1009 – Su Xun, Chinese Song dynasty poet and essayist.
1772 – Ram Mohan Roy, Indian writer, translator, philosopher, religious and social reformer, and humanitarian known for efforts to abolish child marriage and the practice of sati (the sacrifice of a widow on her deceased husband’s pyre); he is considered the “father of the Indian Renaissance.”
1782 – Hirose Tansō, Japanese poet, writer, teacher, and neo-Confucian scholar.
1790 – Bianca Milesi, Italian writer, painter, and educator who studied the philosophy of the Enlightenment.
1808 – Gérard de Nerval (pen name of Gérard Labrunie), French writer, translator, essayist, and Romantic poet.
1824 – Amélie Linz, German author who wrote books for children and adults; she wrote under the name Amélie Godin.
1846 – Rita Cetina Gutiérrez, influential Mexican poet, writer, educator, and feminist activist who promoted secular education in the nineteenth century.
1858 – Emmy Köhler, Swedish writer, teacher, hymnwriter, and children’s writer.
1859 –Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish physician and writer, best known for his Sherlock Holmes mysteries.
1859 – Tsubouchi Shōyō, Japanese novelist, playwright, critic, translator, university teacher, and theater director.
1863 – Josephine Cecilia Diebitsch Peary, U.S. author and Arctic explorer; she was married to Robert Peary, who claimed to be the first to have reached the geographic North Pole, and accompanied him on many of his expeditions.
1866 – Ilya Tolstoy, Russian writer, journalist, and teacher who was the third son of acclaimed writer Leo Tolstoy.
1870 – Eva Gore-Booth, Irish writer, poet, playwright, suffragist, labor unionist, social worker, and feminist activist.
1885 – Kansuke Naka, Japanese novelist, essayist, poet, and journalist who was unusual in his willingness to criticize Japanese nationalists.
1904 – Paul Viiding, Estonian writer, poet, translator, author, and literary critic who was part of the influential group of six Estonian poets known as Arbujad, or “Soothsayers.”
1907 – Hergé (pen name of Georges Prosper Remi), Belgian comic-book artist and writer best known as the creator of The Adventures of Tintin.
1908 – Cedric Firth, New Zealand writer, architect, and builder.
1913 – Dominique Rolin, award-winning Belgian writer, novelist, autobiographer who developed a unique, feminist voice in French novel-writing, blending autobiography and fiction.
1914 – Vance Packard, U.S. journalist, editor, and author who wrote a popular series on sociology.
1922 – Mirjana Gross, Yugoslav-Croatian Jewish historian and writer.
1922 – Elvira Orphée, award-winning Argentine novelist and short-story writer
1925 – Emilio Carballido, award-winning and prolific Mexican novelist, short-story writer, and playwright who was part of the group of writers known as the Generación de los 50; he was especially renowned for his plays.
1927 – Peter Matthiessen, National Book Award-winning U.S. novelist, naturalist, wilderness writer, and CIA agent; he co-founded The Paris Review, which he started as a cover for his CIA activities.
1928 – Serge Doubrovsky, award-winning French writer, teacher, translator, and literary critic.
1930 – John Grant, Scottish author, children’s writer, illustrator, and broadcaster who was best known as the author of the Littlenose series of children’s stories.
1932 – Tavo Burat, Italian writer, poet, journalist, and ecologist who spent much of his career promoting the Piedmontese language.
1933 – Arnold Lobel, Caldecott Medal-winning U.S. children’s author and illustrator, known for the “Frog and Toad” picture books.
1934 – Gary Wills, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. author, journalist, and historian who specializes in U.S. history, politics, and religion, especially the history of the Roman Catholic Church; he is best known for his book, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America.
1942 – Souad Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti economist, writer and poet; in her work, she expresses the concerns of Arabic women in general and Kuwaiti women in particular, and presents the dualities of life and death, men and women, and treachery and loyalty.
1943 – Lisa Carducci (also known as Li Shasha), award-winning Canadian writer, short-story writer, poet, and translator of Italian descent, living in China.
1944 – Lynn Barber, British journalist, magazine writer, editor, and memoirist.
1944 – John Flanagan, Australian fantasy writer who is best known for his medieval fantasy series, the Ranger’s Apprentice.
1947 – Anthony Holden, British author, literary critic, translator, biographer, broadcaster, and poker player who was first president of the International Federation of Poker.
1950 – Irène Frain (née Le Pohon), French novelist, journalist, and historian.
1951 – Coral Bracho, award-winning Mexican poet, linguist, and translator.
1954 – Katalin Lévai, Hungarian writer, novelist, and liberal politician who is a Member of the European Parliament and one of Hungary’s most fervent supporters of same-sex marriage, gender equality, and full access for people with disabilities.
1957 – Katrin Ottarsdóttir, award-winning Faroese poet, novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, film director, and actress whose work prominently features her native Faroe Islands, which make up an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark.
1959 – Andy Andrews, U.S. novelist, self-help author, and motivational speaker.
1959 – Tosca Reno, Canadian nutrition expert, wellness advocate, and author of bestselling health-related books.
1961 – Anique Poitras, award-winning Canadian writer, poet, and lecturer whose work was aimed mostly at adolescent readers.
1962 – José Manuel Prieto, award-winning Cuban writer, novelist, translator, and scholar.
1972 – Max Brooks, U.S. horror author, screenwriter, and actor; he is the son of comedy filmmaker Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft.
1975 – Inés Bortagaray Sabarrós, award-winning Uruguayan author, short-story writer, and screenwriter.
1976 – Shane Koyczan, Canadian poet and “talk rock” artist.
1976 – Ingrid Storholmen, Norwegian poet, novelist, and literary critic.
1978 – Tansy Rayner Roberts, award-winning Australian fantasy writer who has published short stories, novels, and children’s fiction; she also writes crime fiction under the name Livia Day.