1880 - H.L. Mencken
American journalist and author, known for writing The American Language, a study of vernacular American English.
1902 - Marya Zaturenska
American poet, winner of the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
1921 - Stanisław Lem
Polish science fiction writer possibly best known for his novel Solaris, which has been adapted to film three times. The Sword and Laser online book club has appropriated his last name to refer to not finishing a book you've started, as well as the name of their dragon mascot.
1931 - Kristin Hunter
African-American writer whose first novel, God Bless the Child, was her most acclaimed.
1943 - Michael Ondaatje
Sri-Lankan-born Canadian novelist, most well known for his novel The English Patient.
1969 - James Frey
American author of loosely autobiographical fiction.
1977 - Robert Lowell
1981 - Eugenio Montale
2008 - David Foster Wallace