Short Story Writers

Short story writers write short pieces of prose fiction that generally focus on a single theme, simple plots and few characters. There is considerable debate surrounding what should be the appropriate word limit for a piece of fiction to be considered a short story; it is generally considered to be between 1000 to about 20,000 words. Edgar Allan Poe, the famous American author regarded to be one of the earliest writers of short stories defined a short story as a short piece of fiction that can be read in one sitting. However this categorization is also subjective, there is no concrete definition of what constitutes the time limit for one sitting. Many novelists begin their career as writers of short stories. Writing shorter pieces of prose before commencing a lengthier piece of work gives them an opportunity to hone their writing skills and get an idea about the readership for their works. It also helps popularize the writer’s name in the market so that any other work by the same author is received favorably. Short stories are mostly based on a single theme that revolves around a small cast of characters, and are usually less complex than novels. Listed below is a collection of the biographies about the lives and works of famous short story writers from around the world.
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 1 Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 19, 1809
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: October 7, 1849

American writer Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as the architect of modern short story, the inventor of the detective-fiction genre and a major contributor towards science fiction genre. The influential writer is recognised for his tales of mystery and macabre. His notable works include The Raven (poem), The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher (short stories).

 2 Mark Twain

Mark Twain Image
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 30, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: April 21, 1910

Mark Twain, “the father of American literature,” was one of the world’s greatest 19-th century humorists and authors. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were drawn from his childhood experiences in Missouri. In his later life, he sunk into bankruptcy and also recovered.

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 3 Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming
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Famous As: Author of James Bond Series
Birthdate: May 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: August 12, 1964

Ian Fleming was a British writer, naval intelligence officer, and journalist. Fleming is credited with creating one of the most popular characters of all time, James Bond. His James Bond series of novels have sold more than 100 million copies, making them one of the best-selling fictional book series in history. Jamaica’s Ian Fleming International Airport is named after him.

 4 John Hughes

John Hughes
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Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: August 6, 2009

 5 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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Famous As: Writer & Physician
Birthdate: May 22, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: July 7, 1930
Physician-turned-author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is remembered for creating the iconic character Sherlock Holmes. He wrote four novels and 56 short stories on Holmes’s detective adventures and also created the characters Professor Challenger and Brigadier Gerard. A sports lover, he had dabbled in cricket, football, and bodybuilding, too.

 6 Truman Capote

Truman Capote
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 30, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: August 25, 1984
Truman Capote is best known for his novella Breakfast at Tiffany's, which was made into a movie that starred Audrey Hepburn, and the non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. His short story Shut a Final Door won the O. Henry Award. He was a lifelong friend of author Harper Lee.
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 7 Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: March 2, 1982

Philip K. Dick was an American writer who was known for his work that explores varied social and philosophical themes. Dick's novels have inspired films like Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau. In 2005, his novel Ubik was included in Time magazine's list of 100 greatest novels published in English since 1923.

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 8 Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
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
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 9 William Faulkner

William Faulkner
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Famous As: Writer, Nobel Laureate
Birthdate: September 25, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: July 6, 1962
Nobel Prize-winning Southern author William Faulkner is remembered for works The Sound and the Fury, A Rose for Emily, and As I Lay Dying. He immortalized Mississippi as the fictional "Yoknapatawpha County" in his works. He also won two Pulitzers, one each for A Fable and The Reivers.

 10 J. D. Salinger

J. D. Salinger
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 1, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: January 27, 2010
J. D. Salinger is best remembered for his controversial novel The Catcher in the Rye, which was banned in many school libraries due to its sexual content. His other notable works include the anthology Nine Stories and the novella Hapworth. He spent much of his life in seclusion. 
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 11 Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 26, 1894
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British, American
Died: November 22, 1963

English writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley wrote countless books, including novels, short stories, non-fiction, and poems. He is best remembered for his science-fiction novels Brave New World and Island. The seven-time Nobel Prize nominee was also a Companion of Literature of the Royal Society of Literature and a Vedanta believer.

 12 Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 19, 1934
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Sahitya Akademi Award-winning children’s author Ruskin Bond is best known for creating the protagonist Rusty, modeled on his childhood in Dehradun and found in his books such as The Room on the Roof. Many of his books, such as The Blue Umbrella have been made into films. 

 13 Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 16, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German, American
Died: March 9, 1994

German-American poet and short story writer ,Charles Bukowski, addressed the ordinary lives of poor Americans in most of his works. Since his death, he has been the subject of many critical books and articles. His stories have inspired several films like Tales of Ordinary Madness, Crazy Love, and Factotum.

 14 James Joyce

James Joyce
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 2, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Irish
Died: January 13, 1941

James Joyce was an Irish novelist, poet, teacher, short story writer, and literary critic. Widely considered one of the 20th century's most important and influential writers, James Joyce contributed immensely to the modernist avant-garde movement. Joyce's work has influenced several scholars and writers, such as Jorge Luis Borges, Salman Rushdie, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Flann O'Brien, John Updike, and Cormac McCarthy.

 15 John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 27, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: December 20, 1968

Famous for his novels The Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat, John Ernst Steinbeck was noted for his sympathy for the plight of workers in his books. The Nobel laureate, who said he did not deserve the prize, authored 33 books, some of which were best sellers during his time. His books were also adapted into films.

 16 Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 29, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: March 6, 1888
Novelist and short story writer Louisa May Alcott is best remembered as the author of the 1868 novel Little Women and its sequels, Little Men and Jo's Boys. She initially wrote using the pseudonym “A. M. Barnard.” She never married and remained a life-long feminist and abolitionist.

 17 Jack London

Jack London
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 12, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: November 22, 1916

Jack London was an American novelist, social activist, and journalist. A pioneer of American magazines and commercial fiction, London was one of the first authors from the US to become an international celebrity. His life and work inspired several films, such as the 1943 movie Jack London and 1980 film Klondike Fever. He was also portrayed in several TV series.

 18 Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 13, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: November 23, 1990

British writer, Roald Dahl, is considered as one of the greatest children’s authors. He is one of the best-selling authors of all-time and had a career spanning decades. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, The Twits and Matilda are some of his classic works. He also wrote short stories and novels meant for adults.

 19 Jules Verne

Jules Verne
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: French
Died: March 24, 1905
French author Jules Verne, also known as the “Father of Science Fiction,” is best remembered for his legendary adventure novels Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He also became the world’s second most-translated writer since 1979.

 20 Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
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.

 21 William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs
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Famous As: Novelist, Short Story Writer
Birthdate: February 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: August 2, 1997
Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs soared to fame with his novels Junkie and Naked Lunch, with the latter being at the center of a censorship issue. Also known by his pseudonym, "William Lee," he exhibited artwork such as the Gunshot Paintings. He accidentally shot and killed his second wife.

 22 Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov
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Birthdate: January 29, 1860
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German, Russian
Died: July 15, 1904

Anton Chekhov was a Russian short-story writer and playwright. Widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of short fiction, Chekhov's works have influenced the progression of the modern short story. As a playwright, Anton Chekhov is credited with influencing the rise of modernism in theatre, along with August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen.

 23 Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Polish, Ukrainian, British
Died: August 3, 1924

Joseph Conrad was a Polish-British writer. Considered one of the greatest English-language novelists of all time, Conrad is credited with bringing a non-English sensibility into English-language literature. Many of his works have inspired several films, TV series, and video games. His anti-heroic characters and narrative style have influenced many authors like Salman Rushdie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and T. S. Eliot.

 24 R. K. Narayan

R. K. Narayan
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 10, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Indian
Died: May 13, 2001

 25 Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Famous As: American Novelist
Birthdate: July 4, 1804
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: May 19, 1864

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American writer, known for dark romanticism and moral-themed novels and short stories. A descendant of judge John Hathorne of the Salem witch trials infamy, the writer was a friend of late American president Franklin Pierce. His well-known books include Twice-Told Tales, The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. Nathaniel was married to painter Sophia Peabody.

 26 O. Henry

O. Henry
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Famous As: Short Story Writer
Birthdate: September 11, 1862
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: June 5, 1910
William Sydney Porter, better known by his pseudonym, O. Henry, is remembered as one of the world’s greatest short story writers. One of his most notable works is The Gift of the Magi. His signature style included plot twists in the end. He was once jailed for embezzlement. 

 27 Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 21, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: July 2, 1961

Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist and short-story writer who had a strong impact on 20th-century fiction. He published seven novels and six short-story collections and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea are some of his classic works. He ended his own life in July 1961.

 28 Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein
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Famous As: Science Fiction Writer
Birthdate: July 7, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: May 8, 1988

Robert A. Heinlein was an American author, naval officer, and aeronautical engineer. Heinlein is credited with pioneering a literary subgenre called hard science fiction as he was among the first to stress the importance of scientific accuracy in fiction. Robert A. Heinlein is one of the most influential science-fiction writers of all time.

 29 Henry James

Henry James
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 15, 1843
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: February 28, 1916

Henry James was an author, regarded as one of the greatest novelists ever to write in the English language. One of his novellas titled The Turn of the Screw has been the most analyzed ghost story in the history of English language literature. While his works have been adapted into films, he has been the subject of several other stories.

 30 Munshi Premchand

Munshi Premchand
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Famous As: Novelist and Author
Birthdate: July 31, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian
Died: October 8, 1936
Indian author Dhanpat Rai Srivastava, better known by his pseudonym, Munshi Premchand, was one of the most celebrated Hindi-language writers of the 20th century. He initially wrote as Nawab Rai. Some of his greatest works include the novels Godaan, Idgah, and Karmabhoomi. He also wrote short stories and plays. 

 31 Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: January 12, 1976

Even after four decades after her death, Agatha Christie remains an influential figure in the world of literature and entertainment as most of her books continue to serve as inspiration to films, TV series, and video games. With over two billion copies of her novels sold, she holds the Guinness World Records for best-selling fiction writer of all time.

 32 Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: September 24, 1991

Dr. Seuss was an American children's author, illustrator, and political cartoonist. He is credited with writing some of the most famous children's books ever, including The Cat in the Hat. His works were translated into over 20 languages and sold more than 600 million copies by the time of his death. Many of his creations were adapted into animated cartoons.

 33 Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: March 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: August 3, 1964

 34 Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 28, 1903
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: April 10, 1966

 35 Washington Irving

Washington Irwing
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Famous As: Author, Historian, Diplomat
Birthdate: April 3, 1783
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: November 28, 1859

 36 Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 27, 1934
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 37 Thomas Mann

Paul Thomas Mann
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Famous As: Novelist, Short Story Writer
Birthdate: June 6, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Swiss, German
Died: August 12, 1955
German author Thomas Mann, known for his epic novels, was part of the Hanseatic Mann family of authors. He depicted his own family in his novel Buddenbrooks. He won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. During Hitler’s reign, he fled to Switzerland and then to the U.S.

 38 Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 9, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 39 Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Died: August 7, 1941

Rabindranath Tagore was an Indian polymath who contributed greatly to the fields of literature, art, and philosophy. Referred to as the Bard of Bengal, Tagore is credited with reshaping Bengali literature and music. The first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Tagore is also credited with composing the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.

 40 Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac
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Famous As: French Novelist and Playwright
Birthdate: May 20, 1799
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: French
Died: August 18, 1850

Honoré de Balzac was a French playwright and novelist. Since his works gave a detailed, unfiltered representation of society, Honoré de Balzac is generally considered one of the founders of realism and an important figure in European literature. Renowned for creating multi-faceted characters, Balzac influenced several popular writers like Charles John Huffam Dickens, Émile Zola, Henry James, and Gustave Flaubert.

 41 Holiday Reinhorn

Holiday Reinhorn
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Famous As: Fiction Writer
Birthdate: March 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

Holiday Reinhorn is the author the bestselling book Big Cats. She has written for various literary magazines such as Zoetrope: All-Story and Gulf Coast. She and her husband, actor Rainn Wilson, both follow the Baháʼí faith. Reinhorn has also co-established a non-profit for Haitian women interested in writing, named Lide.

 42 Tabitha King

Tabitha King
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 43 Sinclair Lewis

Sinclair Lewis
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Famous As: Nobel Prize Winner in Literature
Birthdate: February 7, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: January 10, 1951

 44 Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce
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Famous As: Journalist & Writer, soldier
Birthdate: June 24, 1842
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: December 1, 1914

 45 P. L. Travers

P. L. Travers
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 9, 1899
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Australian, British
Died: April 23, 1996

Australian-British author and Shakespearean actor Pamela Lyndon Travers, known by her pseudonym, P. L. Travers, soared to fame with her Mary Poppins series of children's books. Disney later bought the rights to her Mary Poppins series and released a film version. It was later made into a Broadway play, too.

 46 Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 27, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: January 10, 1961

 47 Thomas Clayton Wolfe

Thomas Clayton Wolfe
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 3, 1900
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: September 15, 1938
Novelist Thomas Wolfe is remembered for his novels Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River. He had also authored countless short stories and plays. His signature style included elements of autobiographical writing mixed with poetic and lyrical prose. His works influenced Beat Generation writers, too.

 48 Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 30, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 49 Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro
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Famous As: Nobel Prize Winner in Literature
Birthdate: November 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Nobel Prize-winning British-Asian author Sir Kazuo Ishiguro also won the Man Booker Prize for the novel The Remains of the Day. Time named his Never Let Me Go the best novel of 2005. He has also penned several screenplays and songs, and is known for his signature first-person narrative style.

 50 Donna Douglas

Donna Douglas
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 26, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: January 1, 2015
Donna Douglas is best known as Elly May Clampett from the sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies. After retiring from acting, she juggled with a number of careers, becoming a real-estate agent, a motivational speaker, and a gospel singer. She has also written a Bible-themed children’s book and a cookbook.
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