1565 – Marie de Gournay, French writer, poet, novelist, editor, translator, philosopher, essayist, alchemist, and feminist who often wrote about equality between women and men and the necessity for women to be educated.
1648 – Henrietta Catharina (Baroness von Gersdorff, maiden name von Friesen auf Roetha), German Baroque religious poet who was an advocate for Pietism and a supporter of the beginnings of the Moravian Church.
1836 – Allen Raine, pseudonym for bestselling Welsh novelist Anne Adalisa Beynon Puddicombe.
1862 – Albert J. Beveridge, Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer and historian and U.S. Senator from Indiana.
1872 – Alexandru Cazaban, award-winning Romanian writer, novelist, schoolteacher, draftsman, veterinarian, civil servant, and editor, best known for his satirical sketches and short stories; his writings evoked provincial life and cast a somewhat harsh light on the rural environment.
1889 – Maria Dabrowska, four-time Nobel Prize-nominated Polish writer, novelist, essayist, journalist, diarist, translator, and playwright who was author of the popular Polish historical novel Noce i dnie (Nights and Days), which was made into a film.
1893 – Sergo Kldiashvili, Soviet Georgian writer, poet and playwright who was part of both the Realist and Symbolist literary movements.
1895 – Caroline Ferguson Gordon, award-winning American novelist and literary critic who was part of the Southern Agrarian movement.
1902 – Elizabeth Gray Vining, Newbery Award-winning American children’s novelist and librarian who was English language tutor to the emperor of Japan.
1908 – Mohammad Modabber, award-winning Bangladeshi journalist and writer.
1914 – Lina Flor (full name Carolina Flores-Trinidad), Filipina author, columnist, essayist, radio scriptwriter, biographer, cartoonist, teacher, actress, and lyricist.
1914 – Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian ethnographer, zoologist, botanist, and adventurer whose books chronicled his exploits. He is best known for his 1947 voyage from Peru to French Polynesia with five other adventurers in a pae-pae raft that they had constructed from balsa wood and other native materials, christened the Kon-Tiki; the expedition was inspired by old reports and drawings of Inca rafts, and by native legends and archaeological evidence suggesting contact between South America and Polynesia.
1914 – Joan Littlewood, British playwright and theatre director who has been called the Mother of Modern Theatre.
1916 – Stanley Ellin, three-time Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning American mystery writer; several episodes of the television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents were based on Ellin short stories, and three of his novels were adapted into feature films.
1922 – Luís Romano de Madeira Melo, Cabo Verdean writer, poet, novelist, and folklorist who wrote in both Portuguese and the Creole of the Cape Verde islands.
1924 – Sabeena Rafi, award-winning Indian essayist, philosopher, autobiographer, and historian of Malayalam literature and operatic dance.
1950 – David Brin, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning American scientist and science-fiction author, many of whose novels are set in the Uplift Universe.
1952 – Ayten Mutlu, Turkish poet, author, translator, and critic.
1955 – Ellen Kushner, award-winning American fantasy author, editor, and radio host; she started by writing Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books before branching out with her own novels.
1958 – Ariane Dreyfus, French poet, professor, and literary critic.
1958 – Joseph Finder, American author of business thrillers, several of which have been made into movies.