Difference between Biography and Autobiography

Biography vs. Autobiography

What is difference between biography and autobiography? From an early age, we understand that in the end we all have to die at some point; that is, we understand that we are not eternal. This knowledge is to a great extent the one that has motivated people to try to leave some memory of them or keep some memory of the others, because until now that is the closest to “immortality”.

Difference between Biography and Autobiography

One of the most efficient ways to know who and what was done by this or that person is by reading his biography or autobiography; but if you think that these two concepts mean the same thing and that we only mentioned them earlier to make this post longer; you are very wrong and then we explain to you what is the difference between biography and autobiography.


A biography is a non-fiction narrative about someone’s life. It provides an overview of the person’s life, including basic facts such as their education, work, relationships, experiences, events, contributions and death.

Usually, the biographies tell us the life of historical or relevant personages; whether alive or dead. They present the individual’s life, while highlighting several curious or important aspects of it; for this reason it is common to mention some intimate experiences. A biography can even include an analysis of the personality of the subject. In addition, biographies can be presented in any format, be it a book, a film, a documentary…

Biographies are written by other people, not by the individual being spoken about. They can be authorized or not. An authorized biography is one that is written with the permission of the person of whom it is spoken, whereas an unauthorized biography is defined as that which is done without the consent of the person who stars it. In the latter case, the biography is more likely to contain errors and the information provided is not quite correct.

In many cases, biographers spend years studying and collecting information about their subjects; this allows them to provide insight into the motivations and contexts that affect or affect the subject.


An autobiography is a biography, but it has the peculiarity that it is written by the subject of the narration itself. It incorporates all the elements of the biographies, the only difference being that instead of being written by a third person it is the individual who writes it.

The subject may or may not have used the help of some ghostwriter for his project, but even if he did receive help from another person; it does not receive any credit for the work. For obvious reasons, an autobiography does not need to be authorized (since the authorization is given by the person). For the subject to write about his own life, he does not need permission.

Just as they have their cons, autobiographies also have their advantages in relation to biographies. For example, an autobiography is more likely to present a clearer picture about the history and experiences lived by the biographer, after all who knows more about his life than oneself? An autobiography can be a much more intimate and revealing work compared to a biography, because the individual expresses his own view of the subject.

Key Differences between Biography and Autobiography

  • An autobiography is a biography written by the same person who narrates his life, while a biography is made by a third person.
  • Biographies can be authorized or not, while autobiographies are always authorized; since no one needs permission to write about his own life.
  • Autobiographies are often more intimate and revealing, while biographies tend to be more objective.