Person 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. 
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Gore Vidal is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Essayists
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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, New York, United States of America

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

#721 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

#29 on 2012 in Memoriam: Who We’ll Miss the Most from 2012

#35 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

#253 on The Best Writers of All Time

#714 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#292 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

#8 on The Best Essayists

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George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Essayists
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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

Also Ranked

#11 on The Best Writers of All Time

#9 on The Best Science-Fiction Authors

#326 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#10 on The Best Novelists 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

#30 on The Greatest American Writers of All Time

#102 on The Best Writers of All Time

#45 on The Greatest Poets of All Time

#75 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

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Marcel Proust is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Essayists
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Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel À la recherche du temps perdu, published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest authors of all time. ...more

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Age: Died at 51 (1871-1922)

Birthplace: Auteuil-Neuilly-Passy

Profession: Librarian, Novelist, Essayist, Writer Critic

Credits: Marcel Proust's Time Regained, Swann in Love, The Captive, À la recherche du temps perdu

Also Ranked

#68 on The Best Writers of All Time

#47 on The Best Novelists of All Time

#7 on The Best Gay Authors

#390 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

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Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Essayists
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Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, commonly referred to as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright and philosopher who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Tolstoy was a master of realistic fiction and is widely considered one of the greatest novelists of all ...more

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Age: Died at 82 (1828-1910)

Birthplace: Yasnaya Polyana, Russia

Profession: Novelist, Author, Essayist, Writer Philosopher, + more

Credits: Anna Karenina, War and Peace, War and Peace, L'argent

Also Ranked

#3 on The Best Writers of All Time

#28 on The All-Time Greatest People in History

#13 on The Best Short Story Writers of All Time

#4 on The Best Novelists of All Time

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Isaac Asimov is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Essayists
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Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was prolific and wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His books have been ...more

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Age: Died at 72 (1920-1992)

Birthplace: Petrovichi, Russia

Profession: Biochemist, Historian, Novelist, Author Essayist, + more

Credits: Bicentennial Man, I, Robot, Gandahar Nightfall

Also Ranked

#49 on The Greatest American Writers of All Time

#129 on The Best Writers of All Time

#1 on The Best Science-Fiction Authors

#354 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

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Fyodor Dostoyevsky is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Essayists
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Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher. Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. Many of ...more

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Age: Died at 60 (1821-1881)

Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Profession: Novelist, Author, Essayist, Writer Engineer

Credits: The Double, Le Notti Bianche, Saawariya, Inside

Also Ranked

#87 on The All-Time Greatest People in History

#54 on The Best Short Story Writers of All Time

#1 on The Best Novelists of All Time

#52 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

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