1627 – Margaretha van Godewijk, Dutch Golden Age poet, painter, engraver, and astronomer.
1795 – Amable Tastu (real name Sabine Casimire Amable Voïart), French writer, poet, children’s author, educational writer, translator, librettist, and literary critic.
1797 – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, English novelist best known for her horror novel, one of the most famous English-language books ever written, Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus, which she wrote when she was in her teens; her parents were progressive intellectuals, authors, philosophers, and reformers Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin; her husband was the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
1811 – Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier, French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, and art and literary critic.
1901 – John Gunther, American journalist and author, best known for the memoir, Death Be Not Proud, an account of his son’s death to brain cancer.
1906 – Amado Magcalas Yuzon, Filippino academic, journalist, writer, and politician.
1907 – Bertha Pallan Thurston Cody (née Parker), Native American archeologist who, though not formally educated in archeology, made some important discoveries in the American West, published widely, and gained the respect of the archeological community; of Abenaki and Seneca descent, she was one of the first Native American women in the field. As a teen, she performed with her mother in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’s “Pocahontas” show.
1909 – Virginia Lee Burton, Caldecott Medal-winning American author and illustrator of children’s books, most notably Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel; she also wrote under the name Virginia Demetrios.
1912 – Nancy Grace Augusta Wake (also known as Nancy Fiocca), New Zealand-born (part Maori) Australian-British-French journalist, nurse, autobiographer, ambulance driver, World War II French Resistance fighter, and British spy. Her code names were Hélène (as a British SOE operative) and Andrée (with the French Resistance), but the Gestapo knew her as the White Mouse.
1924 – Beryl Agatha Gilroy (née Answick), Guyanese poet, novelist, teacher, and ethno-psychotherapist who moved to Britain, where she became the first Black headteacher in London; she has been described as “one of Britain’s most significant post-war Caribbean migrants,” and was part of the Windrush generation.
1925 – Laurent de Brunhoff, French author and illustrator who continued the popular series of children’s books about Babar the Elephant, which was created by his father, Jean de Brunhoff.
1929 – François Cheng, Chinese-born French novelist, poet, essayist, calligrapher, translator, academician, art book author, and audiobook narrator.
1937 – Emma Guntz (née Emma Linnebach), German-French poet, journalist, editor, short-story writer, essayist, and radio broadcaster; one reviewer described her work as, “poetic words full of imagination and precise in style.”
1942 – Hugo Mujica, Argentine Catholic priest, poet, writer, and former Trappist monk.
1943 – Robert Crumb, American author, cartoonist, editor, and “father of the underground comics movement”; his work is known for being controversial, satirical, surrealistic, and oversexualized.
1944 – Mary Tyler “Molly” Ivins, American newspaper columnist, bestselling author, liberal political commentator, and humorist.
1945 – Rosamaría Roffiel, Mexican poet, novelist, journalist, and editor. Her first literary work, Amora, is considered the first lesbian-feminist novel published in Mexico.
1951 – Jean Kent, award-winning Australian poet, short-story writer, and educator; her poetry collection, Travelling with the Wrong Phrasebooks, has been called “so likable that readers may miss some of its sophistication, thinking it no more than a set of poems about travels in France and Lithuania. It is actually a good deal more than that.”
1955 – Judith Tarr, World Fantasy Award-nominated American writer of historical novels, historical fantasy novels, and short stories; she also breeds Lipizzan horses.
1957 – Consuelo Tomás Fitzgerald, Panamanian novelist, poet, storyteller, playwright, short-story author, puppet-show actress, and broadcaster.
1958 – Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya, award-winning Russian journalist, author, writer, poet, and human rights activist who reported on political events in Russia, in particular, the Second Chechen War; for seven years she refused to give up reporting on the war despite numerous acts of intimidation and violence, including an arrested and mock execution by Russian military forces in Chechnya. She was assassinated in 2006.
1961 – Mrityunjay Kumar Singh, Indian novelist, poet, columnist, scriptwriter, nonfiction writer, lyricist, and folk musician.
1962 – Isabella Bordoni, Italian poet, writer, visual and sound artist, performer, and modern art curator.
1970 – Kätlin Kaldmaa, Estonian writer, poet, translator, journalist, children’s author, and literary critic.
1973 – Lisa Ling, American writer, journalist, war correspondent, and television host.
1974 – Jean Edith Camilla Läckberg Eriksson, bestselling crime writer who was once voted Swedish Writer of the Year; she writes as Camilla Lackberg.
1978 – Paulina Bisztyga, award-winning Polish poet, radio host, singer, and composer.
1978 – Rosa Silverio (full name Rosa de Jesús Silverio Filpo), award-winning Dominican poet, writer, journalist, and storyteller.
1986 – Mark Lucgjonaj, Montenegrin poet, journalist, and professor of Albanian descent.