Wednesday, June 23, 2021

13 Best Autobiographies of All Time to Read in 2021

On this website, we have had the opportunity to share with you some very thoughtful articles that enlisted books and movies on different topics such as motivation, inspiration, leadership, etc.

These books and movies only narrated a specific portion of the author’s life experiences and their achievements or failures and a lesson for the reader’s.

Some of these might have been from your favorite authors, leaders, directors, actors, celebrities, etc. as well.

But have you ever considered that besides these limited and exclusive stories that describe their goal setting strategies and accomplishments and prescribed the same to you, what actually went behind the scenes.

What was it like for them to be while growing up?

What was good or bad in their life?

What happened that led to their becoming the person that they are today?

What was their own self-inspiration or source of motivation?

How and why did they start and how many failures or turbulences they incurred before learning the lessons which they can now proudly speak of in front of the mass audiences?

If you often wonder about questions like these, then what you probably are in need of is an autobiography.

An autobiography is a collection of the life events, experiences and achievements, of usually famous persons as written by them.

Autobiographies usually follow a chronological pattern that begins the events as they occurred in the early stages of the author’s life and how they progressed further in their life.

In this article, we bring you some 13 best autobiographies of all time that we think you must read in 2021.

13 Best and must read autobiographies in 2021

In the following list of autobiographical accounts, you will not only find pleasure but will also learn many lessons and find similarities of paths and goals with the author that will encourage and motivate you.

1. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

This classic autobiography was first published in 1965 and has been rated as the Time’s ten most important non-fiction books of the twentieth century.

It encompasses the story of Malcolm X, a Muslim, a leader and a man who spoke about the realities of the racism environment that to this day prevails in America.

The book contains the author’s extraordinary and fascinating point of view on how he sees the concept of American dream and how it is so limited and often put out of reach of the non-white people.

Originally published in

  • 1965


  • Malcolm X
  • Alex Haley


2. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Although it does not cover the whole life story of the author, this unfinished book titled ‘The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin’ contains the events of his life during the period from 1771 to 1790.

In this book, the author Benjamin Franklin, a person with many qualities but the most notable of all that he is one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, describes his own life story, his struggles, pains and failures, the way he saw them himself.

Originally published in

  • 1791


  • Benjamin Franklin


3. The Diary of a Young Girl

The Diary of a Young Girl

This autobiography titled as ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ is sometimes also known as ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’.

In this book, the author Anne Frank describes her experiences of hunger, boredom, cruelty, and the harsh realities of her life that she and her Jewish family suffered during a period of two years.

This two year period is the time when they lived in hiding from the Nazi forces in an old office building totally cut off from the outside world and under the fear of being discovered and killed.

While the book and the way it is narrated might be fascinating to many, it is a collection of courage and great strength to survive the most difficult of times that many couldn’t even imagine.

Originally published in

  • 1947


  • Anne Frank


4. A Promised Land

A Promised Land

This autobiography title ‘A Promised Land’ is actually a memoir by the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama.

This is fairly a very recent book and was published much after Barack Obama’s tenure as the President of the United States of America was over.

In this book, the author and the first African American to become a democratically elected President of the United States of America, shares his story and experiences from a young man in search of his identity and true passion in his life, to becoming a person very few in his native land could have ever imagined.

Coming from very modest backgrounds and beginning at the grassroots level to becoming the President and how his presidential powers were still limited as against what is perceived by an ordinary person, this book contains insights of his life and accounts of US politics.

Originally published in

  • 2020


  • Barack Obama


5. Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day: My Autobiography

Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day: My Autobiography

This autobiography will make you believe that age is merely a number and nothing beyond.

This is because this is an autobiography written by a 100 year old, World War Two veteran who begins taking rounds of his garden by way of walking at the age of 99 years of age, his only mission being to raise £1000 for the NHS.

But just within a period of one year by the time of his 100th birthday, his collection had reached an astounding amount of £32 million.

Not only this, this act has also made him famous among his nation as well, garnering wide appreciation from the people at large.

In his autobiography, he mentions his life experiences, his serving in various war zones including Burma and his passions.

But the most important of all, his courage and passion to fulfill a cause at such an old age and remind his people of the possibilities that only exist with a can do and willing attitude.

Originally published in

  • 2020


  • Captain Tom


6. Long Walk to Freedom

Long Walk to Freedom

This autobiography title is from one of the most heroic and strong persons of his time, that despite being threatened and subjected to various oppressions, never gave up.

While his struggle was for his own country, South Africa, his attitude, struggle and dedication that he showed in the fight against the oppressing powers has made him an international hero and an icon.

Being in prison for almost quarter of a century and winning a Nobel Prize for his fight for human rights and racial equality, is something that still motivates and inspires many facing the same challenges anywhere in the world.

Originally published in

  • 1994


  • Nelson Mandela


7. Dream from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

This is yet again an inspiring and fascinating memoir written by the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama.

This memoir was written quite a few years before he ran for the American presidential election.

This memoir consists of his life events and experiences from the time he spent in Chicago and Honolulu during the early years of his life, till the time he joined a law school in 1988.

The book was first published in the year 1995 when Obama was beginning his political campaign to run for the Illinois Senate elections.

Originally published in

  • 1995


  • Barack Obama


8. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

This autobiography surrounds one of the most bizarre and pathetic laws that one can hardly even imagine to have existed.

Now the host of the famous American satirical news program on television, The Daily Show, the author Trevor Noah is also a South African comedian, producer, television host, actor, writer and political commentator.

This autobiography contains an account of his birth period and his birth to a white father of Swiss origin and a black mother, something which at that time could have been sentenced to a prison of five years.

It also tells how his mother would take extra preventive measures to make him stay indoors and cover the fact of his existence from the authorities.

Moving forward, it also includes his and his mother’s struggles after this law was abandoned and their hardships to survive in the open.

Originally published in

  • 2016


  • Trevor Noah


9. Life’s What You Make It

Life’s What You Make It

Although the author took much time before finally deciding to share his life events with his fans, this book is an honest and open representation of the life and career struggle of Philip Schofield.

Philip Schofield has been a television figure for forty years but his life before this career wasn’t an easy one in any manner.

In this book, he narrates his struggles from spending his childhood in Cornwall where he walked barefoot on the beach and how his passion for the television industry led him to build model televisions out of the cardboard boxes.

During this time, he wrote multiple letters for a job to the BBC but to no avail until he landed a remarkable position in the Broom Cupboard.

Originally published in

  • 2020


  • Philip Schofield


10. Becoming


Just like her husband, the former President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, this book titled ‘Becoming’ is a memoir from Michelle Obama, the former United States first lady.

In this book, she narrates her struggles to serve her role as the first African American lady, and how she helped in fulfilling the presidential and the white house protocols simultaneously.

She also mentions her role to walk side-by-side and aid her husband in playing his role as the President of the United States.

The book also contains accounts of her initiatives that she took for the empowerment of the women and health campaigns not just in America, but around the world through her position, all done with honesty and as a duty for someone who in her position would have done.

Originally published in

  • 2018


  • Michelle Obama


11. When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air

This autobiographical account is a classic real life story of how uncertain and unpredictable any person’s life could be.

The author, being a neurosurgeon by profession, was diagnosed at just the age of thirty six years with a stage 4 lung cancer.

For someone who was himself practicing the role of helping numerous patients survive, taking their utmost care and giving them hope, was now himself a victim of something that he could have barely imagined to happen to him.

This book contains some very basic questions on the importance and true meaning of life, about how the plans that he and his wife had made for their future were no longer possible and how being a father and bringing a new life into this world changed his own perspective about leaving this world.

These and many other questions and their probable answers are a few things that the author learned and asked himself upon landing in a position where he was nearing his death, all of which has been mentioned in his book.

Originally published in

  • 2016


  • Paul Kalanithi


12. My Life in Red and White

My Life in Red and White

The author of this autobiography is one of the most influential personalities of the football world.

He is a winner of multiple Premier League titles and a record number of FA Cups.

And if this isn’t enough, he is also the one person whose strategic guidance and leadership qualities helped Arsenal, one of the best football teams in the world, achieve an unprecedented success of a 49 match unbeaten run.

In this book, the author shares all his success stories and what led towards these many achievements in the form of his nutrition, coaching, leadership and fitness methods, as well as his attitude; all of which led to this extraordinary career.

Originally published in

  • 2020


  • Arsene Wenger


13. Open: An Autobiography

Open: An Autobiography

While wealth, success and fame is something that everyone demands and seeks for as early as possible in their life, for a few people who achieve all this, it still remains a confusion and a source of unhappiness.

In this autobiographical accounts from one of the most celebrated and renowned professional tennis players in history, are stories of the author’s life that depict a totally different person.

Although being a winner of the eight grand slam championships and achieving great fame, wealth and huge success at the tennis game’s highest honors, tennis wasn’t something that made him happy.

In fact, it was the decision and demand of his father that he adopted this path but still after accomplishing so much, he would often remain unhappy and confused.

In this book, the author shares all of his different experiences and struggles and how he coped up with the positive and negative realities of so much success at just twenty two years of age.

Originally published in

  • 2009


  • Andre Agassi


Bottom line

Reading an autobiography serves the key purpose of getting to know someone better and on a much deeper level.

Sometimes when you read other people’s life stories, you get to relate your own life story and events with them.

While reading autobiographies can be very fascinating and a great way to learn about the life of other people, the incidents that they contain, especially any coincidences that you can relate to, can be a powerful reminder.

They are a reminder that the challenges and hurdles that you are currently facing in your life are temporary and can be overthrown with courage and strength just like others before you have done it.

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