21st Century Writers

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Find out more about the greatest 21st Century Writers, including William Gibson, Michael J. Fox, Lady Colin Campbell, Quentin Tarantino and Sylvia Browne.
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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
36
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
29
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 
Guillermo del Toro
(Film Director Best Known For Movies 'Pan's Labyrinth' & 'The Shape of Water')
Guillermo del Toro
13
Birthdate: October 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Guadalajara, Mexico

Guillermo del Toro is one of the most popular Mexican filmmakers of all time. Along with Alejandro Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón, he is known as one of the Three Amigos of Cinema. He also played a major role as a former special effects makeup artist. In 2018, he was named in Time's 100 most influential people in the world list.

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 4 
Kurt Vonnegut
(Writer Known For His Satirical and Darkly Humorous Novels)
Kurt Vonnegut
9
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.  

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 5 
Harper Lee
(Novelist)
Harper Lee
11
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
15
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
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David Foster Wallace
8
Birthdate: February 21, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ithaca, New York, United States
Died: September 12, 2008

David Foster Wallace was an American author who is regarded as one of the most innovative and influential writers of the past 20 years. His best-known work, Infinite Jest, was named one of the best English-language novels between 1923 and 2005 by Time magazine. Wallace continues to serve as an inspiration to writers like Darin Strauss and George Saunders.

 8 
Margaret Atwood
(Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic & Environmental Activist)
Margaret Atwood
28
Birthdate: November 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet and novelist. Her works encompass themes, such as religion and myth, climate change, and gender and identity. An award-winning writer, many of Atwood's works have been made into films and television series; her work, The Handmaid's Tale, has had several adaptations. Perhaps, Margaret Atwood's most important contribution is her invention of the LongPen device.

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 9 
George R. R. Martin
(Author of Epic Fantasy Novels 'A Song of Ice and Fire')
George R. R. Martin
23
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.
 10 
Toni Morrison
(Novelist)
Toni Morrison
12
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.
 11 
Richard Dawkins
(Evolutionary Biologist)
Richard Dawkins
15
Birthdate: March 26, 1941
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nairobi, Kenya

Richard Dawkins is a British ethologist, author, and evolutionary biologist. He first achieved popularity after publishing his book, The Selfish Gene, which is credited with popularizing the gene selection theory. The book is also credited with introducing the term meme. In 2006, he established the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science to promote secularism and scientific literacy.

 12 
Dan Brown
(Novelist)
Dan Brown
11
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.

 13 
John Grisham
(American writer)
John Grisham
12
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.
 14 
Ray Bradbury
(One of the Most Celebrated 20th-Century American Writers Known for His Novel 'Fahrenheit 451')
Ray Bradbury
7
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.
 15 
Malcolm Gladwell
(Author of 'The Tipping Point', 'Blink', and 'Outliers')
Malcolm Gladwell
6
Birthdate: September 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fareham, United Kingdom
Malcolm Gladwell is best known for his bestselling books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. He has also written for The New Yorker and The Washington Post. His writings encompass subjects such as psychology, economics, and sociology. Gladwell has also co-founded a podcast company and hosts the podcast Revisionist History.
 16 
Paulo Coelho
(Brazilian lyricist)
Paulo Coelho
10
Birthdate: August 24, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho is best known for his iconic novel The Alchemist, which has been translated into about 70 languages. He was once sent to a mental institution by his parents for not following the usual career path. He dropped out of law school and became a hippie later.

 17 
John Le Carré
(Novelist)
John Le Carré
5
Birthdate: October 19, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poole, Dorset, England
 18 
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke
(Science-Fiction Writer Known for His Novels: ‘Childhood's End’, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and ‘Rendezvous with Rama’)
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke
7
Birthdate: December 16, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Minehead, Somerset, England
Died: March 19, 2008
Sir Arthur C. Clarke is best known for his short story The Sentinel, which became the basis of the screenplay of Stanley Kubrick’s science-fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clarke spent the final years of his life in Sri Lanka and hosted shows such as Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World.
 19 
Gore Vidal
(American Writer Known for His Novels: ‘The City and the Pillar’, ‘Julian’, ‘Myra Breckinridge’ and ‘Burr’)
Gore Vidal
12
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.

 20 
Philip Roth
(Novelist)
Philip Roth
7
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.

 21 
Umberto Eco
(Medievalist, Philosopher and Author of 'The Name of the Rose' and 'Foucault's Pendulum')
Umberto Eco
5
Birthdate: January 5, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alessandria, Italy
Died: February 19, 2016

Italian novelist Umberto Eco is best remembered for his novels The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum. He also taught at the University of Bologna and had released quite a few children’s books and translations. He was also known for his work on semiotics and medieval studies.

 22 
Bob Woodward
(Journalist)
Bob Woodward
8
Birthdate: March 26, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Geneva, Illinois, United States
 23 
James Watson
(Molecular Biologist Who Co-discovered the Double Helix Structure of DNA With Francis Crick)
James Watson
4
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.

 24 
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.

 25 
Neil Simon
(Playwright & Screenwriter)
Neil Simon
7
Birthdate: July 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York
Died: August 26, 2018
 26 
Isabel Allende
(Chilean-American Author Known for Her Novels: ‘The House of the Spirits’ and ‘City of the Beasts’)
Isabel Allende
9
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.
 27 
Martin McDonagh
(Playwright, Screenwriter, Filmmaker)
Martin McDonagh
10
Birthdate: March 26, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Camberwell

The director and writer of the Academy Award-winning short film, Six Shooter, Martin McDonagh is also well known as a playwright and stage director. The Beauty Queen of Leenane is one of the his noted works. The crime drama film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was another successful venture of McDonagh. He says he prefers films to plays.

 28 
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.

 29 
Stephen King
(A Prolific & Immensely Popular Author of Horror Fiction)
Stephen King
21
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.

 30 
Jamie Lee Curtis
(Best Known for Her Roles in the Films: 'True Lies' and the 'Halloween' Series)
Jamie Lee Curtis
9
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.

 31 
J. K. Rowling
(Author of Children's Fantasy Series, 'Harry Potter')
J. K. Rowling
133
Birthdate: July 31, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yate, England

JK Rowling’s story is that of rags-to-riches. She is the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series, which have sold more than 500 million copies and is the best-selling book series in history. She also writes crime fiction albeit under a pen name. Rowling supports many charities and has founded Lumos, an international NGO, working for children.

 32 
Jordan Peterson
(Canadian Clinical Psychologist and Author)
Jordan Peterson
4
Birthdate: June 12, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada

Canadian clinical psychologist, writer and YouTuber, Jordan Peterson became internationally known in the 2010s for his views on cultural and political issues. He propogates his views and ideas primarily through YouTube and podcasts. He has shared many videos and podcasts that have received millions of views.

 33 
Neil deGrasse Tyson
(American Astrophysicist, Planetary Scientist and Science Communicator)
Neil deGrasse Tyson
4
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.”

 34 
Tom Wolfe
(American author)
Tom Wolfe
6
Birthdate: March 2, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Died: March 14, 2018
 35 
Hunter S. Thompson
(Journalist and Author)
Hunter S. Thompson
5
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.

 36 
Larry David
(Best Known as The Cocreator of The Television series 'Seinfeld' & as The Star of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm')
Larry David
6
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.

 37 
Alyssa Milano
(Actress and Political Activist Known for Her Role in the 'MeToo Movement')
Alyssa Milano
5
Birthdate: December 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bensonhurst, New York, United States
An unexpected audition led a young Alyssa Milano to her role in touring musical Annie. She became a teen star with sitcom Who's the Boss?. A bit of struggle later, she finally bagged her big break as an adult in the television show Charmed. Alyssa Milano is also a political activist and UNICEF Ambassador.
 38 
Jennifer Jason Leigh
(Actress & Producer)
Jennifer Jason Leigh
4
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 
Steve Martin
(Actor, Comedian, Writer and Musician)
Steve Martin
8
Birthdate: August 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, United States

A man of many talents, Steve Martin is a successful comedian, actor, and musician. In 2004, he was ranked sixth in Comedy Central's 100 greatest stand-up comics list. Despite achieving great fame and success as a comedian and actor, Steve decided to pursue a career in music and began appearing seldom in films to record and tour with bluegrass acts.

 40 
Neil Gaiman
(Best Known for His Comic Book Series ‘The Sandman’ and Novels: ‘The Graveyard Book’ and ‘Stardust’)
Neil Gaiman
7
Birthdate: November 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Author Neil Gaiman has written numerous novels, short stories, film scripts, and comics. He has won the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and Nebula awards, and the Carnegie and Newbery medals. Some of his best works are American Gods, Stardust, The Graveyard Book, and the comic series The Sandman
 41 
Lea Michele
(Actress and Singer Known for Role as ‘Rachel Berry’ on the Fox Series ‘Glee’)
Lea Michele
5
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.

 42 
Lauren Graham
(Actress and Author Best Known for Her Role as ‘Lorelai Gilmore’ in the TV Series ‘Gilmore Girls’)
Lauren Graham
7
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.

 43 
Gene Hackman
(Best Known for His Role as Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in the Film 'The French Connection’)
Gene Hackman
5
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.

 44 
Jesse Eisenberg
(Best Known for His Portrayal of ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ in the Film ‘The Social Network’)
Jesse Eisenberg
6
Birthdate: October 5, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States
Jesse Eisenberg amazed audiences with his Academy Award-nominated performance as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. He began his stint on TV at 16, with Get Real. He has also been part of Rodger Dodger, Adventureland, and Now You See Me. He has written three plays and a short-story collection.
 45 
Danai Gurira
(Actress and Playwright)
Danai Gurira
18
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.
 46 
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.

 47 
Maria Shriver
(Former First Lady of California (2003 - 2011) and Ex-Wife of Actor 'Arnold Schwarzenegger')
Maria Shriver
4
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.

 48 
Woody Harrelson
6
Birthdate: July 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Midland, Texas, United States

Actor Woody Harrelson has been active in the entertainment world for over 40 years now. The son of a convicted hit-man, he had a difficult childhood and grew up in poverty. However, he was determined to build a good life for himself and earned a BFA in theater before venturing into acting. He is a vegan and an environmental activist.

 49 
Mara Wilson
(Actress and Writer Known for Her Role as ‘Natalie Hillard’ in the Film ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’)
Mara Wilson
8
Birthdate: July 24, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Burbank, California, United States

Mara Wilson stole the hearts of many with her performance as a child actress in films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda. After growing up, she decided to pursue a career as a writer. In one of her interviews, she spoke about her mental illnesses, including OCD, depression, and anxiety. She also came out as bisexual.

 50 
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.