As wisely said, learning from others mistake is a great way to save a whole lot of time. And what in the world can be a good way to do that apart from reading biography books based on the life of famous and well-known people.
Reading the memoirs and biographies of famous people always enrich us with knowledge; knowledge of living a better and productive life.
In this article, I am going to enlist some of the top biography books you can pick anytime to get self-motivated and educated.
List of Best Biography Books of All Time
Here is the complete list of great Biography books that everyone should read to get inspired from the life of famous people and their doings.
1. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This is the first book from the list of best biography books of all time. It is about a girl named Anne Frank whose sufferings during the tumultuous times of the Holocaust was captured beautifully.
The way she came out as a survivor from the worst and her positive zeal towards life is commendable. If you are looking for Some Inspirational biographies, then The Diary of A Young Girl would be the perfect match.
2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was written in 1969. The book explains the early years of Famous American Writer and poet Maya Angelou.
In this book, you will get to know about the power of good literature that helps to overcome the problem of racism and trauma. Maya Angelou explores the different social problems of the society such as rape, racism & literacy of women in her biography book.
3. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
A Movable Feast is one of the famous biographies of Ernest Hemingway. The book is about the struggle of his early age as a journalist who lives outside native country and writer in Paris in the 1920s.
The Story also focusses on the personal observation and accounts of the Ernest Hemingway. He mentioned special worlds about the bars, cafes and hotels. If you are a fan of Ernest Hemingway then you cannot miss reading this best biography book.
4. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
It is a biography book of Alice B. Toklas written by Gertrude Stein. While reading through The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas you can learn more about Alice and all the famous people she was closely associated with, mostly in Paris.
5. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
Homage to California is written by George Orwell. The book is about George Orwell’s personal experiences and observations during the Spanish Civil war. For those who are interested to read about the Spanish War, then this is one of the best autobiographies of all time book with quality information.
6. Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
This is the Sixth book in the list of best biographies of all time. The Life of Samuel Johnson is written by James Boswell which describes the extraordinary life of Samuel in an all-new way.
The story takes many critical liberties with Johnson’s life, as Boswell makes various changes to Johnson’s quotations and even censors many comments.
7. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
It is a famous memoir written by the former president of the United States of America. In this book, Barack Obama rewinds his life up to the enrollment at Harvard Law School.
Barack Obama formed his father image from the stories told by her mother. Dreams from My Father explains the life journey of the First African-American President. It is a must-read biography book for those who are looking for real-time life inspiration.
8. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow
This is among the best books to read while you are on the roads of becoming a great entrepreneur. ‘Titan’ is written by Ron Chernow. The book is about John D. Rockefeller and how he became the richest man in America and creator of the country’s first and most powerful monopoly: the Standard Oil Company.
9. Churchill: A Life by Martin Gilbert
Written by Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A life is the famous life biography of multi-talented personality Churchill. The book highlights the journey of his 55 years of his public life as a schoolboy and soldier to his years as a war leader and elder statesman.
10. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
Born Standing Up is a book based on the life of an American author, actor, comedian, producer, playwright and screenwriter.
The book explains about his early working days for Disney land, working at a bar and in a club as a comedian in a very low graded salary. Counted amongst the best biographies to read, this one is the gateway through his childhood day’s sufferings and hard work which made him a famous comedian.
If you love to read about the journey from nothing to everything then you should definitely pick this one right away.
11. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
It is an unfinished traditional record of his own life written by Benjamin Franklin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is about his youth, apprenticeships, the formation of his philosophy and ideals, and his path from poor roots to business and social success.
The book also explains about his idea of the ‘American Dream’ and the idea that a poor can have the fortune of becoming known to the world. This book is one of the most popular biographies books of all time.
12. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
It is an autobiographical work written by first South African President Nelson Mandela. The book depicts his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison.
In the initial pages of the book, Nelson Mandela describes his upbringing as a child in South Africa and connected to the royal Thembu dynasty. If you want to read the fascinated life of famous personality then this would be the best pick in the category of best biographies to read.
13. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt is a biography of United States President ‘Theodore Roosevelt’ written by Edmund Morris.
The book covers the time from Roosevelt’s childhood to the Presidency. It will also give you detail knowledge about his family, his passion for learning despite severe illness. Altogether this is one of the best books you can read based on someone’s true life.
14. The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas K. Gandhi
The Story of My Experiments with truth is among the best autobiographies of all time. It is written by the world famous personality, Mohandas K. Gandhi.
The book depicts the life journey of Mahatma Gandhi from his childhood days to the most socially active member during the British rule in India.
In this book, you get to learn about the ideology of Non-Violence and Truth wins overall. This is a must-read book for the people who believe in a change of society for the good cause.
15. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
It is an autobiography of Hellen Killer firstly published in 1903. The Story of My life book depicts her early life and her experiences with American teacher Anne Sullivan.
16. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
It is a biography of ‘The God of Innovation’, Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is based on more than forty Interviews with Steve Jobs Conducted over two years, in addition to interviews with more than one hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues — Isaacson was given “unprecedented” access to Steve Jobs’s life. This is a bestselling biography of a famous entrepreneur of all time.
17. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
Elon Musk is the most innovative and differentiating entrepreneur of contemporary times. Ashlee Vance has beautifully written the best inspirational biography, portraying the man with greatness.
The CEO of SpaceX, PayPal, Tesla, and SolarCity has amazed everyone with his sense of entrepreneurship and ability to use technology in an innovative way. He was bullied in his early childhood and was scolded by his father, he had used the pebbles of his life journey in building his entrepreneurial bright future.
This is a must-read book for tech entrepreneurs or everyone who aspires to be a successful entrepreneur.
18. Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark
Hailing from a humble background, Jack ma established the world’s second largest e-commerce company, Alibaba. Duncan Clark, the author of this terrific story has not only written this biography but has also witnessed the rise of Jack Ma. He had also mentioned about the economic explosion and the socio-political scenarios of China.
This book is written in a lucid and compelling way which can inspire many business-minded people. It is a must-read biography book for those who are starting from scratch. If Jack Ma can, you can.
19. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
Amazon is a giant of e-commerce which can easily mortify any growing competition. However, in the starting days of the business, it was just a book selling service. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon was not satisfied by just being a bookseller. He wanted to establish a store with everything.
This motivational biography of Jeff Bezos tells us how he concentrated on long term goals even if some short term profits were overlooked. Go and read this fascinating entrepreneurial story and hold on to its wisdom.
20. Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz
No success story is made overnight. It takes years and years of persistence to build a giant brand such as Starbucks. Howard Schultz made a comeback as a CEO to sail the ship of his coffee company. At that time the company was going through some critical phase of recession and only through the leadership skills of its CEO could change its fate. He lived through the struggling years and recreated the brand which is now the best brand in its forte.
Well, if you are facing the worst phase in your life, then you should definitely try this interesting biography book and get the insights of leadership and problem-solving abilities.
21. Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy and Sir Alan Parker
Ogilvy Mather is known as the ‘Father of Advertisement’. This book was first published in 1963 and with its relevance in today’s world, it is known as the bible of advertising. Ogilvy Mather is the one who laid the foundations of advertising and taught about some life-changing experiences.
In this biography book, he also talks about people management, office politics, and corporate ethics. This book is a complete guide for all the employers as well as the employee.
22. Grinding it Out: The Making Of Mcdonald’s by Ray Kroc
Grinding it out- the making of McDonald’s is one of the top biography books which can inspire you to chase your dreams. A man at the age of 52, when everyone else plans their retirement, Ray Kroc planned his career.
He did not just set up a business but built an empire which is one of the largest fast-food corporations in the world with over 32,000 stores around the globe.
23. The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel
This is a story of a boy who credited all his intelligence to a goddess. The Man Who Knew Infinity is a story of an Indian boy and a foreign tutor set in the times before World War I.
He wrote a letter to the GH Hardy asking for the guidance on some issues in the numbers. Soon professor realized that this is some geniuses work and called him to England. Moreover, this is an unbelievable story of an extraordinary boy and the series of numbers.
24. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai & Christina Lamb
This is one of the best autobiographies you can find in the bookstores. Malala Yousafzai a Pakistani girl who was shot down by Taliban in Swat Valley, Pakistan. Now she is a perfect living exemplar of courage and will-power.
She fought against terrorism and for the right to education for which she was honored with a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Get inspired by a young girl who walks bravely on the path against terrorism.
25. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
In the year 1992, a boy named Chris McCandless walked onto the path of thrill and adventures. He gave his $25000 in charity, gave away all his possessions, and burnt all the cash in his wallet to explore the new life. He left his home and entered into the wilderness of Alaska.
Jon Krakauer is a mountaineer and the author of this best selling biography book. This contemporary biography is an evocative read and will fill you with amazement.
No wonder, there have been so many inspiring personalities from all walks of life whose life stories are more than just motivating. There are numerous biography books that still can be added in the list, having that in mind we are not stopping here.
What we will do is to add your suggested biographies to this list by looking for your suggestions in the comment section.