1682 – Claudine Alexandrine Guérin de Tencin (Baroness Saint-Martin-de-Ré), French novelist, writer, and salonnière.
1737 – Edward Gibbon, English historian and politician who is known for his major work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
1759 – Mary Wollstonecraft, influential British author and woman’s rights pioneer who was also the mother of author Mary Shelley.
1853 – Margaret Moyes Black, Scottish novelist and biographer who used the pseudonym M.B. Fife.
1855 – Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton), Irish novelist whose light romantic fiction was popular throughout the English-speaking world.
1866 – Pencho Slaveykov, Bulgarian poet, writer, librarian, translator, and journalist who was one of the participants in the Misal (“Thought”) circle.
1877 – José María Zeledón Brenes, award-winning Costa Rican poet, journalist, author, children’s writer, and politician who is best known as the author of Costa Rica’s national anthem; some of his work was written under the pen name Billo Zeledón.
1882 – Jessie Redmon Fauset, U.S. African-American U.S. editor, novelist, poet, essayist, and educator who was a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance; she is credited with shaping African-American literature both by discovering and encouraging many writers, and through her own work, in which she focused on portraying a true image of African-American life and history, including Black characters who were working professionals and story lines related to racial discrimination, “passing,” and feminism.
1886 – Pura Villanueva Kalaw, Filipina feminist nonfiction author, journalist, columnist, editor, and cookbook author.
1889 – Arnulf Øverland, Norwegian writer, poet, and artist; he is principally known for his poetry, which inspired the Norwegian resistance against the German occupation of Norway during World War II.
1898 – Ludwig Bemelmans, Austria-Hungary born U.S. writer who is best known for the Madeline children’s books.
1899 – S. Kanapathipillai, Sri Lankan Tamil writer, literary figure, and Hindu revivalist.
1904 – Cecil Day-Lewis, Anglo-Irish poet (pen name Nicholas Blake) who was U.K. Poet Laureate and the father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis.
1911 – Rambha Manmohan Gandhi, prolific Indian writer of plays, short stories, songs, and essays who wrote in the Gujarati language; she also compiled collections of jokes, quotations, and proverbs.
1913 – Irving Adler, U.S. author of science books, primarily for children, some under the name Robert Irving.
1920 – Edwin Morgan, Scottish Renaissance poet and translator.
1927 – Coretta Scott King, U.S. author, activist, and civil rights leader who was the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr.
1933 – N. Mohanan, award-winning Indian short-story writer and novelist who wrote in the Malayalam language.
1934 – Jean Valentine, National Book Award-winning U.S. poet who was the New York Poet Laureate.
1937 – Adam Clymer, U.S. journalist and political reporter.
1937 – Zhang Jie, award-winning Chinese novelist and short-story writer who is one of China’s first contributors to feminist fiction.
1938 – Marie-Jose Fauvelle Ripert (better known as Miyó Vestrini), French-born Venezuelan poet, journalist, and scriptwriter.
1942 – Ruth Glick, U.S. author of cookbooks, romances, and young-adult novels, some under the pseudonym Rebecca York.
1945 – Helen Hodgman, award-winning Scottish-born Australian novelist.
1945 – August Wilson, Tony Award-winning and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning African-American U.S. playwright who has been called “theater’s poet of Black America.” His works delve into the African American experience and the human condition, and alos include themes about the systemic and historical exploitation of African Americans, race relations, identity, migration, and racial discrimination.
1947 – Astrid Roemer, award-winning Surinamese novelist, poet, playwright, children’s author, and teacher who now lives in the Netherlands.
1951 – Luis Zapata Quiroz, Mexican novelist, short-story writer, and playwright who is one of the most prominent gay writers in Mexican literature.
1955 – Pija Lindenbaum (born Pia Margareta Lindenbaum), Swedish author, illustrator, children’s writer, and designer.
1959 – Nicholas D. Kristof, U.S. journalist, columnist, and author who won two Pulitzer Prizes.
1963 – Russell T. Davies (real name Stephen Russell Davies), British screenwriter best known for his 2005 revival of Doctor Who.
1973 – Yemisi Aribisala, award-winning Nigerian writer, essayist, and food memoirist who has been described as having a “fearless, witty, and unapologetic voice”; she is renowned for her work in documenting Nigerian food as an entry point to thinking and understanding the culture and society. She is now based in South Africa.
1974 – Laura Malin, Brazilian novelist, biographer, journalist, and screenwriter.
1977 – Chiara Gamberale, Italian writer, television presenter, and radio presenter.