1389 – Muhammad ibn Arabshah (full name Abu Muhammad Shihab al-Din Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abd Allah ibn Ibrahim), Arab writer, historian, and translator who worked in the court of Sultan Muhammad Uthman translating Arabic books to Turkish and Persian; the famous Muslim scholar, Abd al-Wahhab ibn Arabshah, is his son.
1861 – Frederick Jackson Turner, influential Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. historian, author, and professor who was known primarily for his “Frontier Thesis” and who promoted interdisciplinary and quantitative methods, often with an emphasis on the Midwest.
1864 – Herbert Macaulay, Nigerian writer, engineer, journalist, architect, politician, and musician who is considered by many to be the founder of Nigerian nationalism.
1877 – René de Clercq, Flemish (Belgian) poet, writer, political activist, composer, and museum curator.
1907 – Astrid Lindgren, bestselling Swedish author of fiction, children’s books, fantasy, and screenplays, beloved for her Pippi Longstocking books.
1907 – William Steig, U.S. cartoonist, children’s author and illustrator, and sculptor, now best known as the creator of the character Shrek.
1910 – Eric Malpass, English novelist of humorous and historical fiction.
1922 – Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egyptian politician and diplomat who was Secretary-General of the United Nations and a former Vice Foreign Minister of Egypt; he was also a professor, essayist, memoirist, and nonfiction author who wrote in both English and French.
1927 – George Bizos, Greek-born South African human rights lawyer and author who campaigned against apartheid in South Africa; he wrote several books about South Africa, including 65 Years of Friendship, about his long-term friendship with Nelson Mandela.
1929 – Bhamidipati Radhakrishna, Indian Teluga playwright and author.
1932 – Schoschana Rabinovici (née Suzanne Weksler), Lithuanian-Jewish Holocaust survivor and author of the memoir Dank meiner Mutter, which was published in the United States under the title Thanks to My Mother.
1939 – Anna Margherita Cataldi, Italian author, journalist, humanitarian, and film producer who is best known for having been Executive Producer for the Oscar-winning film Out of Africa; she was also a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization and one of the original United Nations Messengers of Peace.
1939 – Kenizé Hussain de Kotwara (better known as Kenizé Mourad), French journalist and bestselling novelist, some of whose works are based on her own family history.
1944 – Karen Armstrong, British former nun and author of memoirs and of books about comparative religion.
1944 – Nazlı Ilıcak, Turkish journalist, writer, and politician
1946 – Nancy Tafuri, U.S. children’s author, most well known for Have You Seen My Duckling? The New York Times has called her, “the queen mother of warmly soothing bedtime stories.”
1947 – P.J. O’Rourke, U.S. political satirist, “gonzo journalist,” and author.
1948 – Gunhild Bricken Kristina Lugn, Swedish poet, writer, and playwright.
1949 – Musaemura Bonas Zimunya, one of Zimbabwe’s most important contemporary writers of short stories, poetry, and literary criticism in both English and Shona; his poetry deals with the beauty of Zimbabwe, but also with its poverty and history of suffering, and with urban alienation from spiritual heritage.
1951 – Cara Black, bestselling U.S. mystery writer whose most popular novels feature Aimée Léduc, a Paris-based private investigator.
1963 – Gail Anderson-Dargatz, award-winning Canadian novelist, short-story writer, and university teacher; her first novel, the bestselling The Cure for Death by Lightning, was an experimental yet accessible work whose story unfolded partly through narrative and partly through a collection of recipes and household tips.
1963 – Cat Rambo, award-winning U.S. science-fiction and fantasy novelist, short-story writer, and editor
1984 – Olga Grjasnowa, award-winning Azerbaijan-born German writer.