1508 – Primož Trubar, Slovenian author and religious reformer who was a key figure of the Reformation in his country; he is best known as the author of the first printed books in the Slovene language.
1538 – Antun Vramec, Croatian writer, historian, and pastor who wrote the first historical book in the Slovenian language; he is considered the founder of Kajkavian dialect literary tradition.
1573 – Hendrik Hondius I (born Hendrik de Hondt), Flemish-born Dutch engraver, cartographer, and publisher.
1580 – Daniel Heinsius (or Heins), Belgian-born Dutch writer, poet, political scientist, classicist, editor, and professor who was one of the most famous scholars of the Dutch Renaissance; he sometimes used the pseudonym Theocritus à Ganda.
1588 – Johann Andreas Herbst, German composer and music theorist of the early Baroque era; he was one of the most important German music theorists of the first half of the 17th century, and his two books, Musica practica and Musica poetica, were hugely influential.
1812 – Camilla Dufour Crosland (born Camilla Dufour Toulmin, and also known as Mrs. Newton Crosland), English writer, poet, essayist, short-story writer, children’s writer, biographer, editor, and translator who had an interest in spiritualism and a friendship with poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
1832 – Martha Waldron Janes, U.S. writer, columnist, minister, suffragist, and social reformer who was the first woman ordained in the Free Baptist Church.
1837 – Anne Isabella Thackeray (Lady Ritchie), English novelist and short-story writer who was the eldest daughter of writer William Makepeace Thackeray; her novels were highly regarded in their time and made her a central figure of the late Victorian literary scene. She is also remembered as the custodian of her father’s literary legacy, and for her short fiction that places traditional fairytale narratives in a Victorian milieu.
1843 – Bertha von Suttner (Baroness Bertha Sophie Felicitas Freifrau von Suttner, née Countess Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau), Austrian-Bohemian novelist and peace activist who was the second female Nobel laureate (after Marie Curie).
1867 – Emma Turner, pioneering British ornithologist, writer, and photographer.
1877 – Rudolf Borchardt, German writer, poet, translator, and speaker who was a proponent of the classics and against literary modernism.
1886- Tora Armida Dahl, Swedish teacher and novelist; she married literary critic Knut Jaensson.
1888 – Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (also known as Ida Sherbourne Rentoul and Ida Sherbourne Outhwaite), Australian illustrator of children’s books whose drawings mostly depicted fairies, she worked predominantly with pen and ink, and watercolor.
1890 – José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Venezuelan writer, poet, author, lawyer, and diplomat.
1895 – Violet Olivia Cressy-Marcks, British writer, explorer, photographer, author, and war correspondent whose travels took her around the world at least eight times;
1898 – Curzio Malaparte (born Curt Erich Suckert), Italian writer, filmmaker, war correspondent, and diplomat; he is best known for his books Kaputt and La pelle, about the Eastern Front during World War II and the immediate post-war period in Naples.
1903 – Marcia Davenport, U.S. novelist, Mozart biographer, and music critic.
1903 – Maria Prilezhayeva, Russian and Soviet author, biographer, children’s writer, and literary critic; she was best known for her novel The Life of Lenin.
1910 – Patrícia Rehder Galvão (known by her pseudonym Pagu), Brazilian writer, poet, playwright, journalist, political activist, and translator who had a large role in the Brazilian Modernist movement.
1921 – Phyllis A. Wallace, distinguished U.S. African-American economist, author, professor, and activist who was the first woman to receive doctorate of economics at Yale University; her work focused on racial and gender discrimination in the workplace.
1925 – Keith Laumer, U.S. science-fiction author, short-story writer, comic-book author, Air Force officer, and diplomat.
1930 – Alda Lara (full name Alda Ferreira Pires Barreto de Lara Albuquerque), Angolan poet, author, journalist, and short-story writer who wrote in the Portuguese language.
1931 – Nandini Satpathy, Indian politician, award-winning author, translator, and activist; at the age of eight, she was beaten by British police for pulling down a Union Jack. She wrote in the Odia language.
1938 – Juan Balboa Boneke, Equatorial Guinean writer and politician.
1939 – Charles Webb, U.S. author best known for the novel The Graduate, which was made into the popular movie of the same name.
1943 – Joe Haldeman, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning U.S. science-fiction author who has been named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and has been inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame; some of his books, including his best known novel The Forever War, were inspired by his experiences serving in the Vietnam War.
1943 – Marianne Katoppo, award-winning Indonesian novelist, writer, and feminist theologian.
1944 – Delia Davin, British writer, lecturer, and professor on Chinese society and particularly Chinese women’s stories; she was one of the first foreign scholars to consider the impact of the policies of the Chinese Communist Party on women.
1945 – Nike Wagner, German playwright, author, biographer, and arts administrator who is the great-granddaughter of composer Richard Wagner, and great-great‑granddaughter of composer Franz Liszt; some of her books are about the Wagner family and its cultural and political influence.
1946 – James Kelman, Booker Prize-winning Scottish novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and essayist.
1948 – André Juillard, award-winning French comic-book author.
1949 – Kiran Bedi, Indian author, politician, social activist, retired police officer, and 1966 National Junior Tennis Champion; she was also the first female officer in the Indian Police Service.
1954 – Gregory Maguire, U.S. novelist and children’s writer whose best known work is Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, loosely based on the Wizard of Oz character; the book was adapted into a smash hit Broadway musical. Many of his books take inspiration from fairy tales and other classic children’s stories.
1955 – Velly Joonas, Estonian poet, songwriter, and musician.
1956 – Patricia Cornwell, U.S. crime writer known for her bestselling novels featuring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, of which the first was inspired by a series of sensational murders in Richmond, Virginia.
1958 – Tony Horwitz, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. journalist and author.
1958 – Inghill Johansen, award-winning Norwegian writer who made her literary debut with the novel Hjertehvitt.
1961 – Michael J. Fox, popular, award-winning U.S. actor, author, and memoirist whose early-onset Parkinson’s Disease has inspired him to be an advocate for research toward finding a cure.
1961 – Aaron Sorkin, U.S. playwright, screenwriter, actor, television writer, television producer, and film director; he is particularly well known for his Broadway play To Kill a Mockingbird, his hit television series West Wing, and his screenplays for the films A Few Good Men and The American President. His work is known for memorable one-liners and intelligent, fast-paced dialogue.
1964 – Arantxa Iturbe Maiz, Spanish and Basque writer, journalist, broadcaster, and announcer; she writes in the Basque language.
1966 – Nayan Raj Pandey, Nepalese novelist, screenwriter, and short-story writer; he is known for his representation of contemporary Nepalese society in his work.
1972 – Hiro Arikawa, award-winning Japanese author and young-adult novelist; several of her books have been adapted for television and film.