born Malaysian novelist, poet, and journalist who was among the first Malaysian professional women writers and who has frequently written about Islam and women; she is best known for her novel Hari Mana Bulan Mana (What Day What Month).
1939 – Tamar Adar, award-winning Israeli writer, poet, children’s book author, playwright, and screenwriter.
1939 – Christian Peter Georg Kampmann, Danish writer and journalist whose novels are mainly about middle- and upper-classes people trying to find their place in the world, and frequently deal with the subject of homosexuality.
1939 – Claude Kayat, Tunisian-born French and Swedish novelist, writer, dramatist, teacher, and painter.
1939 – Barry N. Malzberg, American science-fiction author who published in other genres under various pseudonyms, including Nathan Herbert and K.M. O’Donnell.
1943 – Eduardo Parra, Chilean poet and musician who is a member of the Chilean rock fusion band Los Jaivas.
1946 – Rivka Keren, Israeli writer, children’s author, and painter.
1946 – Rosemary Dorothy Moravec (born Rosemary Dorothy Hill), Austrian-British musicologist, author, and composer.
1947 – Marie-Noëlle Drouet (known as Minou Drouet, French writer, poet, musician, and actress.
1950 – Arliss Ryan, American historical novelist, short-story writer, satirist, and essayist. In 2017, she and her husband, naval architect Eric Sponberg, left the U.S. to sail around the world in their 35-foot sailboat; her website blog, “The Old Woman and the Sea,” chronicles their ongoing voyage.
1951 – Carlos Baca, Mexican writer, cartoonist, visual artist, ecologist, yogi, and rock music critic who is a key figure of the counterculture movement known as La Onda and has gained fame as the creator of the comic strip character Avandarito.
1951 – Robert Maxwell Hood, Australian writer and editor recognized as one of Australia’s leading writers of horror, science fiction, fantasy, and crime; he also writes short stories, young-adult novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and academic articles and has co-edited anthologies of horror and crime fiction.
1952 – Moniro Ravanipor, Iranian novelist and short-story writer whose stories and books are praised for their innovation and described as “reminiscent in their fantastic blend of realism, myth, and superstition”; she frequently sets her fiction in the small, remote village in southern Iran where she was born. Ravanipour was among 17 activists to face trial in Iran for their participation in the 2000 Berlin Conference, accused of taking part in anti-Iran propaganda, leading to her work being stripped from bookstore shelves in a countrywide police action.
1953 – A.N. Prahlada Rao, Indian author, editor, journalist, and Kannada-language crossword puzzle creator.
1957 – Chrysa Dimoulidou, Greek novelist, poet, reporter, children’s writer, and collage artist.
1955 – Brad Watson, American novelist and short-story writer who was a finalist for the National Book Award.
1959 – Zdravka Evtimova, Bulgarian novelist, short-story writer, and translator.
1959 – Kjetil Try, Norwegian crime fiction writer, advertising executive, and ice hockey player.
1964 – Vishnu Wagh, Indian writer, poet, playwright, journalist, and politician.
1964 – Banana Yoshimoto (pen name of Mahoko Yoshimoto), bestselling Japanese novelist and essayist whose fiction is known for unusual characters and for themes of love, friendship, the power of home and family, and the effect of loss on the human spirit.
1965 – Merete Morken Andersen, award-winning Norwegian novelist, children’s writer, journalist, literary critic, and magazine editor.
1966 – Hilarion Alfeyev (born Grigoriy Valerievich Alfeyev), Russian bishop, theologian, writer, church historian, composer, and university teacher who has published books on dogmatic theology, patristics, and church history, as well as numerous compositions for choir and orchestra.
1967 – Fuat Deniz, Turkish-born Swedish sociologist and writer of Assyrian descent who was internationally known for his research on the Assyrian Genocide; he was murdered in 2007.
1968 – Alaa Mashzoub, Iraqi journalist, novelist, writer, and historian whose work focused on the history of Iraq, the city of Karbala, and the history of the Jews in Iraq.
1975 – Shane McCarthy, Australian comic-book writer who has written in the Batman, Transformers, and X-Men series; when he isn’t writing, he runs a swing-dancing school.
1975 – Alejandro Zambra, Chilean poet, novelist, short-story writer, and literary critic.
1978 – Madeline Miller, award-winning American novelist, essayist, and Classical scholar whose books, The Song of Achilles and Circe, are based on themes from mythology.
1980 – Hanna Hellquist, Swedish author, journalist, and television presenter.
1986 – Suffian Hakim bin Supoano, Singaporean author and screenwriter who is known for his novels, the parody Harris bin Potter and The Stoned Philosopher and his book, The Minorities, which takes on such issues as ethnicity, immigration, and assimilation; his humorous, satirical writing is characterized by popular-culture references, word play, offbeat characters, and absurd situations.