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The Biography Portal


Biography (from the Greek words bíos (βίος), meaning 'life', and gráphein (γράφειν), meaning 'to write') is a genre of literature or film which presents a relatively full account of the most interesting and important events of a notable person's life. While a biography may focus on a fictional person, the term usually refers to non-fiction works. As opposed to summaries of people's lives, such as profiles or curriculum vitae, a biography is a continuous narrative which interprets and explains the person's character, personality, and social context.

Featured biography

Rabindranath Tagore (c1915)

Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, Brahmo philosopher, visual artist, playwright, composer, and novelist whose avant-garde works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A celebrated cultural icon of Bengal, he became Asia's first Nobel laureate when he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. His home schooling, life in Shelidah, and extensive travels made Tagore an iconoclastic pragmatist; however, growing disillusionment with the British Raj caused the internationalist Tagore to back the Indian Independence Movement and befriend Mahatma Gandhi. Despite the loss of virtually his entire works included Gitanjali and Ghare-Baire, while his verse, short stories, and novels — many defined by rhythmic lyricism, colloquial language, meditative naturalism, and philosophical contemplation — received worldwide acclaim. (read more...)

Selected portrait

Albert Einstein Head.jpg

Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879April 18, 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist, who is widely regarded as the greatest scientist of the 20th century. He proposed the theory of relativity and also made major contributions to the development of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and cosmology. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect in 1905 (his "miracle year"). (read more...)

Photo credit: Oren Jack Turner, Source: Library of Congress.

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List of projects that involve biography articles:

  • Biography
    • Actors and Filmmakers
    • Baseball players
    • Composers
    • Musicians
    • Saints
    • U.S. congresspersons
    • U.S. presidents
    • Canadian Dictionary of Biography Initiative
  • List of all WikiProjects

See also: Biographies of living persons • Manual of Style (biographies)

Quote of the week

"History is the present. That's why every generation writes it anew. But what most people think of as history is its end product, myth."

E. L. Doctorow

Interviewed by George Plimpton in The Paris Review, Winter 1986

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On this day – January 17






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