1849 - James Whitcomb Riley
American writer and poet. His 1885 poem "Little Orphant Annie" was the basis for the later character.
1893 - Alice Dalgliesh
Trinidad-born American author of children's historical fiction; three-time winner of the Newbery Award.
1907 - Helen MacInnes
Scottish-American author of espionage novels
1922 - William Zinsser
American writer, editor and journalist, many of whose books dealt with the craft of writing.
1934 - Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)
American writer and poet, only holder of the position of Poet Laureate of New Jersey.
1935 - Thomas Keneally
Australian writer whose 1982 Booker prizewinning Schindler's Ark was adapted into the film Schindler's List.
1948 - Diane Ackerman
American author, poet and naturalist best known for her work A Natural History of the Senses.
1960 - Kevin Boyle
American historian; winner of a National Book Award in 2004 for his book Arc of Justice.
1964 - Dan Savage
American author, columnist and media pundit who writes the relationship and sex advice column Savage Love.
1966 - Sherman Alexie
American author whose books focus on his experiences growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation.
1849 - Edgar Allen Poe
1894 - Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
1939 - Harvey Williams Cushing