1587 – Joost van Den Vondel, German-born Dutch poet and playwright whose play Lucifer may have inspired John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
1785 – Julia Kristina Nyberg (née Svärdström), award-winning Swedish poet and song writer who wrote poetry inspired by nature, often under the pseudonym Euphrosyne.
1809 – Lady Elizabeth Eastlake (born Elizabeth Rigby), British art historian, writer, translator, and literary critic who was the first woman to write regularly for the Quarterly Review; she is known not only for her writing but also for her significant role in the London art world.
1862 – Vladimir L’vovich Burtsev, Russian revolutionary activist, scholar, publisher, and editor who was imprisoned several times.
1866 – Voltairine de Cleyre, U.S. writer, poet, journalist, philosopher, essayist, anarchist, peace activist, and feminist.
1875 – William Gosse Hay, Australian author, playwright, essayist, and historical novelist who set many of his works in convict-era Tasmania.
1878 – Berta Lask, German writer, playwright, poet, journalist, novelist, children’s writer, and activist who also wrote under the names Berta Jacobsohn, Berta Jacobsohn-Lask, and Gerhard Wieland. She was tried for treason several times for her pro-Communist writings, but was never convicted.
1883 – Kathleen Jessie Hawkins, popular New Zealand poet affectionately known as “The Pioneer Poet.”
1886 – Elena Fortún (real name María de la Encarnación Gertrudis Jacoba Aragoneses y de Urquijo), Spanish writer and children’s author who became famous for Celia, lo que dice (or What Celia Says), the first in a series of popular children’s novels that are today considered classics of Spanish literature.
1889 – Carolina Muzzilli, Argentine industrial writer, researcher, politician, and social activist of Italian descent; as the first woman to be made an official of Argentina’s National Department of Employment, she did much to improve the working conditions in factories and other workplaces in Argentina.
1904 – Kishansinh Chavda, Indian Gujarati-language author, autobiographer, translator, and journalist; he also wrote under the pen name Gypsy.
1904 – Salomėja Nėris (real name Salomeja Bacinskaite-Buciene), Lithuanian writer, poet, translator, and politician.
1906 – Dashdorjiin Natsagdorj, Mongolian writer, poet, playwright, essayist, and translator who is considered one of the founding fathers of modern Mongolian literature and Mongolia’s first “classic Socialist” writer.
1910 – Rachel de Queiroz, Brazilian writer, journalist, novelist, playwright, politician, and translator.
1914 – Kamal Kumar Majumdar, Indian novelist, magazine editor, and painter who wrote in the Bengali language; his most notable work is the novel Antarjali Jatra.
1916 – Shelby Foote, U.S. Civil War historian, nonfiction author, journalist, and novelist.
1916 – Winson Hudson (born Anger Winson Gates), U.S. African-American civil-rights activist whose autobiography is titled, Mississippi Harmony: Memoirs of a Freedom Fighter.
1917 – Fan Vavrincová, Czech screenwriter, novelist, children’s writer, short-story writer, and author; her books included detective stories, thrillers, and mysteries.
1918 – Jeannie Ebner, Austrian writer, journalist, translator, and sculptor.
1924 – Islwyn Ffowc Elis, award-winning Welsh writer, poet, novelist, short-story author, science-fiction writer, playwright, editor, politician, and Presbyterian minister who translated the Gospel of Matthew into Welsh; his first novel, Cysgod y Cryman (Shadow of the Sickle), has been called the most significant Welsh-language book of the 20th century.
1924 – Ali Akbar Navis, prominent Indonesian novelist, children’s author, short-story writer, poet, humorist, radio writer, essayist, and journalist who was also an accomplished painter, flautist, and violist.
1930 – Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Native-American U.S. novelist, poet, essayist, nonfiction writer, and activist for tribal sovereignty; she is a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe.
1930 – Dragoslav Mihailović, Serbian writer and playwright who was arrested and held for 15 months as a political prisoner.
1932 – Esther Nirina (née Ranirinaharitafika), award-winning Malagasy (Madagascar) poet and librarian.
1933 – Zaghloul El-Naggar, Egyptian writer, author, geologist, and university teacher whose work blends science and religion.
1936 – Dahlia Ravikovitch, Israeli poet, writer, translator, linguist, and peace activist.
1937 – Peter Edward Cook, English satirist, screenwriter, writer, playwright, comedian, and actor who was a leading figure of the British satire boom of the 1960s and who has been called “the father of modern satire.”
1939 – Auberon Waugh, British journalist and novelist who was the son of writer Evelyn Waugh, and who sometimes went by the name Bron.
1950 – Pauline Harvey, award-winning Canadian poet, writer, novelist, translator, and radio journalist.
1952 – Alison Jean Lester, award-winning Australian author and illustrator who has published children’s picture books and young-adult novels.
1953 – Eva Gabrielsson, Swedish author, architect, translator, political activist, feminist, and partner of the late Swedish mystery novelist Stieg Larsson.
1953 – C.V. Subbarao, Indian writer, poet, short-story author, essayist, literary critic, playwright, journalist, and activist.
1954 – Goya Gutiérrez, Spanish poet, writer, novelist, and anthology editor.
1956 – Rebecca Moesta, German-born U.S. writer of science-fiction novels.
1964 – Marina Carr, prolific Irish playwright, author, and professor.
1966 – Sophie Marceau, French author, screenwriter, film director, and actress; as an actress she was in some high-profile films, including Braveheart and the 19th James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough.
1969 – Rebecca Walker, U.S. feminist writer and activist who coined the phrase “third wave” and was a prominent voice of Third Wave Feminism; she is the daughter of author Alice Walker.
1972 – Tom Dreyer, award-winning South African novelist, poet, and short-story writer who writes in both English and Afrikaans.
1976 – Miguel Syjuco, award-winning Filipino novelist, newspaper editorial writer, editor, and professor.
1982 – Sofia Andrukhovych, Ukrainian writer, translator, and opinion journalist.
1983 – Christopher Paolini, U.S. fantasy author best known for his dragon novel Eragon and its sequels; he began writing the series when he was 15 years old.