1777 – Thomas Campbell, Scottish poet known for his sentimental poetry and patriotic war songs; he helped create the initial plans for founding of the University of London.
1824 – Alexandre Dumas, son of the French author of the same name, his works have not attained the same acclaim as his father’s; yet, his novel La Dame aux camélias (The Lady of the Camellias) was adapted by Verdi into the opera La Traviata.
1835 – Giosuè Carducci, Nobel Prize-winning Italian poet, teacher, essayist, translator, biographer, literary critic, and senator, influenced by the ancient Greeks and Romans; he is considered the unofficial national poet of modern Italy, despite the controversy he stirred up with his “Hymn to Satan,” which expressed his opposition to the power of the Catholic church and may have been meant metaphorically.
1849 – Vera Ivanovna Zasulich, Russian Menshevik writer, journalist, politician, and revolutionary.
1870 – Hilaire Belloc, Anglo-French poet, satirist, essayist, orator, soldier, sailor, and political activist who was one of the most important “men of letters” in the early twentieth century.
1876 – Kavimani Desigavinayagam Pillai, Indian Tamil poet, writer, and translator who has been commemorated on an Indian postage stamp.
1887 – Yūzō Yamamoto, Japanese novelist and playwright whose works were noted for their clarity of expression and dramatic composition.
1895 – Zoilo Galang, pioneering Filipino writer who was the author of the first Philippine novel written in the English language.
1901 – Henrietta Drake-Brockman, Australian writer, historian, journalist, novelist, travel writer, biographer, short-story writer, children’s author, and playwright.
1908 – Joseph Mitchell, American writer best known for this work in the New Yorker magazine, which focused on eccentrics and people on the fringes of society. He once placed third in a clam-eating tournament after consuming 84 cherrystones and called it “one of the few worthwhile achievements” of his life.
1909 – Hilde Palm (née Löwenstein), German lyric poet who wrote under the pseudonym Hilde Domin; she was among the most important German-language poets of her time.
1910 – Rajzel Zychlinsky, Polish-born writer of poetry in Yiddish; she survived World War II by fleeing to the Soviet Union, but most of her family was murdered in the Holocaust; her postwar poetry, mostly written in the United States, was strongly influenced by these events. She is considered one of the greatest Yiddish poets of the 20th century and a master of the small poetic form.
1913 – Scott Corbett, American teacher and author of novels for adults and children.
1913 – Vittorio Sereni, award-winning Italian poet, author, editor, publisher, and translator whose poetry frequently addressed themes of 20th-century Italian history, including Fascism, Italy’s military defeat in World War II, and its postwar resurgence.
1914 – August Sang, Estonian author, poet, literary critic, and literary translator.
1916 – Elizabeth Hardwick, American literary critic, novelist, essayist, and short story writer; she was married to poet Robert Lowell.
1922 – Norman Lear, influential American television writer and producer who was known for such 1970s sitcoms as All in the Family, Maude, and One Day At a Time.
1923 – Napoleon “Nap” Genson Rama, Filipino lawyer, journalist, nonfiction author, and political writer who wrote in English and Spanish.
1924 – Vincent Canby, powerful American film reviewer who was chief critic of the New York Times; he has been named one of the 25 best film critics of all times.
1925 – Nileena Abraham (née Dutta), award-winning Indian writer, translator, and professor whose background is in Bengali language, political science, and history.
1925 – John Davies, award-winning Malaysian writer and archivist who was Executive Officer of the National Archives of Malaysia; in his time, he was considered the world’s leading authority on the conservation and preservation of documents.
1929 – Jack Higgins, pen name of bestselling British author Harry Patterson, who writes political thrillers and spy novels.
1937 – Irène Stecyk, award-winning Belgian novelist, poet, short-story writer, and librarian.
1940 – Miguel Francisco Gutiérrez Correa, Peruvian writer who wrote on the theme of disaffected youth.
1940 – Bharati Mukherjee, Indian-born novelist, essayist, short-story writer, nonfiction author, and professor whose writing explores themes of immigration and alienation.
1943 – So Aono, award-winning Japanese novelist and professor who is the son of the renowned literary critic Suekichi Aono.
1945 – Wisran Hadi, award-winning Indonesian writer, playwright, novelist, and short-story writer.
1947 – Kathleen Norris, American poet, essayist, and nonfiction author. (Not to be confused with Kathleen Norris the novelist and columnist.)
1948 – Juliet Marillier, New Zealand writer of historical fantasy novels.
1949 – Robert Rankin, British author of humorous novels who refers to his genre as “far-fetched fiction.” His fan club is called The Order of the Golden Sprout.
1951- Bernardo Atxaga (pseudonym of Joseba Irazu Garmendia), Spanish Basque writer, children’s author, poet, screenwriter, and translator.
1951 – Iztok Osojnik, award-winning Slovenian writer, poet, translator, author, essayist, and linguist.
1952 – Eduardo Milán, Uruguayan author, poetry, critic, and anthologist.
1953 – Rodolfo Macías Fattoruso, Uruguayan literary critic, editor, and educator who specializes in the philosophic aspects of the works of Jorge Luis Borges.
1953 – Akshaykumar Malharrao Kale, Indian writer, professor, and critic of modern Marathi poetry.
1958 – Kate Elliott, pen name of American science-fiction and fantasy author Alis A. Rasmussen
1959 – Vahram Martirosyan, bestselling Armenian writer, screenwriter, and journalist; his first novel, Landslide, was one of the few modern Armenian novels translated abroad.
1959 – Lawrence M. Schoen, Nebula Award-nominated American author, publisher, psychologist, hypnotist, and expert in the Klingon language; founder of the Klingon Language Institute; his best known works are the novel Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard and a series of novels, novellas, and short stories about a hypnotist, the Amazing Conroy.
1961 – V.M. Girija, Indian poet, author, essayist, and translator who writes in Malayalam.
1961 – Marjetka Jeršek, Slovenian novelist, fairy tale author, writer, and painter.
1962 – Carina Yvonne Dahl, Swedish novelist, screenwriter, and film director who has also written a column about horses; she and her family have lived on a large ship in the North Sea for twenty years.
1962 – Agus R. Sarjono, Indonesian poet, author, essayist, short-story writer, playwright, editor, and lecturer.
1970 – Ruchi Anand, Indian-born author and professor who writes on international relations and environmental politics; she currently lives in France.
1971 – Julieta Valero, award-winning Spanish poet, essayist, and short-story writer.
1973 – Cassandra Clare, bestselling American author of young-adult fiction, best known for her series “The Mortal Instruments.”
1984 – Hao Jingfang, Hugo Award-winning Chinese writer, novelist, essayist, and science-fiction writer.
1990 – Gabrielle Tremblay, Canadian poet, writer, and actress who was the first transgender woman ever nominated for an acting award at the Canadian Screen Awards.