Non-Fiction Famous Biographers  

Walter Graves
37.4k views 97 items
A list of famous biographers who have documented the lives of some of the most important people of all time. All types of biographers have been listed including presidential biographers, historic biographers, and those who write non-fiction about Hollywood celebrities. With the introduction of the Nook, Kindle, and iPad with iBooks, reading is hot again. The famous biographers on this list have written accounts of people's lives that are often even better than fiction. This list is intended to help long-time readers, as well as newcomers alike with discovering (and rediscovering) some of the best biographers of all time.
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Plutarch is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 75 (45-120)
Plutarch was a Greek historian, biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is considered today to be a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works seem to ...more

Samuel Johnson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Biographers
Dec. at 75 (1709-1784)
Samuel Johnson, often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and ...more

Thomas Carlyle is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 86 (1795-1881)
Biographies written: John Sterling and Frederick the Great Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher. Considered one of the most important social commentators of his time, he presented many lectures ...more

Cornelius Nepos is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 76 (99 BC-23 BC)
Cornelius Nepos was a Roman biographer. He was born at Hostilia, a village in Cisalpine Gaul not far from Verona. His Gallic origin is attested by Ausonius, and Pliny the Elder calls him Padi ...more

Martin Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Biographers
age 82
Biographies written: Winston Churchill Sir Martin John Gilbert, CBE was a British historian and honorary Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford. He was the author of over eighty books, including works on the Holocaust and ...more

Norman Mailer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 84 (1923-2007)
Biographies written: Marilyn Monroe, Lee Harvey Oswald, Gary Gilmore Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, film-maker, actor and political activist. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, his book Armies of the Night was ...more

Elizabeth Gaskell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 55 (1810-1865)
Biographies written: Charlotte Brontë Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, née Stevenson, often referred to simply as Mrs Gaskell, was a British novelist and short story writer during the Victorian era. Her novels offer a detailed ...more

Thomas Moore is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 73 (1779-1852)
Biographies written: Lord Byron, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Lord Edward Fitzgerald Thomas Moore was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of "The Minstrel Boy" and "The Last Rose of Summer". He was ...more

Leslie Stephen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 72 (1832-1904)
Biographies written: Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, Jonathan Swift George Eliot and Thomas Hobbes Sir Leslie Stephen KCB was an English author, critic and mountaineer, and the father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.

Carl Sandburg is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 89 (1878-1967)
Biographies written: Abraham Lincoln Carl August Sandburg was an American poet, writer, and editor who won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. During his lifetime, Sandburg was ...more

Kathleen Jones is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Biographers
age 96
Biographies written: Katherine Mansfield Kathleen Jones was a former Professor of Social Policy and Head of Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York, 1965–87 and Emeritus Professor since 1987. She lived in York, ...more

David McCullough is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Biographers
age 85
Biographies written: Harry Truman, John Adams, and Theodore Roosevelt David Gaub McCullough is an American author, narrator, historian, and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential ...more

Jenny Uglow is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Biographers
age 71
Biographies written: William Hogarth, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Thomas Bewick Jennifer Sheila Uglow OBE is a British biographer, historian, critic and publisher. Until retirement in 2013, she was an editorial director of Chatto & Windus. She has written critically ...more

James Boswell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Biographers
Dec. at 55 (1740-1795)
Biographies written: Samuel Johnson James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck, was a Scottish lawyer, diarist, and author born in Edinburgh. He is best known for the biography he wrote of one of his contemporaries, the English ...more

Merle Miller is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 67 (1919-1986)
Biographies written: Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson Merle Dale Miller was an American writer, novelist, and best-selling author who came out of the closet in an article in the New York Times Magazine on January 17, 1971, titled "What It ...more

Kitty Kelley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Biographers
age 76
Biographies written: Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Nancy Reagan Kitty Kelley is an American journalist and author of several best-selling unauthorized biographies of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, the ...more

Jean Edward Smith is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Biographers
age 86
Biographies written: Ulysses S. Grant, John Marshall, and Lucius D. Clay Jean Edward Smith is a biographer and the John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall University. He is also professor emeritus at the University of Toronto after having served as ...more

Jeffrey Morgan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Biographers
Biographies written: Alice Cooper, The Stooges Jeffrey Morgan is a Canadian writer and editor who is best known for being the authorized biographer of both Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop & The Stooges.

Lytton Strachey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 52 (1880-1932)
Giles Lytton Strachey was a British writer and critic. A founding member of the Bloomsbury Group and author of Eminent Victorians, he is best known for establishing a new form of biography in ...more

Roger Lewis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Biographers
Biographies written: Anthony Burgess

Romain Rolland is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 78 (1866-1944)
Biographies written: Gandhi, Michelangelo, Beethoven, and Leo Tolstoy Romain Rolland was a French dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian and mystic who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915 "as a tribute to the lofty idealism of his ...more

Nick Tosches is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Biographers
age 69
Biographies written: Jerry Lee Lewis, Dean Martin, and Sonny Liston Nick Tosches is an American journalist, novelist, biographer, and poet. His 1982 biography of Jerry Lee Lewis, Hellfire, was called "the best rock n’ roll biography ever written" by

Thomas DiLorenzo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Biographers
age 64
Biographies written: Abraham Lincoln Thomas James DiLorenzo is an American economics professor at Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business. He identifies himself as an adherent of the Austrian School of economics. He ...more

A. N. Wilson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Biographers
age 68
Biographies written: Hilaire Belloc, John Milton, Leo Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, Jesus Iris Murdoch, Sir Walter Scott, and John Betjeman Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views. He is an occasional columnist for the ...more

Virginia Spencer Carr is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Biographers
Died at 83 (1929-2012)
Biographies written: Paul Bowles, Carson McCullers, and John Dos Passos Virginia Spencer Carr was a biographer of Carson McCullers, John Dos Passos and Paul Bowles. Carr was also a college professor for more than 25 years at Columbus State University in Columbus, ...more