1593 – Cosme Gómez Tejada de los Reyes, Spanish writer, poet and dramatist.
1649 – Katharyne Lescailje, Dutch writer, poet, playwright, translator, and publisher; she is considered one of her country’s premier female poets of the 17th century.
1788 – Charles-Victor Prévot (Vicomte d’Arlincourt), French novelist, poet, and playwright who was known as “the prince of the romantics,” and whose popularity rivalled that of Victor Hugo — despite the fact that critics hated his work, calling his plots impossible, his characters cardboard, and his imagery grotesque. His father Louis-Adrien Prévost d’Arlincourt was guillotined during the Revolution.
1792 – Semyon Egorovich Raich, Russian poet, translator, and teacher.
1820 – Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Indian Bengali writer, philosopher, academic educator, translator, printer, publisher, entrepreneur, reformer, and philanthropist; his efforts to modernize Bengali prose resulted in a more rational and simplified Bengali alphabet.
1845 – Maria Holm, Latvian author, poet, and translator.
1846 – Mary Hannay Foott, Scottish-born Australian poet, writer, journalist, and short-story author who wrote under the pen name La Quenouille and is best remembered for a bush-ballad poem, “Where the Pelican Builds.”
1848 – Wacław Święcicki, Polish writer, poet, politician, trade unionist, and lyricist who is best known for writing the words to the revolutionary song “Whirlwinds of Danger.”
1852 – Willie Wilde (full name William Charles Kingsbury Wilde), Irish journalist, poet, and literary critic who was the older brother of playwright Oscar Wilde.
1858 – Manilal Nabhubhai Dwivedi, influential Indian Gujarati-language writer, poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, philosopher, editor, and social reformer.
1860 – Edoardo Scarfoglio, Italian author and journalist who was one of the early practitioners of realistic Italian fiction, a school of writing that embraced direct, colloquial language and rejected the ornate style of earlier Italian literature.
1865 – Mary Du Caurroy Russell (Duchess of Bedford), British writer, ornithologist, hospital founder and wartime nurse, record-breaking aviator, women’s suffragist, and jujitsu expert; despite the fact that she was going deaf, she first took up flying at the age of 63, and broke world records for flights to Cape Town (South Africa) and Karachi (then in India). She died in 1937 at age 71, three months before Amelia Earhart’s death, when her plane crashed into the North Sea. Her book, A Bird-Watcher’s Diary, was published after her death.
1872 – Max Ehrmann, U.S. poet most known for his 1927 work “Desiderata.”
1876 – Edith Abbott, influential U.S. economist, statistician, social worker, economics professor, and author who was the first female graduate-school dean in the United States. She is known for her groundbreaking research and writing on issues related to crime, housing, immigration, and other social issues, and for her advocacy for social work as a profession.
1886 – Chikashi Koizumi, Japanese writer, teacher, and tanka poet who founded two poetry magazines.
1888 – T.S. Eliot, Nobel Prize-winning U.S.-born British poet whose best known works are The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Waste Land; the Broadway musical Cats was based on his Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.
1889 – Martin Heidegger, German existentialist philosopher, poet, and professor.
1906 – Zhang Tianyi, left-wing Chinese short-story writer, novelist, and children’s book author, known for his satiric wit.
1907 – Dan Botta, Romanian poet, translator, and essayist.
1908 – M.P. Periyasaamy Thooran, prolific Indian Tamil poet, author, short-story writer, children’s author, encylopaedia editor, teacher, lyricist, and composer who sometimes wrote simply under the name Thooran; he was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and by firebrand poet and revolutionary Subramania Bharathiyar.
1918 – Fernando Alegría, Chilean poet, writer, literary critic, and scholar.
1919 – Aurora Matilde Gómez Camus, Spanish poet, writer, actress, historian, translator, nonfiction writer, and literary critic.
1921 – Cyprian Ekwensi, Nigerian writer, publisher, children’s author, novelist, and pharmacist.
1926 – Asghar Sodai, well-known Pakistani educator and Urdu poet.
1927 – Romano Mussolini, Italian poet, pianist, composer, jazz musician, painter, and film producer who was the son of dictator Benito Mussolini.
1932 – Vladimir Voinovich, Tajikistan-born Russian Soviet writer, poet, painter, science-fiction author, and dissident.
1934 – Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Japanese-U.S. author, journalist, and sociologist, best known for Farewell to Manzanar, an autobiographical book written with her husband James D. Houston; the book details her experiences during her family’s internment, beginning when she was seven years old, at Manzanar, a camp where innocent Japanese-Americans were sent against their will during World War II.
1937 – Marina Colasanti, Eritrean-born Brazilian poet, short-story writer, translator, linguist, children’s author, and journalist.
1938 – Raoul Cauvin, Belgian comic strip author, best known for a series, in French, about the American Civil War.
1942 – Gloria E. Anzaldúa, U.S. writer, poet, novelist, children’s author, literary critic, feminist theorist, and queer theorist who wrote about the marginal, in-between, and mixed cultures that develop along borders.
1944 – Peter Turrini, Austrian playwright, poet, essayist, and screenwriter known for his socio-critical work and earlier folk dramas; rather than presenting an authentic picture of reality, his work attempts to raise the audience’s consciousness through exaggeration.
1946 – Rita Bertha Maria Demeester, Belgian poet, writer, essayist, and short-story writer.
1949 – Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. author of bestselling novels; she is also known for short stories, essays, nonfiction books, and young-adult novels.
1949 – Minette Caroline Mary Walters, award-winning English crime writer who has also written romances, historical novels, and short stories, and has been a magazine editor.
1951 – Park Ra Yeon, award-winning South Korean poet whose work has been praised for its compassion and subtlety; recurring themes in her poetry include poverty, loneliness, sadness, pain, and parting, but the tone of her poems remains bright, hopeful, and compassionate.
1961 – Will Self, English author, journalist, short-story writer, nonfiction writer, and television personality. His best-known novel, Umbrella, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
1962 – Mark Haddon, English novelist, poet, and children’s book author, best known for his novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
1965 – Bernice L. McFadden, award-winning, bestselling U.S. African-American novelist, nonfiction writer, short-story writer, and professor who has also written humorous erotic romance novels as Geneva Holliday.
1969 – Yannis Livadas, contemporary Greek poet, essayist, and translator.
1971 – Upendra Bahadur Angdembe (known as Upendra Subba), Nepali poet, lyricist, and short-story writer who was one of the initiators of the movement called Srijanshil Arajakta, or Creative Anarchy.
1976 – Hagit Grossman, Israeli poet, novelist, and short-story writers who is one of the most prominent Israeli poets of her generation.
1985 – Tapiwa Zivira, Zimbabwean digital journalist who has written on issues of social justice.