1799 - Honore de Balzac
French novelist and playwright, one of the founders of European realism.
1830 - Hector Malot
French novelist now best known for his 1878 work Sans Famille (Nobody's Boy.)
1882 - Sigrid Undset
Norwegian novelist and author of Kristen Lavransdattar; winner of the 1928 Nobel Prize in Literature "principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages"
1890 - Allan Nevins
American historian and biographer, winner of the 1933 Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Grover Cleveland.
1949 - Mary Pope Osborne
American children's book author known for her Magic Tree House series.
1956 - Douglas Preston
American author of thriller novels; often with collaborator Lincoln Child.
1963 - Christopher Sorrentino
American novelist of Puerto Rican descent.
1969 - Jon Meacham
American author and editor, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer in Biography for American Lion: Andrew Johnson in the White House.
1940 - Verner von Heidenstam
1956 - Max Beerbohm
1960 - Audrey Wurderman
2002 - Stephen Jay Gould