A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae (résumé), a biography presents a subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of their life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the 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. 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 written by the person themselves, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter. (Full article...)
Born in Winters, Texas and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Hornsby played for several semi-professional and minor league teams. In 1915, he began his major league career with the St. Louis Cardinals and remained with the team for 12 seasons. During this period, Hornsby won his first MVP Award and the Cardinals won the 1926 World Series. After that season, he spent one season with the New York Giants and another with the Boston Braves before being traded to the Chicago Cubs. He played with the Cubs for four years and won his second MVP Award before the team released him in 1932. Hornsby re-signed with the Cardinals in 1933, but was released partway through the season, effectively ending his career as a full-time player. He was picked up by the St. Louis Browns and remained there until his final season in 1937, though he only made only 67 appearances for them as a player. From 1925 to 1937, Hornsby was intermittently a player-manager. After retiring as a player, he managed the Browns in 1952 and the Cincinnati Reds from 1952 to 1953. (Full article...)
Robert Roberts (15 June 1905 – 17 September 1974) was an English teacher, writer and social historian, noted for the evocative accounts of his working-class youth he gave in The Classic Slum (1971) and A Ragged Schooling (1976).
Born and raised above his parents' corner shop in a deprived district of Salford, Roberts left school at 14 to undertake a seven-year apprenticeship as a brass finisher. Used as a form of cheap labour to carry out menial tasks, he was dismissed when the apprenticeship ended in 1926. Roberts inherited his mother's love of reading and socialist politics; while he spent the next three years unemployed, he attended evening classes to study foreign languages and social history. (Full article...)
Described as a "small, dapper man", who was "outspoken, even 'cocky'", Hewitt overcame the setback to his career during the war and made his most significant contributions afterwards, as Air Member for Personnel from 1945 to 1948. Directly responsible for the demobilisation of thousands of wartime staff and the consolidation of what was then the world's fourth largest air force into a much smaller peacetime service, he also helped modernise education and training within the RAAF. Hewitt was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1951, the same year he became Air Member for Supply and Equipment. Retiring from the military in 1956, he went into business and later managed his own publishing house. He wrote two books including Adversity in Success, a first-hand account of the South West Pacific air war, before his death in 1985 aged 84. (Full article...)
A batting all rounder, Loxton played as a right-handed middle-order batsman and a right-arm fast medium bowler who reinforced the frontline pace attack of Ray Lindwall, Keith Miller and Bill Johnston. Starting the tour as a fringe player, Loxton was omitted for the pre-Test fixtures against Worcestershire and the Marylebone Cricket Club, where Australia traditionally fielded their full-strength team. He was overlooked for the first two Tests; reserve opening batsman Bill Brown played out of position in the middle-order. However, Brown struggled in the unfamiliar role, and Loxton scored 159 not out against Gloucestershire to oust the former from his position for the Third Test at Old Trafford. Loxton scored 36 to help Australia avoid the follow on and salvage a draw, before making his most notable contribution in the Fourth Test at Headingley. He took 3/55 in the first innings and scored a counter-attacking 93 on the third day to keep Australia in the game; they went on to win after a world record-breaking run-chase on the final day. Loxton also played in the Fifth Test and ended the series with 144 runs at a batting average of 48.00 and three wickets at a bowling average of 49.33. (Full article...)
Verity was born in Leeds and, from an early age, wished to play cricket for Yorkshire. After establishing a good reputation in local cricket, he signed a contract as a professional cricketer playing in the Lancashire League. His first season was not a success but, after moving clubs, he began to make a name for himself. Initially a medium-paced bowler, he switched to bowling spin in an attempt to secure a place in the Yorkshire team. When Wilfred Rhodes, the incumbent Yorkshire left-arm spinner, announced his retirement, Verity had a successful trial in the team in 1930, and led the national bowling averages. In 1931, his first full season, he achieved the rare feat of taking all 10 wickets in an innings, against Warwickshire; the following year, he again took all 10 wickets, against Nottinghamshire, while conceding just 10 runs. The latter bowling figures remain a record in first-class cricket for the fewest runs conceded while taking all 10 wickets. He established himself as part of a strong bowling unit, which helped Yorkshire win the County Championship seven times in his ten seasons with the club. In that time, Verity was never lower than fifth in the bowling averages and took over 150 wickets in every year except his first. (Full article...)
A graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Shepard saw action with the surface navy during World War II. He became a naval aviator in 1946, and a test pilot in 1950. He was selected as one of the original NASAMercury Seven astronauts in 1959, and in May 1961 he made the first crewed Project Mercury flight, Mercury-Redstone 3, in a spacecraft he named Freedom 7. His craft entered space, but was not capable of achieving orbit. He became the second person, and the first American, to travel into space, and the first space traveler to manually control the orientation of his craft. In the final stages of Project Mercury, Shepard was scheduled to pilot the Mercury-Atlas 10 (MA-10), which was planned as a three-day mission. He named Mercury Spacecraft 15B Freedom 7 II in honor of his first spacecraft, but the mission was canceled. (Full article...)
Benjamin Morrell (July 5, 1795 – 1838 or 1839?) was an American sea captain, explorer and trader who made a number of voyages, mainly to the Atlantic, the Southern Ocean and the Pacific Islands. In a ghost-written memoir, A Narrative of Four Voyages, which describes his sea-going life between 1823 and 1832, Morrell included numerous claims of discovery and achievement, many of which have been disputed by geographers and historians, and in some cases have been proved false. He ended his career as a fugitive, having wrecked his ship and misappropriated parts of the salvaged cargo.
Morrell had an eventful early career, running away to sea at the age of 17 and being twice captured and imprisoned by the British during the War of 1812. He subsequently sailed before the mast for several years before being appointed as chief mate, and later as captain, of the New York sealer Wasp. In 1823 he took Wasp for an extended voyage into subantarctic waters, and on his return made unsubstantiated claims to have travelled beyond 70 °S and to have sighted new coastlines in the area now known as the Weddell Sea. His subsequent voyages mainly centered on the Pacific, where he attempted to develop trading relations with the indigenous populations. Although Morrell wrote of the enormous potential wealth to be obtained from the Pacific trade, his endeavours were, in the main, commercially unprofitable. (Full article...)
George Went Hensley (May 2, 1881 – July 25, 1955) was an American Pentecostal minister best known for popularizing the practice of snake handling. A native of rural Appalachia, Hensley experienced a religious conversion around 1910: on the basis of his interpretation of scripture, he came to believe that the New Testament commanded all Christians to handle venomous snakes.
Hensley was part of a large family that had moved between Tennessee and Virginia, before settling in Tennessee shortly after his birth. Following his conversion, he traveled through the Southeastern United States, teaching a form of Pentecostalism that emphasized strict personal holiness and frequent contact with venomous snakes. Although illiterate, he became a licensed minister of the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) in 1915. After traveling through Tennessee for several years conducting Church of God-sanctioned services, he resigned from the denomination in 1922. Hensley was married four times and fathered thirteen children. He had many conflicts with his family members because of his drunkenness, frequent travels, and inability to earn steady income, factors cited by his first three wives as reasons for their divorces. (Full article...)
Joyce was born in Dublin into a middle-class family. A brilliant student, he attended the Jesuit Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare, then, briefly, the Christian Brothers-run O'Connell School. Despite the chaotic family life imposed by his father's unpredictable finances, he excelled at the Jesuit Belvedere College and graduated at University College in Dublin in 1902. In 1904, he met his future wife Nora Barnacle and they moved to mainland Europe. He briefly worked in Pola and then moved to Trieste in Austria-Hungary, working as an English instructor. Except for an eight-month stay in Rome working as a correspondence clerk and three visits to Dublin, Joyce resided there until 1915. In Trieste, he published his book of poems Chamber Music and his short story collection Dubliners, and he began serially publishing The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in the English magazine The Egoist. During most of World War I, Joyce lived in Zürich, Switzerland and worked on Ulysses. After the war, he briefly returned to Trieste and then moved to Paris in 1920, which became his primary residence until 1940. (Full article...)
O'Reilly was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to an Irish immigrant family. Growing up in that state, she left school around the age of 14 to help support both her widowed mother and her siblings. Likely starting work in the local textile mills, she gained clerical training at night school before working as a clerk in Worcester for eighteen years. In 1904, O'Reilly gained a position at the Mint Bureau, resulting in a move to Washington, D.C. She rose rapidly in the bureau's hierarchy – an unusual feat for a woman at that time – and was frequently called upon to testify before the United States Congress. As many of the Mint's directors were political appointees who had little knowledge or interest in the bureau's operations, the task of running the institution often fell to her. In 1924 she was officially appointed Assistant Director. (Full article...)
In 1594, Hues published his discoveries in the Latin work Tractatus de globis et eorum usu (Treatise on Globes and Their Use) which was written to explain the use of the terrestrial and celestial globes that had been made and published by Emery Molyneux in late 1592 or early 1593, and to encourage English sailors to use practical astronomical navigation. Hues' work subsequently went into at least 12 other printings in Dutch, English, French and Latin. (Full article...)
The first resistance movement led by Riel was the Red River Resistance of 1869–1870. The provisional government established by Riel ultimately negotiated the terms under which the new province of Manitoba entered the Canadian Confederation. Riel ordered the execution of Thomas Scott, and fled to the United States to escape prosecution. He was elected three times as member of the House of Commons, but, fearing for his life, he could never take his seat. During these years in exile he came to believe that he was a divinely chosen leader and prophet. He married in 1881 while in exile in the Montana Territory in the United States; he fathered three children. (Full article...)
As a bishop, Baldwin came to the attention of King Henry II of England, who was so impressed he insisted that Baldwin become archbishop. In that office, Baldwin quarrelled with his cathedral clergy over the founding of a church, which led to the imprisonment of the clergy in their cloister for more than a year. Baldwin spent some time in Wales with Gerald of Wales, preaching and raising money for the Third Crusade. After the coronation of King Richard I, the new king sent Baldwin ahead to the Holy Land, where he became embroiled in the politics of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Baldwin died in the Holy Land while participating in the crusade; his long-running dispute with his clergy led one chronicler to characterise Baldwin as more damaging to Christianity than Saladin. (Full article...)
Born in Windsor Castle in the presence of her grandmother, Princess Victoria was raised in Germany and England. Her mother died while Victoria's brother and sisters were still young, which placed her in an early position of responsibility over her siblings. Over her father's disapproval, she married his morganatic first cousin Prince Louis of Battenberg, an officer in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy, and lived most of her married life in various parts of Europe at her husband's naval posts and visiting her many royal relations. She was perceived by her family as liberal in outlook, straightforward, practical and bright. (Full article...)
Célestine Galli-Marié (1837–1905) was a French mezzo-soprano who is most famous for creating the title role in the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet. It was said that, during the opera's 33rd performance on 2 June 1875, Galli-Marié had a premonition of Bizet's death while singing in the third act, and fainted when she left the stage; the composer in fact died that night and the next performance was cancelled due to her indisposition. This photograph by Nadar depicts Galli-Marié as the titular character in Carmen.
John Henry Newman (1801–90) was a British cleric and leader in the Oxford Movement, a group of Anglicans who wished to return the Church of England to many Catholic beliefs and forms of worship traditional in the medieval times. In 1845 Newman converted to Catholicism, eventually rising to cardinal.
Lies Noor (c. 1938 – 1961) was an Indonesian actress. She first appeared on film in Pulang (Homecoming) in 1952, while she was still at school. She rose in popularity with a string of successful films, and was able to command high fees for her roles. In the mid-1950s, having married and had a child, she took a break from her career to care full-time for her son. After returning to acting in 1960, however, she developed encephalitis the next year and died in hospital two days later. This photograph of Noor was taken around 1956.
Lucy Arbell (8 June 1878 – 21 May 1947), was a French mezzo-soprano whose operatic career was largely centred in Paris. Her career was particularly associated with the composer Jules Massenet, who created a number of operatic roles for her before his death in 1912. This carte de visite of Arbell was created by the French photographer Nadar.
R. J. Palacio (born July 13, 1963) is an American author and graphic designer. During her career, she has designed hundreds of book covers, including for both fiction and non-fiction works. She is also the author of several novels for children, including the best-selling Wonder, which has won several awards. Palacio is seen here signing a book at the 2019 BookCon convention in New York City.
William Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, was one of the most colorful figures of the American Old West, and mostly famous for the shows he organized with cowboy themes. He got his nickname for supplying Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with bison meat, having won the name from Bill Comstock in a bison killing contest. In addition to his documented service as a soldier during the Civil War and as Chief of Scouts for the Third Cavalry during the Plains Wars, Cody claimed to have worked many jobs, including as a trapper, bullwhacker, "Fifty-Niner" in Colorado, a Pony Express rider in 1860, wagonmaster, stagecoach driver, and even a hotel manager, but it's unclear which claims were factual and which were fabricated for purposes of publicity.
Two allies of Russian opposition leader and activist Alexei Navalny leave Russia, becoming the latest people to do so after many of Navalny's allies left the country in September. The two people are identified as a woman who helped Navalny represent his organization and a lawyer who said that he was under pressure. (Reuters)
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