1890 - Karel Čapek
Czech writer, known as the popularizer of the word "robot."
1908 - Simone de Beauvoir
French writer and philosopher known for her influence on early feminism.
1919 - William Morris Meredith
American poet; U.S. Poet Laureate from 1978-80.
1928 - Judith Krantz
Jewish-American romance novelist, who did not start writing until she was almost 50.
1931 - Algis Budrys
Lithuanian-American science fiction author who wrote under various pseudonyms.
1933 - Wilbur Smith
Rhodesian-born novelist, most of whose novels center on Africa and Egypt.
1936 - Anne Rivers Siddons
American novelist who writes stories set in the southern United States.
1938 - Stuart Woods
American author of fiction and mystery, whose largest series is centered around New York lawyer Stone Barrington.
1942 - John Dunning
American writer, best known for his mystery series involving Denver bookseller Cliff Janeway.
1954 - Phillippa Gregory
Kenyan-born British author of historical fiction, most famously 2001's The Other Boleyn Girl.
1959 - Rigoberta Menchú
Guatemalan activist, author and 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
1923 - Katherine Mansfield
1930 - Edward Bok
1946 - Countee Cullen
1982 - Marya Zaturenska
1996 - Walter M. Miller, Jr.