Welcome to American National Biography Online

The life of a nation is told by the lives of its people



  • Over 19,000 biographies of significant, influential or notorious figures from American history written by prominent scholars
  • Life of the day now available as an email to your inbox or by RSS feed
  • Have questions about how to use the redesigned website? Check out our Help page for a video demo and detailed instructions or read through our FAQs.

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Letter from Susan Ware, Editor

What's New: March 2019

This update includes fourteen new essays that reflect the breadth of American popular culture. Highlights include the actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee; Divine, the star of numerous John Waters films; horror film director Wes Craven; comedians Gene Wilder and Joan Rivers; and Star Wars star Carrie Fisher.

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month - images of American poets

Since 1996, the Academy of American Poets has led an annual campaign every April: National Poetry Month. Throughout the month, we come together to celebrate the importance of poetry within our culture in every walk of life. At the ANB, we are proud to host over 500 poets' biographies. From Auden to Whitman, discover a selection of great American poets' lives throughout history.




APRIL 5, 2019

National Poetry Month

Explore the lives of great American poets in celebration of National Poetry Month. 

MARCH 28, 2019

What's new: March 2019

Explore new biographies of figures from popular culture.

FEBRUARY 28, 2019

What's new: February 2019?

Discover new essays on the the men and women who pioneered space exploration.