1797 – Alexandre Vinet, Swiss literary critic and theologian who advocated for religious freedom and the separation of church and state.
1808 – Everhardus Johannes Potgieter, Dutch writer, travel author, poet, and founder of a literary magazine, where he wrote under the initials W.Dg.
1808 – Henrik Arnold Thaulow Wergeland, Norwegian poet, prolific playwright, historian, and linguist; he is often described as a leading pioneer in the development of a distinctly Norwegian literary heritage.
1863 – Jamil Sidqi al-Zahawi, prominent Iraqi poet, writer, and philosopher; he is regarded as one of the greatest contemporary poets of the Arab world, and was known for his defense of women’s rights.
1867 – Henry Lawson, Australian poet and short-story writer.
1868 – Kazi Dawa Samdup, Indian writer, linguist, and translator who one of the first translators of important works of Tibetan Buddhism into the English language and who played a significant role in relations between British India and Tibet.
1871 – James Weldon Johnson, U.S. African-American author, poet, educator, civil-rights activist, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and NAACP leader.
1875 – Charles Moravia, Haitian poet, playwright, teacher, and diplomat.
1880 – Carl Van Vechten, U.S. music and dance critic, novelist, and nonfiction writer who was also a portrait photographer for some of the best-known writers, musicians, and intellectuals of his day, as well as a patron of the Harlem Renaissance and the literary executor for Gertrude Stein.
1900 – Renata Viganò, Italian writer and World War II resistance fighter; much of her writing featured fictionalized accounts of her experiences as a partisan, especially her best known work, the neo-realist novel L’Agnese va a morire.
1911 – James Cameron, British journalist, author, broadcaster, and autobiographer who was a leading figure in post-WWII journalism.
1911 – Thomas Allen Munro Curnow, New Zealand poet and journalist.
1914 – John Hersey, Chinese-born U.S. journalist whose first novel, A Bell for Adano, won the Pulitzer Prize.
1921 – Mi. Pa. Somu, (full name Mi. Pa. Somasundaram), Indian Tamil journalist, poet, writer, and musicologist.
1922 – Lyuba Ognenova-Marinova, pioneering Bulgarian archaeologist, science writer, researcher, and professor; she was the first underwater archaeologist in the country and headed the investigations of the ancient Thracian city of Nesebar.
1922 – Lili Zografou, Greek journalist, novelist, playwright, essayist, and political activist.
1925 – Luce d’Eramo, Italian writer and literary critic who is best known for her autobiographical novel Deviazione, which recounts her experiences in Germany during World War II.
1934 – Futa Helu, Tongan philosopher, historian, and educator.
1935 – Nina Federova Averina, prolific, award-winning Russian and Australian writer, bibliographer, journalist, historian, and poet.
1943 – Chantal Mouffe, Belgian writer, political scientist, philosopher, university teacher, and feminist.
1944 – Zhanna Bichevskaya, award-winning Russian writer, poet, composer, singer, songwriter, and guitarist.
1947 – Linda Chavez, U.S. author, commentator, columnist, and talk-show host.
1949 – Celia Rees, English author of young-adult fiction; her novels include Witch Child, Sorceress, and Pirates!; they span genres including historical fiction, gothic fiction, thrillers, and fantasy.
1952 – Marie-Louise Gay, Canadian children’s book writer and illustrator.
1954 – Kerry Greenwood, Australian author and solicitor who has written many plays and books, notably a string of historical detective novels centered on the character of Phryne Fisher.
1955 – Alan Taylor, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. historian, author, and professor who specializes in early U.S. history.
1968 – Deanna Raybourn, U.S. author of historical fiction and historical mysteries; her books include the Lady Julia Grey series.
1969 – Yoshiki Nakamura, Japanese manga artist and writer; she is best known for her series Skip Beat!
1971 – Herve Yamguen, Cameroonian writer, playwright, painter, sculptor, and teacher who often writes about art.