1741 – Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi (born Hester Lynch Salusbury), Welsh diarist, author, salon holder, and patron of the arts; her diaries and correspondence are an important source of information about Samuel Johnson and 18th-century English life.
1826 – Mikhail Yevgrafovich Saltykov-Shchedrin, major Russian writer, editor, and satirist who spent much of his life working as a civil servant; his best known work is the novel The Golovlyov Family.
1830 – Carlotta Ferrari, Italian poet, writer, autobiographer, composer, conductor, and professor who wrote her first opera at the age of 20.
1832 – Lewis Carroll, pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, English writer, poet, children’s author, logician, and deacon who is most well known for his classic book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
1845 – Mary Jane O’Donovan Rossa, Irish poet, writer, and political activist for Irish nationalism.
1858 – Cornelia Hubertina “Neel” Doff, Dutch-Belgian author who wrote mostly in French and who is a key figure in proletarian literature.
1864 – Lagertha Broch, Norwegian writer, illustrator, children’s author, and women’s rights activist.
1891 – Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg, Soviet writer, Bolshevik revolutionary, journalist, and historian who was one of the most prolific and notable authors of the Soviet Union.
1914 – Anna Mikhailovna Larina, Russian writer who was the second wife of the Bolshevik leader Nikolai Bukharin, and who spent many years trying to rehabilitate her husband’s reputation after he was executed in 1938; she is best known for her memoir, This I Cannot Forget. She spent 20 years in the gulag, where she communicated with other prisoners through a system of taps on the walls of their cells.
1917 – Rachid Driss, award-winning Tunisian politician, diplomat and writer about international relations; he was the Ambassador of Tunisia to the United States.
1929 – Azucena Grajo Uranza, Filipina novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenwriter, radio script writer, journalist, and professor who wrote in English.
1931 – Mordecai Richler, Canadian novelist, screenwriter, and essayist.
1932 – Rimma Kazakova, Russian poet, writer, translator, and lyricist; she is best known for writing many popular songs of the Soviet era.
1939 – Julius Lester, U.S. author primarily of books for children and young adults; he was also a professor, civil rights activist, photographer, and folk musician.
1941 – Beatrice Muriel Hill Tinsley, British-born New Zealand astronomer, cosmologist, and professor whose research and publications made fundamental contributions to astronomers’ understanding of how galaxies evolve, grow and die.
1945 – Konstanze von Schulthess-Rechberg, German author and member of the traditional German nobility who was born while her mother was a prisoner at the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she was sent after Konstanze’s father was executed for his part in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler; Konstanze is best known for a biography she wrote about her mother’s life.
1949 – Judith Forrai, Hungarian writer, editor, science and medical historian, professor, and dentist.
1949 – Ethan Mordden, U.S. novelist, essayist, literary critic, and nonfiction author, many of whose works center around musical theater and on contemporary gay culture in New York City.
1952 – Tam Elizabeth O’Shaughnessy, U.S. children’s science writer and former professional tennis player who co-founded, with astronaut Sally Ride, the science education company Sally Ride Science.
1955 – Alexander Stuart, British-born, Los Angeles-based novelist and screenwriter.
1956 – Nouri al-Jarrah, Syrian poet, journalist, literary magazine founder, and director of the Center for Arabic Geographical Literature-Exploration Prospects.
1956 – Kanak Mani Dixit, Nepali publisher, editor, and writer who founded two magazines.
1958 – James Grippando, U.S. novelist and lawyer, known for his crime and legal fiction; winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.
1963 – Ngarmpun Vejjajiva (also spelled Ngamphan Wetchachiwa, though she is also known as Jane), award-winning British-born Thai novelist and translator; a wheelchair user, she has had cerebral palsy since birth. She is the sister of Thailand’s former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
1969 – Éliette Abécassis, French novelist, historian, and philosopher.
1983 – Leana Wen, Chinese-born physician, author, public health advocate, author, professor, former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, former Health Commissioner for the City of Baltimore, and author of the book When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests.
2007 – Anoushka Sabnis, award-winning Indian author, poet, and illustrator who published her first book at the age of 10.