1578 – George Sandys, English writer, poet, politician, translator, travel writer, explorer, and colonizer.
1651 – Carlo Gimach, Maltese architect, engineer, writer, and poet.
1760 – Christina Charlotta Cederström (née Mörner af Morlanda), Swedish baroness who was a writer, poet, novelist, artist, composer, and salonnière.
1800 – Evgeny Baratynsky, Russian poet who was lauded by Alexander Pushkin as the finest Russian elegiac poet.
1817 – Janos Arany, Hungarian poet, translator and journalist who has been called “the Shakespeare of ballads.”
1820 – Eduard Douwes Dekker, Dutch author better known by his pen name Multatuli (from Latin multa tuli, “I have suffered much”); he is best known for his satirical novel Max Havelaar, which denounced the abuses of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies (today’s Indonesia) and for his feminism. He is considered one of the Netherlands’ greatest authors.
1828 – Ahmad bey Javanshir, Azerbaijani writer, poet, children’s author, historian, translator, lexicographer, and military officer; he was the great-grandnephew of Ibrahim Khalil Khan, last ruling khan of Karabakh, and the father of philanthropist and feminist Hamida Javanshir.
1831 – Metta Victoria Fuller Victor (pen name Seeley Regester), U.S. author of groundbreaking detective fiction who is considered the first to extend the “puzzle plot” of the detective short story to the longer narrative form of the novel.
1853 – Ella Loraine Dorsey, U.S. author, short-story writer, journalist, children’s writer, and translator.
1855 – Adhar Lal Sen, Indian Bengali poet, writer, educator, and magistrate who was a household disciple of Ramakrishna, the 19th century mystic saint from Bengal.
1859 – Sholem Aleichem (pen name of Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich), Ukrainian Yiddish author whose Tevye the Milkman stories were the basis for the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
1866 – John Gray, English writer, poet, novelist, librarian, translator, Catholic priest, monk, and, linguist; it has been suggested, despite a lack of evidence, that he may have been the inspiration behind Oscar Wilde’s fictional Dorian Gray.
1873 – Inez Haynes Irwin, Brazilian author, journalist, writer, children’s author, science-fiction writer, feminist, and suffragist.
1873 – Marija Juric (pen name Zagorka), Croatian journalist, writer, and women’s rights activist who was the first female journalist in Croatia and is among the most read of Croatian writers.
1881 – Eugeniu Ștefănescu-Est, Romanian Symbolist poet, novelist, fairy-tale writer, children’s author, artist, caricaturist, lawyer, and judge.
1898 – Vera Sergeyevna Bulich, Russian and Finnish poet, prose writer, and critic; one critic compared the fine delicacy of her poetry to the finish of Chinese porcelain.
1904 – Dr. Seuss (pen name of Theodore “Ted” Geisel), popular and influential U.S. children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, screenwriter, and filmmaker; his birthday has been adopted as Read Across America Day.
1908 – Olivia Mary Manning, British novelist, poet, writer, screenwriter, and reviewer; her fiction and nonfiction works, many of them detailing journeys and personal odysseys, were principally set in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East and are admired for her artistic eye and vivid descriptions of place.
1909 – Geneviève Viollet-le-Duc, award-winning French writer, art historian, letter writer, biographer, and woman of letters.
1912 – Yi Ho-woo, award-winning South Korean poet, journalist, editor, and editorial writer; the Korea Literature Translation Institute said that his work “is typified by the poet’s dogged determination to live, his burning passion, and his strong critical awareness of contemporary realities.”
1917 – David Goodis, U.S. novelist and short-story writer known for his crime and noir fiction.
1918 – Ales Bachyla, Belarusian poet, writer, playwright, and translator whose writing was characterized by “memories of the front, daily work of common people, love towards his country and the duty of a citizen, patriotism and portraying nature.”
1922 – Hannes Sigfússon, Icelandic poet, writer, novelist, memoirist, editor, and translator.
1926 – Mirjam Polkunen, award-winning Finnish writer, author, literature researcher, translator, and dramatist.
1928 – Alberto Caramella, Italian poet, writer, and lawyer who worked to promote Italian and international poetry.
1930 – Pablo Armando Fernández, award-winning Cuban poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright.
1931 – Mykola Petrovych Bakay, Polish-born Ukrainian singer, composer, lyricist, poet, author, and Soviet dissident.
1931 – Ruth Machado Lousada Rocha (mostly known as Ruth Rocha), Brazilian writer, children’s book author, and academic who is a key figure in the new wave of Brazilian children’s literature.
1931 – Tom Wolfe, influential U.S. author and journalist, known for his earlier nonfiction writing and his later novels; he is widely known for his association with the New Journalism, a style of news writing and journalism developed in the 1960s and 1970s that incorporates literary techniques.
1932 – Aldona Gustas, award-winning Lithuanian feminist poet and illustrator who is based in Berlin, where she co-founded an important artistic forum in West Berlin, the “Berliner Malerpoeten” (Berlin Painter/Poets), a group of artists who both wrote and illustrated their works; the central theme of Gustas’ poetry, which is deeply autobiographical, is love and playful eroticism in a utopian world of fantasy, with references to natural elements such as clouds, swans, sea gulls, flowers, fish, and stars. She also makes frequent use in her work of Lithuanian myths and folktales.
1933 – Leo Dillon, two-time Caldecott Medal-winning U.S. artist best known for illustrating children’s books, but who also wrote children’s books and did magazine covers and adult book covers; he worked closely with his wife Diane Dillon.
1933 – Vasant Purushottam Kale (popularly known as Va Pu), Indian Marathi writer, storyteller, and architect.
1939 – Janina Katz, Polish-Danish writer, poet, translator, literary critic, and children’s writer.
1942 – John Irving, bestselling U.S.-Canadian novelist, Academy Award-winning screenwriter, and educator known for his dense and psychological style; his best-known works include The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and The Cider House Rules.
1943 – Peter Straub, World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Award-winning U.S. author of horror novels and poetry.
1944 – Alejandro Aura, Mexican writer, essayist, poet, playwright, and actor who was also a culture promoter and television host.
1950 – Ahmet Hüsrev Altan, Turkish author, journalist, and editor.
1955 – Oluremi Comfort Sonaiya, Nigerian writer, professor, columnist, educationalist, and politician who was the only female presidential candidate in Nigeria’s 2015 general election.
1961 – Sheila Black, U.S. poet, novelist, and editor who writes for adults, young adults, and children; she is also an advocate for people with disabilities.
1966 – Ann Leckie, U.S. author of science fiction and fantasy who has won the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards.
1978 – Márcio-André de Sousa Haz, Brazilian writer, poet, literary critic, linguist, and film director; he writes under his first name Márcio-André, and as a film director uses Sousa Haz.
1979 – Kristina Ohlsson, award-winning Swedish writer, crime novelist, children’s author, and political scientist.