20 of the Most Popular Autobiographies of All Time

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Biographies bring their subjects to life. A well-written biography isn’t just a list of events that happened to someone. Rather, it tells a story in a way similar to a novel — in a narrative. That narrative is what differs biographies from the rest of nonfiction.

Autobiographies are life stories that provide an insight into the authors’ views, the events that shaped them as people, and the methods they used to overcome any obstacles that came their way.

To compile a list of 20 of the most popular autobiographies, 24/7 Tempo combined the lists of autobiographies from Ranker, Wikipedia, Good Reads, and Book Authority to form a universe of nearly 900 autobiographies and ranked them based on Wikipedia page views between March 29, 2019, and March 29, 2021.

Many of the autobiographies on this list have been turned into movies — from comedies to dramas and war movies. Sometimes, however, added drama was occasionally necessary to make the stories fit in cinematic standards. Film studios frequently turn to true life stories for movie inspiration. These are the best movies based on true events.

To compile a list of 20 of the most popular autobiographies, 24/7 Tempo combined lists of autobiographies from Ranker, Wikipedia, Good Reads, and Book Authority to form a universe of nearly 900 autobiographies. We then ranked the books based on the highest total of Wikipedia page views between March 29, 2019, and March 29, 2021. Biographies written about a person by another author — for example, “Steve Jobs” written by Walter Isaacson” — were excluded.