1891 - Nella Larsen
American novelist of the Harlem Renaissance.
1902 - Marguerite Henry
American author and multiple Newbery winner, most famous for Misty of Chincoteague.
1906 - Samuel Beckett
Irish playwright and writer; winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his writing, which - in new forms for the novel and drama - in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation."
1909 - Eudora Welty
American author of fiction about the American south; 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner.
1922 - John Braine
English novelist; associated with the Angry Young Men movement.
1939 - Seamus Heaney
Irish poet, writer, translator and winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past."
1940 - J.M.G. Le Clézio
French-Mauritian author, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature.
1947 - Rae Armantrout
American poet associated with the Language Poets, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
1949 - Christopher Hitchens
British author and journalist who concentrated on politics, literature and religion.
1695 - Jean de la Fontaine
1993 - Wallace Stegner
1997 - David McCord
2006 - Muriel Spark