1749 - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
German writer, artist and politician, and man of generally unpronounceable last name.
1864 - Mark Antony De Wolfe Howe
American author and editor who won the 1925 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for Barrett Wendell and His Letters.
1913 - Robertson Davies
Canadian novelist, "one of Canada's most well-known and popular writers." Nope, I hadn't heard of him either.
1915 - Tasha Tudor
American author and illustrator of children's books.
1916 - Jack Vance
American author of mostly science fiction. His first Hugo award was in 1963, his most recent 2010.
1917 - Jack Kirby
American comic book artist. Co-created the Captain America character. Comics' Jack Kirby Award is named for him.
1937 - Allen Say
Asian American children's author and illustrator, best know for his Caldecott award-winning Grandfather's Journey.
1948 - Vonda McIntyre
American science fiction author, who has written in both the Star Wars and Star Trek universes. Her novel The Moon and the Sun won a Nebula award in 1997.
1952 - Rita Dove
American poet and author, Poet Laureate of the U.S. from 1993-1995 and winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
1978 - Bruce Catton
1978 - Robert Shaw
1989 - John Steptoe
1995 - Michael Ende
1988 - Max Shulman
1993 - William Stafford