1618 – Agustín Moreto y Cavana, Spanish playwright, author, and Catholic priest whose writing has been said to show “great dexterity and charm.”
1749 – Camillo Federici (pen name for Giovanni Battista Viassolo), popular Italian writer, playwright, and actor who was best known for writing comedies and melodramas for the stage.
1766 – Albertine Necker de Saussure, Swiss writer, diarist, biographer, scientist, and pedagogue whose best known work, l’Education Progressive or Etude du Cours de la Vie, was an influential three-volume study of educational theory and the education of women.
1821 – Charles Baudelaire, French poet, essayist, and art critic, and translator of Edgar Allan Poe; his name inspired Lemony Snicket’s choice of family name for the Baudelaire children in the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books.
1824 – Louise Cathrine Elisabeth Bjørnsen (pen name Elisabeth Martens), Danish novelist and short-story writer; her works deal with conflicts experienced by emancipated women, presenting both the traditional and modern options for women of her day, and evoke the dreams and disappointments experienced by women who have confronted life, work, and romance on their own.
1854 – Pavlina Pajk, Slovenian poet, novelist, writer, essayist, and biographer; her poetry was acclaimed by the critics, but her novels were said to be less successful.
1860 – Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler, English poet, novelist, and children’s writer, best known for her popular romances.
1862 – Anna Maria Roos, Swedish writer, poet, songwriter, and educator.
1865 – Adela Florence Nicolson, English poet who wrote under the pseudonym Laurence Hope.
1875 – Jacques Futrelle, U.S. journalist and mystery writer who died in the sinking of the Titanic.
1878 – Enrique de Mesa, Spanish poet, writer, and literary critic.
1880 – Maria Jotuni, Finnish feminist novelist, playwright, and short-story writer.
1891 – Lesbia Harford, Australian poet, novelist, and political activist.
1892 – Haruo Satō, award-winning Japanese writer and poet whose works are remembered for their explorations of melancholy.
1894 – Camila Henríquez Ureña, Dominican writer, essayist, educator, and literary critic who became a naturalized Cuban citizen.
1897 – Cuthbert Quinlan Dale Collins (pen name Dale Collins), Australian journalist and author of popular fiction; he is notable for a series of sea romances, some of which were adapted for motion pictures — including Rich and Strange, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
1899 – Jiang Biwei, Chinese memoirist and artist’s model who was influential in the lives of the painter Xu Beihong and politician Chang Tao-fan.
1902 – Olga Vasilievna Perovskaya, Russian Soviet author and children’s writer; her most notable work, Rebyata i Zveryata (Kids and Cubs), was a series of stories of about the pets she and her sisters kept during their childhood.
1908 – Joseph Krumgold, U.S. author of screenplays and children’s books who was the first person to win two Newbery Medals.
1908 – Ivan Yefremov, Russian Soviet writer, paleontologist, science fiction author, philosopher, and social thinker who was the originator of the concept of taphonomy, the study of fossilization patterns.
1912 – Lev Kopelev, Soviet author, editor, memoirist, radio broadcaster, human-rights activist, dissident, and professor who was arrested and sentenced to ten years in the Gulag for criticizing Soviet atrocities committed against German civilians. He was born in what is now Ukraine and eventually settled in Germany after his Soviet citizenship was revoked in 1980.
1917 – Johannes Bobrowski, Soviet-born German author, poet, translator, literary editor, and soldier.
1923 – Leonard Levy, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. author, historian, biographer, and professor who specialized in the history of basic American Constitutional freedoms.
1929 – Sharan Rani Backliwal, award-winning Indian musician, author, teacher, musicologist, and music historian; she is best known for her devotion to the preservation and popularization of classical Indian music and for her performances on the sarod, a Hindustani stringed instrument. For her work to preserve and promote traditional music, she has been called the “Cultural Ambassador of India.”
1929 – Paule Marshall, award-winning U.S. poet and novelist; she was a colleague of iconic writer Langston Hughes.
1929 – Zheng Wenguang, Vietnamese-born Chinese science-fiction writer.
1933 – Genevieve Duboscq, French author who wrote the best selling My Longest Night — a twelve-year-old heroine’s stirring account of D-Day and after.
1933 – Fern Michaels, bestselling U.S. author of romance and thriller novels.
1936 – Valerie Solanas, U.S. feminist writer best known for trying to assassinate artist Andy Warhol.
1945 – David Mulwa, Kenyan writer, academic, theatre director, lecturer, and actor
1946 – Nobuko Takagi (pen name for Nobuko Tsuruta), award-winning Japanese author.
1947 – Maria-Pia Boëthius, Swedish journalist, novelist, non-fiction writer, and activist.
1947 – Daniel Maximin, Guadeloupean writer, poet, novelist, and essayist.
1947 – Vera Nosková (Hroznetín), Czech writer, journalist, and promoter of science and critical thinking.
1948 – Eva Gerlach, award-winning Dutch poet who also writes under the name Margaret Dijkstra.
1952 – Robert Clark, Edgar Award-winning U.S. novelist and nonfiction author.
1952 – Pierre Rehov, Algerian novelist, reporter, and documentary filmmaker who is best known for his movies about the Arab–Israeli conflict and Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
1953 – Christine Van Broeckhoven, Belgian writer, politiian, molecular biologist, and professor.
1954 – Ken Kalfus, U.S. author and journalist.
1955 – Joolz Denby, British poet, novelist, artist, and tattooist.
1955 – Kate Heyhoe, U.S. food writer and cookbook author.
1959 – Jeon Yeo-ok, South Korean journalist and conservative politician.
1960 – Isabel Coixet, Spanish screenwriter, writer, and translator who is also one of the most prolific film directors in modern Spain.
1964 – Margaret P. Haddix, bestselling award-winning U.S. author of novels for children and young adults.
1965 – Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson, German historian, writer, author, and university teacher.
1967 – Sam Harris, U.S. author, philosopher, and neuroscientist.
1974 – Anna Troberg, Swedish author, blogger, translator, and former politician who was leader of the Swedish Pirate Party.