1850 - Lafcadio Hearn
Ionian-born international writer best known for his books about Japan, where he was known as Koizumi Yakumo.
1872 - Paul Lawrence Dunbar
African-American writer much of whose work was written in dialect.
1880 - Helen Keller
American author and political activist for the deaf and blind. Her early autobiography, Story of my Life, was adapted into a number of works about her.
1896 - Helen Sewell
American children's book author and illustrator whose The Thanksgiving Story was a 1955 Caldecott Honor book.
1906 - Catherine Cookson
British novelist, known for her fiction based in northeast England. She also wrote under the pen names Catherine Marchant and Katie McMullen, and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1993.
1928 - James Lincoln Collier
American musician and author of children's book like My Brother Sam is Dead, which was a 1974 Newbery Honor book.
1929 - Peter Maas
American journalist and author of non-fiction, notably several mafia biographies.
1936 - Lucille Clifton
American poet and writer, winner of the 2000 National book award for Poetry and Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1979 to 1985.
1939 - Ivan Doig
American novelist, known for his regional historic fiction. His Montana series, including Dancing at the Rascal Fair, are his best known works.
1949 - James P. Hogan
British author of hard science fiction.
1951 - Anita Diamant
American author who began in non-fiction, writing Guides about contemporary Jewish practice. She had a big hit with her debut novel, The Red Tent, which became a New York Times bestseller.
1953 - Alice McDermott
American author who won the National Book Award for her 1998 novel Charming Billy.
1956 - Scott Cunningham
American author of books on Wicca and alternative religions.
1971 - Jo Frost
English nanny, television personality and author of books on child rearing.
1946 - Wanda Gág
2001 - Tove Jansson
2005 - Shelby Foote