1555 – Vavrinec Benedikt of Nedožery, Czech poet, linguist, mathematician, translator, university educator, and science writer.
1629 – Agostino Scilla, Italian painter, paleontologist, and geologist who was a pioneer in the study of fossils.
1757 – Joaquín Lorenzo Villanueva, Spanish writer, poet, politician, historian, journalist, and priest.
1823 – Gonçalves Dias, Brazilian poet, writer, playwright, historian, linguist, ethnologist, university teacher, journalist, lawyer, and folklorist who was a major exponent of Brazilian Romanticism and of the literary tradition known as “Indianism.”
1845 – Gertrude Bloede, German-born U.S. poet and novelist who used the pen name Stuart Sterne.
1845 – Abay Ibrahim Qunanbayuli, influential Kazakh poet, composer, theologian, philosopher, and cultural reformer.
1865 – Giuseppe Schirò, Italian Arbëreshë neo-classical poet, linguist, publicist, and folklorist whose literary work marked the transition to modern Albanian literature in Italy; he was a key figure in Italy’s Albanian Renaissance, and wrote in both Italian and Albanian. (The Arbëreshë, also known as Albanians of Italy or Italo-Albanians, are an Albanian ethnolinguistic group in Southern Italy.)
1869 – Lawrence Binyon, British poet, playwright, memoirist, and professor; his most famous work, “For the Fallen,” written during World War I, is often recited at memorial services.
1873 – Ester Henriette Carstensen (née Hansen), Danish writer, journal editor, and women’s rights activist who was one of the most active members of the Danish Women’s Society.
1895 – Imma von Bodmershof (born Emma Lilly Isolde von Ehrenfels), award-winning Austrian poet and novelist who was particularly noted for her haikus.
1900 – Wang Li (born Wang Xiangying), Chinese linguist, educator, translator, and poet who is considered the founder of Chinese Linguistics.
1901 – Sergio Frusoni, Cape Verdean poet and short-story writer who wrote in several languages but was best known as a promoter of Cape Verdean Creole.
1902 – Curt Siodmak, German-born novelist, short-story author, nonfiction writer, and screenwriter who emigrated to the United States to escape the Nazis; he is especially known for his work in horror and science fiction.
1903 – Ward Moore, U.S. science-fiction novelist and short-story writer whose most famous work is his alternate history novel Bring the Jubilee.
1905 – Era Bell Thompson, U.S. African-American author, editor, reporter, and autobiographer who was instrumental in shaping Ebony magazine’s vision and guiding its coverage for about forty years.
1908 – Rica Erickson – Australian naturalist, historian, author, botanical artist, editor, and teacher; despite having no formal scientific training, she wrote extensively on botany, birds, genealogy, and general history, though she was eventually awarded an honorary graduate degree from the University of Western Australia for her research and work in the field of botany.
1910 – Louis-Marie Pouka, Cameroonian poet who advocated the assimilation of Cameroonian peoples into French culture; his poems were increasingly characterized by a vague uneasiness, as he struggled to reconcile his belief in French culture and equality and his growing realization that colonialism did not allow for the equality of Africans and Europeans.
1912 – Jorge Amado (full name Jorge Leal Amado de Faria), Brazilian novelist, editor, and professor who has been called the “best-known of modern Brazilian writers”; his earlier works pointed out injustices and presented socialist ideals, while his later books moved away from realism and social themes, focused on feminine characters, and centered around the traditions and the beauties of the Bahia state of Brazil.
1912 – Teresa Casuso Morín (full name Lorenza Teresa Inocencia Casuso y Morín, but better known as “Teté” Casuso), Cuban writer, poet, novelist, playwright, librettist, translator, diplomat, journalist, actress, and prominent intellectual who fought for democracy and freedom in Cuba.
1913 – Charlotte Delbo, French writer, poet, playwright, autobiographer, and resistance fighter; she is chiefly known for her haunting memoirs of her time as a prisoner in Auschwitz during World War II, where she was sent for her activities in the French resistance.
1914 – Shankarambadi Sundarachari, award-winning Indian writer and poet in the Telugu language; he is best known for writing the anthem of the present-day Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
1918 – Pitambar Narsinhbhai Patel (also known by his pen name Pinakpani), Indian novelist, short-story writer, and journalist.
1921 – Carlos de Oliveira, Portuguese poet, novelist, and screenwriter of the Neorealist movement; His novel Uma Abelha na Chuva is considered one of the most important works in all of Portuguese literature.
1924 – Nancy Buckingham, English author of gothic and romance fiction who wrote in collaboration with her husband John Sawyer; they also wrote using the pseudonyms Christina Abbey, Erica Quest, Nancy John, and Hilary London.
1926 – Blanca Leonor Varela Gonzáles, Peruvian Surrealist poet; writer Mario Vargas Llosa has described her work as having, “the quality of heroes from ancient myths who die, but fight to the very last moment anyway.”
1928 – Pathrose Ayyaneth (popularly known as P. Ayyaneth), prolific Malayalam-language Indian novelist, short-story writer, playwright, poet, and lawyer; six of his novels have been made into films.
1930 – Barry Unsworth, award-winning expatriate British novelist and nonfiction writer who is best known for his historical fiction.
1931 – Dolores Alexander, U.S. lesbian feminist, writer, and reporter who was the Executive Director of the National Organization for Women, but resigned in protest over the homophobia within the group.
1932 – Rui Manuel Correia Knopfli, Mozambican writer, poet, journalist, and literary critic.
1935 – Sun Axelsson, Swedish poet, novelist, translator, screenwriter, film critic, literary critic, and journalist who was a close friend of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda and translated some of his work, along with the work of other acclaimed writers; she also wrote under the pseudonym Jan Olov Hedlund.
1938 – Momoko Kuroda, award-winning Japanese haiku poet and essayist; she is well known for leading her trademark haiku pilgrimages in Japan.
1945 – Aleksandr Adabashyan, award-winning Russian screenwriter, film director, actor, and painter.
1947 – Petro Trochanowski, Polish writer, poet, and editor who is a spokesperson for the Lemko ethnic group in Poland and internationally; he is also published under the pseudonym Petro Murianka.
1949 – Marie-Sœurette Mathieu, Haitian sociologist, teacher, novelist, poet, writer, and painter who currently lives in Quebec.
1952 – Julio Valle Castillo, Nicaraguan poet, novelist, painter, essayist, art critic, and literary critic.
1953 – Mark Doty, National Book Award-winning U.S. poet, memoirist, and professor.
1956 – Susan Lewis, bestselling British author, award-winning romance novelist, and autobiographer.
1962 – Suzanne Collins, award-winning U.S. screenwriter and author of young-adult and children’s novels; she is best known as the author of the wildly popular “Hunger Games” trilogy, which she also adapted for film. In March 2012, Amazon announced that she had become the best-selling Kindle author of all time.
1962 – Horia-Razvan Gârbea (or Gîrbea), Romanian playwright, poet, essayist, novelist, critic, journalist, academic, and engineer who is best known for his work in experimental theater and his Postmodernist contributions to Romanian literature.
1962 – Ragna (Ragnheiður) Sigurðardóttir, Icelandic short-story writer, poet, translator, and artist.
1978 – AbdulWahab al-Awdi, Yemeni poet, writer, anthologist, and economist.
1983 – Queva Griffin, Irish poet who published poetry to raise funds for the costs associated with her cystic fibrosis; she was the first person under 25 to survive a heart-lung double transplant, but died of an infection at the age of 19.