1165 – Ibn Arabi (full name Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn al-ʿArabī al-Ḥātimī al-Ṭāʾī al-Andalusī al-Mursī al-Dimashqī), prolific Spanish-born Arab Andalusian Muslim scholar, mystic, poet, and philosopher whose works have grown to be influential within the Muslim world and beyond.
1693 – Alexandre Jean Joseph Le Riche de La Poupelinière (sometimes called Popelinière ou Poupelinière), French writer, playwright, travel writer, art collector, and patron of the arts.
1819 – Panteleimon Kulish, Ukrainian historian, writer, folklorist, poet, editor, translator, publisher, literary critic, anthropologist, opinion journalist, and Bible translator.
1850 – Jnanadanandini Tagore (née Mukhopadhyay) Indian Bengali writer, poet, short-story writer, playwright, memoirist, children’s author, and social reformer who pioneered various cultural innovations and influenced the earliest phase of women’s empowerment in 19th century Bengal.
1856 – George Bernard Shaw, Nobel Prize-winning Irish playwright who was a co-founder of the London School of Economics; he also wrote music and literary criticism, essays, novels, and short stories.
1859 – Virginie Demont-Breton (full name Virginie Élodie Marie Thérèse Demont-Breton), award-winning French painter and writer; her work to secure equal opportunities for women in the arts resulted in female artists in France being admitted in academic settings and being allowed to use artistic tools previously not available to them, including nude models.
1872 – George Louis Beer, renowned U.S. historian of the Imperial school; he wrote about British colonialism.
1872 – Surendranath Tagore, Indian Bengali author, literary scholar, and translator.
1875 – Carl G. Jung, influential Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who founded and wrote extensively about the field of analytic psychology, in some aspects a response to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis.
1875 – Antonio Machado (full name Antonio Cipriano José María y Francisco de Santa Ana Machado y Ruiz), Spanish poet who was one of the leading figures of the Spanish literary movement known as the Generation of ’98.
1875 – Milorad M. Petrovic-Seljancica, Serbian poet, playwright, writer, and soldier.
1885 – Andre Maurois (born Émile Salomon Wilhelm Herzog), prolific French author of novels, biographies, essays, histories, children’s books, and science-fiction stories.
1892 – Pearl Buck, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. novelist, short-story writer, children’s author, and biographer who grew up in China, where her parents were missionaries, and also lived part of her adult life there; many of her books are based on her experiences and observations in Asia and on the clash between East and West.
1894 – Aldous Huxley, British-born author of the classic science-fiction novel Brave New World who also wrote other novels, nonfiction, poetry, satire, short stories, travel pieces, memoirs, and film scripts; he was nominated for the Nobel Prize seven times but never won.
1894 – Magdalena Samozwaniec (née Kossak), Polish short-story writer.
1895 – Cassiano Ricardo, Brazilian journalist, literary critic, and poet.
1899 – Muhammad Mahdi Al-Jawahiri, Iraqi poet who was nicknamed The Greatest Arabian Poet; many consider him to be one of the finest Arabian poets of the 20th century.
1901 – Nina Berberova, Russian novelist, short-story writer, poet, critic, and opinion journalist who chronicled the lives of Russian exiles in Paris in her short stories and novels.
1921 – Alicia Morel Chaigneau, Chilean writer, novelist, storyteller, poet, and essayist who was best known for her work in the field of children’s literature and in theater for children and puppets.
1921 – Jean Shepherd, U.S. short-story writer, book author, screenwriter, actor, storyteller, and radio and TV personality, best known as co-writer and narrator of the film, A Christmas Story.
1922 – Chairil Anwar, Indonesian poet and member of the “1945 generation” of writers; he is estimated to have written 96 works, including 70 individual poems, despite the fact that he died at the age of 26.
1922 – Blake Edwards, U.S. screenwriter, film director, and producer who was married to actress, singer, and novelist Julie Andrews.
1923 – Bernice Rubens, award-winning Welsh novelist, autobiographer, nonfiction author, documentary filmmaker, and teacher.
1924 – Ruth Weiss, Nobel Prize-nominated German-born fiction and nonfiction writer, editor, anti-apartheid journalist, young-adult historical novelist, autobiographer, and activist who focuses on anti-racism in all its forms. She was born in Germany but her family fled to South Africa to escape the Nazis; she was later exiled by South Africa and Rhodesia for her writings.
1925 – Ana María Matute Ausejo, internationally acclaimed Spanish writer and member of the Real Academia Española; she won the Cervantes Prize for her literary oeuvre.
1926 – Zíbia Alencastro Gasparetto, Brazilian spiritualist writer who claims that some of her books were dictated by a spirit named Lucius.
1927 – Lorenza Mazzetti, Italian film director, novelist, photographer, and painter.
1928 – Feng Zhongpu (pen name Zong Pu), award-winning Chinese novelist and children’s writer.
1928 – Netiva Ben Yehuda, Israeli author, editor, radio host, and media personality who was a commander in the pre-state Jewish underground army; she was also a discus thrower who considered competing in the Olympics.
1933 – Danuza Leão, Brazilian writer, journalist, columnist, socialite, and model.
1937 – Wilton Gbakolo Sengbe Sankawulo, Liberian novelist, short-story writer, biographer, and professor who was President of Liberia.
1939 – Jun Henmi (real name Mayumi Shimizu), Japanese writer and poet; she was best known for her works of fiction and nonfiction about people affected by World War II.
1939 – Samuel Ejikeme Okoye, award-winning Nigerian astrophysicist, physicist, author, and writer who was the first black African to obtain a doctorate in Radio Astronomy; he wrote on topics related to physics, but also on issues related to science and technology in developing countries.
1944 – Boaventura da Silva Cardoso, noted Angolan fiction author, essayist, ethnomusicologist, and politician who is Angolan Minister of Culture.
1950 – Nicholas Evans, bestselling English novelist, journalist, screenwriter, and television and film producer; he is best known for his novel The Horse Whisperer, which was made into a film starring Robert Redford.
1954 – Lawrence Watt-Evans, Hugo Award-winning U.S. author of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.
1960 – Amanda (Mandy) Hager, award-winning New Zealand author of fiction and nonfiction for children, young adults, and adults.
1961 – Felix Dexter, Saint Kitts-born British writer, actor, and comedian.
1964 – Anne Provoost, award-winning Flemish Belgian author, young-adult novelist, essayist, short-story writer, and children’s writer who is known for remaking myths, folk tales, fairy tales, and bible stories; once a year, she writes a letter to Hans Christian Andersen, answering one of his stories.
1968 – Musharraf Ali Farooqi, award-winning Pakistani writer, translator, essayist, and publisher who is working to establish an Urdu-language publishing program for children’s literature and classics.
1971 – Kazuki Sakuraba, award-winning Japanese author of novels and “light novels,” including novelizations and mysteries; she also writes short stories and essays.
1981 – Elaine Eksvärd (née Bergqvist), Swedish author and consultant who writes books about rhetoric.