1534 – Hosokawa Fujitaka (also known as Hosokawa Yusai), Japanese writer and poet.
1625 – Filippo Baldinucci, Italian writer, historian, art historian, biographer, painter, and politician.
1771 – Sydney Smith, English wit, writer, lecturer, editor, and Anglican cleric who was known to American homemakers through his rhyming recipe for salad dressing.
1793 – Antoni Malczewski, Polish romantic poet who was well known not just for his work but for his scandalous relationship with a mentally ill, married woman.
1799 – Elisabetta Fiorini Mazzanti, Italian writer, botanist, and mycologist who was known for her work in bryology and algae; in scientific literature, she is referred to by the abbreviation Fior.-Mazz.
1809 – Margaret Gatty, British writer, naturalist, botanist, children’s writer, and scientific illustrator who wrote about marine biology.
1837 – Perch Proshian, Armenian writer, poet, novelist, and educator.
1851 – Kazimir Stanislavovich Barantsevich, Russian writer and poet who also used the pseudonym Sarmat.
1863 – Clotilde Augusta Inez Mary Graves (often known as Clo Graves), Anglo-Irish author and playwright who wrote under the pseudonym Richard Dehan
1864 – John Mensah Sarbah, Gold Coast (now Ghana) writer, lawyer, and political leader who co-founded the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society and was a strong proponent of secondary education.
1876 – Elinore Pruitt Stewart, U.S. memoirist who wrote about her life as a homesteader in Wyoming; the movie Heartland was based on her writings.
1876 – José Palma y Velásquez, Filipino poet and soldier who is well known for “Filipinas,” a patriotic poem in Spanish that is used with the instrumental tune “Marcha Nacional Filipina” by Julián Felipe as the basis for the Philippine National Anthem.
1879 – Alla Nazimova, Russian (Crimean) author, screenwriter, producer, and actor who relocated to the U.S.; she is credited with originating the phrase “sewing circle” as a discreet code for lesbian or bisexual actresses.
1881 – Đạm Phương, Vietnamese poet, writer, teacher, social activist, and journalist who was known as “the learnt woman.”
1881 – Valentine Thomson, French writer, playwright, women’s rights activist, and philanthropist.
1885 – Syed Muhammed Taifoor, Indian Bangladeshi historian and writer.
1887 – Guðrún Baldvina Árnadóttir (known as Guðrún frá Lundi), Icelandic novelist and poet; her stories tend to have rural settings and deal with the lives of the kind of farming community where she grew up.
1893 – Elena Torres Cuéllar, leading Mexican revolutionary, feminist, progressive educator, and writer.
1894 – Elli Alexiou, Greek novelist, short-story writer, translator, playwright, author, university teacher, and journalist.
1895 – Robert Hillyer, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet and professor who was identified with the Harvard Aesthetes group of poets.
1898 – Rosa Clotilde Chacel Arimón, Spanish writer, poet, and translator whose feminist beliefs sparked controversy.
1913 – Pedro Mir, Dominican poet and writer who was Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic.
1926 – Allen Ginsberg, U.S. poet, activist, and social critic who, along with William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, was one of the leading figures in the Beat Generation; he was a National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist.
1930 – Marion Zimmer Bradley, U.S. author of fantasy, historical fantasy, science fiction, and science fantasy novels, and is best known for the Arthurian fiction novel The Mists of Avalon, and the Darkover series; many of her works have feminist themes. She was also a founder of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
1931 – June Campbell Cramer (better known as Lady June), English painter, poet, and musician who was associated with the Canterbury scene and was described as “a great British eccentric and cosmic prankster.”
1931 – John Norman, U.S. philosophy professor and fantasy author.
1935 – Karl Riha, Czech-born German author and literary scholar who co-authored the series Vergessene Autoren der Moderne (Forgotten Authors of the Modern Style); he was awarded the Kassel Literary Prize for Grotesque Humor.
1936 – Larry McMurtry, U.S. novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and bookseller who is best known as an author of western fiction, most famously, the Lonesome Dove saga.
1939 – Kathleen Woodiwiss, U.S. novelist who pioneered the historical romance genre.
1941 – Monika Maron, award-winning German author and journalist, many of whose works deal with confronting the past; her prose is sparse, bleak, and lonely, conveying the sensitivity and desperation of her narrators.
1943 – Lydia Alexeyevna Avilova, Russian writer and memoirist, best known for her book A.P. Chekhov in My Life, published posthumously in 1947; most of her books deal with childhood and child psychology.
1945 – Isabel de los Ángeles Ruano, award-winning Guatemalan writer, poet, journalist, and teacher.
1947 – Mala Sen, Indian author and human-rights activist, best known for her book India’s Bandit Queen: The True Story of Phoolan Devi, which led to the acclaimed 1994 film Bandit Queen; after researching the oppression of women in rural India, she also published Death by Fire.
1949 – Philippe Djian, award-winning French novelist, screenwriter, translator, literary editor, and writer.
1951 – Satu Hassi, Finnish politician, professor, novelist, poet, and essay writer.
1954 – Dulce Chacón, award-winning Spanish poet, novelist, and playwright.
1957 – Afag Masud, Azerbaijani writer, novelist, short-story writer, essayist, translator, and playwright who wrote and published her first novel at the age of 21.
1959 – Imbi Paju, Estonian-born journalist, writer, and filmmaker who now lives in Finland.
1961 – Lawrence Lessig, U.S. academic and political activist, notably in the areas of copyright.
1963 – Lucinda Margaret Grealy (also known as Lucy Grealy), critically acclaimed Irish-American poet and memoirist who wrote Autobiography of a Face, which describes her childhood and early adolescent experience after cancer of the jaw left her face disfigured. Her college roommate, author Ann Patchett, later wrote about her in the memoir Truth and Beauty: A Friendship.
1966 – Kate Forsyth, Australian novelist, poet, fantasy writer, children’s author, and journalist best known for her historical novel Bitter Greens, which interweaves a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale with the true story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force. Forsyth has also published under her maiden name Kate Humphrey, and is a direct descendant of Charlotte Barton, the author of Australia’s earliest known children’s book. Forsyth’s older sister, Belinda Murrell, is also an author for children and young adults.
1967 – Anderson Cooper, U.S. journalist, television personality, and memoirist; together with his mother, socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, he co-authored The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss.
1971 – John Hodgman, U.S. humorist and author who was also the “PC guy” in Apple ads.
1972 – Michela Murgia, award-winning Italian novelist and politician.
1986 – Jenny Skavlan, Norwegian actor, writer, fashion designer, television presenter, and model who wrote a book about sewing.
1987 – Selen Pınar Işık (better known as PuCCa), is a Turkish writer and blogger.
1997 – Solomonica (Moon) de Winter, Dutch writer who writes in English and who wrote her first book, Over the Rainbow, when she was 16.