Famous 21st Century American Writers

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 1 
Stan Lee
(Primary Creative Leader of Marvel Comics and Characters such as 'Spider-Man', 'X-Men' and 'Iron Man')
Stan Lee
73
Birthdate: December 28, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: November 12, 2018

Stan Lee was one of the most popular comic book writers, thanks to his appearances in several Marvel movies. He is well-known as the co-creator of many famous superheroes, including Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Hulk. He pioneered a naturalistic method to writing superhero comics and challenged the Comics Code Authority, which ultimately led to changes in its policies.

 2 
Maya Angelou
(American Poet and Civil Rights Activist Known for Her Autobiography ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’)
Maya Angelou
45
Birthdate: April 4, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: May 28, 2014
Poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was a champion for black feminism and is best remembered for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing. The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and over 50 honorary degrees was also a child sex abuse survivor.
 3 
George R. R. Martin
(Author of Epic Fantasy Novels 'A Song of Ice and Fire')
George R. R. Martin
29
Birthdate: September 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bayonne, New Jersey, United States
George R. R. Martin wrote the epic fantasy series of novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, which inspired the iconic Emmy-winning HBO series Game of Thrones. Also known as the "American Tolkien," he was featured on TIME 100. He has earned the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, too.
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 4 
Kurt Vonnegut
(Writer Known For His Satirical and Darkly Humorous Novels)
Kurt Vonnegut
12
Birthdate: November 11, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: April 11, 2007

Science-fiction author Kurt Vonnegut is best remembered for the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, which became a New York Times bestseller. The Hugo Award-winner had also fought against the Germans in World War II and expressed his anti-war and atheist views through his works, which also include short stories, plays, and autobiographical works.  

 5 
Harper Lee
(American Author Best Known for Her Novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’)
Harper Lee
17
Birthdate: April 28, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monroeville, Alabama, United States
Died: February 19, 2016

Harper Lee was an American novelist who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Despite publishing only two books, Lee was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature, such was her impact in the world of literature. A friend of Truman Capote, Lee has been portrayed by popular actresses in Capote's biographical films.

 6 
Tom Clancy
(American Author Best Known for His Novel ‘The Hunt for Red October’)
Tom Clancy
21
Birthdate: April 12, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: October 1, 2013
Tom Clancy is best remembered for his espionage- and war-themed novels, many of which, such as The Hunt for Red October, The Sum of All Fears, and Clear and Present Danger, have been made into hit films. He was also a co-owner of the MLB team Baltimore Orioles
 7 
Toni Morrison
(Novelist)
Toni Morrison
20
Birthdate: February 18, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio
Died: August 5, 2019
Author, editor, and Princeton professor Toni Morrison is best remembered for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved, part of a trilogy. Some of her other notable works include The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon. She received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. She also wrote several children’s books and plays.
 8 
John Grisham
(American writer)
John Grisham
18
Birthdate: February 8, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Criminal lawyer-turned-author John Grisham is known for his bestselling legal thrillers The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker, and A Time to Kill. Nine of his novels have been made into films. He is one of three authors to have sold 2 million copies in his first printing.
 9 
Ray Bradbury
(One of the Most Celebrated 20th-Century American Writers Known for His Novel 'Fahrenheit 451')
Ray Bradbury
9
Birthdate: August 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Waukegan, Illinois, United States
Died: June 5, 2012
Ray Bradbury is best remembered for his writings in the science-fiction, mystery, and horror genres, the most notable being the short story anthology Martian Chronicles and the novel Fahrenheit 451. He also contributed to the screenplays of various series and films, and won an Emmy for writing The Halloween Tree.
 10 
Dan Brown
(Novelist)
Dan Brown
19
Birthdate: June 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Exeter, New Hampshire, United States

Dan Brown is an American author best known for writing a series of Robert Langdon novels; three such novels, namely The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and Inferno, have been made into films, with Tom Hanks portraying Robert Langdon in all three movies. Also known for his charity work, Dan Brown donates money to several charitable causes.

 11 
Gore Vidal
(American Writer Known for His Novels: ‘The City and the Pillar’, ‘Julian’, ‘Myra Breckinridge’ and ‘Burr’)
Gore Vidal
13
Birthdate: October 3, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: West Point, New York, United States
Died: July 31, 2012

Gore Vidal was an American intellectual and writer. He served as a major inspiration to gays, lesbians, and bisexuals as he was openly bisexual and often incorporated LGBT characters in his novels, which was very unusual at the time. He was also known for his debates with William F. Buckley Jr., which inspired the 2015 documentary film Best of Enemies.

 12 
Cormac McCarthy
(One of the Greatest Contemporary American Writers Who is Known for His Graphic Depictions of Violence)
Cormac McCarthy
4
Birthdate: July 20, 1933
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Renonwed as one of the most gifted contemporary writers, Cormac McCarthy is distinguished for his unique writing style and graphic depictions of violence. His novels depict wayward characters in the rural American South and Southwest. He shot to fame with his novel All The Pretty Horses and bagged in Pulitzer Prize for his post-apocalyptic novel The Road.
 13 
Philip Roth
(One of the Most Awarded American Writers of His Generation)
Philip Roth
11
Birthdate: March 19, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: May 22, 2018

Philip Roth was a novelist and short-story writer best remembered for creating the fictional character Nathan Zuckerman, who featured in many of his novels. The recipient of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize, he also received the inaugural Franz Kafka Prize. Roth was one of the most awarded American writers of his generation. Born a Jew, he became an atheist later on.

 14 
James Watson
(Molecular Biologist Who Co-discovered the Double Helix Structure of DNA With Francis Crick)
James Watson
6
Birthdate: April 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

James Watson is a geneticist, molecular biologist, and zoologist. He is credited with co-authoring the academic paper that propounded the double helix structure of nucleic acids such as DNA for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. In 1977, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1997, he was awarded the National Medal of Science.

 15 
Bob Woodward
(Journalist)
Bob Woodward
9
Birthdate: March 26, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Geneva, Illinois, United States
 16 
Neil Simon
(Playwright & Screenwriter)
Neil Simon
7
Birthdate: July 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York
Died: August 26, 2018
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 17 
David Mamet
(One of the Most Prolific Filmmakers of the Modern Era Who Was Known for His Psychological Dramas)
David Mamet
6
Birthdate: November 30, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Author, screenwriter, and playwright David Mamet is best known for his Pulitzer-winning and Tony-nominated play Glengarry Glen Ross. He has written for many Broadway and off-Broadway plays and also for films such as House of Games. He has produced and written for the show The Unit and authored several books.

 18 
Joan Didion
(Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist)
Joan Didion
5
Birthdate: December 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
 19 
Isabel Allende
(Chilean-American Author Known for Her Novels: ‘The House of the Spirits’ and ‘City of the Beasts’)
Isabel Allende
10
Birthdate: August 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lima, Peru
Chilean author Isabel Allende is known for her bestselling Spanish-language novels The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts. The Chilean National Literature Prize-winner explores women’s perspectives and includes magic realism and autobiographical aspects in her works. She has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
 20 
Ta-Nehisi Coates
(Author and Journalist Known for His Non-Fiction Books: ‘The Beautiful Struggle’ and ‘Between the World and Me’)
Ta-Nehisi Coates
6
Birthdate: September 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.

Author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates gained international prominence while serving as the national correspondent at The Atlantic. His writings on socio-political issues related to African Americans and white supremacy garnered him much appreciation. He is a recipient of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Prize for Writing to Advance Social Justice. He also writes fiction and comics.

 21 
Jon Krakauer
(Journalist, Explorer, Writer)
Jon Krakauer
4
Birthdate: April 12, 1954
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States

Best known for his bestselling novels such as Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer is not just an author who writes about the outdoors but is also a mountaineer himself. He was part of the 1996 expedition to Mt. Everest which witnessed 4 of the team members dying in a storm.

 22 
Stephen King
(A Prolific & Immensely Popular Author of Horror Fiction)
Stephen King
23
Birthdate: September 21, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, United States

One of the most popular American authors, Stephen King has sold over 350 million copies of his works. Many of his books have been adapted into television series, miniseries, and films. One of the most decorated authors, King believes in giving back to society as he and his wife are noted philanthropists.

 23 
Jamie Lee Curtis
(Best Known for Her Roles in the Films: 'True Lies' and the 'Halloween' Series)
Jamie Lee Curtis
13
Birthdate: November 22, 1958
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

After making her film debut in the horror film, Halloween, James Lee Curtis went on to establish herself as a scream queen, appearing in a number of horror films. Curtis is also an author, having released several children's books, including books that have made The New York Times' best-seller list. She is also a well-known philanthropist.

 24 
Tom Wolfe
(American author)
Tom Wolfe
7
Birthdate: March 2, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Died: March 14, 2018
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 25 
Larry David
(Best Known as The Cocreator of The Television series 'Seinfeld' & as The Star of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm')
Larry David
9
Birthdate: July 2, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Comedian, writer, actor, director, and television producer Larry David is best known as the co-creator of the television series Seinfeld. He discovered his talent for comedy as a college student and began his career as a stand-up performer. After a few years of struggle, he achieved success and went on to become an accomplished actor, director, and producer.

 26 
Hunter S. Thompson
(Journalist, Author and Founder of the Gonzo Journalism Movement)
Hunter S. Thompson
6
Birthdate: July 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: February 20, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson was an American author and journalist. He is credited with creating his own subgenre of New Journalism called the gonzo journalism. The author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was later adapted into a film, Thompson was famous for his lifelong use of drugs and alcohol. His books have had a major impact on counterculture.

 27 
Neil deGrasse Tyson
(American Astrophysicist, Planetary Scientist and Science Communicator)
Neil deGrasse Tyson
9
Birthdate: October 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

Public Welfare Medal-winning astrophysicist and academic Neil deGrasse Tyson hosted shows such as NOVA ScienceNow, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and Star Talk. He is the director of Hayden Planetarium and contributed to the dismissal of Pluto’s status as the ninth planet. He has also written a monthly column as "Merlin.”

 28 
Johnny Carson
(Comedian and Producer Best Known as the Host of ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’)
Johnny Carson
5
Birthdate: October 23, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Corning, Iowa, United States
Died: January 23, 2005

Six-time Emmy Award-winner Johnny Carson was known for hosting NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. After serving in World War II, Carson started hosting radio shows and then graduated to TV. He also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is said to have inspired David Letterman.

 29 
Lauren Graham
(Actress and Author Best Known for Her Role as ‘Lorelai Gilmore’ in the TV Series ‘Gilmore Girls’)
Lauren Graham
8
Birthdate: March 16, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Lauren Graham is an American actress popular for playing Lorelai Gilmore in the famous television series, Gilmore Girls. Apart from being an actress, Lauren Graham is also an author and has published a couple of books, including a memoir. Also known for her beauty, Lauren has graced the cover of magazines like Health, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Parade, and Self.

 30 
Gene Hackman
(Best Known for His Role as Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in the Film 'The French Connection’)
Gene Hackman
6
Birthdate: January 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Bernardino, California, United States

For someone who was voted by his acting school peers as 'The Least Likely To Succeed', Gene Hackman went on to have a remarkable acting career spanning around half a century with multiple prestigious awards. His notable films include Bonnie and Clyde, The French Connection, Unforgiven, Mississippi Burning and The Royal Tenenbaums. Apart from acting, Gene Hackman is also a novelist and has written six books.

 31 
David McCallum
10
Birthdate: September 19, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

David McCallum is a Scottish musician and actor who gained recognition for portraying Illya Kuryakin in the popular spy fiction TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He gained international recognition for playing Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in the action police procedural TV series NCIS. David McCallum has also contributed as a writer, publishing a novel titled Once a Crooked Man.

 32 
Leslie Jordan
(Writer and TV actor who received an Emmy Award for his role as Beverley Leslie on the hit series Will & Grace in 2006)
Leslie Jordan
8
Birthdate: April 29, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
Height: 4'11" (150 cm)
 33 
Danai Gurira
(Actress and Playwright)
Danai Gurira
22
Birthdate: February 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grinnell, Iowa, United States
Danai Gurira is best known as Michonne from The Walking Dead and as Okoye from the Marvel films Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. She earned a Tony nomination for writing the Broadway play Eclipsed. She has been a UN Goodwill Ambassador and promotes arts and women empowerment.
 34 
Michael Crichton
(Best Known as the Author of “Jurassic Park” and the creator of the TV Drama “ER”)
Michael Crichton
5
Birthdate: October 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: November 4, 2008

Michael Crichton was an American filmmaker and author. He wrote several science-fiction books, which have sold more than 200 million copies. Many of his books, such as The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, Congo, Rising Sun, and Disclosure, have been adapted into highly successful films. He is also credited with creating the popular medical drama TV series, ER.

 35 
William Gibson
(Science-Fiction Writer Known for His Novel ‘Neuromancer’ and a Pinoeer of 'Cyberpunk' Genre)
William Gibson
6
Birthdate: March 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Conway, South Carolina, United States

William Gibson is an American-Canadian essayist and speculative fiction writer. He is widely credited with pioneering cyberpunk, a science fiction subgenre. His early works, which he produced during the late-1970s and early-1980s, helped create an iconography for the information age even before the dawn of the Internet in the 1990s. William Gibson is also credited with coining the term cyberspace.

 36 
Lea Michele
(Actress and Singer Known for Role as ‘Rachel Berry’ on the Fox Series ‘Glee’)
Lea Michele
8
Birthdate: August 29, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Lea Michele is an American actress and singer. She began her career as a child actress on Broadway and is best known for the role of Rachel Berry on the comedy-drama series Glee. She won many awards and was critically acclaimed for it. However, Lea has also been accused of being rude to her co-actors on the sets of Glee.

 37 
Maria Shriver
(Former First Lady of California (2003 - 2011) and Ex-Wife of Actor 'Arnold Schwarzenegger')
Maria Shriver
6
Birthdate: November 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Famous American journalist, Maria Shriver, is recognised for her long association with NBC. Her documentary series The Alzheimer’s Project earned rave reviews and she later founded the nonprofit organization, 'The Women's Alzheimer's Movement'. As the former First Lady of California– she was married to Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was the governor of California– she involved herself in numerous charity works.

 38 
Jennifer Jason Leigh
(Actress & Producer)
Jennifer Jason Leigh
7
Birthdate: February 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Known for her Academy Award-nominated performance in The Hateful Eight, Jennifer Jason Leigh had started her career at age 9. Fans also loved her in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle and Margot at the Wedding. She was also seen as Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes’s Broadway production Cabaret.

 39 
Michael Pollan
(Author & Journalist Best Known for His Food-Related Books ‘The Botany of Desire’ & ‘The Omnivore's Dilemma’)
Michael Pollan
4
Birthdate: February 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States
Author and journalist Michael Pollan is best known for his books such as The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, which talk about the social impact of people’s culinary choices. He has also contributed to The New York Times Magazine and Harper's Magazine, and currently teaches journalism at UCB.
 40 
Joyce Carol Oates
10
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 41 
Octavia Butler
(American Author Known for Her Science Fiction Novels)
Octavia Butler
10
Birthdate: June 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pasadena, California, United States
Died: February 24, 2006

One of the finest African-American sci-fi authors, Octavia Butler was raised single-handedly by her widowed mother. Best known for the Patternist series and the short story Bloodchild, she often mingled mythology and spirituality in her work. She was the first sci-fi author to receive a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

 42 
Zoe Kazan
(American Actress Known for Her Role in the TV Series 'Olive Kitteridge')
Zoe Kazan
14
Birthdate: September 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Born to screenwriters Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, Zoe Kazan is also the granddaughter of director Elia Kazan and thus was never a stranger to show business. Now a regular on Broadway and in films, she also bagged an Emmy nomination for her role in the miniseries Olive Kitteridge.

 43 
Regis Philbin
(Actor)
Regis Philbin
7
Birthdate: August 25, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 44 
Art Garfunkel
(Best Known for His Partnership with Paul Simon in the Folk Rock Duo 'Simon & Garfunkel')
Art Garfunkel
5
Birthdate: November 5, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Forest Hills, New York, United States
Eight-time Grammy winner Art Garfunkel is part of the folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, along with Paul Simon. He has had a successful solo career, too. One of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, he also earned a Golden Globe nomination for playing Sandy in Carnal Knowledge.
 45 
Stacey Dash
(Actress)
Stacey Dash
7
Birthdate: January 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 46 
Gladys Knight
(Singer-Songwriter)
Gladys Knight
5
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 47 
David Duchovny
(Best Known for Playing FBI Agent 'Fox Mulder' on the TV Series ‘The X-Files’)
David Duchovny
6
Birthdate: August 7, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

David Duchovny is best known for his Golden Globe-winning roles of FBI Agent Fox Mulder in the sci-fi series The X-Files and Hank Moody in Californication. He is an environment enthusiast and advocates for the use of electric cars. He has released music albums, written books, and recorded audiobooks.

 48 
Chelsea Peretti
(Actress and Comedian Best Known for Her Role as ‘Gina Linetti’ in the Comedy Series ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’)
Chelsea Peretti
7
Birthdate: February 20, 1978
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Contra Costa County, California, United States
Best known as Gina Linetti from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chelsea Peretti has also performed as part of the comedy troupe Variety SHAC. She has written for The Huffington Post, founded by her brother, and for magazines such as Playgirl and Jest. She has also released an EP and launched a podcast.
 49 
Scott Caan
(Actor & Director Who Starred as Detective Sergeant Danny "Danno" Williams in the CBS television series 'Hawaii Five-0')
Scott Caan
5
Birthdate: August 23, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Scott Caan is an American actor and musician. He is credited with co-founding the now-defunct hip hop group The Whooliganz. As an actor, he is known for playing Detective Sergeant Danny Williams in the police procedural TV series Hawaii Five-0. Also a humanitarian, Scott Caan is closely associated with organizations, such as Surfers Healing, Life Rolls On, and TheraSURF.

 50 
Angela Davis
(Political Activist)
Angela Davis
9
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham

Activist, philosopher, academic and author, Angela Davis is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She has worked in the areas of feminism, class, race and the US prison system. She has also received criticism for supporting the erstwhile Soviet Union and has been accused of supporting political violence.