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writers List of Famous Essayists

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List of famous essayists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top essayists in the world? This includes the most prominent essayists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable essayists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic essayists were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned essayists.

The list you're viewing is made up of people like Gore Vidal and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Featuring American essayists and others, this list has it all. 

From reputable, prominent, and well known essayists to the lesser known essayists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the essayist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous essayists ever?" and "What are the names of famous essayists?" then you're in the right place. 
Gore Vidal is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Essayists
Photo: David Shankbone/Flickr

Gore Vidal was an American writer and a public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing. As Eugene Louis Vidal, he was born to a political family; his maternal grandfather was Thomas Pryor Gore, U.S. Senator for Oklahoma. As Gore Vidal, he was a ...more

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Age: Died at 87 (1925-2012)

Birthplace: West Point, Contiguous United States, New York, Orange County, United States of America, + more

Profession: Politician, Journalist, Novelist, Screenwriter, Author, + more

Credits: Caligula, Suddenly, Last Summer, Needlework Pictures Presents Francesco Vezzoli in Gore Vidal's 'Caligula', The Best Man

Also Ranked

#46 on The Best Gay Authors

#34 on The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time

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Christopher Hitchens is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Essayists
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Christopher Eric Hitchens was an Anglo-American author, literary critic and journalist. He contributed to New Statesman, The Nation, The Atlantic, London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Slate and Vanity Fair. Hitchens was the author, co-author, editor and co-editor of over thirty ...more

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Age: Died at 62 (1949-2011)

Birthplace: England, Portsmouth

Profession: Commentator, Journalist, Author, Essayist, Writer, + more

Credits: Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune, Manufacturing Dissent, Collision, Human Terrain: War Becomes Academic

Also Ranked

#13 on History's Greatest Essayists

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George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Essayists
Photo: Abee5/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 21 January 1950), better known by his psuedonymGeorge Orwell, was an English author. His work is marked by a profound conscientiousness of social injustice, an intense dislike of totalitarianism, and a passion for clarity in language.His two most popular works are ...more

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Age: Died at 47 (1903-1950)

Birthplace: Motihari, India

Profession: Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Writer

Credits: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm, Animal Farm, 1984

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#8 on The Best Writers of All Time

#9 on The Best Science-Fiction Authors

#8 on The Best Novelists of All Time

#63 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

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Ralph Waldo Emerson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Essayists
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Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published ...more

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Age: Died at 79 (1803-1882)

Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

Profession: Poet, Author, Essayist, Writer, Philosopher

Also Ranked

#29 on The Greatest American Writers of All Time

#91 on The Best Writers of All Time

#43 on The Greatest Poets of All Time

#14 on The Best American Poets

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