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...)
David Robert JonesOAL (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (/ˈboʊi/BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. A leading figure in the music industry, Bowie is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He was acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his innovative work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, with his music and stagecraft having a significant impact on popular music.
In the 1880s, Tillman, a wealthy landowner, became dissatisfied with the Democratic leadership and led a movement of white farmers calling for reform. He was initially unsuccessful, though he was instrumental in the founding of Clemson University as an agricultural land-grant college. In 1890, Tillman took control of the state Democratic Party, and was elected governor. During his four years in office, 18 black Americans were lynched in South Carolina; in the 1890s the state had its highest number of lynchings of any decade. Tillman tried to prevent lynchings as governor, but also spoke in support of the lynch mobs, alleging his own willingness to lead one. In 1894, at the end of his second two-year term, he was elected to the U.S. Senate by vote of the state legislature, who elected senators at the time. (Full article...)
Charles Thompson IV (born April 6, 1965) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is best known as the frontman of the alternative rock band Pixies, with whom he performs under the stage name Black Francis. Following the band's breakup in 1993, he embarked on a solo career under the name Frank Black. After releasing two albums with record label 4AD and one with American Recordings, he left the label and formed a new band, Frank Black and the Catholics. He re-adopted the name Black Francis in 2007.
His vocal style has varied from a screaming, yowling delivery as lead vocalist of the Pixies to a more measured and melodic style in his solo career. His cryptic lyrics mostly explore unconventional subjects, such as surrealism, incest, and biblical violence, along with science fiction and surf culture. His use of atypical meter signatures, loud–quiet dynamics, and distinct preference for live-to-two-track recording during his time with the Catholics, give him a distinct style within alternative rock. (Full article...)
Beattie's playing career took him from rags to riches, but according to The Daily Telegraph he was "cursed by being both injury and accident prone". His playing career included some controversy, notably when he went missing after being selected for England's under-23 team. After retiring from playing he descended into unemployment and alcohol abuse, and contemplated suicide, before finding purpose once more and a new career in later life, as a football commentator on television and radio. (Full article...)
A coal miner's son who began working in the mines at the age of 14, Larwood was recommended to Nottinghamshire on the basis of his performances in club cricket, and rapidly acquired a place among the country's leading bowlers. He made his Test debut in 1926, in only his second season in first-class cricket, and was a member of the 1928–29 touring side that retained the Ashes in Australia. The advent of the Australian batsman Don Bradman ended a period of English cricket supremacy; Larwood and other bowlers were completely dominated by Bradman during Australia's victorious tour of 1930. Thereafter, under the guidance of England's combative captain Douglas Jardine, the fast leg theory or bodyline bowling attack was developed. With Larwood as its spearhead the tactic was used with considerable success in the 1932–33 Test series in Australia. The Australians' description of the method as "unsportsmanlike" soured cricketing relations between the two countries; during subsequent efforts to heal the breach, Larwood refused to apologise for his bowling, since he was carrying out his captain's instructions. He never played for England after the 1932–33 tour, but continued his county career with considerable success for several more seasons. (Full article...)
After working and training in Bolton and Manchester, Holden moved to London. His early buildings were influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, but for most of his career he championed an unadorned style based on simplified forms and massing that was free of what he considered to be unnecessary decorative detailing. Holden believed strongly that architectural designs should be dictated by buildings' intended functions. After the First World War, he increasingly simplified his style and his designs became pared-down and modernist, influenced by European architecture. He was a member of the Design and Industries Association and the Art Workers' Guild. He produced complete designs for his buildings including the interior design and architectural fittings. (Full article...)
Sir Henry Joseph WoodCH (3 March 1869 – 19 August 1944) was an English conductor best known for his association with London's annual series of promenade concerts, known as the Proms. He conducted them for nearly half a century, introducing hundreds of new works to British audiences. After his death, the concerts were officially renamed in his honour as the "Henry Wood Promenade Concerts", although they continued to be generally referred to as "the Proms".
In the late 1980s, Nirvana established itself as part of the Seattle grunge scene, releasing its first album, Bleach, for the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. They developed a sound that relied on dynamic contrasts, often between quiet verses and loud, heavy choruses. After signing to major label DGC Records in 1991, Nirvana found unexpected mainstream success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the first single from their landmark second album Nevermind (1991). A cultural phenomenon of the 1990s, Nevermind was certified Diamond by the RIAA and is credited for ending the dominance of hair metal. (Full article...)
Eric Alfred Havelock (/ˈhævlɒk/; 3 June 1903 – 4 April 1988) was a British classicist who spent most of his life in Canada and the United States. He was a professor at the University of Toronto and was active in the Canadian socialist movement during the 1930s. In the 1960s and 1970s, he served as chair of the classics departments at both Harvard and Yale. Although he was trained in the turn-of-the-20th-century Oxbridge tradition of classical studies, which saw Greek intellectual history as an unbroken chain of related ideas, Havelock broke radically with his own teachers and proposed an entirely new model for understanding the classical world, based on a sharp division between literature of the 6th and 5th centuries BC on the one hand, and that of the 4th on the other.
Much of Havelock's work was devoted to addressing a single thesis: that all of Western thought is informed by a profound shift in the kinds of ideas available to the human mind at the point that Greek philosophy converted from an oral to a literate form. The idea has been controversial in classical studies, and has been rejected outright both by many of Havelock's contemporaries and modern classicists. Havelock and his ideas have nonetheless had far-reaching influence, both in classical studies and other academic areas. He and Walter J. Ong (who was himself strongly influenced by Havelock) essentially founded the field that studies transitions from orality to literacy, and Havelock has been one of the most frequently cited theorists in that field; as an account of communication, his work profoundly affected the media theories of Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan. Havelock's influence has spread beyond the study of the classical world to that of analogous transitions in other times and places. (Full article...)
The frontispiece of the 1920 edition of Tod's Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han
Lieutenant-Colonel James Tod (20 March 1782 – 18 November 1835) was an officer of the British East India Company and an Oriental scholar. He combined his official role and his amateur interests to create a series of works about the history and geography of India, and in particular the area then known as Rajputana that corresponds to the present day state of Rajasthan, and which Tod referred to as Rajast'han.
Tod was born in London and educated in Scotland. He joined the East India Company as a military officer and travelled to India in 1799 as a cadet in the Bengal Army. He rose quickly in rank, eventually becoming captain of an escort for an envoy in a Sindian royal court. After the Third Anglo-Maratha War, during which Tod was involved in the intelligence department, he was appointed Political Agent for some areas of Rajputana. His task was to help unify the region under the control of the East India Company. During this period Tod conducted most of the research that he would later publish. Tod was initially successful in his official role, but his methods were questioned by other members of the East India Company. Over time, his work was restricted and his areas of oversight were significantly curtailed. In 1823, owing to declining health and reputation, Tod resigned his post as Political Agent and returned to England. (Full article...)
Harriet Arbuthnot (10 September 1793 – 2 August 1834) was an early 19th-century English diarist, social observer and political hostess on behalf of the Tory party. During the 1820s she was the closest woman friend of the hero of Waterloo and BritishPrime Minister, the 1st Duke of Wellington. She maintained a long correspondence and association with the Duke, all of which she recorded in her diaries, which are consequently extensively used in all authoritative biographies of the Duke of Wellington.
Born into the periphery of the British aristocracy, her parents were Henry Fane and his wife, Elizabeth, née Swymmer; she married a politician and member of the establishment, Charles Arbuthnot. Thus well connected, she was perfectly placed to meet many of the key figures of the Regency and late Napoleonic eras. Recording meetings and conversations often verbatim, she has today become the "Mrs. Arbuthnot" quoted in many biographies and histories of the era. Her observations and memories of life within the British establishment are not confined to individuals but document politics, great events and daily life with an equal attention to detail, providing historians with a clear picture of the events described. Her diaries were themselves finally published in 1950 as The Journal of Mrs Arbuthnot. (Full article...)
Harding lived in rural Ohio all his life, except when political service took him elsewhere. As a young man, he bought The Marion Star and built it into a successful newspaper. He served in the Ohio State Senate from 1900 to 1904, then as lieutenant governor for two years. He was defeated for governor in 1910, but was elected to the United States Senate in 1914, the state's first direct election for that office. He ran for the Republican nomination for president in 1920, and was considered a long shot until after the convention began. The leading candidates could not gain the needed majority, and the convention deadlocked. Harding's support gradually grew until he was nominated on the tenth ballot. He conducted a front porch campaign, remaining for the most part in Marion and allowing the people to come to him, and running on a theme of a return to normalcy of the pre-World War period. He won in a landslide over DemocratJames M. Cox and Socialist Party candidate Eugene Debs, to become the first sitting senator elected president. (Full article...)
Marcus Ward Lyon Jr. in 1917 at Washington Biologists’ Field Club on Plummers Island
Ada Lovelace (1815–1852) was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on using Charles Babbage's planned mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine, and as such she is often regarded as the first computer programmer.
Francisco Goya (1746–1828) was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded as both the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. This portrait was completed when Goya was 80 years old.
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.
Maxim Gorky (1868–1936) was a Russian political activist and writer who helped establish the Socialist Realism literary method. This portrait dates from a trip Gorky made to the United States in 1906, on which he raised funds for the Bolsheviks. During this trip he wrote his novel The Mother.
Malcolm X was an AmericanBlack Muslim minister and a spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Born Malcolm Little, he changed his surname to "X" as a rejection of his "slave name". Tensions between him and the Nation of Islam caused him to break from the group in 1964. He claimed to have received daily death threats and his house was burned to the ground in February 1965. One week later, Malcolm X was assassinated, having been shot in the chest by a sawed-off shotgun and 16 times with handguns. Three members of the Nation of Islam were convicted.
Emperor of Brazil Pedro II was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, his father Pedro I's abrupt abdication and flight to Europe in 1831 left him as Emperor at the age of five. Inheriting an Empire on the verge of disintegration, Pedro II turned Brazil into an emerging power in the international arena. On November 15, 1889, he was overthrown in a coup d'état by a clique of military leaders who declared Brazil a republic. However, he had become weary of emperorship and despaired over the monarchy's future prospects, despite its overwhelming popular support, and did not support any attempt to restore the monarchy.
A portrait of Golda Meir from 1973, during her tenure as Prime Minister of Israel. She was the first (and, to date, only) female Prime Minister of Israel, and was the third female Prime Minister in the world, as well as one of the founders of the State of Israel. Born as Golda Mabovitz, she chose her Hebrew name "Meir" upon her appointment as Foreign Minister in 1956. As Prime Minister, Meir oversaw a tumultuous period in Israeli history, with the War of Attrition, Operation Wrath of God, and the Yom Kippur War, all happening during that time.
K. T. Thomas (born 30 January 1937) is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India, known for his strong opinions on Indian socio-political matters. He was selected as a district and sessions judge in 1977, and became a judge of the Kerala High Court in 1985. A decade later, he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court, on which he served until retiring in 2002. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government in 2007 for services in the field of social affairs.
Deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi asks to reduce her time in court appearances, stating that her health has deteriorated. The judge will make a decision on the request next week. Suu Kyi currently faces multiple charges ranging from corruption to money laundering. (The Guardian)
Updated: 21:33, 17 October 2021
Quote of the week
"For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen."