480 BC – Euripides, Greek playwright who was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens; his theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times include representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
1863 – Mary Church Terrell, writer, journalist, educator, politician, suffragist, and civil-rights activist who was one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree and who was the first African-American woman in the United States to serve on the school board of a major city (Washington, D.C.); As a writer, she sometimes used the pen name Euphemia Kirk.
1865 – Emmuska Orczy (Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála ‘Emmuska’ Orczy de Orci), Hungarian-born British novelist, artist, and playwright who is best known for her series of novels featuring The Scarlet Pimpernel.
1901 – Jaroslav Seifert, Nobel Prize-winning Czech writer, poet, and journalist known for his innovative poetry; he was a key figure of the Czechoslovakian artistic avant-garde.
1907 – Anne Desclos, French journalist, translator, editor, and controversial novelist who wrote under the pseudonyms Dominique Aury and Pauline Réage; her explicit sadomasochistic novel, Histoire d’O (Story of O) was an enormous commercial success.
1908 – Ramdhari Singh (known by his pen name Dinkar), Indian Hindi poet, writer, essayist, politician, translator, journalist, literary critic, and academic who is considered one of the most important modern Hindi poets.
1919 – Madhav Prasad Ghimire, Nepali poet and scholar who was honored as the Rashtrakavi (National Poet) of Nepal.
1930 – Çelik Gülersoy, Turkish writer, art historian, poet, lawyer, and historical preservationist who published books about historic sites in Istanbul.
1949 – Floella Benjamin, Trinidan-born British author, memoirist, children’s writer, politician, businesswoman, university chancellor, actress, television presenter, and baroness.
1949 – Jerry B. Jenkins, American author of biographies, young-adult novels, romances, mysteries, science fiction, religious writing, and self-help books; he is best known as co-author, with Tim LaHaye, of the “Left Behind” series.
1950 – Bruce Brooks, American author of young-adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction.
1956 – Peter David, prolific American author of comic books, screenplays, and science-fiction novels, especially known for his work in the Star Trek universe; he jokingly describes his occupation as “Writer of Stuff.”
1957 – Zsófia Bán, Brazilian writer, literary historian, essayist, and art and literature critic.
1959 – Frank Cottrell Boyce, British screenwriter and novelist, best known for his children’s fiction.
1959 – Jennie Shortridge, bestselling American novelist, magazine writer, and musician.
1967 – Justine Larbalestier, Australian writer of young adult fiction, including her best known novel, Liar.
1972 – Ana Marie Cox, American journalist, political blogger, and novelist
1976 – Wesley Chu, bestselling Taiwan-born American science-fiction author.
1976 – Shion Miura, award-winning Japanese novelist and nonfiction writer; much of her work has been adapted for films and television.
1982 – Joshua Foer, award-winning American journalist and science writer, best known for his book Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.
1982 – Han Han, Chinese screenwriter, novelist, blogger, musician, music producer, film director, and race car driver.