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Famous Biographers

Updated August 30, 2019 45.3k views97 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.
  • Dec. at 75 (45-120)

    Works WrittenParallel Lives, L'esilio, Sur les délais de la justice divine dans la punition des coupables, The Fall of the Roman Republic, De fato

    BirthplaceChaeronea, Greece


    Plutarch (; Greek: Πλούταρχος, Ploútarkhos, Koine Greek: [ˈplutarkʰos]; c. AD 46 – c. 120), later named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, (Λούκιος Μέστριος Πλούταρχος) was a...  more
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  • Dec. at 75 (1709-1784)

    Works WrittenA Dictionary of the English Language, Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, Irene, a tragedy

    BirthplaceLichfield, United Kingdom


    Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [OS 7 September] – 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet,...  more
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  • Dec. at 86 (1795-1881)

    Works WrittenOn heroes, hero-worship, & the heroic in history, The French revolution, Past and present

    BirthplaceEurasia, Ecclefechan, United Kingdom


    Biographies written: John Sterling and Frederick the Great
    Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, translator, historian, mathematician, and teacher. Considered one of the most important...  more
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  • Dec. at 76 (99 BC-23 BC)

    Works WrittenCornelii Nepotis Vitae excellentium imperatorum : cum versione Anglica, in qua verbum de verbo, quantum fieri potuit, redditur, Leben ausgezeichneter Feldherren

    BirthplaceAncient Rome


    Cornelius Nepos (; c. 110 BC – c. 25 BC) was a Roman biographer. He was born at Hostilia, a village in Cisalpine Gaul not far from Verona....  more
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  • Works WrittenThe Boys, Sir Horace Rumbold; portrait of a diplomat, The Atlas of Jewish History, Auschwitz and the Allies, The Routledge Atlas of Russian History

    BirthplaceEngland, London


    Biographies written: Winston Churchill
    Sir Martin John Gilbert (25 October 1936 – 3 February 2015) was a British historian and honorary Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford. He was the author of eighty-eight books, including...  more
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  • Dec. at 84 (1923-2007)

    Works WrittenThe Naked and the Dead, The Executioner's Song, Ancient Evenings, Of a Fire on the Moon, Barbary Shore

    BirthplaceLong Branch, New Jersey, USA


    Biographies written: Marilyn Monroe, Lee Harvey Oswald, Gary Gilmore
    Norman Kingsley Mailer (January 31, 1923 – November 10, 2007) was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, film-maker, actor, and liberal political activist. His novel The Naked and...  more
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  • Dec. at 55 (1810-1865)

    Works WrittenCranford, North and South, Mary Barton, A House to Let, Ruth

    BirthplaceChelsea, London, United Kingdom


    Biographies written: Charlotte Brontë
    Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (née Stevenson; 29 September 1810 – 12 November 1865), often referred to as Mrs Gaskell, was an English novelist, biographer, and short story writer. Her novels offer a...  more
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  • Dec. at 73 (1779-1852)

    Works WrittenLalla-Rookh, Poetical works, The poetical works of Thomas Moore, The Epicurean, The life and death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald

    BirthplaceDublin, Republic of Ireland


    Biographies written: Lord Byron, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Lord Edward Fitzgerald
    Thomas Moore (28 May 1779 – 25 February 1852) was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of "The Minstrel Boy" and "The Last Rose of Summer". As Lord...  more
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  • Dec. at 72 (1832-1904)

    Works WrittenThe English Utilitarians, Sir Leslie Stephen's Mausoleum book, Sketches from Cambridge, The life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, bart.

    BirthplaceLondon, United Kingdom


    Biographies written: Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, Jonathan Swift George Eliot and Thomas Hobbes
    Sir Leslie Stephen (28 November 1832 – 22 February 1904) was an English author, critic, historian, biographer, and mountaineer, and father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell....  more
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  • Dec. at 89 (1878-1967)

    Works WrittenRootabaga Stories, Complete poems, The letters of Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years, Henry Horner

    BirthplaceGalesburg,United States of America,Illinois,Knox County


    Biographies written: Abraham Lincoln
    Carl August Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American poet, biographer, journalist, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham...  more
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  • Works WrittenWomen saints, A passionate sisterhood, Learning Not to Be First, Social welfare in Malaya, The making of social policy in Britain


    Biographies written: Katherine Mansfield
    Kathleen Jones (7 April 1922 – 13 October 2010 ) was a professor of social policy and Head of Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York, 1965–87 and Emeritus Professor after...  more
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  • Works WrittenTruman, The Great Bridge, John Adams, 1776, Brave Companions: Portraits in History

    BirthplacePittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA


    Biographies written: Harry Truman, John Adams, and Theodore Roosevelt
    David Gaub McCullough (; born July 7, 1933) is an American author, narrator, popular historian, and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient...  more
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  • Works WrittenElizabeth Gaskell, Hogarth, The Northeastern Dictionary Of Women's Biography, The Lunar Men: Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World, Ghost Anthology


    Biographies written: William Hogarth, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Thomas Bewick
    Jennifer Sheila Uglow OBE (née Crowther, born 1947) is a British biographer, historian, critic and publisher. She was an editorial director of Chatto & Windus. She has written critically acclaimed...  more
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  • Dec. at 55 (1740-1795)

    Works WrittenThe Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., London Journal, The conversations of Dr. Johnson, The journals of James Boswell

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom


    Biographies written: Samuel Johnson
    James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (; 29 October 1740 – 19 May 1795), was a Scottish biographer, diarist, and lawyer, born in Edinburgh. He is best known for his biography of his friend and older...  more
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  • Dec. at 67 (1919-1986)

    Works WrittenPlain Speaking, That Winter, On being different, A gay and melancholy sound, The judges and the judged

    BirthplaceMontour, Iowa


    Biographies written: Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson
    Merle Dale Miller (May 17, 1919 – June 10, 1986) was an American writer, novelist, and author who is perhaps best remembered for his best-selling biography of Harry S. Truman, and as a pioneer in the...  more
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  • Works WrittenThe Royals, Jackie Oh!, His Way, Nancy Reagan, Last Star/Audio Cassettes

    BirthplaceSpokane, Washington, USA


    Biographies written: Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Nancy Reagan
    Catherine "Kitty" Kelley (born April 4, 1942) is an American journalist and author of several best-selling unauthorized biographies of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor,...  more
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  • Works WrittenJohn Marshall: Definer of a Nation, George Bush's war, Grant, The defense of Berlin, Germany beyond the wall

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C.


    Biographies written: Ulysses S. Grant, John Marshall, and Lucius D. Clay
    Jean Edward Smith (born October 13, 1932) is a biographer and the John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall University. He is also professor emeritus at the University of Toronto...  more
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  • Biographies written: Alice Cooper, The Stooges
    Jeffrey Morgan may refer to: Jeffrey Morgan (writer), Canadian writer Jeffrey Morgan (musician) (born 1954), American jazz musician and composer Jeffrey Dean Morgan (born 1966), American actor Jeff...  more
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  • Dec. at 52 (1880-1932)

    Works WrittenElizabeth and Essex, Eminent Victorians, Queen Victoria, The Letters of Lytton Strachey, Books and Characters

    BirthplaceLondon, United Kingdom


    Giles Lytton Strachey (; 1 March 1880 – 21 January 1932) was an English writer and critic. A founding member of the Bloomsbury Group and author of Eminent Victorians, he is best known for...  more
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  • Biographies written: Anthony Burgess
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  • Dec. at 78 (1866-1944)

    Works WrittenLa Vida de Ramakrishna, Le périple, Pierre et Luce, Clérambault, Péguy

    BirthplaceClamecy, Nièvre, Nevers, France


    Biographies written: Gandhi, Michelangelo, Beethoven, and Leo Tolstoy
    Romain Rolland (French: [ʁɔlɑ̃]; 29 January 1866 – 30 December 1944) was a French dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian and mystic who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915 "as a...  more
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  • Works WrittenIn the Hand of Dante, King of the Jews, Where Dead Voices Gather, The Devil and Sonny Liston, Country

    BirthplaceUSA, Newark, New Jersey


    Biographies written: Jerry Lee Lewis, Dean Martin, and Sonny Liston
    Nick Tosches (; born October 23, 1949) is an American journalist, novelist, biographer, and poet. His 1982 biography of Jerry Lee Lewis, Hellfire, was praised by Rolling Stone magazine as "the best...  more
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  • Works WrittenFrom Pathology to Politics: Public Health in America, The Real Lincoln, Lincoln Unmasked, How Capitalism Saved America


    Biographies written: Abraham Lincoln
    Thomas James DiLorenzo (; born August 8, 1954) is an American economics professor at Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business. He identifies as an adherent of the Austrian School of...  more
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  • Works WrittenDream Children, Stray, Dante in Love, Scandal, Who was Oswald Fish?



    Biographies written: Hilaire Belloc, John Milton, Leo Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, Jesus Iris Murdoch, Sir Walter Scott, and John Betjeman
    Andrew Norman Wilson (born 27 October 1950) is an English writer and newspaper columnist known for his critical biographies, novels and works of popular history. He is an occasional columnist for the...  more
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  • Dec. at 83 (1929-2012)

    Works WrittenUnderstanding Carson Mccullers, Paul Bowles, The lonely hunter, Dos Passos

    BirthplaceWest Palm Beach, Florida


    Biographies written: Paul Bowles, Carson McCullers, and John Dos Passos
    Virginia Spencer Carr (July 21, 1929 – April 10, 2012) 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...  more
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