1552 – Elizabeth Spencer (Baroness Hunsdon), English baroness, writer, poet, scholar, translator, and patron of the arts; Edmund Spenser used her as inspiration for his Muiopotmos and dedicated The Faerie Queene to her; her first husband was grandson of Mary Boleyn, elder sister of Anne Boleyn, mother of Queen Elizabeth I.
1638 – Heinrich Meibom, German writer, physician, poet, pedagogue, university teacher, and anatomist.
1758 – Clotilde Tambroni, Italian writer, poet, classical scholar, linguist, philologist, and professor; she achieved institutional recognition by a university long before women in many parts of the world could even attend university.
1824 – Yulia Valerianovna Zhadovskaya, Russian poet, novelist, and short-story writer; much of her fiction was devoted to the problems of love, marriage, and the emancipation of women, and some of her lyric poems were made into popular songs. She became a successful writer despite having been born with no left arm and several fingers missing on her right hand.
1835 – Celia Laighton Thaxter, popular U.S. poet and short-story writer who spent most of her life on the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New England, and often wrote about that setting.
1851 – Jane Dieulafoy, French writer, military personnel, translator, journalist, archaeologist, anthropologist, novelist, explorer, and traveler; she is best known for her excavations at Susa (current-day Iran). When the Franco-Prussian War began, her husband volunteered and was sent to the front; Jane dressed as a man, wearing a soldier’s uniform, and fought at his side. During her travels abroad, she often dressed in men’s clothing, with her hair cut short, because it was otherwise difficult for a woman to travel freely in a Muslim country.
1885 – Virginia Pope, U.S. journalist and editor who was the fashion editor for both The New York Times and Parade; she is credited with inventing the field of fashion journalism.
1891 – Biagio Marin, Italian poet and author best known for his poems in the Venetian language, which had no literary tradition until then.
1895 – Alice Lardé de Venturino, acclaimed Salvadoran poet, writer, composer, and scientist.
1900 – Antoine de Saint-Expury, award-winning aristocratic French novelist, poet, journalist and aviator best known for his novella The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince).
1911 – Dennis Chukude Osadebay, Nigerian politician, poet, journalist, and former premier of the now defunct Mid-Western Region of Nigeria; he was one of the pioneering Nigerian poets who wrote in English.
1912 – John Toland, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. author and historian best known for his biography of Adolf Hitler and his history of World War II Japan, The Rising Sun.
1914 – Dulcie Hollyock, award-winning Australian novelist, short-story writer, librarian, and educator; most of her books were romance novels.
1914 – Ellen Kuzwayo, award-winning South African writer, author, autobiographer, social worker, teacher, and politician who was president of the African National Congress Youth League and a member of the first post-apartheid South African Parliament.
1919 – Dorothy June Wright (née Healy), Australian crime novelist, Catholic journalist, memoirist, and family history writer.
1921 – Frédéric Dard, prolific French author of bestselling crime novels, including the 150 detective novels in the “San Antonio” series, featuring Paris police superintendent San Antonio and his partner, Inspector Berurier.
1926 – Jorge Enrique Adoum, award-winning Ecuadorian writer, poet, politician, diplomat, translator, university teacher, journalist, literary editor, and linguist who was one of the major exponents of Latin American poetry; though hailed by Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda as the best Latin American poet of his generation, Adoum’s work is largely unknown in the English-speaking world.
1943 – Christine Craig, Jamaican writer, poet, children’s author, short-story writer, and nonfiction author.
1946 – Sally Morrison, Australian novelist, biographer, writer, and molecular biologist.
1960 – Hanna Azoulay-Hasfari, award-winning Israeli screenwriter, playwright, film director, and actress; she is a women’s rights activist, and has dedicated her career to using her films to promote awareness of social-justice issues and cultural diversity.
1968 – Canny Leung Chi-Shan, Hong Kong-born Chinese author, actress, songwriter, and television presenter.
1971 – Magdalena Parys, award-winning Polish writer, poet, journalist, and translator.
1975 – Jonathan Kiril Thomas Menkos Zeissig, Guatemalan economist, politician, writer, academic, and analyst.