1723 – Adam Smith, Scottish economist, author, and philosopher who is considered the Father of Economics; he is best known for his work The Wealth of Nations.
1880 – Alice Ann Bailey, English writer of books on theosophical and spiritual subjects who was one of the first writers to use the term New Age; she described much of her work as having been telepathically dictated to her by a Master of Wisdom, initially referred to only as “the Tibetan.”
1896 – Murray Leinster, pen name of William Fitzgerald Jenkins, prolific U.S. author of science-fiction and alternate history who wrote novels, short stories, television and film scripts, and radio plays.
1917 – Katharine Graham, U.S. publisher, editor, and author who oversaw The Washington Post during the Watergate scandal, and whose memoir Personal History won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography; she was the first 20th-century female publisher of a major American newspaper.
1920 – Isabelle Holland, Swiss-born author of fiction for children and adults.
1924 – Idries Shah (also known as Idris Shah, né Sayed Idries el-Hashimi and by the pen name Arkon Daraul), prolific Indian-born author, publisher, and teacher in the Sufi tradition who wrote on topics including psychology, spirituality, magic, travel, and culture studies; he was considered a leading thinker of the 20th century.
1932 – Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta, award-winning Filipino poet, editor, author, critic, dramatist, editor, and teacher who is one of the Philippines’ most respected writers.
1937 – Erich Segal, U.S. author and screenwriter best known for the book Love Story and the movie based on it.
1937 – Lola Lemire Tostevin, Canadian writer, poet, translator, literary critic, novelist, and linguist who is one of Canada’s leading feminist writers, and a prominent figure in Canadian literary analysis. Though her native language is French, she writes in English.
1938 – Joyce Carol Oates, National Book Award-winning U.S. novelist, short-story writer, essayist, playwright, editor, nonfiction author, and university teacher; five of her books were Pulitzer Prize finalists. Frequent topics in her work include violence, rural poverty, sexual abuse, class tensions, desire for power, female childhood and adolescence, and the supernatural.
1946 – Femi Osofisan (born Babafemi Adeyemi Osofisan), Nigerian author, academic, and literary critic noted for his critique of societal problems and his use of African traditional performances and surrealism in his work; a frequent theme in his novels is the conflict between good and evil.
1947 – Pétur Gunnarsson, award-winning Icelandic writer, poet, songwriter, screenwriter, and playwright; he is best known as a novelist but has also translated several works of French literature.
1954 – Zulfiya Atoulloeva (also known by the pen name Zulfiya Atoy), award-winning Tajikistani poet, journalist, and editor; her work is primarily lyrical, dealing with such subjects as patriotism, love, family, and happiness.
1959 – Tim Jones, award-winning English-born New Zealand novelist, poet, short-story writer, and science-fiction anthology editor.
1963 – Deb Caletti, American author of young-adult fiction who was a National Book Award finalist for her book Honey, Baby, Sweetheart.
1966 – Yulia Latynina, Russian writer, journalist, science-fiction and fantasy novelist, crime author, television presenter, columnist, and radio personality.
1971 – Emmelie Prophète, Haitian journalist, writer, poet, and diplomat who also hosts a radio jazz program; in 2014, she was named head of the National Library of Haiti.