May 14 Writer Birthdays

1553 – Margaret of Valois, French princess of the Valois dynasty who became queen consort of Navarre and later of France and was a well-known writer and woman of letters; she was the first woman known to have written and published her memoirs. The daughter of King Henry II of France and Catherine de’Medici, she was also the sister of kings Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III.

1607 – Alberte-Barbe d’Ernécourt (Madame de Saint-Baslemont), French writer and soldier who was a heroine of the Thirty Years’ War.

1851 – Anna Laurens Dawes, U.S. author, biographer, suffragist, and trustee of Smith College who served on the board of the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1892-94 and the St. Louis Exposition of 1902-04 and was the daughter of a U.S. Senator. Her written works covered topics including U.S. history, government, and sociology.

1876 – Luis Llorens Torres, Puerto Rican poet, playwright, lawyer, and politician.

1899 – Charlotte Auerbach, German author, professor, geneticist, zoologist, and biologist who was one of the founders of the science of mutagenesis.

1900 – Hal Borland, U.S. author, editorial writer, and journalist who wrote about the nature.

1908 – Agnes Betty Jeffrey, Australian author and nurse who wrote about her World War II nursing experiences in the book White Coolies.

1921 – Fernanda Villeli, Mexican writer, screenwriter, actress, and activist who was one of her country’s major writers of telenovelas.

1929 – George Selden (real name George Thompson), U.S. children’s author who won a Newbery Honor for his novel, The Cricket in Times Square; he sometimes used pen name Terry Andrews.

1935 – June Beer, Afro-Nicaraguan poet, writer, and artist who gained international acclaim for her works depicting African and feminist themes.

1937 – Zehra Nigah, award-winning Pakistani Urdu poet and screenwriter who was one of only two female Pakistani poets to gain prominence in the 1950s when the field was dominated by men.

1939 – Colette Nys-Mazure, award-winning Belgian author, poet, essayist, children’s writer, playwright, and professor who writes in French.

1944 – George Lucas, wildly popular and influential U.S. film writer, director, and producer, best known for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.

1946 – Sarah Hogg (Viscountess Hailsham), English economist, journalist, and life peer

1952 – Kathleen Ann Goonan, U.S. science-fiction novelist and short-story writer whose work was often set in New Orleans. Her writing is sometimes considered cyberpunk and often incorporates biotechnology, and jazz music; she was also an essayist, professor, literary critic, Campbell Award winner, and Nebula Award nominee.

1952 – Robert L. Zemeckis, U.S. screenwriter, director, and producer known for special-effects films.

1958 – Anna Höglund, Swedish author and artist, considered to be one of Sweden’s best illustrators.

1959 – Robert Greene, bestselling U.S. nonfiction author and speaker who writes about power, strategy, and seduction.

1965 – Eoin Colfer, (pronounced “Owen”) Irish author best known for the Artemis Fowl series of young-adult books, though he also writes for adults.

1971 – Sofia Carmina Coppola, Oscar-winning U.S. film director, and screenwriter; ex-wife of film director Spike Jonze, daughter of film director Francis Ford Coppola, niece of actress Talia Shire, and cousin of actor Nicolas Cage.

1974 – Jana Žitňanská, Slovak writer, journalist, and member of the European Parliament.

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