1436 – Catherine of Portugal (the Infanta Catarina), Portuguese princess who was the daughter of King Edward of Portugal and his wife Eleanor of Aragon; as a nun in the Convent of Saint Claire, she wrote many books on morality and religion.
1731 – William Cowper, English pre-Romantic poet, hymnist, translator, and letter-writer.
1803 – Carolina Wilhelmina Stålberg, Swedish writer, poet, translator, and lyricist who wrote under the pseudonym Wilhelmina.
1811 – Zeng Guofan, Marquis Yiyong (born Zeng Zicheng), Chinese statesman, military general, and author; he is best known for raising and organizing an army to aid the Qing military in suppressing the Taiping Rebellion and restoring the stability of the Qing Empire, but he was also a prolific writer.
1814 – Luise Aston, German author and feminist who championed the rights of women and was known for dressing in male attire.
1825 – Vrajlal Shastri, Indian Gujarati author, poet, biographer, and philologist.
1832 – Mary Edwards Walker (commonly referred to as Dr. Mary Walker), U.S. medical doctor, author, essayist, women’s suffragist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, Civil War Union Army (civilian) surgeon, and prisoner of war; she is the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor. She believed that the long skirts and petticoats women wore in her day were cumbersome and unhygienic, and often chose to wear men’s clothing instead.
1837 – Clara H. Mountcastle, Canadian author, poet, and artist who published her early work under the pseudonym Caris Sima.
1855 – Vladimir Gilyarovsky, Russian journalist, poet, historian, and writer who was best known for his book of reminiscences of life in pre-Revolutionary Moscow.
1862 – Elena Pop-Hossu-Longin, Austro-Hungarian-born Romanian writer, journalist, socialist, suffragist, and women’s rights activist.
1883 – Mihály Babits, Hungarian poet, writer, translator, and Esperantist whose poems had intense religious themes.
1886 – Gokulananda Singha, award-winning, influential Bangladeshi poet, writer, and social reformer.
1889 – Wilfred Adolphus Domingo (W.A. Domingo), Jamaican journalist, activist, and advocate for Jamaican sovereignty who became the youngest editor of Marcus Garvey’s newspaper the Negro World.
1909 – Eugene Ionesco, Romanian-born French playwright whose one-act antiplay, La Cantatrice chauve (The Bald Soprano), inspired the Theater of the Absurd; his later, full-length plays center around a constant, semiautobiographical figure, Bérenger; he was also a novelist and librettist.
1919 – Frederik Pohl, prolific, influential U.S. science-fiction novelist, poet, essayist, editor, autobiographer, blogger, and literary agent, especially known for his series and collaborations with other authors; awards include the National Book Award, two Campbell Awards, two Nebula Awards, and a Hugo. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named him only the 12th ever recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award; he was also inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
1921 – Mary Gillham, British scientist, naturalist, botanist, writer, and lecturer who interpreted scientific data for non-scientists, through her books and popular articles. Seabird colonies were her main love, and her research on them took her to remote islands in many parts of the world, where she often lived in tents, huts, and lighthouses.
1922 – Gladys Castelvecchi, Uruguayan poet, writer, and literature professor who was a member of the Generación del 45 literary movement. During the Uruguayan dictatorship period she was stripped of her teaching degree and imprisoned.
1922 – Charles M. Schulz, award-winning U.S. cartoonist, famous for his long-running Peanuts cartoons, featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, and other iconic characters; he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor the United States legislature can bestow.
1930 – Helena Lisická, Czech writer, ethnographer, children’s playwright, and author of fairy tales and legends who also co-founded a folklore festival.
1938 – Luisa Valenzuela, Argentine post-‘boom’ novelist and short-story writer whose work is characterized by an experimental style that questions hierarchical social structures from a feminist perspective; she is best known for her work that combines a powerful critique of dictatorship with an examination of patriarchal forms of social organization and the power structures inherent in gender relationships.
1942 – Traude Bührmann, German writer, novelist, translator, journalist, and photographer; she also served as editor of a feminist magazine.
1943 – Hana Librová, Czech writer, biologist, ecologist, environmentalist, professor, and sociologist who founded the Department of Environmental Studies at Masaryk University and has researched environmental lifestyle and values.
1943 – Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. novelist and essayist; her novels are noted for their thematic depiction of rural life and faith, while her essays span a variety of topics, including the relationship between religion and science, U.S. history and politics, and nuclear pollution.
1943 – Đặng Thùy Trâm, Vietnamese physician and diarist who worked as a battlefield surgeon for the People’s Army of Vietnam and Vietcong during the Vietnam War, and was killed by a U.S. patrol at age 27; her wartime diaries, which chronicle the last two years of her life, attracted international attention.
1945 – Huo Da (also known as Fa Tumai), award-winning Chinese author and film editor of Hui ethnicity; her best known work and the only one translated into English is the novel Muslim Funeral, which chronicles the history of three generations of a family of Muslim jade carvers in Beijing; it provoked controversy for its positive attitude towards market entrepreneurialism and its suggestion that the Han in Beijing negatively stereotype the Hui for their poverty and lack of education.
1949 – David Poyer, U.S. retired naval officer and author who is known for his fiction about the sea.
1952 – Munawwar Rana, Indian Urdu author and poet whose poetic style whose work often focuses on motherhood; for example, one of his poems praises Indian National Congress leader and politician Sonia Gandhi for being a good mother.
1953- Jonathan Weiner, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. science writer of books based on his biological observations, focusing particularly on evolution in the Galápagos Islands, genetics, and the environment.
1962 – Jon Kyongnin, award-winning Korean author and poet who is best known for her poetry on the theme of sexuality.
1968 – Pierre Lepori, award-winning Swiss writer, editor, novelist, and translator who writes in Italian and French. His novel Sexuality was launched simultaneously in three languages — Italian, French, and German — with the author himself doing the translation from Italian to French;
there is also a trilingual version that switches among all three languages, depending on which character is speaking.
1969 – Vincent Delecroix, award-winning French philosopher, novelist, lecturer, and short-story writer whose work often touches existential acts and experiences, such as love, singing, and the sacred.
1970 – John Jairo Junieles Acosta, award-winning Colombian novelist, poet, short-story writer, and nonfiction author.
1971 – Vicki Petterson, U.S. urban-fantasy author whose most famous work is the Las Vegas-based Zodiac series.
1972 – James Dashner, U.S. writer of speculative fiction, primarily series for children or young adults; he is best known for The Maze Runner.
1976 – Maialen Lujanbio, Spanish Basque “bertsolari” poet and writer. (Bertsolari are sung poems in Basque that use various melodies and rhyming patterns.)
1992 – Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, Sri Lankan science-fiction author and researcher who is classified as part of a new wave of Sri Lankan and South Asian science-fiction writers; his near-future work is notable for its blend of science, emerging technology, and socio-political culture.