The Biography Portal

Third Volume of a 1727 edition of Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans printed by Jacob Tonson

A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life 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 the 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. 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 written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter.

Selected biographies - show different entries

Did you know... - show different entries

  • ... that Diane Holl was the first female race engineer to win a Championship Auto Racing Teams motor race?
  • ... that an hour and a half before fur trader Captain Joseph LaBarge died, he received a telegram from historian Hiram M. Chittenden assuring LaBarge of the completion of his biography?
  • ... that activist Linda Sarsour was a leader of the 2017 Women's March and the 2019 Women's March?
  • ... that "Tom's Secret", an animated short film by Israeli artist Ohad Elimelech, was selected as the official video for the 2016 European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse?
  • ... that in Su Shuyang's tragedy depicting the last day of Lao She's life, the celebrated writer converses with dead characters from his own works before committing suicide?
  • ... that the autobiography James Acaster's Classic Scrapes ends with a story about a cabbage-based prank war between the comedian and a nine-year-old child?
  • ... that Irish actor Emmet Kirwan hopes that the film version of the play Dublin Oldschool will foster awareness of the homeless and drug addicts?
  • ... that Tessa Ganserer is the first openly transgender person to serve in a German parliament?
  • ... that Robin Surgeoner, a multiple Paralympic gold medal-winner in swimming, performs as a poet, artist, and musician under the stage name "Angryfish"?
  • ... that historian and educator Tomas Fonacier had the longest public service record in the Philippines, spanning more than six decades?
  • ... that Malala Yousafzai's 2013 autobiography I Am Malala was banned in 152,000 private schools in Pakistan?
  • ... that U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed to revoke government funding using the rescission process, which was successfully used 461 times prior to 2000 but has never been attempted since?

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Ada Lovelace portrait.jpg
Credit: Alfred Edward Chalon

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852), born Augusta Ada Byron and now commonly known as Ada Lovelace, was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She is often described as the world's first computer programmer.

On this day – January 29

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In the news

19 December 2019 – 2020 Labour Party leadership election
Shadow Treasury Minister Clive Lewis announces his candidacy to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party. He is the second person to make this announcement, after Shadow Foreign Secretary (BBC)
12 December 2019 – 2019 United Kingdom general election
Leader of the Labour Party (The Telegraph)
The parliamentary leader of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Nigel Dodds loses his seat in Belfast North as Nationalist MPs overtake (Politics Home)
11 December 2019 –
During her first speech before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi denies all charges of (Reuters)
10 December 2019 – Rohingya genocide case
At the International Court of Justice, The Gambia presents charges against the government of Myanmar and its leader (Reuters)
9 December 2019 –
The 2019 Lou Marsh Award for best Canadian athlete is granted by unanimous vote to tennis player (The Star)
Updated: 16:33, 30 December 2019

Quote of the week

"In history, so-called Great Men are but labels serving to give a name to historical events, and like labels they have the least possible connection with the event itself. Every action of theirs that seems to them an act of their own free will is, in an historical sense, not free at all but in bondage to the whole course of previous history, and predestined from all eternity."

Leo Tolstoy

In War and Peace

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