The Biography Portal

A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts (education, work, relationships, and death), a biography also portrays a subject's experience of these events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae ( résumé), a biography presents a subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of a subject's personality.

Biographical works are usually non-fiction, but fiction can also be used to portray a person's life. One in-depth form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing. Biographical works in diverse media—from literature to film—form the genre known as biography.

An authorized biography is written with the permission, cooperation, and, at times, participation of a subject or a subject's heirs.

An autobiography is about a life of a subject, written by that subject or sometimes with a collaborator.

More about biographies…

Featured biography

Engraving of Stede Bonnet.
Stede Bonnet (c. 1688 – December 13, 1718) was an early 18th-century Barbadian pirate, sometimes called "the gentleman pirate". Because of marital problems, Bonnet turned to piracy in the summer of 1717. He bought a sailing vessel, named it Revenge, and traveled with his paid crew along the American eastern seaboard, capturing other vessels and burning down Barbadian ships. After arriving in Nassau, Bonnet met the infamous pirate Blackbeard. Incapable of leading his crew, Bonnet temporarily ceded his ship's command to Blackbeard. Before separating in December 1717, Blackbeard and Bonnet plundered and captured merchant ships along the East Coast. After Bonnet failed to capture the Protestant Caesar, his crew abandoned him to join Blackbeard on the Queen Anne's Revenge. Bonnet stayed on Blackbeard's ship as a guest, and did not command a crew again until summer 1718, when he was pardoned by North Carolina governor Charles Eden and received clearance to go privateering against Spanish shipping. By July 1718, he had returned to piracy. In late August and September of that year, Colonel William Rhett led a naval expedition against pirates on the Cape Fear River. Rhett and Bonnet's men fought each other for hours, but the outnumbered pirates ultimately surrendered. Rhett arrested the pirates and brought them to Charleston in early October. Bonnet was brought to trial, and sentenced to death. After his request for clemency was turned down, Bonnet was hanged in Charleston on December 10, 1718. ( Read more...)

Selected portrait

Vasily Perov - Портрет Ф.М.Достоевского - Google Art Project.jpg
Credit: Vasily Perov

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky ( Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский; 11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher. Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia, and include Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov.

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On this day – March 22

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Did you know

Shangguan Yunzhu in the early 1940s

Quote of the week

"I never did write a biography, and I don't exactly know how to set about it; you see I have to be accurate and keep to the facts, a most difficult thing for a writer of fiction."

Elizabeth Gaskell

Referring to her Life of Charlotte Brontë in a letter to Harriet Anderson, 15 March 1856


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