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
47
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
34
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
15
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 
George R. R. Martin
(Author of Epic Fantasy Novels 'A Song of Ice and Fire')
George R. R. Martin
25
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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 5 
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.  

 6 
Harper Lee
(American Author Best Known for Her Novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’)
Harper Lee
13
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.

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David Foster Wallace
10
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 
Tom Clancy
(American Author Best Known for His Novel ‘The Hunt for Red October’)
Tom Clancy
17
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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 9 
Margaret Atwood
(Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic & Environmental Activist)
Margaret Atwood
31
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.

 10 
Toni Morrison
(Novelist)
Toni Morrison
17
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
(British Evolutionary Biologist Who Contends that a Supernatural Creator Almost Certainly Does Not Exist)
Richard Dawkins
18
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
12
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
14
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
8
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
7
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
11
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 
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.
 18 
John Le Carré
(Novelist)
John Le Carré
5
Birthdate: October 19, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poole, Dorset, England
 19 
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.

 20 
Philip Roth
(One of the Most Awarded American Writers of His Generation)
Philip Roth
8
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
9
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 
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.

 27 
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.
 28 
Stephen King
(A Prolific & Immensely Popular Author of Horror Fiction)
Stephen King
22
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.

 29 
Jamie Lee Curtis
(Best Known for Her Roles in the Films: 'True Lies' and the 'Halloween' Series)
Jamie Lee Curtis
12
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.

 30 
Jordan Peterson
(Canadian Clinical Psychologist and Author)
Jordan Peterson
6
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.

 31 
Tom Wolfe
(American author)
Tom Wolfe
6
Birthdate: March 2, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Died: March 14, 2018
 32 
Joan Didion
(Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist)
Joan Didion
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
 33 
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.

 34 
Neil deGrasse Tyson
(American Astrophysicist, Planetary Scientist and Science Communicator)
Neil deGrasse Tyson
8
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.”

 35 
Martin McDonagh
(Playwright, Screenwriter, Filmmaker)
Martin McDonagh
11
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.

 36 
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.

 37 
Neil Gaiman
(Best Known for His Comic Book Series ‘The Sandman’ and Novels: ‘The Graveyard Book’ and ‘Stardust’)
Neil Gaiman
8
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
 38 
Stephen Fry
(English Actor, Writer and Director Known for His Films: ‘V for Vendetta’ and ‘A Fish Called Wanda’)
Stephen Fry
4
Birthdate: August 24, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom

One half of the famous comedy duo Fry and Laurie, Stephen Fry is an English actor and comedian. Considered a living legend by many, Stephen Fry has made major contributions to the field of entertainment and literature. An openly gay man, Fry serves as an inspiration to the LGBT community. He is also known for his charitable activities.

 39 
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.

 40 
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.

 41 
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.

 42 
Isla Fisher
(Australian Actress Known for Her Films: ‘Wedding Crashers’, ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’, ‘Bachelorette’ and ‘Scooby-Doo’)
Isla Fisher
9
Birthdate: February 3, 1976
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Muscat, Oman

Australian actress Isla Fisher attained widespread fame in 2005 when she starred in the commercially successful Hollywood film Wedding Crashers. Some of her other notable films are The Great Gatsby, Now You See Me, I Heart Huckabees, Bachelorette, Rango and Rise of the Guardians. She has also acted in television series and is an author of children’s books.

 43 
Danai Gurira
(Actress and Playwright)
Danai Gurira
20
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.
 44 
David McCallum
9
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.

 45 
Lea Michele
(Actress and Singer Known for Role as ‘Rachel Berry’ on the Fox Series ‘Glee’)
Lea Michele
7
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.

 46 
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
(Actress and Screenwriter Best Known as the Creator, Head Writer of the BBC Sitcom ‘Fleabag’)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
6
Birthdate: July 14, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is credited with creating and writing one of the greatest TV series of the 21st century, Fleabag. She is also famous for contributing as the executive producer and head writer of another highly-acclaimed TV series, Killing Eve. In 2020, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world.

 47 
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
 48 
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.

 49 
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.

 50 
Harold Pinter
(Playwright, Screenwriter)
Harold Pinter
10
Birthdate: October 10, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Metropolitan Borough of Hackney
Died: December 24, 2008