May 6 Writer Birthdays

1584 – Diego de Saavedra Fajardo, Spanish writer, playwright, essayist, satirical writer, political writer, historian, and diplomat who published the anti-Machiavellian book Empresas Políticas: Idea de un príncipe político cristiano (Political Maxims: Idea of a Christian Political Prince), written primarily for the son of King Philip IV.

1751 – François-Rodolphe de Weiss, Swiss writer, philosopher, politician, diplomat, and military leader.

1762 – Antoinette Kleyn Ockerse (also called Antonia Ockerse), Dutch poet who wrote odes and patriotic poetry; her husband Joannes Petrus Kleyn and their daughter Adelaide Geertruid Kleyn were also poets.

1775 – Mary Martha Sherwood, bestselling English writer, children’s author, novelist, and illustrator who has been called “one of the most significant authors of children’s literature of the nineteenth century.”

1809 – Juan María Gutiérrez, Argentine writer, poet, olaywright, novelist, biographer, literary critic, science writer, naturalist, mathematician, diplomat, historian, and statesperson who was a major figure in Argentine liberalism and one of the most prominent promoters of Argentine culture during the 19th century.

1823 – Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, U.S. poet, novelist, and children’s author.

1829 – Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford, U.S. minister, writer, and biographer who was active in championing universal suffrage and women’s rights; she was the first woman ordained as a Universalist minister in New England and the first woman to serve as chaplain to the Connecticut state legislature.

1829 – Margaret Anna Cusack (also known as Sister Mary Francis Cusack and Mother Margaret), controversial Irish nationalist and writer who became an Irish Anglican nun and a Roman Catholic nun; she wrote biographies of saints and pamphlets on social issues, with more than 200,000 copies of her works circulating throughout the world.

1831 – Mary C. Ames (sometimes called Mrs. Mary Clemmer, and, after her second marriage, Mrs. Edmund Hudson, U.S. novelist, poet, columnist, and journalist; in 1871, she received $5,000 for her work, the largest salary ever paid a U.S. newspaper woman up to that time.

1848 – Lastenia Larriva y Negron de Llona, Peruvian poet, writer, and journalist who was born and died in Lima, but did most of her writing in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

1856 – Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and the founding father of psychoanalysis.

1868 – Gaston Leroux, French journalist and author of detective fiction, best known for the novel The Phantom of the Opera.

1879 – Bedřich Hrozný, Czech archeologist, linguist, writer, pedagogue, and orientalist who helped decipher the ancient Hittite language, identified it as an Indo-European language, and laid the groundwork for the development of Hittitology.

1880 – Winifred Mabel Brunton (née Newberry), South African painter, illustrator, author, and Egyptologist who was best known for her portraits of Egyptian pharaohs.

1885 – Yaeko Nogami (née Kotegawa Yae), Japanese writer, novelist, essayist, and translator.

1893 – Margaret Cole, English writer, novelist, detective story author, historian, suffragette, biographer, lecturer, and politician.

1902 – Harry Lewis Golden, Jewish-U.S. journalist and author who wrote satirically on race relations.

1903 – Allan G. Odell, U.S. marketer, poet, and advertising writer best known as the Burma Shave jingle-writer.

1904 – Harry Martinson, Nobel Prize-winning Swedish sailor, author, and poet.

1910 – Leo Lionni, Dutch author and illustrator of children’s books who was also an economist, graphic designer, and architectural writer.

1912 – Nguyễn Huy Tưởng, award-winning Vietnamese writer, playwright, and revolutionary.

1913 – Douglas Stewart, New Zealand poet, short-story writer, essayist, and literary editor.

1914 – Randall Jarrell, U.S. poet who was U.S. Poet Laureate; he was also a literary critic, children’s author, essayist, and novelist.

1915 – Orson Welles, U.S. screenwriter, actor, and director, remembered especially for the groundbreaking film Citizen Kane and his 1938 radio broadcast of the H.G. Wells book War of the Worlds, which caused widespread panic when listeners who tuned in late mistook it for a news broadcast about a real Martian invasion.

1915 – Theodore H. White, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. political journalist, best known for his series of books, “The Making of the President.”

1916 – Geneviève Callerot, French farmer and novelist; during World War II, along with her father and sister, she assisted more than 200 people in passing the demarcation line from the Nazi-occupied French territory to unoccupied Vichy France.

1918 – Henrietta Boggs, U.S.-born Costa Rican author, journalist, and activist who served as First Lady of Costa Rica who died in 2020 at the age of 102.

1918 – Gaetano Tumiati, award-winning Italian journalist, writer, novelist, essayist, editor, and literary critic.

1934 – Johnny Odd Bergh, Norwegian screenwriter, producer, and director who was a key player in the development of Norwegian television.

1935 – Ted Lewin, Caldecott Honor-winning U.S. children’s book author and illustrator.

1941 – Charnvit Kasetsiri (ชาญวิทย์ เกษตรศิริ), Thai historian, writer, and professor who specializes in Thai history.

1942 – Vladimiro Ariel Dorfman, Argentine-Chilean novelist, playwright, and human-rights activist.

1950 – Jeffrey Deaver, bestselling U.S. mystery and crime-novel writer.

1956 – Sujata Bhatt, award-winning Indian and U.S. poet and translator whose free verse has been described as, “fast-moving, urgent with narratives, softly spoken.”

1965 – Ellen Banda-Aaku, award-winning Zambian novelist and short-story writer.

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