1867 - Arnold Bennett
English novelist who has an omelette named after him at the Savoy Hotel in London.
1894 - Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Pen name of French novelist Louis Feridinand August Destouches, best known for the semi-autobiographical Journey to the End of Night.
1894 - Dashiell Hammett
American author of hard-boiled detective novels, creator of the Sam Spade character as well as Nick and Nora Charles (and their crossword favorite dog Asta.)
1907 - Rachel Carson
American marine biologist and conservationist whose 1962 book Silent Spring helped advance the environmental movement.
1912 - John Cheever
American novelist and short story writer whose fiction is usually set in the American suburbs or in Italy.
1915 - Herman Wouk
American author whose The Caine Mutiny won the 1952 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
1925 - Tony Hillerman
American author of detective novels; primarily his Navajo Tribal Police mysteries.
1930 - John Barth
American novelist and short story writer, known for the postmodernist and metafictional qualities of his work.
1934 - Harlan Ellison
American author of speculative fiction; multiple winner of Hugos, Nebulas and Edgars.
1940 - Edmund Morris
American writer, winner of the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Theodore Roosevelt.
1945 - Anthony Pagden
American author, translator and professor.
1966 - Heston Blumenthal
English chef and cookbook author.
1867 - Thomas Bulfinch
1939 - Joseph Roth
1949 - Robert Ripley
1957 - Robert Lawson
1974 - Kurt Wiese