1463 – Antonio Tebaldeo, Italian poet and writer who was born Antonio Tebaldi but changed his family name to Tebaldeo, in keeping with the practice of the Humanists, who sought to Latinize their names; he wrote verse in both Latin and Italian. His Italian verse is remarkable for diction and style rather than for any poetical excellence; with his artificial manner, his abuse of metaphor, and his studied imagery, he was a forerunner of the extravagant poets of the Marinism, or Secentismo, school.
1607 – Anna Maria van Schurman, Dutch poet, painter, sculptor, engraver, nonfiction writer, and scholar who is best known for her exceptional learning and her defense of female education. She was a highly educated woman who excelled in art, music, the sciences, and literature; was fluent in fourteen languages; and was the first woman to study at a Dutch university, though she was forced to sit behind a screen in classes so that the male students could not see her.
1750 – Bak Jega, Korean writer, poet, author, politician, and philosopher who wrote about economics and agriculture, among other topics.
1776 – Adelaide O’Keeffe, Irish poet, children’s writer, and novelist who authored what is considered by some to be the first verse novel for children.
1849 – Rui Barbosa (full name Ruy Barbosa de Oliveira), Brazilian writer, politician, diplomat, abolitionist, and defender of civil liberties.
1850 – Ella Wheeler Wilcox, U.S. author and poet, best known for her work, “Solitude,” which contains the lines, “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.”
1857 – Ida Tarbell, U.S. author, teacher, and investigative journalist whose work led to the breakup of the Standard Oil monopoly.
1862 – Thomas William Heney, Australian journalist, editor, poet, and novelist.
1883 – Ricardo Miró Denis, Panamanian poet, writer, and diplomat who is considered to be the most noteworthy poet of this country and who has been called the national poet of Panama; his work is nostalgic, filled with the author’s thoughts about living away from his native land. He also served his country as director of the National Archives and as a secretary for the Academia Panameña de la Lengua.
1885 – Will Durant, U.S. writer and historian, known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning 11-volume work on the history of civilization, co-authored with his wife Ariel; he was also an activist for women’s suffrage and labor rights.
1909 – Milena Pavlovic-Barili, Serbian writer, poet, painter, illustrator, and costumer designer who was a key part of the Serbian Modernist movement and whose work was at the forefront of Surrealism; she died in a horseback-riding accident at the age of 35.
1917 – Jacqueline Auriol, French aviator, test pilot, and autobiographer who was among the first women to break the sound barrier, and who set five world speed records; her autobiography is titled, I Live To Fly.
1919 – Helvi Juvonen, award-winning Finnish writer and poet.
1924 – Keshav Malik, prolific, award-winning Indian poet, anthologist, art and literary critic, arts scholar, and curator.
1926 – John Berger, Booker Prize-winning English art critic, painter, novelist, and poet.
1926 – Kim Jong-gil, award-winningearly-modern South Korean poet and professor; his poetry is characterize by his skillful exploration of the power of concrete images and a concentrated focus on clarity and lucidity. His poems incorporate ideas from the modern poetic tradition of Imagism, but unlike other Imagist poetry, his work exudes a classical elegance.
1927 – Thomas Gibbons Aylesworth, U.S. author and editor of books for children and young adults.
1934 – Ivonne Aline Bordelois, award-winning Argentine poet, essayist, journalist, linguist, and professor.
1935 – Christopher Hovelle Wood, English novelist and screenwriter who adapted two James Bond novels for the screen and also wrote historical fiction, semi-autobiographical fiction, adventure stories, and comic erotica; some of his work was published under the pseudonym Timothy Lea.
1936 – Om Prakash Aditya, popular Indian Hindi poet and satirist.
1943 – Sam Shepard, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. playwright, actor, and film director.
1944 – Carole Nelson Douglas, U.S. novelist and short-story writer who is best known for her mystery novels.
1945 – Franci Cerar, Slovenian author, short-story writer, and poet who is best known for his science fiction.
1948 – Baba Punhan (born Atababa Seyidali oglu Madatzadeh), Azerbaijani poet who known for his Meykhana, an Azerbaijani literary and folk rap tradition that is recited in time to a beat.
1953 – Joyce Maynard, U.S. author and memoirist who was criticized for writing about her relationship with J.D. Salinger.
1971 – Rana Dasgupta, award-winning British/Indian novelist and essayist; in 2014, Le Monde named him one of 70 people who are making the world of tomorrow.
1974 – Susana Chávez Castillo, Mexican poet, journalist, and human-rights activist who worked to end a wave of killings of women in her hometown of Juárez; she was found murdered and mutilated at the age of 36 for speaking out.
1982 – Uzodinma Iweala, award-winning U.S. and Nigerian novelist and essayist; his debut novel, Beasts of No Nation, depicts a child soldier in an unnamed African country, and was adapted as an award-winning film.