1576 – Enrico Caterino Davila, Italian historian, writer, and diplomat who wrote a history of the civil wars of France; the book was an immediate success and went through more than 200 editions.
1751 – Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Irish playwright, poet, satirist, politician, and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
1790 – Rinse Posthumus, Frisian romantic poet, translator, minister, political activist, and liberal spirit from the Frisian (or Wadden) Islands, a North Sea archipelago off the coast of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark.
1825 – Adelaide Anne Procter, English poet and philanthropist who began her literary career when her poems appeared in Charles Dickens’s periodicals when she was still a teen, and later in feminist journals; her charity work and her Roman Catholicism influenced her poetry, which deals with such subjects as homelessness, poverty, and fallen women, among whom she performed philanthropic work. She was Queen Victoria’s favorite poet and was called one of the most popular poets of her day, second only to Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
1840 – William Graham Sumner, U.S. social scientist, professor, author, and essayist who introduced the term “ethnocentrism” and spoke against imperialism; his work is considered a major influence on conservatism in the United States.
1885 – Ezra Pound, expatriate U.S. poet and critic who was a central figure in the American Modernist movement.
1887 – Georg Heym, German writer, poet, and playwright who is especially remembered for his Expressionist poetry.
1893 – Jan M Romein, Dutch Marxist historian, journalist, and literary scholar; he is remembered for his books popularizing Dutch national history, jointly authored with his wife Annie Romein-Verschoor.
1896 – Ruth Gordon Jones, U.S. actress, screenwriter, playwright, and author. As an actress, she performed on Broadway and then in films such as Rosemary’s Baby, Harold and Maude, and Every Which Way but Loose. She won an Oscar, an Emmy, and two Golden Globe Awards for her acting, and three Academy Award nominations for her writing.
1907 – Albert Rice Leventhal, U.S. journalist, author, bridge columnist, and book publisher who developed the Little Golden Books series of children’s books.
1910 – Miguel Hernández Gilabert, Spanish poet and playwright who was associated with both the Generation of ’27 and the Generation of ’36 movements.
1914 – Marius Hendrikus Flothuis, Dutch composer and Mozart biographer.
1914 – James Laughlin, U.S. poet and literary book publisher who wanted to write, but who turned to publishing instead after the writer Ezra Pound (also an October 30 birthday, above) told him, “You’re never going to be any good as a poet. Why don’t you take up something useful?”
1930 – Jean Chapman, award-winning British romance writer who is also a lecturer in creative writing.
1932 – Louis Malle, acclaimed Oscar-winning French screenwriter and film director; his second wife was actress Candice Bergen.
1935 – Robert Caro, U.S. journalist, author, and biographer who won two Pulitzer Prizes and a National Book Award.
1932 – Ágota Kristóf, award-winning Hungarian writer who lived in Switzerland and wrote in French.
1941 – Sérgio Sant’Anna, Brazilian poet, playwright, short story writer, and novelist whose works are heavily meta-fictional and a strong influence on the newer generation of Brazilian writers.
1943 – Carole Angier, English biographer and former teacher who is best known for her acclaimed biographies of the writers Jean Rhys and Primo Levi.
1943 – Paul Claes, Flemish writer, poet, translator, and university professor.
1946 – Eric Kimmel, U.S. children’s book author and professor whose book Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins was a Caldecott Honor book.
1946 – Andrea Mitchell, U.S. television journalist, anchor, reporter, and commentator; her husband is American economist and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
1950 – Ana Paula Ribeiro Tavares, Angolan poet, prose writer, and university instructor.
1952 – Brenda Chapman, Canadian author of mystery novels, children’s books, young-adult literature, and short stories; she is best known for her “Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery Series,” featuring damaged, brilliant detective Kala Stonechild and workaholic staff sergeant Jacques Rouleau.
1953 – Sigrun Slapgard, award-winning Norwegian journalist, biographer, and nonfiction writer.
1955 – Liu Xiaoqing, Chinese actress, businesswoman, and autobiographer who was one of the leading actresses in China in the 1980s.
1958 – Tridib Kumar Chattopadhyay, Indian Bengali author, editor, and children’s writer who is the General Secretary of the Publishers & Booksellers Guild, organizer of International Kolkata Book Fair.
1958 – Phoolchand Gupta, Indian Hindi- and Gujarati-language poet, writer, and translator who has made significant contributions to the Gujarati Dalit literature.
1958 – Flora Fraser Soros, English writer of historical biographies; her stepfather was the 2005 Nobel Laureate for Literature, the playwright Harold Pinter.
1960 – Philippe Pollet-Villard, award-winning French screenwriter, writer, film director, and actor.
1963 – Andrew Solomon, U.S. writer on politics, culture, and psychology.
1968 – Ursula Poznanski, award-winning Austrian writer, journalist, and science-fiction author.
1972 – Paola Florencia Carosella, Italian, Argentine, and Brazilian cook, businesswoman, chef, autobiographer, and cookbook writer.
1972 – Julia Spiridonova, award-winning Bulgarian novelist, screenwriter, children’s author, and short-story writer.
1973 – Elena Torre, Italian writer, journalist, book reviewer, and interviewer.
1974 – Christi Daugherty (also known as C.J. Daugherty), British novelist, young-adult writer, and journalist who is best known for “Night School,” a series of bestselling young adult romantic thrillers set in a fictional boarding school called Cimmeria Academy.
1974 – Priscila Uppal, award-winning Canadian poet, novelist, writer, nonfiction author, and playwright who was dubbed “Canada’s Coolest Poet” when she was named Olympic poet-in-residence at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
1984 – Okky Puspa Madasari (known as Okky Madasari), award-winning Indonesian novelist, essayist, journalist, short-story writer, children’s author, and academic; her work is known for her exquisite portrayals of the social and political conditions in Indonesia, focusing on resistance against injustice and the struggle for freedom and humanity.