Looking for the best biographies of all time?
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Here’s what you’ll find on this page…
What Is a Biography?
I’ve scoured the internet for lists of top biographies, I’ve taken your suggestions on the best memoirs and best autobiographies you’ve ever read and I’ve collected them here in the definitive list of best biography books ever written.
What is a biography? As far as this list is concerned, a biography is any story that follows the life of a person. Some books explore events, objects or places. Many of those may use people’s stories to colour their narratives. But the difference between those books and the best historical biographies is that good biographies keep both eyes on their heroes.
The 70 Best Biographies of All Time
Why are some famous biographies ranked higher than others? To stay as objective as possible, I rank all my book recommendations by a combination of what’s most loved (Goodreads rating), what’s most popular (Goodreads review count) and what’s delivered timelessly relevant advice (first publication date).
This isn’t just a whimsical list of my favourite people or their memoirs. It’s a crowdsourced collection of the best biographies ever published as decided by readers and biography lovers like you.
And if there’s a top biography you think I’ve missed off this list? I LOVE book recommendations so if there are great biographies, autobiographies or memoirs that you think deserve mentioning, email me and I’ll be sure to include them in the next round of updates!
Until then, enjoy this list of the 70 best biographies of all time…
Books 1-10: The Top 10 Biographies of All Time
The top 10 best biographies of all time are…
Books 11-70: 60 Good Biographies to Read Next
Here are the next 60 best biographies from my database…
Best Biography FAQs
Why you should read biographies?
The best biographies combine the life-wisdom and lessons you'd expect from nonfiction with the readability and storytelling you'd expect from a novel. They're often easy to read and they're a wonderful way to experience the world through the eyes of someone who may see and have experienced things very differently. Click here to check out my ranked list of the 70 best biographies of all time.
What is the best selling autobiography of all time?
The best selling autobiography of all time is almost certainly The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. While there's no accurate data on best selling biographies, Anne's diary ranks highest on this list of the best selling books of all time, which makes it a likely contender. Other best selling autobiographies include Night (The Night Trilogy, #1) by Elie Wiesel and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
What's the best autobiography to read?
The top two books on this list - Night (The Night Trilogy, #1) and The Autobiography of Malcolm X - are both fantastic autobiographies. Other top-ranked options include famous autobiographies like The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. Want more ideas? Click here to read the full list of best biographies and best autobiographies ever written.
What are some good biographies to read?
More Book Recommendations
Enjoyed this list of the best biographies of all time? Here’s a breakdown of all the book lists and book recommendations on the site…
More Best Books of All Time (by Type)
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More Best Nonfiction Books (by Topic)
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More Best Fiction Books (by Genre)
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