1859 – Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam, Nobel Prize-winning Swedish poet and novelist.
1877 – Aleksey Mikhailovich Remizov, Russian modernist writer whose creative imagination veered to the fantastic and bizarre; he was also an expert calligrapher who sought to revive this medieval art in Russia.
1878 – Eino Leino, Finnish journalist and poet who is considered one of the pioneers of Finnish poetry.
1886 – Marc Bloch, French author and Medieval historian who was influential in his field; he was killed by the Gestapo for being a leader in the French Resistance.
1887 – Annette Marie Sarah Kellermann, Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville star, film actress, fashion designer, and author who was one of the first known women to wear a one-piece bathing costume instead of the then-accepted pantaloons; her swimming costumes became so popular that she started her own fashion line of one-piece bathing suits. She helped popularize the sport of synchronized swimming, appeared in several movies — usually with aquatic themes — and was the first major actress to appear nude in a Hollywood production. Her publications include a swimming manual, a book of children’s stories, an autobiography, and books about health and beauty.
1890 – Dhan Gopal Mukerji, Indian autobiographer, poet, playwright, and Newbery Medal-winning children’s book author; before entering the Brahmin priesthood as a teenager he spent two years as a beggar in order to understand how other people lived; eventually he gave up the priesthood to study and become a writer.
1892 – Will James, Newbery Medal-winning Canadian-born U.S. cowboy, rustler, artist, and author.
1900 – Kathryn Hulme, U.S. novelist, memoirist, nonfiction writer, and relief worker.
1900 – Frederica Sagor Maas, U.S. screenwriter, playwright, and author; her autobiography, The Shocking Miss Pilgrim: A Writer in Early Hollywood, is still considered a standard reference for early Hollywood history.
1914 – Éva Földes, Hungarian author, poet, Holocaust survivor, and 1948 Olympic bronze medalist in the Epic Poetry category (yes, at one time the Olympics included categories for the arts).
1916 – Audrey Bettie Blignault, award-winning South African writer, essayist, and columnist.
1922 – Carilda Oliver Labra, award-winning Cuban poet, writer, painter, sculptor, and lawyer; she was one of the most influential Cuban poets, her work focusing on love, the role of women in society, and herself.
1924 – Mahim Bora, award-winning Indian writer, poet, and educationist.
1924 – Prabhjot Kaur, award-winning Indian Punjabi author, poet, and academic.
1930 – Françoise Lilar (pen name Françoise Mallet-Joris), Belgian novelist, writer, and lyricist.
1931 – Emily Daoud Nasrallah, award-winning and prolific Lebanese novelist, short-story writer, children’s writer, and women’s rights activist; her work touched on themes such as family, village life, war, emigration, and women’s rights.
1933 – Rena Margulies Chernoff, Polish-born writer and Holocaust survivor who was one of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau; she is best known for the book The Tailors of Tomaszow: A Memoir of Polish Jews.
1935 – Norman Sherry, British-born U.S. novelist, educator, and biographer, best known for his three-volume biography of author Graham Greene.
1935 – Lhamo Thondup (the 14th and current Dalai Lama, also known by his religious name Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, or Tenzin Gyatso for short), Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader and book author.
1937 – Bessie Head, South African-born teacher, journalist, nonfiction writer, short-story writer, and novelist who is considered Botswana’s most influential author.
1941 – Milan Milišic, Yugoslavian and Serbian poet, essayist, travel writer, novelist, and translator who translated works of such writers and J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Frost.
1943 – Örjan Wikander, Swedish classical archaeologist, ancient historian, art historian anthropologist, and writer whose main interests are ancient water technology, ancient roof terra cottas, Roman social history, and Etruscan archaeology and epigraphy.
1944 – Bernhard Schlink, German novelist, short-story writer, and lawyer who is best known for his bestselling book The Reader, which has been called one of the greatest triumphs of German literature since The Tin Drum, and has also been made into a film starring Kate Winslet.
1949 – Fatima Ahmed, award-winning Cambodian-born Italian-Somali-Vietnamese writer, broadcaster, and interpreter whose writing is mostly about post-colonial experiences.
1949 – Alzira Rufino, award-winning Brazilian writer, feminist, activist for the Black Movement and the Black Women’s Movement, and nurse who is a leader in the Afro-Brazilian literature and cultural arts movement and founded the country’s first Black women’s center.
1949 – Daijiro Morohoshi, Japanese manga artist and writer who is well known for science-fiction comics, allegorical comics, and horror/mystery comics based on pseudohistory and folklore; some of his work is influenced by the Cthulhu Mythos.
1951 – Cheryl Harness, U.S. author and illustrator of children’s and young-adult books, best known for historical fiction.
1952 – Hilary Mantel, English novelist, essayist, film critic, and memorist who is a two-time winner of the Booker Prize; she is best known for her historical novels.
1954 – Kathi Appelt, U.S. poet, teacher, and children’s book author.
1955 – William Wall, Irish novelist, poet, and short-story writer.
1956 – Mekkawi Said, award-winning Egyptian novelist and short-story writer.
1957 – Susan Ford Bales, U.S. author, photojournalist, public-health activist, and former nonprofit chairman who is the daughter of U.S. President Gerald Ford.
1958 – Monique Deland, Canadian writer, poet, literary critic, artist, journalist, and teacher.
1960 – Margarita Khemlin, Jewish-Ukrainian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer, best known for her novel Klotsvog.
1962 – Peter Hedges, U.S. novelist, screenwriter, and film director best known for writing both the novel and screenplay for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; he is married to poet and actress Susan Bruce Titman.
1962 – Andrew Martin, British journalist and crime-fiction author.
1963 – Yolanda Etxeberria Malaxetxeberria, Spanish Basque writer, educator, screenwriter, and children’s author, and advocate for reading.
1967 – Heather Nova (born Heather Allison Frith), Bermudian poet, writer, and singer-songwriter.
1968 – Tiit Aleksejev, award-winning Estonian writer, novelist, playwright, and historian.
1972 – Laurent Gaudé, French playwright and novelist.