Introduction

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.

Featured biography

Modern artist's impression of Shen Kuo.
Shen Kuo or Shen Kua (pinyin: Shěn Kuò; Wade–Giles: Shen K'uo) (1031–1095), style name Cunzhong and pseudonym Mengqi Weng, was a polymathic Chinese scientist and statesman of the Song Dynasty (960–1279). Excelling in many fields of study and statecraft, he was a mathematician, astronomer, meteorologist, geologist, zoologist, botanist, pharmacologist, agronomist, archaeologist, ethnographer, cartographer, encyclopedist, general, diplomat, hydraulic engineer, inventor, academy chancellor, finance minister, governmental state inspector, poet, and musician. He was the head official for the Bureau of Astronomy in the Song court, as well as an Assistant Minister of Imperial Hospitality. At court his political allegiance was to the Reformist faction known as the New Policies Group, headed by Chancellor Wang Anshi (1021–1086). (Read more...)

Selected portrait

Lillian Gish-edit1.jpg
Credit: Bain News Service, restored by jjron

Lillian Diana Gish (October 14, 1893 – February 27, 1993) was an American stage, screen, and television actress, director and writer whose film acting career spanned 75 years, from 1912 to 1987. She was a prominent film star of the 1910s and 1920s, particularly associated with the films of director D. W. Griffith, including her leading role in Griffith's seminal Birth of a Nation.

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On this day – September 19

Bust of Antoninus Pius

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Shangguan Yunzhu in the early 1940s

Quote of the week

"From without, no wonderful effect is wrought within ourselves, unless some interior, responding wonder meets it. That the starry vault shall surcharge the heart with all rapturous marvelings, is only because we ourselves are greater miracles, and superber trophies than all the stars in universal space."

Herman Melville

In Pierre: or, The Ambiguities, 1852

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