The Best Autobiographies Ever Written

List Rules
Which autobiographies were the best and most moving reads? Vote them up and add all of your favorites.

The best autobiographies ever written include memoirs by famous historical figures, authors, politicians, celebrities, and more. This list includes a wide variety of books that are considered autobiographical, including more recent memoirs. Which one is the best? That's for you to decide, with votes of course. Some of the books listed here have proven to be life-changing reads. If you are an avid reader of autobiographies, you'll likely recognize a vast majority of the books listed here. If one of your favorites is missing, by all means, please do add it to the list. Those of us who love reading a beautifully written autobiography will be grateful!

When talking about the best-written autobiographies ever, any list would be woefully incomplete without Anne Frank: 'The Diary of a Young Girl,' as well as 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' and Frank McCourt's heartbreaking (and humorous) memoir 'Angela's Ashes.' These books are not only notable autobiographies, they are certainly among the best non-fiction eBooks ever.

Not all of the best autobiographies ever written are dark and serious. Some manage to mix an ample amount of humor in. Tina Fey's brilliant 'Bossypants' and Steve Martin's 'Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life' are excellent examples of must read books by stand up comedians. FYI: You don't necessarily have to spend a small fortune to purchase these best autobiographies ever written. Some of them are available as free ebooks, or even as audiobooks so be sure to check before you shell out a ton of money. If you're a reading fanatic, you might also like this list of famous autobiographical novel books, as well as this list of the top must-read books of all time.

Ranked by
  • The Diary of a Young Girl
    1
    1,268 votes
    • First Published: 1947
    • Subjects: Netherlands in World War II, Otto Frank, World War II, Hannah Pik-Goslar, Sol Kimel
    The Diary of a Young Girl is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the ...more
  • Angela's Ashes
    2
    Frank McCourt
    374 votes
    • First Published: 1996-09-05
    • Subjects: Frank McCourt
    Angela's Ashes is a 1996 memoir by the Irish author Frank McCourt. The memoir consists of various anecdotes and stories of Frank McCourt's impoverished childhood and early adulthood in Brooklyn, New ...more
    • First Published: 1927
    • Subjects: Nonviolent resistance
    Autobiography is a book written by Mahatma Ghandi.
  • Long Walk to Freedom
    4
    Nelson Mandela
    598 votes
    • First Published: 1994
    • Subjects: Human rights, World, Nelson Mandela, Politics, International relations
    Long Walk to Freedom is an autobiographical work written by South African President Nelson Mandela, and published in 1995 by Little Brown & Co. The book profiles his early life, coming of age, ...more
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    5
    Alex Haley, Malcolm X
    639 votes
    • First Published: 1965
    • Subjects: Security, African American, African American studies, Black, Islam
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X was published in 1965, the result of a collaboration between human rights activist Malcolm X and journalist Alex Haley. Haley coauthored the autobiography based on a ...more
  • Open: An Autobiography
    6
    599 votes