1737 - Thomas Paine
English-American political activist and writer.
1860 - Anton Chekov
Russian dramatist and author, known for his short stories.
1866 - Romain Rolland
French writer, winner of the 1915 Nobel Prize in Literature "as a tribute to the lofty idealism on his literary production and to the sympathy and love of truth with which he has described different types of human beings."
1867 - Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
Spanish novelist mostly known in the English-speaking world for Hollywood adaptations of his works.
1915 - Bill Peet
American children's book author and illustrator, also a writer for Disney.
1923 - Paddy Chayefsky
American screenwriter known for his television and movie treatments, who also wrote the science fiction novel Altered States.
1927 - Edward Abbey
American author of environmental fiction and essays.
1930 - Christopher Collier
American historian and author of books for children and adults, a Pulitzer nominee and a Newbery Honor winner.
1943 - Rosemary Wells
American author of children's books, most notably the Max and Ruby series.
1954 - Oprah Winfrey
American media magnate and sometime author.
1763 - Louis Racine
1888 - Edward Lear
1944 - William Allen White
1956 - H.L. Mencken
1963 - Robert Frost
2004 - M.M. Kaye
2008 - Margaret Truman
2015 - Colleen McCullough