1644 – Louise de La Vallière, French writer, autobiographer, duchess, and lady-in-waiting who was the mistress of Louis XIV.
1735 – Lady Hyegyeong, Korean author and queen who was the wife of Crown Prince Sado and mother of King Jeongjo; she is best known for her book, The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong, detailing her life as the ill-fated Crown Princess, her husband’s descent into madness, and the deeds for which he was eventually put to death.
1809 – Alfred, Lord Tennyson, English poet who was Poet Laureate of the U.K. during Queen Victoria’s reign and is still one of Britain’s most popular poets; his poems draw on a wide range of subject matter, ranging from medieval legends to classical myths and from domestic situations to nature.
1874 – Charles Hoy Fort, American journalist, writer,and researcher who specialized in “anomalous phenomena,” the use of the scientific method for finding rational explanations for phenomena that defy explanation; in his honor, the terms Fortean and Forteana are sometimes used to characterize such phenomena, with his admirers calling themselves “Forteans.” His books sold well, are still in print, and have influenced modern science-fiction authors.
1881 – Luella Parsons, American newspaper columnist, radio host, and memoirist.
1894 – Iseult Lucille Germaine Gonne, Irish poet and Bengali translator; the poet William Butler Yeats was widely known to be in love with her mother, and was rumored to be Iseult’s father and often referred to her as his darling child; nevertheless, in his fifties, he proposed to the 22-year-old Iseult, who refused his advances.
1909 – Norma Farber, National Book Award-winning American children’s author.
1911 – Constance Heaven, British romance author who won the Romantic Novel of the Year in 1976 for her title The House of Kuragin.
1916 – Richard Hofstadter, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian, professor, and nonfiction author.
1917 – Barbara Cooney, two-time Caldecott Medal-winning American writer and illustrator of more than 200 children’s books.
1926 – Janet Opal Asimov, American science columnist, science-fiction author, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst who usually wrote under the name J.O. Jeppson; she was married to author Isaac Asimov.
1926 – Elizabeth Beresford, British author of children’s books, best known for creating The Wombles.
1934 – Piers Anthony, English-American science-fiction and fantasy writer, best known for his long-running series set in the realm of Xanth.
1941 – Kojin Karatani, Japanese writer, philosopher, professor, and literary critic who writes in both Japanese and English.
1948 – Mary Elizabeth Schaps (also known as Malka Elisheva Schaps), American-born Israeli mathematician and professor who has written novels under the pseudonym Rachel Pomerantz.
1951 – Hans-Joachim Lang, German journalist, historian, and professor who researched and authored the award-winning book Die Namen der Nummern (The Names of the Numbers), which identified all of the victims murdered in the gas chamber of the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp during World War II.
1961 – Kjell Westö, Finnish author, journalist. poet, novelist, essayist, short-story writer, and newspaper columnist; he writes in Swedish and is best known for his epic novels set in Helsinki.
1962 – Jayanti Naik, prolific, award-winning Indian Konkani short-story writer, folklorist, children’s writer, playwright, and translator.
1963 – Xurxo Borrazás Fariña, Spanish Galician poet, novelist, short-story writer, and translator; his fiction has been described as experimental and transgressive.
1964 – Sara Blædel, Danish author and journalist who is best known for her crime novels featuring Louise Rick.
1965 – Yuki Kajiura, Japanese poet, composer, arranger, musician, music producer, and ethnomusicologist.
1970 – M. Night Shyamalan (Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan), Indian-born American screenwriter and director, best known for The Sixth Sense and other science-fiction and supernatural thrillers.
1972 – Paolo Bacigalupi, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning American science-fiction and fantasy novelist and short-story writer; much of his work explores the effects of bioengineering and a world in which fossil fuels are no longer viable.
1981 – Linda Maria Baros, French-language Romanian poet, translator, linguist, and literary critic who is considered a powerful new voice in poetry today.
1981 – Natalia Borges Polesso, Brazilian author, journalist, and comic strip writer who was named as one of the Bogota39, a list of the most promising young writers in Latin America.
1983 – Tamara De Anda Prieto (pen name Plaqueta), Mexican blogger and journalist who received death and rape threats after she was sexually harassed by a male taxi driver and reported him to police.
1984 – Kelly Williams Brown, bestselling American journalist, writer, and nonfiction author who is commonly credited with inventing the word “adulting,” which refers to the small actions that together comprise maturity.