0086 – Gaius Sallustius Crispus (usually called Sallust), Roman writer, poet, historian, and politician who is the earliest known Roman historian with surviving works to his name.
1550 – Ana García Manzanas (better known as Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew), Spanish Roman Catholic Carmelite nun and writer who was known for being a companion to Saint Teresa of Ávila; she led the establishment of new monasteries of in France and the Lowlands. Her writings include letters, a biography, an autobiography, and treatises on spiritual matters.
1611 – Mathias Jansz Balen, Dutch writer, poet, and historian who published a description of the Dutch city of Dordrecht in two volumes.
1734 – Étienne-François de Lantier, French writer, poet, and playwright.
1780 – Göran Wahlenberg, Swedish naturalist, writer, botanist, mycologist (fungi scientist), artist, pteridologist (fern scientist), and professor.
1790 – Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna, popular Victorian English writer, novelist, and memoirist who wrote under the pseudonym Charlotte Elizabeth; her work focused on promoting women’s rights and evangelical Protestantism. Writer Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote of Tonna’s memoir Personal Recollections, “We know of no piece of autobiography in the English language which can compare with this in richness of feeling and description and power of exciting interest.”
1791 – Sergey Aksakov, Russian novelist who is remembered for his semi-autobiographical tales of family life, as well as his books on hunting and fishing; a crater on the planet Mercury has been named in his honor.
1796 – Louise Swanton Belloc (née Anne-Louise Chassériau Swanton), award-winning French writer, encyclopedia contributor, and translator of Irish descent who is best known for introducing several important works of English literature to France, and as a strong proponent of women’s education; she was once referred to as “a young person of brilliant talents.”
1814 – Josefina (Josephine) Deland, Swedish feminist writer and teacher who wrote in French.
1819 – Maria Louisa Charlesworth, English author of children’s books and religious tracts.
1834 – Mary Mackellar (née Cameron), prominent Highland Scottish poet, writer, Gaelic-English translator, and campaigner for the Gaelic language and culture.
1847 – Annie Besant, important British writer, editor, social reformer, philosopher, women’s rights activist, orator, and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule; she was put on trial for obscenity (and acquitted) after publishing a pamphlet on birth control.
1859 – Clarissa Minnie Thompson Allen, U.S. African-American who was born a slave and went on to become an educator and author who wrote fictional stories about wealthy African-American families in the southern U.S.; her seminal work, the novel, Treading the Winepress, or, A Mountain of Misfortune, was groundbreaking in its frank depictions of racism, classism, poverty, and violence in the post-Emancipation South.
1865 – Ane Gurli Linder (née Peterson), Swedish writer and feminist who was a strong supporter of libraries and reading; she played an important role in pioneering the promotion and development of children’s literature.
1869 – Stefania Sempolowska, Polish educator, writer, textbook author, journalist, magazine editor, and activist for the rights of children.
1878 – Huang Yanpei, Chinese educator, writer, magazine editor, and politician.
1879 – Hasegawa Shigure, major Japanese writer, playwright, and literary journal editor who was the only woman writer to be featured in three volumes of the Meiji bungaku zenshu (“Collected Works of Meiji Literature”).
1886 – Ahmad Amin, Egyptian historian and writer who was known for his series of books on the history of the Islamic civilization, his autobiography, and a dictionary of Egyptian folklore.
1893 – Faith Baldwin, popular U.S. author of romance fiction who published more than 100 novels, often focusing on women juggling career and family; many of her books were made into popular movies.
1899 – Ernest Haycox, U.S. author of novels, short stories, nonfiction, and screenplays; he was best known for his historical fiction about the American West. Some of his work was adapted for film.
1899 – Matsutaro Kawaguchi, award-winning Japanese novelist, playwright, screenwriter, short-story writer, and film producer.
1901 – Stanislawa Przybyszewska, Polish writer, playwright, and screenwriter who wrote almost exclusively about the French Revolution; her play The Danton Case, which examines the conflict between Maximilien Robespierre and Georges Danton, is considered to be one of the most exemplary works about the Revolution, and has been adapted for film.
1901 – Thakur Srinath Singh, renowned Indian poet, writer, magazine editor, novelist, and children’s writer who is best known for his poems for children.
1911 – Fletcher Knebel, U.S. author of popular political fiction.
1911 – Rinzo Shiina, Japanese writer, novelist, short-story writer, and playwright; his writing focused on the spiritual poverty of post-occupation Japan.
1912 – Kathleen Mary Ollerenshaw, British mathematician, astronomer, and politician who was Lord Mayor of Manchester and an advisor on educational matters to Margaret Thatcher’s government; she published at least 26 mathematical papers, her biggest contribution being in the area of pandiagonal “magic” squares. From the age of eight she was almost completely deaf.
1914 – Daniel J. Boorstin, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. historian who served as Librarian of Congress.
1914 – Donald Allen Wollheim, U.S. science-fiction author, editor, and publisher who wrote under his own name and several pseudonyms, including David Grinnell.
1916 – Debora Vaarandi, award-winning Estonian writer, poet, and translator who is considered a leading literary figure in post-World War II Estonia; her work celebrates values such as the love of nature, the importance of family, and the beauty of small things.
1918 – Gloria Jasmine Rawlinson, New Zealand poet, novelist, short-story writer, and editor.
1919 – Majrooh Sultanpuri (Asrar Hussain Khan), Indian poet who writes in Urdu and was also a Bollywood film lyricist.
1920 – David Herbert Donald, U.S. historian, Lincoln biographer, and two-time Pulitzer winner.
1924 – Jimmy Carter (full name James Earl Carter, Jr.), Nobel Prize-winning politician and U.S. President who has written 23 books on topics that include humanitarian work, aging, religion, and human rights; he has also written memoir, poetry, and a children’s book (illustrated by his daughter Amy).
1926 – Gao Mang (also known by his pen name Wulanhan), award-winning Chinese translator and painter who was one of the main translators into Chinese of the works of the Russian poets Alexander Pushkin, Ivan Bunin, Mikhail Lermontov. and Anna Akhmatova.
1928 – Zhu Rongji, prominent Chinese politician who was mayor of Shanghai and Premier of the People’s Republic of China, and who has written several books since retiring from office; he is also known as a philanthropist, and once acted in an opera.
1933 – Ozod Muhiddinovna Aminova, award-winning Tajikistani poet, writer, and newspaper editor who is sometimes known by the mononym Ozod; her work explores the themes of patriotism, love, loyalty, and the freedom of Soviet women.
1933 – Fernando Soto Aparicio, award-winning Colombian poet, storyteller, playwright, novelist, television screenwriter, short-story writer, professor, and librettist.
1935 – Julie (Andrews) Edwards, English children’s book author who is better known (using her maiden name, Julie Andrews) as the iconic actress and singer who starred in The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins; her books are written as Julie Edwards and include the beloved novel, Mandy.
1935 – Eiko Kadono, Japanese author of children’s literature, picture books, nonfiction, and essays; her most famous work, Kiki’s Delivery Service, was made into an anime film and spawned a series of sequel novels.
1936 – Obaidullah Baig, Pakistani scholar, writer, novelist, columnist, media expert, and documentary filmmaker who wrote in Urdu.
1940 – Michael Gruber, U.S. author and ghostwriter who also has written magazine articles on biology and a children’s book; he has a PhD in marine sciences, has studied octopus behavior, and has worked as a chef, a rock band roadie, a White House environmental policy expert, and a speechwriter.
1940 – Aud Korbøl, award-winning Norwegian sociologist and novelist.
1942 – Wolf-Dieter Storl, German anthropologist and author who studies shamanism and healing in traditional societies; his books have shamanistic and ethnobotanic themes.
1943 – Nay Myo Thant, award-winning Burmese writer, novelist, and short-story author.
1944 – Gay Courter, bestselling U.S. screenwriter, author, and novelist.
1946 – Tim O’Brien, U.S. journalist, novelist, memoirist, and professor, best known for writing about the Vietnam War.
1946 – Jury Rupin, Ukrainian photographer, artist, and writer.
1949 – Isaac Bonewits, American Druid who published books on Neopaganism and magic.
1949 – Aurelian Silvestru, award-winning Moldovan writer, journalist, radio editorialist, psychologist, and activist.
1953 – Veerabhadrappa Kumbar (popularly known by the pen name KumVee), award-winning Indian Kannada novelist, poet, short-story writer, critic, biographer, autobiographer, and translator; he uses the local Ballary dialet of Kannada in his writings.
1955 – Debbie Ford, bestselling U.S. author of self-help books.
1959 – Brian P. Cleary, U.S. author of humorous books for children about grammar and math.
1959 – Tohti Tunyaz (pen name: Tohti Muzart) Chinese ethnic Uyghur historian and writer who specializes in Uyghur history and ethnic relations.
1962 – Mohammad Al-Habash, Syrian Islamic scholar, writer, and politician who is the principal figure of the Islamic revivalist movement in Syria.
1964 – Cristina Rivera Garza, Mexican award-winning novelist, writer, and professor who is best known for her fictional work.
1967 – Sarah Quigley, award-winning New Zealand writer, bestselling novelist, biographer, poet, and short-story writer who has also written a creative-writing manual.
1970 – Hamdy el-Gazzar, award-winning Egyptian writer, screenwriter, novelist, playwright, and short-story writer.
1973 – Nicola Yoon, bestselling Jamaican-born young-adult novelist and short-story writer; her book The Sun Is Also a Star has been adapted for film. She is also associated with the We Need Diverse Books organization, which promotes the representation of diversity in literature.
1974 – Mohamed Yousri Salama, Egyptian writer, activist, politician, and dentist.
1992 – Kevin Martens Wong, award-winning Singaporean novelist, short-story writer, civil servant, linguist, magazine founder, and director of an organization to protect the critically endangered Kristang language in Singapore.