1641 – Bernard de La Monnoye, French poet, critic, lawyer, and philologue who is known chiefly for his carols Noei borguignon (Borguignon Christmas).
1727 – Justine Favart, influential French writer, playwright, opera singer, ballet dancer, and actor who was a bold reformer in theater scripts and costumes.
1763 – Marie-Adélaïde Hadot (née Richard), French novelist and playwright; she wrote under the pen name Barthélemy-Hadot.
1763 – Kobayashi Issawas, Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest who is regarded as one of Japan’s four haiku masters (The Great Four); he is better known by his pen name Issa, which means Cup of Tea.
1775 – Carlo Porta, Italian poet, translator, and salonnière who was the most famous writer in the Milanese dialect. He is known for writing on three different themes: works against superstition and religious hypocrisy, vivid descriptions of Milanese popular characters, and political writing.
1835 – Adah Isaacs Menken, U.S. poet, essayist, and painter who was also the highest-earning actress of her time.
1844 – Charlotte Despard (née French), Anglo-Irish suffragist, socialist, women’s rights advocate, pacifist, Sinn Féin activist, and novelist.
1856 – Edward Channing, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. historian who is best known for his six-volume History of the United States.
1858 – Vitalie Rimbaud (born Jeanne Rosalie Vitalie Rimbaud), French poet and diarist whose brother was the poet Arthur Rimbaud.
1884 – Isabelle Sandy, French poet, writer, and radio presenter, best known for her regionalism.
1888 – Ramón López Velarde, Mexican poet, writer, and journalist whose work was a reaction against Modernism; he was considered Mexico’s national poet.
1898 – Galina Dyuragina, Russian author, diarist, and child psychologist; she is best known for her diaries, which were published under the pen name Alexandra or Alya Rakhmanova and which describe her childhood, studies, and marriage under the Russian revolution, and her life as a refugee in Vienna.
1902 – Erik Erikson, Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning German-born U.S. psychologist, author, and professor, known for his theory on the psychological development of human beings; he is most famous for coining the phrase, “identity crisis.”
1903 – Guinan Khairy, Russian Bashkir poet, writer, playwright, and newspaper editor.
1911 – Wilbert Awdry, English cleric and children’s author who was the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine.
1914 – Theresa Hilda D’Alessio (better known as Hilda Terry), award-winning U.S. cartoonist, animator, author, and autobiographer who created the comic strip Teena and was the first woman accepted into the National Cartoonists Society. She drew portraits of ballplayers for baseball stadium scoreboards in the early 1970s, becoming a pioneer in early computer animation. Fascinated with the Salem witch trials, she wrote in her autobiography about her belief that she was the reincarnation of Dorcas Good, a four-year-old child who was imprisoned with her accused mother, Sarah Good, who was later executed.
1922 – Aziz Hamid Madni, notable Pakistani poet and writer.
1925 – Attilâ Ilhan, award-winning Turkish poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, journalist, movie reviewer, and newspaper editor. As a teen, he was arrested and jailed for two months for sending a poem by a dissident communist poet to a girl he was in love with; it was the first of his many run-ins with the law for his political views.
1927 – Abodh Bandhu Bahuguna, Indian Hindi and Garhwali writer and poet who is known for his poems, epics, plays, folk-literature, and essays.
1927 – Ibn-e-Insha (pen name for Sher Muhammad Khan), influential Pakistani Urdu poet, humorist, travel writer, children’s author, and newspaper columnist.
1928 – Shankar Vaidya, Indian Marathi poet, writer, speaker, teacher, and announcer; he was married to the famous writer Sarojini Vaidya.
1931 – Ellen Einan, award-winning Norwegian author, poet, and illustrator who was known for her compact writing style, mystical vocabulary, vivid imagery, and unusual but fascinating poems.
1932 – Gene Roberts, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. journalist, editor, author, and professor.
1933 – Sarojini Shankar Vaidya, Indian Marathi writer who specialized in the society and culture of India’s Maharashtra state in the 19th and 20th century; her work includes criticism, personal essays, short stories, biographies, and autobiography.
1937 – Lola Lemire Tostevin, Canadian writer, poet, translator, literary critic, novelist, and linguist who is one of Canada’s leading feminist writers and a key figure in Canadian literary analysis; she writes mostly in English, but has also published work in her native French.
1939 – José Gil, Mozambique-born Portuguese author, essayist, philosopher, and professor best known for his book Portugal, Today: Fear of Existing (Portugal, Hoje: O Medo de Existir, Lisboa: Relógio d’Água), which describes what is to be Portuguese and how Portuguese people perceive themselves, other people, and the world. In 2004 he was named one of the 25 Great Thinkers of the contemporary world.
1939 – Brian Jacques, English author, children’s novelist, and short-story writer, best known for his “Redwall” series of children’s fiction; his last name is pronounced “Jakes.”
1939 – Gadul Singh Lama (popularly known as Sanu Lama), award-winning Indian novelist, short-story writer, travel writer, poet, and translator of Nepali literature.
1941 – Gabriel Careaga Medina, Mexican writer, essayist, sociologist, and professor whose fields of interest were politics and society in Mexico.
1945 – Miriam Defensor Santiago, Filipina journalist, politician, and lawyer.
1945 – Naseer Turabi, Pakistani poet, lyricist, columnist, and educator.
1947 – Adrian Guelke, South African political scientist, author, and professor who specializes in the comparative study of ethnic conflict, particularly the cases of Northern Ireland, his native South Africa, and Kashmir. He currently teaches in Belfast, where he survived an assassination attempt in 1991 when political enemies in the South African government tried to have him killed by falsely reporting him to be an IRA member; he was saved when the gun jammed.
1953 – Ana Castillo, U.S. Chicana novelist, poet, editor, short-story writer, essayist, playwright, and translator who is considered one of the leading voices of the Chicana experience; she is known for her experimental style and passionate sociopolitical commentary.
1956 – Taiwo Odukoya, Nigerian pastor and book author.
1964 – Bunjuro Nakayama, Japanese novelist and manga author.