Simply simply, a biography is someone else's account of an individual's life. An autobiography is the written account of a person's life. A memoir is a collection of memories written by the author. All these terms can be used to describe a written account of someone famous or not so famous.
The term biography has been in use since at least 1572 (when it was used by Michel de Montaigne in his book "De Biosophie" [Of Biography]) but it was not until the 19th century that it came to mean what we think of today: a detailed account of the life of a person published after their death. Before this time, the word biography referred only to an essay on some subject related to history/politics/science etc. that was written by someone who had lived many years ago.
So for example, Benjamin Franklin's autobiography is called "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin". The word biography here means a written account of Franklin's life.
Biographies of Various Types
A biography, often known as a bio, is a thorough account of a person's life. An autobiography is written by the author, occasionally with the help of a collaborator or ghostwriter. The word biography comes from the Greek bios (life) + graphy (writing). A biography is not exactly like any other kind of writing; it cannot be simplified down to rules or guidelines. Each one is unique because each person has a different story to tell.
In journalism and in academic works, a brief biography is an overview of the subject's life that covers the major events and important people in his or her life. These short biographies are used where space limitations make it difficult to provide a full biography. For example, in magazine articles about current affairs topics, journalists may include a brief biography on each page ender to give readers a quick overview of the individual's history.
Brief biographies are also used as introductions to groups of people. For example, when attending a concert, you would probably know who some of the musicians were just by reading their names printed in small type below the stage. Without being told, you would assume they were all famous musicians because they were all standing together on a platform playing music.
Finally, brief biographies are useful for naming individuals in lists or articles.
An autobiography is written by the individual, often with the help of a collaborator or ghostwriter. Biographies and autobiographies are different genres of literature that may share some characteristics (for example, both are usually written in the first person), but also have several differences (for example, biographers tend to avoid presenting their subjects in a negative light).
Stories about people's lives have been told for centuries through oral tradition and now today through books, movies, and television. The Bible contains many stories about people's lives: Moses' story is told in detail in the book of Exodus while Paul's story is told briefly in his letters to Timothy and Titus.
Modern biographies and autobiographies began to appear around 1730. Samuel Johnson's Life of Samuel Johnson was one of the first modern autobiographies. It was published six years after Johnson's death in 1778. Charles Dickens wrote two famous biographies: one of William Shakespeare and another of George Washington. Henry David Thoreau wrote an important essay on living in harmony with nature titled "On Walking" and this essay became the basis for a classic of American literature called "Walking" by Edward H. Walker who edited out all the unpleasant parts of Thoreau's essay.
A biography is a tale about a person's life published by someone else. An autobiographical story is a life event told from the writer's point of view. The term "autobiography" comes from the Greek autos, meaning self, and graphein, meaning to write.
Autobiographies are written by people who have experienced something of importance in their lives. It may be an important moment in the history of society, such as the birth of democracy or the emancipation of slaves. It may be an experience shared by many people but which each individual case is unique: suffering through illness or injury, for example, or facing death. Whatever the subject matter may be, the autobiography must contain some element of personal testimony that can only come from the author themselves. This is because they are directly involved in the events they are describing.
Personal narratives are stories that describe something important that has happened to the narrator. These could be true or false stories, depending on whether they are based on fact or not. They could be stories drawn from real life experiences or simply made up. What matters is that the author takes responsibility for them by explicitly stating that they are telling the truth.
Personal narratives can be found in all types of literature.