1770 – William Wordsworth, revered English poet who is considered to be one of the founders and icons of the Romantic movement; he wrote on themes including nature, memory, mortality, and religion. He was Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.
1803 – Flora Tristan, French socialist writer, activist, and one of the founders of modern feminism; grandmother to painter Paul Gauguin; she has been called the “mother of feminism and of popular communitarian socialism.”
1871 – Charlotte Makgomo (née Mannya) Maxeke, South African religious leader, social and political activist who wrote about the political and social issues faced by women in her culture; she was the first black woman to graduate with a university degree in South Africa.
1889 – Gabriela Mistral, pseudonym of Chilean poet and feminist Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature; she was also an educator and a diplomat.
1890 – Marjory Stoneman Douglas, U.S. journalist, author, women’s suffrage advocate, and conservationist known for her staunch defense of the Everglades against efforts to drain it and reclaim land for development.
1892 – Georgy Adamovich, Russian poet of the acmeist school, as well as a literary critic, translator, memoirist, and university lecturer.
1894 – Gerald Brenan, British writer and Hispanist who spent much of his life in Spain and is best known for his books The Spanish Labyrinth, a historical work on the background to the Spanish Civil War, and South from Granada: Seven Years in an Andalusian Village.
1897 – Walter Winchell, U.S. journalist, broadcaster, critic, and columnist.
1908 – Fu Lei (pseudonym Nu’an), Chinese writer, critic, art historian, translator, and linguist who is China’s most respected translator of French literature; his letters to his son, the pianist Fou Ts’ong, were published in 1981 in a book that became a bestseller.
1908 – Ebba Helfrid Lindqvist, Swedish writer, poet, and literary critic.
1928 – James White, Northern Irish science-fiction author.
1931 – Donald Barthelme, National Book Award-winning U.S. journalist and author of postmodernist short fiction and children’s literature.
1933 – Hossein Nasr, Iranian author, poet, philosopher, and professor who writes on subjects including philosophy, religion, spirituality, music, art, architecture, science, literature, and the natural environment.
1938 – Iris Johansen, U.S. author of crime fiction and romance novels.
1939 – Francis Ford Coppola, U.S. Oscar-winning screenwriter, director, and producer.
1939 – David Frost, British journalist, TV personality, and author, best known to U.S. audiences for a series of interviews with former President Richard Nixon.
1949 – Jennifer Maiden, Australian poet, novelist, nonfiction writer, and educator
1954 – Louisa Hanoune (Arabic: لويزة حنون), Algerian writer, politician, and activist who is the head of Algeria’s Workers’ Party and was the first woman to run for President of Algeria; she was imprisoned by the government several times prior to the legalization of political parties.
1956 – Dionisio D. Martinez, award-winning Cuban-born poet and writer.
1960 – Bamidele Adesegun Ojo, Nigerian and U.S. author, political scientist, and professor.
1962 – Mikhail Krug, Russian poet, songwriter, composer, and musician.
1963 – Maya Paczuski, influential Israeli-born physicist and author whose work spans self-organized criticality, avalanche dynamics, earthquakes, and complex networks.
1976 – Kunlé Adeyemi, Nigerian architect, urbanist, writer on architecture, and creative researcher whose research explores the rapid urbanization and the role of market economies in developing cities of the global south, focusing on Lagos.
1981 – Lili Wilkinson, Australian writer, children’s author, novelist, and website manager.