1803 - Edward Bulwer-Lytton
English novelist, poet and playwright, perhaps best known for the opening line "It was a dark and stormy night."
1803 - Ralph Waldo Emerson
American essayist and poet of the Transcendentalist movement.
1899 - Boris Artzybasheff
Russian-born AMerican illustrator, winner of a Newbery Medal for his work on Dhan Gopal Mukerji's Gay-Neck.
1908 - Theodore Roethke
American poet who won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his book The Waking.
1927 - Robert Ludlum
Best-selling American author of thriller novels.
1932 - John Gregory Dunne
American novelist; younger brother of author Dominick Dunne and husband of author Joan Didion.
1935 - W.P. Kinsella
Canadian novelist best known for his work Shoeless Joe, which was adapted into the film Field of Dreams.
1936 - David Levering Lewis
American historian, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History.
1938 - Raymond Carver
American short story writer, known for minimalism and dirty realism.
1938 - Joyce Carol Thomas
African-American poet, playwright and children's author.
1949 - Jamaica Kincaid
Caribbean novelist, born Elaine Cynthia Potter Richardson.
1952 - Al Sarrantonio
American horror and science fiction author and anthologist.
1953 - Eve Ensler
American feminist playwright and author, best known for her play The Vagina Monologues.
1967 - Poppy Z Brite
Pen name of American author Billy Martin (born Melissa Ann Brite), known for his gothic horror featuring gay and bisexual characters.
2003 - Sloan Wilson