1048 - Omar Khayyám
Persian polymath and poet; known in literature for his collection of poetry that translator Edward FitzGerald titled the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám.
1879 - Henry James
American writer who won Pulitzer for a biography of Charles W. Eliot. Son of William James and nephew of Henry James.
1872 - Bertrand Russell
British philosopher and social critic; winner of the 1950 Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought"
1907 - Irene Hunt
American children's author whose book Up a Road Slowly won the 1967 Newbery Medal.
1925 - Lillian Hoban
American children's writer and illustrator
1930 - Fred Saberhagen
American science fiction and fantasy author best known for his Berserker series.
1952 - Diane Duane
American science fiction and fantasy author who writes in the Star Trek universe, as well as her own settings.
1957 - Lionel Shriver
American journalist and author; born Margaret Ann Shriver. Winner of the 2005 Orange Prize.
1849 - James Truslow Adams
1909 - George Meredith
1981 - William Saroyan
2001 - Irene Hunt