1903 - George Orwell (given name Eric Arthur Blair)
English novelist, known for Nineteen Eighty-four and Animal Farm; also some non-fiction, essays and journalism.
1910 - Elizabeth Orton Jones
American author and illustrator of children's books, whose work in Prayer for a Child won the 1945 Caldecott Medal.
1913 - P.H. Newby
English novelist who son the inaugural Booker Prize in 1969 for Something to Answer For.
1923 - Dorothy Gilman
American mystery author, known for the Mrs. Pollifax mysteries.
1923 - Nicholas Mosley
British novelist and biographer, full title Sir Nicholas Mosley, 3rd Baron Ravensdale, 7th Baronet Anclats MC.
1928 - Peyo
Pen name of Pierre Culliford, Belgian comics artis and creator of the Smurfs.
1929 - Eric Carle
Garman-American children's book author and illustrator, known for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, as well as many other children's books illustrated with his collage work.
1935 - Charles Sheffield
English-born mathematician, physicist and science fiction author.
1936 - Bert Hölldobler
German sociobiologist who co-wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Ants with Edward O. Wilson.
1936 - A.J. Quinnell
Pen name of Philip Nicholson, British author whose best known work is Man on Fire.
1956 - Anthony Bourdain
American chef and author, known for Kitchen Confidential, as well as his foodie television shows.
1961 - Ricky Gervais
English comedian who took a turn at writing children's books in the mid-2000s.
1963 - Yann Martel
Spanish-born Canadian author, known for Life of Pi, which won the Booker Prize in 2002.
1964 - Martha McPhee
American novelist and daughter of the literary journalist John McPhee.
1822 - E.T.A. Hoffman
1950 - Maurice O'Sullivan
1958 - Alfred Noyes
1997 - Jacques Cousteau