1527 – Qi Jiguang, Chinese Ming Dynasty general and author who wrote military manuals and is considered a military hero in Chinese culture.
1648 – Juana Inés de la Cruz, scholar, poet, writer, composer, mathematician, playwright, philosopher, feminist, and nun in New Spain (now Mexico).
1666 – Mary Astell, English writer, philosopher, and rhetorician whose advocacy for equal educational opportunities for women has earned her the title “the first English feminist.”
1769 – Amelia Opie (née Alderson), English writer, novelist, abolitionist, poet, and biographer; hers was the first of 187,000 names presented to the British Parliament on a petition from women to stop slavery.
1815 – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, U.S. writer and activist for women’s rights and the abolition of slavery; she was the primary author of the first three volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage and The Woman’s Bible, a critical examination of the Bible based on the premise that its attitude toward women reflects prejudice from a less civilized age.
1817 – Bahá’u’lláh (born Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Nuri), Persian mystic and prolific writer who was founder of the Bahá’í Faith.
1817 – Emily Mary Barton (born Emily Mary Darvall), English-born Australian poet.
1826 – Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, Puerto Rican poet, playwright, essayist, and writer who is considered the father of Puerto Rican literature; in addition to his writing, he was also an abolitionist and a women’s rights advocate.
1851 – Rao Bahadur Vishnu Moreshwar Mahajani, Indian Marathi poet, writer, translator, and playwright.
1865 – Herbert Trench, Irish poet and theater director.
1886 – Ben Travers, British playwright known for his farces; he also wrote novels, screenplays, and memoirs.
1901 – Renée Méndez Capote y Chaple (also known by the pseudonyms Io-san, Berenguela, and Suzanne), Cuban writer, essayist, journalist, translator, suffragist, and feminist activist who wrote children’s literature, short stories, essays, and biographies.
1906 – George Dillon, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet and editor who is best remembered today for a romantic relationship with poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay; Dillon was the inspiration for her epic 52-sonnet sequence Fatal Interview and they later collaborated on translations from Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal.
1915 – Roland Barthes, French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, linguist, and semiotician whose ideas influenced the development of many schools of theory, including structuralism, semiotics, social theory, design theory, anthropology, and post-structuralism.
1917 – Leila Berg, award-winning English children’s author and journalist, who frequently wrote about education and children’s rights.
1923 – Rubén Bonifaz Nuño, Mexican writer, lawyer, poet, translator, linguist, and classical scholar.
1925 – Trisnojuwono, Indonesian author, journalist, and former revolutionary and military man; ,uch of his literary work is based on his experiences during the Indonesian National Revolution and includes unique eyewitness accounts of this chaotic and violent period.
1927 – David Butler, Emmy Award-winning Scottish screenwriter who was also nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
1928 – Marjorie Sharmat, U.S. author of children’s books, including her popular Nate the Great series.
1929 – Michael Ende, German author of bestselling fantasy, children’s literature, and books for adults; he is best known for The Neverending Story. Many of his works have been adapted as motion pictures, stage plays, operas, and audio books.
1930 – Irma Chilton (born Mair Elizabeth Irma Evans), Welsh children’s author who wrote in both the English and Welsh languages.
1930 – Ivo Urbančič, influential Slovenian philosopher and writer, considered to be one of the fathers of the phenomenological school in Slovenia.
1930 – Antonia “Tonke” Johanna Willemina Dragt, Dutch writer and illustrator of children’s literature; her book De brief voor de Koning was chosen as the best Dutch youth book of the latter half of the twentieth century.
1934 – John McGahern, Irish author of novels and short stories, arguably the most important Irish writer since Samuel Beckett.
1939 – Alitet Nikolaevich Nemtushkin, Russian poet known for writing in and about his native Evenki language.
1941 – Madeleine St John, Australian novelist who was the first Australian woman to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.
1942 – Janette Turner Hospital, Australian-born novelist and short-story writer.
1943 – Wallace Shawn, U.S. actor, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, and author; he is best known for his roles in the movies The Princess Bride and My Dinner With Andre (which he also co-wrote).
1945 – Michael Bishop, U.S. author of science fiction and fantasy.
1945 – Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. author of creative nonfiction, best known for his book, The Soul of a New Machine.
1945 – Hanan al-Shaykh, acclaimed Lebanese author of contemporary literature; her work provides social commentary on the status of women in the Muslim world, challenging notions of sexuality, obedience, and modesty.
1948 – Celestine Raalte, award-winning Surinanese writer, poet, playwright, and performance artist.
1950 – Svetozar Obradovic Toza, Serbian writer who is best known for his comic books; he has also written articles, essays, stories, books, and radio dramas.
1954 – Christopher Pike (pen name for Kevin Christopher McFadden), U.S. author of bestselling novels for children, young adults, and adults.
1955 – Katherine Weber, U.S. novelist, nonfiction author, memoirist, and Yale professor.
1959 – Espérance-François Bulayumi, Congolese author, writer, poet, and professor; his most emblematic work is Mosuni, which deals with Congolese identity and its link-up with European culture.
1961 – Tomas Espedal, award-winning Norwegian writer and novelist.
1961 – Judy Horacek, Australian cartoonist, artist, writer, and children’s book creator who is best known for her award winning children’s picture book Where is the Green Sheep? with Mem Fox, and for her weekly cartoons in The Age newspaper.
1961 – Philip Reid, Irish sports journalist whose articles on golf are widely quoted by other media outlets.
1962 – Alonso Guerrero Pérez, award-winning Spanish writer, professor, journalist, essayist, teacher, and literary critic.
1962 – Neal Shusterman, U.S. author of popular young-adult literature.
1962 – Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki, award-winning Polish poet who has written nine volumes of poems and some texts for the magazine Kresy.
1962 – Naomi Wolf, U.S. author, social critic, and political activist; after her first book, The Beauty Myth, she became a leading spokeswoman of what has been described as the third wave of the feminist movement.
1963 – Damon Galgut, award-winning South African playwright and novelist who is best known for writing The Good Doctor and In a Strange Room.
1976 – Richelle Mead, U.S. author of fantasy and young-adult novels, including the “Vampire Academy” series.
1981 – Vasay Chaudhry, Pakistani screenwriter, actor, director, producer, television host, and comedian who is best known for writing sitcoms and comedy-dramas for Pakistani television.