1818 - Karl Marx
Prussian-German philosopher and socialist, whose best known work is The Communist Manifesto.
1846 - Henryk Sienkiewicz
Polish author; winner of the 1905 Nobel Prize for Literature "because of his outstanding merits as an epic writer."
1903 - James Beard
American chef and food writer; instrumental in bringing French cooking to the country in the 1950s.
1943 - Michael Palin
English comedian and member of Monty Python enjoying a second career as a travel writer and documentarian.
1947 - Linda Fairstein
American author and controversial former prosecutor who writes the Alexandra Cooper novels.
1953 - Deborah Wiles
American children's book author, known for her Aurora County trilogy.
1963 - Scott Westerfeld
American author of young adult science fiction, known for the Uglies series.
1964 - Tom Reiss
American author whose The Black Count won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.
1979 - Catherynne Valente
American author of postmodern fantasy and "mythpunk."
1986 - Robyn Schneider
American author who also writes for a younger audience as Violet Haberdasher.
1988 - Michael Shaara