1520 – Matthias Flacius, Croatian writer, historian, theologian, religious reformer, and university teacher.
1606 – Edmund Waller, English poet and member of Parliament.
1695 – María Anna Aguilar Velarde (more commonly known as Sor María Anna Águeda de San Ignacio), prolific Mexican author, theologian, nun, and abbess of the convent; she wrote on religious, mystical, and theological subjects, and well as authoring a spiritual guidebook for nuns.
1746 – Izabela Dorota Czartoryska (née Fleming), Polish writer, art collector, salonnière, and princess who was a key figure in Enlightenment-era Poland; she founded Poland’s first museum, the Czartoryski Museum.
1756 – William Godwin, English political philosopher, journalist, novelist, and anarchist who was the father of novelist Mary Shelley; he wrote works for adults and children, as well as the first mystery novel.
1777 – Adolphe Dureau de la Malle, French writer, geographer, naturalist, historian, and artist.
1791 – Auguste Imbert, French writer, poet, historian, playwright, bookseller, publisher, editor, songwriter, singer, and opinion journalist.
1797 – Emily Eden, popular English poet, novelist, artist, and travel writer who gave witty accounts of English life in the early 19th century and of her travels in India.
1806 – Emil Adolf Rossmässler, German writer, politician, author, biologist, university teacher, malacologist, editor, and journal founder who was a pioneer and the leading advocate of popularizing science in nineteenth-century Germany.
1825 – Anna Maria (Annie) Keary, English novelist, poet, world traveler, fairy-tale author, fantasy author, and innovative children’s writer of both fiction and nonfiction.
1858 – Cornelis Johannes Kieviet, Dutch teacher and writer of children’s literature who is best known for his children’s stories about a boy named Dik Trom; a statue of Dik Trom sitting backwards on a donkey can be found in the main square of Kieviet’s hometown, Hoofddorp.
1863 – Arthur Machen (pen name of Arthur Llewellyn Jones), Welsh author and mystic known for horror fiction and fantasy.
1874 – Mahmood Hussain Afsar Maudoodi, Indian Urdu poet, writer, and physician.
1874 – Ladislaus Baron Pilars de Pilar, Polish poet, author, historian, entrepreneur, and literature professor; he wrote in Polish, French, and English.
1879 – Hakucho Masamune (pseudonym of Tadao Masamune), award-winning Japanese writer, literary critic, art critic, novelist, dramatist, short-story writer, and academic who was a leading member of the Japanese Naturalist school of literature.
1880 – Sverre Brandt, Norwegian writer, playwright, children’s writer, and theatre worker who is best remembered for his children’s play Reisen til julestjernen (Journey to the Christmas Star), which has been staged many times and also adapted into a film.
1888 – Natalena Koroleva (born Carmen-Alfonsa-Fernanda-Estrella-Natalena Dunin-Borkowska), Spanish-born Ukrainian writer, painter, opera singer, translator, short-story writer, archaeologist, and World War I nurse; she studied history, archaeology, philosophy, medicine, and music theory and was fluent in a variety of languages, including Ukrainian, French, Polish, Spanish, Arabic, and Italian.
1891 – Grace Lumpkin, U.S. writer of proletarian literature who focused most of her works on the Depression era and the rise and fall of Communism in the United States.
1891 – Tove Kathrine Mohr, Norwegian writer, physician, gynecologist, Socialist, and proponent for women’s rights.
1896 – Roy Franklin Nichols, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. historian and professor who specialized in U.S. history and government.
1899 – Yury Karlovich Olesha, Soviet Russian novelist and playwright who is considered one of the greatest Russian novelists of the 20th century, and one of the few to have succeeded in writing works of lasting artistic value despite the stifling censorship of the era.
1909 – Pandelis Prevelakis, Greek novelist, poet, dramatist, translator, and essayist who was one of the leading Greek prose writers of the “Generation of the ’30s”; most of his works are set in Crete.
1910 – Hannah Vogt, German author and historian who wrote the bestselling book The Burden of Guilt: A Short History of Germany, 1914-1945.
1914 – Kim Saryan (also spelled Kim Sa-ryang), Japanese and North Korean novelist, playwright, critic, and short-story writer who wrote in both Japanese and Korean.
1917 – Sameera Moussa (Arabic: سميرة موسى), award-winning Egyptian physicist, radiologist, writer, and professor who was the first female Egyptian nuclear physicist; she wrote extensively on nuclear energy — including its impact, its safety, and the theory behind it — on the history of the atom and its structure, on the dangers of nuclear fission technology, and on the properties and biological effects of radiation.
1920 – Ronald Searle, British artist, illustrator, and satirical cartoonist, known for creating the St. Trinian’s School series.
1926 – James Merrill, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet praised for his stylish elegance, moral sensibilities, and transformation of autobiographical moments into complex meditations.
1927 – Nicolas Freeling, British crime novelist and nonfiction writer; he is best known for the Van der Velk series of detective mysteries.
1928 – France Križanic, Slovene mathematician and professor of mathematical analysis who was the author of numerous books and textbooks on mathematics.
1928 – Gudrun Pausewang (also known by her married name, Gudrun Wilcke), German author of children’s and young-adult literature.
1928 – Silvia Rodgers (born Silvia Szulman), German-Jewish-British writer, autobiographer, anthropologist, and political activist.
1929 – Irina Tokmakova, award-winning Russian writer, poet, playwright, translator, and children’s writer who is particularly renowned for her translations into Russian of the works of Tove Jansson, Astrid Lindgren, and Kenneth Grahame.
1933 – Hannah Yakin, Dutch-born Israeli author, short-story writer, painter, sculptor, and etcher.
1935 – Ibrahim Aslan, Egyptian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer.
1937 – Satyam Sankaramanchi, Indian Telugu short-story writer and storyteller whose stories weave a whole new world around the tiny village of Amaravati, where he was born; his series of stories about Amaravati is considered one of the best short-story series written in the Telugu language.
1938 – Gaston Bart-Williams, Sierra Leonean journalist, writer, film director, novelist, poet, diplomat, and activist.
1938 – Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal-winning U.S. children’s writer of picture books, as well as novels for children and teens; she is best known for the book Sarah, Plain and Tall, set on the American frontier.
1943 – Aeronwy Bryn Thomas-Ellis, British poet, writer, and translator of Italian poetry; she was the daughter of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
1945 – George Miller (George Miliotis), Australian film director and screenwriter best known for Mad Max.
1949 – Ron Chernow, U.S. writer, journalist, historian, and biographer, winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize; his biography of Alexander Hamilton inspired the Broadway musical.
1950 – Mohamed Ali Yousfi, award-winning Tunisian writer, poet, novelist, and translator.
1954 – Corinne Chaponnière, Quebec-born Canadian and Swiss journalist, writer, essayist, biographer, feminist writer, and television writer and reporter.
1955 – Caroline Lamarche, award-winning Belgian novelist, poet, short-story writer, teacher, radio writer, and children’s author
1956 – Julia Glass, National Book Award-winning bestselling U.S. novelist, journalist, and editor.
1957 – Nicholas Shakespeare, British novelist and biographer whose upbringing as a diplomat’s son is reflected in the variety of his work.
1957 – Stephen Budiansky, U.S. historian, nonfiction author, science writer, biographer, and book reviewer with interests in the history of cryptography, military and intelligence history, and music.
1958 – Siti Musdah Mulia, Indonesian nonfiction writer, professor, and women’s rights activist; she was the first woman appointed as a research professor with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences and has chaired the Indonesian Conference on Religion for Peace.
1958 – Barnaba M. Zingani, Malawian novelist, technical writer, short-story writer, children’s author, and teacher. In the Chichewa language he has written five novels, two of them for children, as well as a technical book on air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, and short stories; in English he has published a children’s book, Black-Skinned Scientist and Other Stories.
1961 – John Matteson, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. professor and author.
1969 – Kola Boof (born Naima Bint Harith), Sudanese-U.S. novelist.
1971 – Tyler Florence, U.S. chef, cookbook author, and television show host.
1982 – Tolu Ogunlesi, Scottish-born Nigerian journalist, poet, photographer, fiction writer, and blogger.