Literacy Ideas

How to Write a Biography

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Biographies are big business. Whether in book form or Hollywood biopics, the lives of the famous and sometimes not-so-famous fascinate us.

While it’s true that most biographies are about people who are in the public eye, sometimes the subject is less well-known. Primarily, though, famous or not, the person who is written about has led an incredible life.

In this article, we will explain biography writing in detail for teachers and students so they can create their own.

While your students will most likely have a basic understanding of a biography, it’s worth taking a little time before they put pen to paper to tease out a crystal-clear definition of one.

Visual Writing

What Is a Biography?

how to write a biography | how to start an autobiography | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

A biography is an account of someone’s life written by someone else . While there is a genre known as a fictional biography, for the most part, biographies are, by definition, nonfiction.

Generally speaking, biographies provide an account of the subject’s life from the earliest days of childhood to the present day or, if the subject is deceased, their death.

The job of a biography is more than just to outline the bare facts of a person’s life.

Rather than just listing the basic details of their upbringing, hobbies, education, work, relationships, and death, a well-written biography should also paint a picture of the subject’s personality and experience of life.

how to write a biography | Biography Autobiography 2022 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Full Biographies

Teaching unit.

Teach your students everything they need to know about writing an AUTOBIOGRAPHY and a BIOGRAPHY.

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Features of a Biography

Before students begin writing a biography, they’ll need to have a firm grasp of the main features of a Biography. An excellent way to determine how well they understand these essential elements is to ask them to compile a checklist like the one-blow

Their checklists should contain the items below at a minimum. Be sure to help them fill in any gaps before moving on to the writing process.

The purpose of a biography is to provide an account of someone’s life.

Biography structure.

ORIENTATION (BEGINNING) Open your biography with a strong hook to grab the reader’s attention

SEQUENCING: In most cases, biographies are written in chronological order unless you are a very competent writer consciously trying to break from this trend.

COVER: childhood, upbringing, education, influences, accomplishments, relationships, etc. – everything that helps the reader to understand the person.

CONCLUSION: Wrap your biography up with some details about what the subject is doing now if they are still alive. If they have passed away, make mention of what impact they have made and what their legacy is or will be.

BIOGRAPHY FEATURES

LANGUAGE Use descriptive and figurative language that will paint images inside your audience’s minds as they read. Use time connectives to link events.

PERSPECTIVE Biographies are written from the third person’s perspective.

DETAILS: Give specific details about people, places, events, times, dates, etc. Reflect on how events shaped the subject. You might want to include some relevant photographs with captions. A timeline may also be of use depending upon your subject and what you are trying to convey to your audience.

TENSE Written in the past tense (though ending may shift to the present/future tense)

THE PROCESS OF WRITING A BIOGRAPHY

Like any form of writing, you will find it simple if you have a plan and follow it through. These steps will ensure you cover the essential bases of writing a biography essay.

Firstly, select a subject that inspires you. Someone whose life story resonates with you and whose contribution to society intrigues you. The next step is to conduct thorough research. Engage in extensive reading, explore various sources, watch documentaries, and glean all available information to provide a comprehensive account of the person’s life.

Creating an outline is essential to organize your thoughts and information. The outline should include the person’s early life, education, career, achievements, and any other significant events or contributions. It serves as a map for the writing process, ensuring that all vital information is included.

Your biography should have an engaging introduction that captivates the reader’s attention and provides background information on the person you’re writing about. It should include a thesis statement summarising the biography’s main points.

Writing a biography in chronological order is crucial . You should begin with the person’s early life and move through their career and achievements. This approach clarifies how the person’s life unfolded and how they accomplished their goals.

A biography should be written in a narrative style , capturing the essence of the person’s life through vivid descriptions, anecdotes, and quotes. Avoid dry, factual writing and focus on creating a compelling narrative that engages the reader.

Adding personal insights and opinions can enhance the biography’s overall impact, providing a unique perspective on the person’s achievements, legacy, and impact on society.

Editing and proofreading are vital elements of the writing process. Thoroughly reviewing your biography ensures that the writing is clear, concise, and error-free. You can even request feedback from someone else to ensure that it is engaging and well-written.

Finally, including a bibliography at the end of your biography is essential. It gives credit to the sources that were used during research, such as books, articles, interviews, and websites.

Tips for Writing a Brilliant Biography

Biography writing tip #1: choose your subject wisely.

There are several points for students to reflect on when deciding on a subject for their biography. Let’s take a look at the most essential points to consider when deciding on the subject for a biography:

Interest: To produce a biography will require sustained writing from the student. That’s why students must choose their subject well. After all, a biography is an account of someone’s entire life to date. Students must ensure they choose a subject that will sustain their interest throughout the research, writing, and editing processes.

Merit: Closely related to the previous point, students must consider whether the subject merits the reader’s interest. Aside from pure labors of love, writing should be undertaken with the reader in mind. While producing a biography demands sustained writing from the author, it also demands sustained reading from the reader.

Therefore, students should ask themselves if their chosen subject has had a life worthy of the reader’s interest and the time they’d need to invest in reading their biography.

Information: Is there enough information available on the subject to fuel the writing of an entire biography? While it might be a tempting idea to write about a great-great-grandfather’s experience in the war. There would be enough interest there to sustain the author’s and the reader’s interest, but do you have enough access to information about their early childhood to do the subject justice in the form of a biography?

Biography Writing Tip #2: R esearch ! Research! Research!

While the chances are good that the student already knows quite a bit about the subject they’ve chosen. Chances are 100% that they’ll still need to undertake considerable research to write their biography.

As with many types of writing , research is an essential part of the planning process that shouldn’t be overlooked. If students wish to give as complete an account of their subject’s life as possible, they’ll need to put in the time at the research stage.

An effective way to approach the research process is to:

1. Compile a chronological timeline of the central facts, dates, and events of the subject’s life

2. Compile detailed descriptions of the following personal traits:

  •      Physical looks
  •      Character traits
  •      Values and beliefs

3. Compile some research questions based on different topics to provide a focus for the research:

  • Childhood : Where and when were they born? Who were their parents? Who were the other family members? What education did they receive?
  • Obstacles: What challenges did they have to overcome? How did these challenges shape them as individuals?
  • Legacy: What impact did this person have on the world and/or the people around them?
  • Dialogue & Quotes: Dialogue and quotations by and about the subject are a great way to bring color and life to a biography. Students should keep an eagle eye out for the gems that hide amid their sources.

As the student gets deeper into their research, new questions will arise that can further fuel the research process and help to shape the direction the biography will ultimately go in.

Likewise, during the research, themes will often begin to suggest themselves. Exploring these themes is essential to bring depth to biography, but we’ll discuss this later in this article.

Research Skills:

Researching for biography writing is an excellent way for students to hone their research skills in general. Developing good research skills is essential for future academic success. Students will have opportunities to learn how to:

  • Gather relevant information
  • Evaluate different information sources
  • Select suitable information
  • Organize information into a text.

Students will have access to print and online information sources, and, in some cases, they may also have access to people who knew or know the subject (e.g. biography of a family member).

These days, much of the research will likely take place online. It’s crucial, therefore, to provide your students with guidance on how to use the internet safely and evaluate online sources for reliability. This is the era of ‘ fake news ’ and misinformation after all!

COMPLETE TEACHING UNIT ON INTERNET RESEARCH SKILLS USING GOOGLE SEARCH

how to write a biography | research skills 1 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Teach your students ESSENTIAL SKILLS OF THE INFORMATION ERA to become expert DIGITAL RESEARCHERS.

⭐How to correctly ask questions to search engines on all devices.

⭐ How to filter and refine your results to find exactly what you want every time.

⭐ Essential Research and critical thinking skills for students.

⭐ Plagiarism, Citing and acknowledging other people’s work.

⭐ How to query, synthesize and record your findings logically.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING Tip #3: Find Your Themes In Biography Writing

Though predominantly a nonfiction genre, the story still plays a significant role in good biography writing. The skills of characterization and plot structuring are transferable here. And, just like in fiction, exploring themes in a biographical work helps connect the personal to the universal. Of course, these shouldn’t be forced; this will make the work seem contrived, and the reader may lose faith in the truthfulness of the account. A biographer needs to gain and maintain the trust of the reader.

Fortunately, themes shouldn’t need to be forced. A life well-lived is full of meaning, and the themes the student writer is looking for will emerge effortlessly from the actions and events of the subject’s life. It’s just a case of learning how to spot them.

One way to identify the themes in a life is to look for recurring events or situations in a person’s life. These should be apparent from the research completed previously. The students should seek to identify these patterns that emerge in the subject’s life. For example, perhaps they’ve had to overcome various obstacles throughout different periods of their life. In that case, the theme of overcoming adversity is present and has been identified.

Usually, a biography has several themes running throughout, so be sure your students work to identify more than one theme in their subject’s life.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING Tip: #4 Put Something of Yourself into the Writing

While the defining feature of a biography is that it gives an account of a person’s life, students must understand that this is not all a biography does. Relating the facts and details of a subject’s life is not enough. The student biographer should not be afraid to share their thoughts and feelings with the reader throughout their account of their subject’s life.

The student can weave some of their personality into the fabric of the text by providing commentary and opinion as they relate the events of the person’s life and the wider social context at the time. Unlike the detached and objective approach we’d expect to find in a history textbook, in a biography, student-writers should communicate their enthusiasm for their subject in their writing.

This makes for a more intimate experience for the reader, as they get a sense of getting to know the author and the subject they are writing about.

Biography Examples For Students

  • Year 5 Example
  • Year 7 Example
  • Year 9 Example

“The Rock ‘n’ Roll King: Elvis Presley”

Elvis Aaron Presley, born on January 8, 1935, was an amazing singer and actor known as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Even though he’s been dead for nearly 50 years, I can’t help but be fascinated by his incredible life!

Elvis grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, in a tiny house with his parents and twin brother. His family didn’t have much money, but they shared a love for music. Little did they know Elvis would become a music legend!

When he was only 11 years old, Elvis got his first guitar. He taught himself to play and loved singing gospel songs. As he got older, he started combining different music styles like country, blues, and gospel to create a whole new sound – that’s Rock ‘n’ Roll!

In 1954, at the age of 19, Elvis recorded his first song, “That’s All Right.” People couldn’t believe how unique and exciting his music was. His famous hip-swinging dance moves also made him a sensation!

Elvis didn’t just rock the music scene; he also starred in movies like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock.” But fame came with challenges. Despite facing ups and downs, Elvis kept spreading happiness through his music.

how to write a biography | A4H32CWFYQ72GPUNCIRTS5Y7P4 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Tragically, Elvis passed away in 1977, but his music and charisma live on. Even today, people worldwide still enjoy his songs like “Hound Dog” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Elvis Presley’s legacy as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll will live forever.

Long Live the King: I wish I’d seen him.

Elvis Presley, the Rock ‘n’ Roll legend born on January 8, 1935, is a captivating figure that even a modern-day teen like me can’t help but admire. As I delve into his life, I wish I could have experienced the magic of his live performances.

Growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis faced challenges but found solace in music. At 11, he got his first guitar, a symbol of his journey into the world of sound. His fusion of gospel, country, and blues into Rock ‘n’ Roll became a cultural phenomenon.

The thought of being in the audience during his early performances, especially when he recorded “That’s All Right” at 19, sends shivers down my spine. Imagining the crowd’s uproar and feeling the revolutionary energy of that moment is a dream I wish I could have lived.

Elvis wasn’t just a musical prodigy; he was a dynamic performer. His dance moves, the embodiment of rebellion, and his roles in films like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock” made him a true icon.

After watching him on YouTube, I can’t help but feel a little sad that I’ll never witness the King’s live performances. The idea of swaying to “Hound Dog” or being enchanted by “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in person is a missed opportunity. Elvis may have left us in 1977, but he was the king of rock n’ roll. Long live the King!

Elvis Presley: A Teen’s Take on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Icon”

Elvis Presley, born January 8, 1935, was a revolutionary force in the music world, earning his title as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Exploring his life, even as a 16-year-old today, I’m captivated by the impact he made.

Hailing from Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis grew up in humble beginnings, surrounded by the love of his parents and twin brother. It’s inspiring to think that, despite financial challenges, this young man would redefine the music scene.

At 11, Elvis got his first guitar, sparking a self-taught journey into music. His early gospel influences evolved into a unique fusion of country, blues, and gospel, creating the electrifying genre of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In 1954, at only 19, he recorded “That’s All Right,” marking the birth of a musical legend.

Elvis wasn’t just a musical innovator; he was a cultural phenomenon. His rebellious dance moves and magnetic stage presence challenged the norms. He transitioned seamlessly into acting, starring in iconic films like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

how to write a biography | Elvis Presley promoting Jailhouse Rock | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

However, fame came at a cost, and Elvis faced personal struggles. Despite the challenges, his music continued to resonate. Even now, classics like “Hound Dog” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” transcend generations.

Elvis Presley’s impact on music and culture is undeniable. He was known for his unique voice, charismatic persona, and electrifying performances. He sold over one billion records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling solo artists in history. He received numerous awards throughout his career, including three Grammy Awards and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Elvis’s influence can still be seen in today’s music. Many contemporary artists, such as Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, and Justin Timberlake, have cited Elvis as an inspiration. His music continues to be featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials.

Elvis left us in 1977, but his legacy lives on. I appreciate his breaking barriers and fearlessly embracing his artistic vision. Elvis Presley’s impact on music and culture is timeless, a testament to the enduring power of his artistry. His music has inspired generations and will continue to do so for many years to come.

how to write a biography | LITERACY IDEAS FRONT PAGE 1 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING TEACHING IDEAS AND LESSONS

We have compiled a sequence of biography-related lessons or teaching ideas that you can follow as you please. They are straightforward enough for most students to follow without further instruction.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 1:

This session aims to give students a broader understanding of what makes a good biography.

Once your students have compiled a comprehensive checklist of the main features of a biography, allow them to use it to assess some biographies from your school library or on the internet using the feature checklist.

When students have assessed a selection of biographies, take some time as a class to discuss them. You can base the discussion around the following prompts:

  • Which biographies covered all the criteria from their checklist?
  • Which biographies didn’t?
  • Which biography was the most readable in terms of structure?
  • Which biography do you think was the least well-structured? How would you improve this?

Looking at how other writers have interpreted the form will help students internalize the necessary criteria before attempting to produce a biography. Once students have a clear understanding of the main features of the biography, they’re ready to begin work on writing a biography.

When the time does come to put pen to paper, be sure they’re armed with the following top tips to help ensure they’re as well prepared as possible.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 2:

This session aims to guide students through the process of selecting the perfect biography subject.

Instruct students to draw up a shortlist of three potential subjects for the biography they’ll write.

Using the three criteria mentioned in the writing guide (Interest, Merit, and Information), students award each potential subject a mark out of 5 for each of the criteria. In this manner, students can select the most suitable subject for their biography.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 3:

This session aims to get students into the researching phase, then prioritise and organise events chronologically.

Students begin by making a timeline of their subject’s life, starting with their birth and ending with their death or the present day. If the student has yet to make a final decision on the subject of their biography, a family member will often serve well for this exercise as a practice exercise.

Students should research and gather the key events of the person’s life, covering each period of their life from when they were a baby, through childhood and adolescence, right up to adulthood and old age. They should then organize these onto a timeline. Students can include photographs with captions if they have them.

They can present these to the class when they have finished their timelines.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 4:

Instruct students to look over their timeline, notes, and other research. Challenge them to identify three patterns that repeat throughout the subject’s life and sort all the related events and incidents into specific categories.

Students should then label each category with a single word. This is the thematic concept or the broad general underlying idea. After that, students should write a sentence or two expressing what the subject’s life ‘says’ about that concept.

This is known as the thematic statement . With the thematic concepts and thematic statements identified, the student now has some substantial ideas to explore that will help bring more profound meaning and wider resonance to their biography.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 5:

Instruct students to write a short objective account of an event in their own life. They can write about anyone from their past. It needn’t be more than a couple of paragraphs, but the writing should be strictly factual, focusing only on the objective details of what happened.

Once they have completed this, it’s time to rewrite the paragraph, but they should include some opinion and personal commentary this time.

The student here aims to inject some color and personality into their writing, to transform a detached, factual account into a warm, engaging story.

A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING BIOGRAPHIES

how to write a biography | biography and autobiography writing unit 1 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Teach your students to write AMAZING BIOGRAPHIES & AUTOBIOGRAPHIES using proven RESEARCH SKILLS and WRITING STRATEGIES .

  • Understand the purpose of both forms of biography.
  • Explore the language and perspective of both.
  • Prompts and Challenges to engage students in writing a biography.
  • Dedicated lessons for both forms of biography.
  • Biographical Projects can expand students’ understanding of reading and writing a biography.
  • A COMPLETE 82-PAGE UNIT – NO PREPARATION REQUIRED.

Biography Graphic Organizer

FREE Biography Writing Graphic Organizer

Use this valuable tool in the research and writing phases to keep your students on track and engaged.

WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE

writing checklists

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To Conclude

By this stage, your students should have an excellent technical overview of a biography’s essential elements.

They should be able to choose their subject in light of how interesting and worthy they are, as well as give consideration to the availability of information out there. They should be able to research effectively and identify emerging themes in their research notes. And finally, they should be able to bring some of their personality and uniqueness into their retelling of the life of another.

Remember that writing a biography is not only a great way to develop a student’s writing skills; it can be used in almost all curriculum areas. For example, to find out more about a historical figure in History, to investigate scientific contributions to Science, or to celebrate a hero from everyday life.

Biography is an excellent genre for students to develop their writing skills and to find inspiration in the lives of others in the world around them.

HOW TO WRITE A BIOGRAPHY TUTORIAL VIDEO

how to write a biography | YOUTUBE 1280 x 720 11 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

OTHER GREAT ARTICLES RELATED TO BIOGRAPHY WRITING

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Personal Narrative Writing Guide

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Year 3 Biography text and short comprehension exercise.

Year 3 Biography text and short comprehension exercise.

Subject: English

Age range: 7-11

Resource type: Worksheet/Activity

keeganschoolteach

Last updated

23 September 2018

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Year 3 biography model text with a follow up short comprehension

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Features of Biographies (Years 3-4)

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Help children develop their knowledge of different non-fiction genres with this handout on biographies. It covers all the key information in a fun and friendly way.

  • Key Stage: Key Stage 2
  • Subject: English
  • Topic: Themes and Conventions
  • Topic Group: Reading
  • Year(s): Years 3-4
  • Media Type: PDF
  • Resource Type: Handout
  • Last Updated: 22/11/2021
  • Resource Code: E2WAE50
  • Curriculum Point(s): Develop positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read by identifying themes and conventions in a wide range of books.

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20+ Student Biography Examples

Welcome to the world of students! We have created an amazing collection of 30 student biography examples to help you write your own.

As a student, you are likely to be writing a variety of biographical pieces. Whether you are writing a personal profile for your CV, a biography for an awards application or a biography for a college admissions essay, it’s important that you construct an interesting and engaging narrative of who you are.

Student Biography Examples

1. Growing up I was always interested in the sciences and technology. In high school, I excelled in math and science classes, which led me to pursue a degree in engineering. I went on to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and am currently working on my Master’s in Civil Engineering. After I finish my degree, I plan to use my knowledge to help improve infrastructure in developing countries.

2. Since a young age, I have been passionate about helping people in need. During college, I decided to focus my studies on sociology and political science. I used my knowledge to take action and participated in several non-profit organizations to promote social justice. With the help of internships, I have also gained experience in policy development and public relations. I’m currently working on a graduate degree in Social Work and aim to eventually work for the United Nations .

4. I never thought that I had the ability to become a professional photographer, but my high school photography teacher pushed me to pursue my dreams. I learned how to use a variety of cameras, develop photographs, and post-process my images. I continued my photography studies at college, where I gained additional knowledge in studio lighting and digital editing. I was even able to gain experience in the fashion industry, interning for a well-known photographer . Today, I am working as an event photographer, documenting weddings, reunions, and corporate events.

5. When I was younger I was passionate about art, which prompted me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. During college, I was able to gain experience as a studio assistant and also learn various digital and traditional art techniques. With the help of a scholarship, I was able to travel to various countries and learn even more about different art styles. After graduation, I started working as a freelance artist and have been able to produce several commissioned artworks and pieces.

7. I have been involved in theater since I was a young child. During my high school years, I focused on honing my abilities through various extracurricular activities. I was able to gain valuable experience by participating in multiple productions and I even gained a scholarship for theater. I attended college to study Musical Theater and continued to foster my talent. With help from internships and workshops, I was able to build additional experience and formed a touring theater company with some of my colleagues.

8. From an early age, I was interested in the environment and the outdoors. I spent a lot of time reading environmental books and researching environmental issues. This passion inspired me to major in Environmental Science in college. I’ve gained valuable experience through various internships and part-time jobs. With the help of my degree, I’ve been able to work on several conservation projects and hope to soon work for a non-profit organization focused on sustainability.

9. When I graduated high school I wanted to focus my career on the medical field. After much research, I decided to major in Biomedical Engineering. During my time in college, I was able to gain a valuable experience by interning as a research assistant. I have been able to learn more about medical technology and have been able to contribute to various projects. I’m currently pursuing a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and plan to continue my research in the field and eventually work for a healthcare company.

10. I have always had an interest in fashion and design, so when the time came to decide my career path it made sense to pursue design. During college, I was able to study many aspects of fashion and gain experience through various internships. I was also able to travel to other countries to observe trends and learn about different cultures. With my degree, I am currently working as a fashion designer and I plan to continue to use my creative eye to come up with innovative and stylish designs.

Examples

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biography example year 3

A biography is a detailed account of a person’s life, documenting their experiences, achievements, and impact on the world. It explores the subject’s personal and professional journeys, offering insights into their character and legacy.

What is Biography?

A bibliography is a comprehensive list of all sources consulted for a research project, including books, articles , websites, and more. It provides essential details such as the author, title, publication date, and publisher, formatted according to specific citation styles like APA, MLA , or Chicago. Bibliographies credit sources, avoid plagiarism, and enhance the credibility of your work.

Format of Biography

A well-structured biography format ensures that the narrative is both engaging and informative, offering readers a comprehensive view of the subject’s life. Here is a structured format that can be adapted to suit different types of biographies:

Title: Should capture the essence of the subject’s life. Subtitle: Optional, providing additional context or focus. Author’s Name: The name of the biographer.

Table of Contents

Lists chapters or sections with page numbers for easy navigation.

Introduction

Introduces the subject of the biography, including their significance and the scope of the biography. Provides a thesis statement or the main theme of the biography.
Birth and Family Background: Details about the subject’s birth, parents, siblings, and early family life. Education: Information on the subject’s education, including significant schools attended, degrees earned, and influential teachers or mentors. Formative Experiences: Early experiences that shaped the subject’s character, interests, and future path.
Early Career: Overview of the subject’s initial jobs or roles and early career milestones. Major Contributions and Achievements: Detailed account of the subject’s key contributions, achievements, and career highlights. Challenges and Setbacks: Challenges faced in their career and how they were overcome.

Personal Life

Relationships and Family: Information on the subject’s personal relationships, marriage(s), children, and close friendships. Interests and Hobbies: The subject’s personal interests, hobbies, and extracurricular activities.

Philanthropy and Activism

If applicable, details on the subject’s involvement in philanthropy, social causes, activism, or community service.

Legacy and Impact

Analysis of the subject’s legacy and impact on their field, community, or the world. Includes public and professional recognition, awards, and honors.

Later Life and Death

Details about the subject’s later years, retirement, and circumstances of their death (if applicable). Reflections on their life and contributions.
Summarizes the key points of the biography, reinforcing the subject’s impact and legacy. Reflects on the broader implications of the subject’s life and work.

Appendices (If Applicable)

Includes additional information, such as letters, documents, or photographs.

Bibliography/References

Lists sources, interviews, and materials used in researching the biography.
An alphabetical listing of names, places, and subjects mentioned in the biography, with page numbers.

Examples of Biography for Students

1. abraham lincoln (1809-1865).

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and is best known for leading the country during the Civil War and working to end slavery. Born in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky, Lincoln had humble beginnings. He educated himself by reading books and became a lawyer in Illinois. His political career began in the Illinois State Legislature and later in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Lincoln became a national figure during the debates with Stephen Douglas in 1858, which highlighted his opposition to the expansion of slavery. In 1860, he was elected President. His presidency was dominated by the Civil War, a conflict between the Northern states (the Union) and the Southern states (the Confederacy), which had seceded from the Union. Lincoln’s leadership was crucial in preserving the Union.

In 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves in Confederate-held territory were free. This was a significant step towards the abolition of slavery. Lincoln was re-elected in 1864 but was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in 1865, just days after the end of the Civil War.

Lincoln is remembered for his eloquent speeches, including the Gettysburg Address, and his dedication to principles of equality and freedom.

2. Malala Yousafzai (1997-Present)

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani education activist and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. Born in Mingora, Pakistan, Malala developed a passion for education from an early age, inspired by her father, who was an educator and ran a girls’ school in their village.

In 2009, at just 11 years old, Malala began writing a blog for the BBC under a pseudonym, describing her life under the Taliban’s rule and their attempts to restrict education for girls. Her advocacy made her a target, and in 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman while riding a bus home from school. Miraculously, she survived and was flown to the United Kingdom for extensive medical treatment.

Malala’s courage and determination gained international attention. In 2013, she co-authored the memoir “I Am Malala,” which became a global bestseller. In 2014, at the age of 17, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.

Today, Malala continues to be a leading voice for education and women’s rights through the Malala Fund, an organization she co-founded to ensure girls around the world have access to 12 years of free, safe, and quality education.

3. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the American civil rights movement. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, King was a Baptist minister and an advocate for nonviolent resistance based on the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

King first came to national prominence during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, which was sparked by Rosa Parks’ arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. This boycott lasted for over a year and resulted in the desegregation of the city’s public buses.

In 1963, King led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where he delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, envisioning a future where people would be judged by their character rather than the color of their skin. His efforts were instrumental in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

King’s commitment to social justice and equality earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Tragically, his life was cut short when he was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. King’s legacy lives on through his speeches, writings, and the ongoing efforts for racial equality and justice in America.

4. Marie Curie (1867-1934)

Marie Curie was a pioneering physicist and chemist who conducted groundbreaking research on radioactivity. Born in Warsaw, Poland, as Maria Sklodowska, she moved to Paris to study at the Sorbonne, where she met her future husband, Pierre Curie. Together, they discovered the elements polonium and radium.

Marie Curie’s work earned her two Nobel Prizes—one in Physics in 1903 (shared with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel) and another in Chemistry in 1911. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and remains the only person to have won Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields.

Curie’s research contributed significantly to the understanding of radioactivity, a term she coined, and laid the foundation for future scientific advancements, including cancer treatment. Despite facing numerous challenges as a woman in science, Curie’s dedication and perseverance left a lasting legacy in the scientific community.

5. Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Born in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, Mandela became involved in the anti-colonial and African nationalist politics while studying law in Johannesburg.

Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944 and co-founded the ANC Youth League. In the 1950s, he led peaceful protests and defiance campaigns against the apartheid regime’s racial segregation policies. However, after the government banned the ANC, Mandela shifted to advocating armed resistance.

In 1962, he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment for his activities against the apartheid government. Mandela spent 27 years in prison, during which he became a global symbol of resistance to apartheid. Released in 1990, Mandela led negotiations to dismantle apartheid and establish multiracial elections.

In 1994, Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black president in the country’s first democratic elections. His presidency focused on reconciliation, nation-building, and social justice. Mandela’s leadership and commitment to peace earned him international acclaim and numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Examples of Biography for Professionals

1. elon musk.

Elon Musk is a renowned entrepreneur and innovator, best known for his work in the technology and space exploration sectors. Born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971, Musk moved to the United States to pursue his ambitions in the tech industry. He earned degrees in Physics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Musk co-founded Zip2, an online city guide software, which was sold to Compaq for nearly $300 million in 1999. He then founded X.com, an online payment company, which later became PayPal and was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock.

In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has since achieved numerous milestones, including the first privately-funded spacecraft to reach the International Space Station.

Musk is also the CEO of Tesla, Inc., a company dedicated to producing electric vehicles and renewable energy solutions. Under his leadership, Tesla has become a leader in the automotive industry, pushing the boundaries of electric car technology and sustainable energy.

Musk’s other ventures include Neuralink, a neurotechnology company, and The Boring Company, which focuses on tunnel construction and infrastructure. His innovative approach and relentless drive continue to shape the future of technology and space exploration.

2. Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook (now Meta Platforms, Inc.) and a prominent advocate for women’s leadership and empowerment. Born in Washington, D.C., in 1969, Sandberg earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University and later an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Sandberg started her career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company before joining the U.S. Treasury Department as Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton. In 2001, she joined Google, where she was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations, significantly contributing to the company’s revenue growth.

In 2008, Sandberg became the COO of Facebook, where she helped scale the company’s operations and expand its global presence. Her leadership was instrumental in turning Facebook into one of the world’s largest and most influential social media platforms.

Sandberg is also the author of the best-selling book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” which encourages women to pursue their ambitions and challenge workplace inequalities. She founded LeanIn.Org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting women’s professional growth and leadership.

Sandberg’s influence extends beyond her professional achievements, as she continues to advocate for gender equality and empowerment in the workplace.

3. Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft, one of the world’s leading technology companies. Born in Hyderabad, India, in 1967, Nadella moved to the United States to pursue his education, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 and held various leadership roles in the company’s enterprise and cloud computing divisions. He played a crucial role in transforming Microsoft’s business model to focus on cloud computing, which significantly boosted the company’s growth and profitability.

In 2014, Nadella was appointed CEO of Microsoft. Under his leadership, Microsoft has embraced a culture of innovation and collaboration, expanding its product offerings and investing heavily in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and other advanced technologies. Nadella’s vision has been pivotal in maintaining Microsoft’s status as a global technology leader.

Nadella is also known for his emphasis on empathy and inclusive leadership, which has helped foster a more diverse and supportive workplace culture at Microsoft.

4. Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi is a distinguished business executive and former CEO of PepsiCo, one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies. Born in Chennai, India, in 1955, Nooyi earned her Bachelor’s degree in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics from Madras Christian College and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. She later obtained a Master’s degree in Public and Private Management from Yale School of Management.

Nooyi began her career at Johnson & Johnson and later worked at Boston Consulting Group and Motorola. In 1994, she joined PepsiCo and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming CFO in 2001 and CEO in 2006.

During her tenure as CEO, Nooyi led PepsiCo through a period of significant growth and transformation, focusing on product innovation, health and wellness, and sustainability. She spearheaded the acquisition of Tropicana and the merger with Quaker Oats, expanding PepsiCo’s portfolio and market presence.

Nooyi’s leadership earned her numerous accolades, including being consistently ranked among the world’s most powerful women by Forbes and Fortune. She is also known for her advocacy for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and her commitment to corporate social responsibility.

After stepping down as CEO in 2018, Nooyi continues to serve on various boards and remains an influential voice in the business community.

5. Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is the founder and former CEO of Amazon, one of the world’s largest and most influential e-commerce and technology companies. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1964, Bezos showed an early interest in science and technology. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Bezos worked in the finance industry before founding Amazon in 1994 from his garage. Initially an online bookstore, Amazon quickly expanded its product offerings and grew into a global e-commerce giant. Bezos’s customer-centric approach and relentless focus on innovation have been key drivers of Amazon’s success.

Under Bezos’s leadership, Amazon introduced groundbreaking services such as Amazon Prime, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Kindle, transforming the retail and technology landscapes. Bezos also acquired The Washington Post in 2013, revitalizing the newspaper through digital innovation.

In 2021, Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon to focus on his other ventures, including Blue Origin, a space exploration company he founded to make space travel more accessible. Bezos’s impact on e-commerce, technology, and space exploration continues to shape the future of these industries.

Examples of Biography for Kids

1. albert einstein.

Albert Einstein was one of the most famous scientists of all time. Born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany, Einstein showed a great interest in math and science from a young age. When he was just a teenager, he taught himself advanced mathematics.

Einstein is best known for his theory of relativity, which changed the way we understand time and space. He developed the famous equation E=mc², which explains how energy and mass are related. This discovery had a huge impact on science and technology.

In 1921, Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the photoelectric effect, which helped scientists understand how light works. He moved to the United States in 1933 and worked at Princeton University.

Einstein was also known for his wild hair and playful personality. He loved to play the violin and was passionate about peace and human rights. He passed away on April 18, 1955, but his discoveries continue to inspire scientists around the world.

2. Helen Keller

Helen Keller was an extraordinary woman who overcame incredible obstacles. Born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Keller lost her sight and hearing due to an illness when she was just 19 months old. Despite these challenges, she became a famous author, speaker, and advocate for people with disabilities.

When Keller was six years old, her parents hired a teacher named Anne Sullivan to help her learn. Sullivan taught Keller how to communicate using sign language and braille. Keller quickly learned to read and write, and she even learned to speak.

Keller attended college and graduated with honors in 1904. She wrote several books, including her autobiography, “The Story of My Life.” She traveled the world, giving speeches and raising awareness about the abilities of people with disabilities.

Helen Keller’s determination and achievements continue to inspire people today. She showed that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. She passed away on June 1, 1968, but her legacy lives on.

3. Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong was an American astronaut and the first person to walk on the moon. Born on August 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Armstrong was fascinated by airplanes and space from a young age. He earned his pilot’s license at just 16 years old.

Armstrong studied aerospace engineering and became a test pilot for NASA. In 1962, he was selected to be an astronaut. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong made history when he stepped onto the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. He famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong and his fellow astronauts, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, safely returned to Earth, and they were celebrated as heroes. After his historic mission, Armstrong continued to work in aviation and space exploration.

Neil Armstrong’s bravery and accomplishments continue to inspire future generations of explorers. He passed away on August 25, 2012, but his journey to the moon remains one of the greatest achievements in human history.

4. Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is a British primatologist and anthropologist who is famous for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees. Born on April 3, 1934, in London, England, Goodall was fascinated by animals from a young age. She dreamed of living in Africa and studying wildlife.

In 1960, at the age of 26, Goodall traveled to Tanzania to study chimpanzees in the wild. She observed their behavior and discovered that they used tools, a trait previously thought to be unique to humans. Her work changed the way scientists understand primates and their similarities to humans.

Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977 to support wildlife research, education, and conservation. She has spent her life advocating for the protection of animals and the environment, traveling the world to share her message.

Jane Goodall’s passion and dedication have made her a hero to many people who care about animals and the planet. Her work continues to inspire young scientists and conservationists around the world.

5. Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist who became famous for her role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama, Parks grew up in a time when African Americans faced widespread discrimination and segregation.

On December 1, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her act of defiance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a protest against the city’s segregation laws. The boycott lasted for over a year and led to the desegregation of the public bus system.

Parks’ courage made her a symbol of the civil rights movement. She worked alongside other leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. to fight for equality and justice. Parks received many honors for her work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Rosa Parks’ bravery and determination continue to inspire people to stand up for what is right. She passed away on October 24, 2005, but her legacy as a champion of civil rights lives on.

Personal Biography Examples

1. author bio.

Name: Jane Smith Occupation: Author

Jane Smith is a bestselling author known for her compelling narratives and complex characters. Her debut novel, “Echoes of the Heart,” captivated readers worldwide and was awarded the prestigious National Book Award. With a background in journalism and a passion for storytelling, Jane weaves intricate plots that explore the depths of human emotions and relationships. When she’s not writing, Jane enjoys hiking, painting, and spending time with her family in the picturesque countryside of Vermont.

2. Personal Blog Bio

Name: Mark Davis Occupation: Travel Blogger

Mark Davis is an avid traveler and the voice behind the popular blog “Wanderlust Adventures.” With a mission to inspire others to explore the world, Mark shares his experiences and tips from over 50 countries. His journey began as a solo backpacker through Southeast Asia and has since evolved into a full-time adventure, capturing the beauty and culture of each destination. Mark’s blog features stunning photography, in-depth guides, and personal anecdotes that resonate with fellow wanderers. When he’s not on the road, Mark enjoys cooking international cuisines and planning his next trip from his home base in New York City.

3. LinkedIn Bio

Name: Emily Johnson Occupation: Marketing Professional

Emily Johnson is a dynamic marketing professional with over a decade of experience in creating and executing successful marketing strategies. Currently, she is the Marketing Director at Bright Ideas Co., where she leads a talented team in driving brand awareness and customer engagement. Emily holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MBA from Stanford University. Known for her innovative approach and analytical mindset, Emily has a proven track record of boosting sales and enhancing brand loyalty. Outside of work, she is passionate about mentoring young professionals and volunteering at local animal shelters.

4. Instagram Bio

Name: Alex Chen Occupation: Fitness Enthusiast

Alex Chen is a fitness enthusiast dedicated to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. With a background in personal training and nutrition, Alex shares workout routines, healthy recipes, and motivational content on his Instagram page, @FitLifeAlex. His journey began with a personal transformation that ignited his passion for fitness, and now he inspires thousands of followers to achieve their fitness goals. Alex believes in balance and encourages his community to find joy in their fitness journey. When he’s not at the gym, Alex enjoys hiking, experimenting with new recipes, and spending time with his dog, Rocky.

5. Artist Bio

Name: Lisa Martinez Occupation: Visual Artist

Lisa Martinez is a visual artist whose work explores the intersection of nature and human experience. With a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Lisa has exhibited her paintings and installations in galleries across the United States. Her work is characterized by vibrant colors, organic forms, and a deep connection to the environment. Lisa draws inspiration from her travels and the natural world, often incorporating sustainable materials into her pieces. When she’s not in the studio, Lisa enjoys teaching art workshops and exploring national parks with her sketchbook in hand.

Artists Biography Examples

1. visual artist.

Name: Sophia Rivera Medium: Painting and Sculpture

Sophia Rivera is a contemporary visual artist known for her evocative paintings and intricate sculptures. Based in New York City, Sophia has been creating art that explores themes of identity, memory, and transformation for over 15 years. She holds an MFA from the Pratt Institute and has exhibited her work in solo and group shows across the United States and Europe. Sophia’s use of bold colors and mixed media techniques challenges traditional boundaries and invites viewers to engage with her pieces on a personal level. In addition to her studio practice, Sophia teaches art workshops and mentors emerging artists.

2. Photographer

Name: David Lee Medium: Photography

David Lee is an award-winning photographer whose work captures the raw beauty and complexity of urban life. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, David’s photographs reveal the hidden narratives of cityscapes and their inhabitants. He graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York and has since been featured in numerous galleries and publications worldwide. David’s recent project, “Metropolis,” explores the interplay of light and shadow in metropolitan environments. When not behind the lens, David enjoys traveling, teaching photography, and collaborating with other creatives.

3. Digital Artist

Name: Mia Thompson Medium: Digital Art

Mia Thompson is a digital artist known for her innovative use of technology to create immersive and interactive art experiences. Based in Los Angeles, Mia’s work spans digital illustrations, animations, and virtual reality installations. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Digital Media from the California Institute of the Arts and has worked with leading tech companies and art institutions. Mia’s art often explores themes of futurism, identity, and the digital age, pushing the boundaries of how art can be experienced. Her recent VR exhibition, “Beyond the Screen,” received critical acclaim for its groundbreaking approach to digital storytelling.

4. Musician

Name: Alex Martinez Medium: Music

Alex Martinez is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose music blends elements of folk, rock, and indie pop. Hailing from Austin, Texas, Alex has been performing and writing music since his teens, drawing inspiration from personal experiences and the world around him. He has released three albums, with his latest, “Wandering Heart,” earning a spot on the Billboard Top 100. Alex’s soulful lyrics and melodic compositions resonate with audiences of all ages. When he’s not touring, Alex is passionate about music education and works with local schools to inspire the next generation of musicians.

5. Film Director

Name: Raj Patel Medium: Film

Raj Patel is an acclaimed film director known for his thought-provoking and visually stunning films. Born in Mumbai and now based in Los Angeles, Raj’s work often explores themes of cultural identity, social justice, and human connection. He studied film at the University of Southern California and has directed several award-winning films that have been screened at major international film festivals. Raj’s most recent film, “Echoes of Silence,” received widespread praise for its powerful storytelling and cinematography. In addition to directing, Raj is committed to mentoring young filmmakers and advocating for greater diversity in the film industry.

Short Biography Examples

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a German-born physicist renowned for his theory of relativity and the famous equation E=mc². His groundbreaking work laid the foundation for modern physics and earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Despite facing numerous challenges, including fleeing Nazi Germany, Einstein’s contributions to science and his advocacy for peace and human rights have left an indelible mark on the world.

2. Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks (1913-2005) was an American civil rights activist whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her act of defiance became a symbol of the struggle for racial equality and helped propel the civil rights movement forward. Parks’ bravery and commitment to justice continue to inspire generations.

3. Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was an Italian Renaissance polymath whose contributions spanned art, science, and engineering. Best known for masterpieces like the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper,” da Vinci’s work exemplifies the blend of art and scientific inquiry. His detailed studies and inventive designs have influenced countless fields, making him one of history’s most celebrated geniuses.

4. Marie Curie

Marie Curie (1867-1934) was a pioneering physicist and chemist who conducted groundbreaking research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and remains the only person to have won Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields (Physics and Chemistry). Curie’s work not only advanced scientific understanding but also paved the way for future generations of women in science.

5. Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and the first black president of South Africa. Imprisoned for 27 years for his activism, Mandela emerged as a global symbol of resistance to apartheid and a leader in the fight for racial equality. His presidency and lifelong dedication to peace and reconciliation have left a lasting legacy on the world stage.

6. Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall (1934-Present) is a British primatologist and anthropologist known for her groundbreaking studies of chimpanzees in Tanzania. Her observations and research have transformed our understanding of primates and their behaviors. Goodall’s commitment to conservation and animal welfare has made her an influential advocate for environmental sustainability.

7. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) was an American entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple Inc. Known for his visionary leadership and innovation, Jobs played a crucial role in the development of revolutionary products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. His impact on technology and consumer electronics has shaped the modern digital landscape and continues to influence the industry.

8. Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai (1997-Present) is a Pakistani education activist and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. After surviving a Taliban assassination attempt for advocating girls’ education, Malala co-authored her memoir “I Am Malala” and founded the Malala Fund to champion education for girls worldwide. Her courage and advocacy work have made her a global symbol of resilience and empowerment.

9. Walt Disney

Walt Disney (1901-1966) was an American animator, film producer, and entrepreneur, best known for creating Disney Studios and iconic characters like Mickey Mouse. His innovative spirit and storytelling revolutionized the entertainment industry, leading to the creation of Disneyland and Disney World. Disney’s legacy lives on through his beloved films and theme parks.

10. Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) was an American aviator and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Her daring spirit and achievements in aviation made her an international icon and a symbol of women’s empowerment. Despite her mysterious disappearance during an attempted around-the-world flight, Earhart’s legacy continues to inspire future generations of aviators and adventurers.

More Biography Samples & Examples in PDF

1. biography sample.

Biography Sample

2. Biography of Heroes and Heroines

Biography of Heroes and Heroines

3. Social Biography

Social Biography

4. Author Biography

Author Biography

5. Short Biography

Short Biography

6. Student Biography

Student Biography

7. Historical  Biography Example

Historical Biography Example

8. Object Biography

Object Biography

9. Features of Biography

Features of Biography

10. Biography Example PDF

Biography Example PDF

Types of Biography

Biographies come in various forms, each offering a unique perspective on an individual’s life. Understanding the types of biographies can help readers choose the one that best suits their interest or research needs. Here are the main types:

1. Autobiography

  • Written by the subject themselves, an autobiography is a self-narrated account of one’s life. It provides personal insights and perspectives, offering a detailed look into the author’s experiences, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Focus: Personal journey, challenges, successes, and reflections.
  • A memoir is a subset of autobiography but focuses more on specific aspects or periods of the writer’s life rather than a comprehensive life history. It often explores themes, emotions, and personal growth.
  • Focus: Emotional journey, significant events, or relationships.

3. Biography

  • A biography is an account of someone’s life written by someone else. It covers various aspects of the subject’s life, including their achievements, personal life, and impact on society.
  • Focus: Objective analysis, historical context, and comprehensive life story.

4. Authorized Biography

  • Authorized biographies are written with the subject’s permission, cooperation, or endorsement. This access can lead to more detailed and personal insights but may also reflect the subject’s bias or desired legacy.
  • Focus: Collaborative storytelling, often with direct input from the subject.

5. Unauthorized Biography

  • Written without the subject’s permission, unauthorized biographies might offer a more critical or controversial perspective. They rely on public records and third-party interviews, which can lead to disputes about accuracy.
  • Focus: Independent research, potentially revealing unknown aspects.

6. Academic Biography

  • These biographies are written with a focus on scholarly research, often detailing the subject’s contributions to a specific field. They are usually well-documented and cited, aiming for academic audiences.
  • Focus: Scholarly analysis, contributions to the field, and historical impact.

7. Collective Biography

  • Also known as group biography, it explores the lives of a group of individuals who share a common theme, profession, or period. It provides a broader perspective on the impact of a collective group.
  • Focus: Group dynamics, collective contributions, and shared experiences.

8. Fictional Biography

  • These are imaginative accounts that blend facts with fiction, often to fill in gaps in historical records or to create a more engaging narrative. While based on real people, these stories are partly or largely fictionalized.
  • Focus: Entertainment, speculative history, and narrative creativity.

Different Aspects of Biography

Biographies encompass several dimensions that contribute to their depth and appeal. Understanding these aspects can enhance both the reading and writing of biographies, offering a more comprehensive view of the subject’s life.

1. Historical Context

This aspect involves placing the subject’s life within the broader historical period in which they lived. It includes the examination of social, political, and cultural events that influenced or were influenced by the subject.

2. Personal Background

This covers the subject’s family origins, upbringing, education, and early life experiences. It helps to understand the foundation upon which they built their achievements and character.

3. Career and Achievements

A critical focus is often on the subject’s professional life, including their career path, significant achievements, contributions to their field, and any obstacles they overcame along the way.

4. Psychological Dimension

Exploring the subject’s personality, motivations, values, and internal struggles offers insights into their actions and decisions. This aspect adds depth, showing the human behind the accomplishments.

5. Personal Relationships

The examination of key relationships in the subject’s life, including family, friends, mentors, and rivals, reveals how these interactions influenced their journey and development.

6. Impact and Legacy

Assessing the subject’s long-term impact on their field, community, or the world highlights their lasting legacy. This includes their influence on future generations, societal changes, or advancements in their area of expertise.

7. Controversies and Challenges

Addressing any controversies, criticisms, or significant challenges faced by the subject provides a balanced view of their life, showcasing resilience, perseverance, or, in some cases, their vulnerabilities.

8. Cultural and Social Contributions

This aspect looks at the subject’s contributions beyond their professional achievements, including their role in societal movements, cultural shifts, philanthropy, and public service.

Characteristics of a Biography

A biography is a detailed account of a person’s life written by someone else. Here are the key characteristics of a biography:

1. Fact-Based

Biographies are based on factual information about the person’s life, including dates, places, and events. They rely on verifiable data and aim to provide an accurate portrayal of the individual.

2. Chronological Structure

Biographies typically follow a chronological order, starting from the subject’s birth and proceeding through their life events. This structure helps readers understand the progression of the person’s life and the context of their achievements.

3. Comprehensive Coverage

A good biography covers all significant aspects of the person’s life, including their childhood, education, career, personal relationships, and major life events. It provides a holistic view of the individual.

4. Detailed and Descriptive

Biographies often include detailed descriptions of events, people, and places. They provide context and background information to help readers understand the significance of the subject’s experiences.

5. Focus on Achievements and Impact

Biographies highlight the subject’s achievements, contributions, and the impact they had on their field or society. This focus helps readers appreciate the individual’s importance and legacy.

6. Personal Anecdotes and Stories

Incorporating personal anecdotes and stories makes a biography more engaging and relatable. These elements provide insight into the subject’s personality, character, and motivations.

7. Objective and Balanced

While biographies may reflect the author’s perspective, they strive to present a balanced and objective view of the subject. They include both positive and negative aspects of the person’s life, providing a nuanced portrayal.

8. Use of Primary and Secondary Sources

Biographies rely on primary sources (such as letters, diaries, interviews) and secondary sources (such as books, articles, documentaries) to gather information. The use of credible sources ensures the accuracy and reliability of the content.

9. Exploration of Influences and Motivations

A biography often explores the influences and motivations behind the subject’s actions and decisions. This exploration helps readers understand the factors that shaped the individual’s life and career.

10. Narrative Style

Biographies are written in a narrative style, telling the story of the person’s life in a compelling and engaging manner. This style makes the biography enjoyable to read and helps maintain the reader’s interest.

What is included in a Biography?

A biography provides a comprehensive account of a person’s life, detailing significant events, achievements, and influences. Here are the key components typically included in a biography:

1. Basic Information

  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Date and Place of Death (if applicable)
  • Nationality

2. Early Life and Background

  • Family Background : Information about parents, siblings, and other family members.
  • Childhood Experiences : Notable events, upbringing, and early interests.
  • Education : Schools attended, academic achievements, and notable teachers or mentors.

3. Career and Major Achievements

  • Career Beginnings : First jobs or roles and how the person started in their field.
  • Significant Positions and Roles : Important jobs, titles, and responsibilities held.
  • Major Achievements : Key accomplishments, awards, and recognitions.
  • Impact and Contributions : How their work or actions influenced their field or society.

4. Personal Life

  • Relationships : Information about significant relationships, marriages, and children.
  • Hobbies and Interests : Personal interests, hobbies, and activities outside of their professional life.
  • Challenges and Struggles : Personal or professional obstacles and how they were overcome.

5. Influences and Motivations

  • Influences : People, events, or experiences that significantly influenced their life and career.
  • Motivations : Insights into what drove them to achieve their goals and aspirations.

6. Anecdotes and Personal Stories

  • Memorable Events : Interesting or significant stories from their life.
  • Personal Quotes : Quotations that capture their personality or philosophy.
  • Lasting Impact : How they are remembered and their long-term contributions to their field or society.
  • Recognition and Honors : Posthumous honors, awards, or memorials.

8. Illustrative Material

  • Photographs : Images of the person at various stages of their life.
  • Documents : Important letters, awards, certificates, or other relevant documents.

Biography vs. Autobiography

Written by someone elseWritten by the subject
Third-personFirst-person
Based on external sources (interviews, documents)Based on personal memories and experiences
More objective and balancedSubjective, personal view
Covers entire life or significant portionsCovers entire life or significant periods
“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson“The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank

How to Write a Biography

How to Write a Biography

A well-written biography allows readers to have insight into the person’s life. Examples of well-written biographies include Steve Jobs a biography written by Walter Isaacson and Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore. If you are still confused about biographies and are still unsure about the whole writing process you may look at the biography examples, samples , and PDFs on the list above.

1.Obtain Permission from the Individual

Begin by obtaining permission from the individual you are writing about. Biographies can be made without the permission of the chosen individual, but having the permission of the individual will help provide more substantial information and gives you access to the thoughts of the chosen individual. Not only that, but their approval will also increase the chances of you being able to interview your chosen individual.

2.Research the Individual

Regardless if you have obtained the permission of the chosen individual, you will need to research the life of your subject. This means you must read articles, reports, and various articles all about the life of your subject. Not only must you read, but you must also interview people associated with and related to your subject’s life. Because of the factual nature of a biography , you must ensure that the data and information you are providing are factual, accurate, and credible.

3.Create a Timeline of Events

After you have completed your research, you will need to create a timeline of the events the subject has lived through. This will help create an outline and a reference that you can in your writing. Not only that but it will also help root out any inconsistencies in the information you have gathered or researched.

4.Write the Biography

Using the timeline, write down the biographical information of the person. Note that this step will be the longest and may take months or even years to accomplish.

5.Write Down Your Thoughts and Opinions.

After you have finished the biography properly, you can write down your thoughts and feelings about the biography to give it a bit of a personal flair and touch. This will help connect you to your target audience. When you have finished with everything, be sure to edit and revise the contents of the biography as you see fit.

How is a biography structured?

A biography typically follows a chronological structure, starting from the subject’s birth and covering significant life events, achievements, and influences in sequence.

What sources are used in a biography?

Biographies use various sources like interviews, letters, diaries, official documents, and historical records to provide accurate and comprehensive information.

Why are biographies important?

Biographies offer insights into the lives of influential individuals, highlighting their contributions and the impact they had on society and history.

Can a biography be biased?

Yes, a biography can reflect the biographer’s perspective and potential biases, although it aims to be objective and balanced.

What is the difference between an authorized and unauthorized biography?

An authorized biography is approved by the subject or their estate, while an unauthorized biography is written without their permission or input.

Who can write a biography?

Anyone with access to reliable information and the ability to research and write comprehensively can write a biography.

How long does it take to write a biography?

Writing a biography can take several months to years, depending on the depth of research and the complexity of the subject’s life.

What makes a biography compelling?

A compelling biography includes detailed descriptions, personal anecdotes, and insights that make the subject’s life story engaging and relatable.

How do biographers verify their information?

Biographers verify information through cross-referencing multiple sources, conducting interviews, and reviewing historical records and documents.

Can a biography include fictional elements?

No, biographies should be factual and based on verifiable information. Fictional elements are not appropriate for a biography.

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The Best Short Professional Bios (Examples + Templates)

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Summary. To write a short bio you should first make an initial introduction introducing yourself in the first or first person. Your short bio should include your brand, your accomplishments, and your values and goals. Your short bio should be one to three short paragraphs or four to eight sentences long.

Knowing how to write a concise, informative, and interesting biography about yourself can help throughout various parts of the professional process. You can use your bio to capture the attention of potential employers or clients and convince them to choose to employ or work with you.

In this article, you’ll learn more about what goes into a short bio and how to write one, and you’ll also get to see some short bio templates and examples to help you get an idea of what yours should look like.

Key Takeaways

A short bio serves to introduce you, your achievements, and what you offer professionally to potential employers or clients.

It’s important to keep your bio brief so that readers stay engaged and will remember your main points.

You may need to adjust your bio for different audiences, as your clients may want to know different information than a recruiter would.

Talk about your skills and accomplishments in your bio, but don’t exaggerate them.

How to Write a Short Bio

What Is a Short Bio?

How to write a short bio, what to include in a short professional bio, short bio examples, short bio templates, tips for writing a short bio, writing a short bio faq.

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A short bio serves as your introduction to the professional world. In terms of finding or expanding on your job, a bio will cover your:

Work history

Achievements

Any other relevant professional information

Think of it as a professional memoir that a hiring manager or consumer can read and understand quickly. It’s usually about one to three paragraphs depending on experience.

There’s an emphasis on being succinct when it comes to writing a professional bio. This is because a bio is supposed to be a preface to attract recruiter attention and incline them to reach out for more information. Many readers will get lost or bored with a lengthy bio.

Using a short bio can be helpful across very different industries, from marketing to accounting, from psychiatry to sales.

You’re probably familiar with providing short bios on social media websites and applications. While the information and skills you include in a professional bio may differ, the general formatting is similar.

There’s a lot of considerations to take into account when writing a short bio, and it can quickly become intimidating. Deciding what information is relevant and how to keep it near 140 characters is no small task.

If you’re having difficulty writing a short bio, follow the outline below to craft an introduction that engages your reader.

Make an initial introduction. You can’t jump right into everything you’ve done and what you want to do in the future before introducing yourself.

Your bio’s first sentence should begin with your full name in the third person or introduce yourself in the first person and continue to briefly outline your most notable skills and accomplishments. It’s a good place to state your current job and employer.

Go deeper with what motivates you. Once you’ve catchily illustrated who you are in your short bio, you can use the second sentence to describe your motivations for your work.

Stating what drives you to do the work you do is essential to employers and customers alike. Whether you work as a physician or fitness consultant , there’s a reason why this is your profession, and you should explain that in your short professional bio.

Describe your accomplishments. Your short bio is for detailing why you’re the ideal candidate to be trusted with handling an employer or consumer’s business. By describing your prior accomplishments, you let them know what you could offer as an employee and how you’ve succeeded in the past.

While you should avoid sounding braggy, the reader is looking for information about what your qualifications are , and your accomplishments generally measure these qualities.

Even though you could probably go on for ages about the details of your accomplishments, save that for an interview . In a short bio, only include the most impressive of your achievements to outline.

Accomplishments relevant to a short bio could include:

Impressive results on a project

Former promotions

Awards received in your field

Certifications received

Include contact information. The purpose of a short bio as either a business or a job seeker is to inspire the reader to reach out. Without contact information, this pursuit becomes futile. Make sure your short bio has some way to contact you at the end.

Relevant contact information may include:

Phone number

Professional networking profile

A short professional bio includes:

Your full name. You can choose to write your bio in the first person (I, me, my) or third person (he, she, they), but either way, you need to include your full name at some point. Branding doesn’t work so well without a brand name (i.e., you!)

Your brand. Of course, if you have an actual brand that you’re trying to market, you should include the brand name as well.

What you do. Summarize what you want the reader to know about what you do in one sentence — tricky, we know.

Your accomplishments. For a short bio, you can stick with just one major accomplishment from your professional life. Or, if you have a string of impressive achievements, try condensing all of them down to one sentence.

Your goals and values. Let the reader know what makes you tick — why do you do what you do and what do you hope to achieve with your work? People are compelled by a story more than anything else, so it’s important to get this part right.

Something personal (optional). If you have a quirky tidbit about yourself you’d like to include, go for it. Just make sure it doesn’t throw off te the tone of the rest of your bio.

Contact info (optional). If your bio is serving as a call-to-action to drum up business or get leads on job opportunities, it makes sense to include your contact information at the end of your bio. It’s not necessary if that information is available elsewhere on the page , though.

Entry-Level Job-Seeker Bio Example

Mitchell Morrison is an upcoming video producer and editor who believes in the art of visual organization. He is a recent graduate from the University of Washington and focused on post-production during his time studying there. He was introduced to the magical world of visual art production by watching his father work on editing commercials growing up and has been working towards his dream of becoming a video editor ever since. During his last year of college, Mitchell participated in a competitive internship with Digital Space Films. He was chosen out of 2,000 applicants based on his academic portfolio and personal statement essay. This internship was an incredible learning experience and resulted in three professional accreditations for music video editing. Mitchell currently lives in Seattle, Washington pursuing freelance opportunities and spending time with his Dog, Pikachu. To get into contact with Mitchell: MitchellMorrisonVideo.com/contact

Working Professional Website Bio Example

Lisa Kennedy is an experienced real estate professional. She knows how important a home is for long-term happiness and has invested her career in putting people in the house they’ve always dreamed of. Lisa was driven to pursue real estate from her passion for helping people during life-altering times, and a keen interest in high-end, luxury homes. She’s been working in the real estate industry for ten years and in that time has assisted over 3,500 people in finding homes. She was educated at the University of Los Angeles with a bachelor’s in business management. She’s worked for some of the most respectable Real Estate companies in Los Angeles and individually under her agency “Kennedy Homes.” Lisa has also been published in Real Estate Quarterly Magazine as the 2017 winner of the “Top Luxury Home Seller” award. Lisa loves the culture of Los Angeles and has been living there with her family of five since she graduated from college. She enjoys spending her free time exploring towns along the West Coast and swimming. If you’d like to get in touch with Lisa: Email: [email protected]

Professional Networking Profile Bio Example

Bianca Jones Marketing Manager Miami, FL The first step towards customer satisfaction is being reached by stellar product marketing, and that’s what I aim to provide. My professional experience as a product marketing manager has allowed me to assist many organizations in improving their sales margins and audience response to emerging products. I’ve brought dedication and positive results to the companies I’ve worked for because I am passionate about product perception, marketing, and business statistics. What drives a product to success interests and inspires me. I specialize in long-term growth strategies and audience outreach. In addition to eight years of experience in professional product marketing, I have also published two books on creating a career as a marketer called “What to Do After Your Bachelor’s” and “A Marketer’s How-To.” If you’re interested in learning more about how to market your business better, or just discuss more, feel free to contact me by email at [email protected].

Your first choice is whether you want your bio to be written in the third person or first person. These short bio templates show both options, and also include different ideas for what to include, and how. Feel free to pick and choose your favorite parts of each of the two.

[Full Name] is a [job title] who [believes/knows] in the power of [what you do]. [He/She/They] began their journey in [field] by [how you got started in the field], and now dreams of [what you hope to accomplish]. [His/Her/Their] biggest accomplishment to date has been [your biggest accomplishment]. [Full Name] lives in [where you live] and participates in [a hobby/interest]. To get in touch with [Full Name], call/email/message me on [how you’d like to be contacted].
I am a [job title] who helps [who you help] [what you help them do]. It’s my belief that [your unique perspective on the field]. In the past [# of years] years, I’ve [major accomplishment #1] through [how you accomplished it]. I have a passion for [your professional passion], but on the side, I also enjoy [personal passion]. Get in touch with me today at [contact info] — I look forward to talking with you about [what you want to talk to your readers about].

You have a firm grasp of the structure of a short bio and what to include. Now, you may need some tips for how to polish your short professional bio and make it stand out from the competition.

Be mindful of length. While you’re probably getting sick of hearing that your bio should be short, it’s good to keep in mind throughout the writing process. It’s easy to go off on a tangent while trying to include everything relevant or rationalize, making your bio too long.

Avoid this impulse. The point of a bio is that it’s limited. You want to intrigue the reader enough to inspire them to seek more information about you or your services.

Tailor your bio to your intended audience. Whether you’re using a short bio to attract a particular customer base or potential employer, tailoring it to fit their wants and needs is crucial. Consider your intended audience base and what they’re looking for in a candidate or service.

Be genuine. Your short bio should be an authentic representation of your traits, experience, and personality. People are repelled by what they interpret as stretching the truth. If you’re being received as disingenuous by the reader, they’ll probably move on.

Proofread. The only way to steer clear of errors in your short bio is by proofreading it. Imagine a hiring manager being completely interested in your bio.

They love what you have to say about yourself and find your prior experience enticing. That is, until they come across a mistake that clearly shows you didn’t do proofread or edit.

Include links to your portfolio, website, or networking profile. One way to circumvent the confining factor of keeping your bio short is by including links to more detailed sources.

This can be in the form of linking your portfolio or website to allow the reader to go deeper into your discussed skills if they please, without taking up more space in your bio.

Implement these links seamlessly into your bio by attaching them to anchor words that describe what clicking will lead them to.

Add some personality. You aren’t the only person who has an impressive list of accomplishments to put on a bio, so you’re going to need to find some additional ways to make an impression.

What should a short bio include?

A short bio should include your name, what you do, and your achievements. You should also include your company or product’s brand, if you have one, and your goals and motivations for doing what you do. This humanizes you and helps you stand out from the rest of the pack.

How long is a short bio?

A short bio is typically one to three paragraphs long. These should be short paragraphs though, as other experts say that between four and eight sentences is the ideal length for a short bio.

What makes a good bio?

A good bio is succinct and memorable. Readers don’t want to spend long reading about your professional and personal life, so go back and cut it down to the important parts multiple times after you draft it. You might be surprised at how little you actually need to include.

What should you avoid putting in a short bio?

You should avoid including anything negative or arrogate. It’s never a good idea to write anything negative about previous jobs or employers. Only include positive things in your professional short bio.

It’s important to include your achievements in a short bio, but there is a fine line between mentioning your achievements and bragging about them. Stick to the facts when talking about your accomplishments.

Fremont University – Building Your Professional Bio

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Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

Don Pippin is an executive and HR leader for Fortune 50 and 500 companies and startups. In 2008, Don launched area|Talent with a focus on helping clients identify their brand. As a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Digital Career Strategist, and Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Don guides clients through career transitions.

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