Compelling Biographies to Get Inspiration From 

The lives of great people can be a huge inspiration for us. It is not because they are extraordinary but because they were once ordinary human beings who achieved extraordinary feats. 

Many people assume they will never be able to achieve greatness or succeed in life because they are not born into status or do not have certain privileges. 

Reading biographies can inspire them to become who they are, even in the face of severest adversities. Here are some compelling biographies that can motivate you to become the best.

Compelling Biographies to Get Inspiration From

These are some of the most compelling biographies curated from hundreds of other biographies. If you are looking to dig into more genres, then getting yourself hooked to books is the only way. 

  1. Edison: A Biography by Mathew Josephson 

Although this biography is more than fifty years old, it can inspire those who want to create something new for humanity’s betterment and overcome their physical challenges. 

In this biography, Josephson brings out the complexities that plagued Edison’s life, especially his hearing issues that led to many of his discoveries while working with sound. 

In addition, readers will also learn about his business acumen, which is seldom discussed elsewhere. 

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt, Volumes I and II by Blanche Weisen Cook

While the entire world was focused on her husband, the President of the USA, Eleanor Roosevelt quietly brought about a revolution of sorts in the interiors of the White House. 

While erstwhile First Ladies were not expected to do anything more than plan and host state dinners, Mrs. Roosevelt, however, made sure she reinvented the position she landed in. 

She became a spokesperson for the women of the nation and did not let her husband’s shadow overpower her, something that will remain relevant for women across the ages. 

  1. Hurricane: The Life of Rubin Carter, Fighter by James S. Hirsch

One of the foremost “fighters” of his time, Rubin Carter’s life has inspired thousands of people over the last few decades. His lessons on Stoicism, something which had sustained him during his years in prison after his wrongful conviction, can be life-changing for whoever reads them. 

The impressive thing is that he never tried to sue the government in turn, despite losing the best years of his life. Because he felt that would prove he had lost something and that he had lost his agency. 

The conviction that he was himself and would continue to be so even after his darkest years can be insightful for the readers, helping them understand who they are.

  1. Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

While everyone knows of George Washington as one of the founding fathers of modern America and an eminent politician, few know about his abilities as a strategist and the part he played in winning against the much more formidable British army. 

Further, very few people are aware of his private life and how he dealt with personal relationships. Chernow digs out all the details and presents them faithfully, and his writing is sure to imbibe the readers with confidence and motivation. 

His thoughts in the face of war while dealing with enemies far better equipped is something that can teach us about facing adversities in our lives. 

  1. In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum 

Someone had once said that being in a war zone is like passing through the gates of hell. Well, Marie Colvin did that when she reported some of the most dangerous war zones in recent times and told the world how cruel and gruesome war could be. 

It was a job for which she gave her life, and the posthumous biography honors this courageous lady brilliantly. 

And yet, Hilsum also talks about who she was as a person and what inspired her to do her job, something that could teach the readers a thing or two about life. 

  1. At Home with Muhammad Ali by Hana Yasmeen Ali

The formidable boxer inside the ring was a loving father, a caring and romantic husband, and a wonderful friend outside it. Written by his daughter, the biography will take the readers on a journey that tells us about the man hidden behind the tough façade of a boxer. 

Yasmeen Ali uses her father’s audio journals, love letters, and family memories to talk about her father and how he inspired her and the others in the family. 

Readers will find it intriguing that it is possible to live a life of commitment towards one’s demanding career that can exert so much pressure on the body and mind and yet find time to return to one’s family at the end of the day and be vulnerable. 


Biographies can change how we look at life and the people around us. They help us see the struggle these famous people faced and not just who they became after they became famous. So head over to and have your pick from some genuinely inspiring biographies that can change the course of your life. 

Meta: Feeling low and looking for inspiration? Check out these 6 biographies for a boost of motivation. 

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