A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts (education, work, relationships, and death), a biography also portrays a subject's experience of these events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae (résumé), a biography presents a subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of a subject's personality.
Biographical works are usually non-fiction, but fiction can also be used to portray a person's life. One in-depth form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing. Biographical works in diverse media—from literature to film—form the genre known as biography.
An authorized biography is written with the permission, cooperation, and, at times, participation of a subject or a subject's heirs.
An autobiography is about a life of a subject, written by that subject or sometimes with a collaborator.
- 1601 - Pierre de Fermat, (pictured) French mathematician (d. 1665)
- 1882 - Samuel Goldwyn, Hollywood producer (d. 1974)
- 1887 - Marcus Garvey, Jamaican leader, Rastafari prophet (d. 1940)
- 1893 - Mae West, American actress and playwright (d. 1980)
- 1926 - Jiang Zemin, former President of the People's Republic of China
- 1943 - Robert De Niro, American actor
- 1958 - Belinda Carlisle, American singer
- 1960 - Sean Penn, American actor, director
- 1970 - Jim Courier, American tennis player
- 1977 - Tarja Turunen, Finnish singer (Nightwish)
- 1977 - Thierry Henry, French footballer
- ... that when Bulgarian politician Rayko Daskalov (pictured) was released from prison in 1918 with the task of stopping a soldiers' uprising, he went on to take charge of the rebellion instead?
- ... that Swiss-born U.S. soldier Rudolph Stauffer was one of 22 Medal of Honor winners from Lieutenant Colonel George Crook's 1872–73 "winter campaign" against renegade Apaches in the Arizona Territory?
- ... that Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer William M. Gallagher once commandeered a police helicopter to cover a story?
- ... that N. D. Cocea's republican activism in the Kingdom of Romania involved fabricating rumors about a peasant revolt, supporting Soviet Russia, and being tried for lèse majesté?
- ... that the state of Maryland labeled Dominican nun Carol Gilbert as a terrorist?
- ... that Niqmepa was installed as King of Ugarit, an ancient city-state in northwest Syria, by Hittite king Mursili II, who had forced his brother, Arhalba, to abdicate?
- ... that with over 40,000 citations in scientific literature, Polish-American polymer chemist Krzysztof Matyjaszewski is one of the most cited chemists in the world?