Can a biography be about a group? (facts revealed!).

Can a biography be about a group?
A young student thinking if biography can be about a group.

In our everyday life, we usually come across biographies in libraries, bookstores, and homes, but can a biography be about a group or multiple people?

In this article, we examined the possibility of having multiple or group biographies, their merits, demerits, and all other questions related to them in a step-by-step method.

Can a biography be about a group?

Yes, biography does not have to be limited to a single person.

It can be a collective biography based on specialisation, relationship, characteristics, or a specific subject shared by the individuals.

What is a group biography?

A group biography refers to a work that presents multiple non-fictional narratives about different individuals in a single publication.

Group biography attempts to provide collective and reliable information about a group of people that share unique characteristics, excel in the same profession.

It collate their information and discuss how they contribute their quota to the development of a system, society, profession, sport or a particular hobby.

These groups can be about famous scientists, sports icons, musicians, politicians, entrepreneurs, royalty, academics, or any recognised profession.

When two or more individuals’ histories and life events are narrated in the same publication, it is categorized as a group or collective biography.

Origin of group biographies.

Group or collective biography originated in the 1970s and is characterised solely by narrowing the focus on relationships.

These relationship can be between a group of individuals, which may be families, friends, colleagues, or others in a closely related occupation.

Reasons for Group Biographies.

Group biographies come to exist as a result of the following:

1.Promotion of unity.

Group biographies aid in bringing together people with similar occupations or skills in one location.

This unity helps the reader access lessons, mistakes, successes, and risks taken by each of them in a single book without many problems.

The ability to find successful people in your profession with relative ease depends on time, effort, and resources. That is one of the reasons for the invention of group biographies.

It saves you time and resources by merging the subjects of interest into one.

2.Source of inspiration.

Group biographies can inspire people to achieve things they never thought possible in their lives.

Reading collective biography helps the reader to do more, revive his or her enthusiasm, and refresh the hope of success by following in the footsteps of others before him or her.

3.Mix cultures and life experiences.

Group biographies provide people with new perspectives on different cultures and life experiences.

As a result of this experience, people refine the way they think, act, and relate with others.

Furthermore, their perspectives on life will be broadened and sharpened towards more tolerance, respect, and accomodating of diverse cultures.

4.Different decision-making methods.

Strategies and the process of making decisions are not universal in nature.

Successful people have individually developed various decision-making strategies that work for them.

Those strategies were discovered after years of trying methods that sometimes failed and sometimes partially succeeded.

The reader of a group biography will have easy access to such decisions.

5.Access to tips and tactics of different people.

Tips and lessons about raising a family, following a career path, taking risks, financial freedom, and work-life balance are generated mostly from the biographies of successful people.

In this regard, group biographies provide you with more of these success tips and tricks at a very cheaper rate and at your convenience.

Habits and character traits that distinguish people in your profession.

 6.Character traits of different professions.

For example, the marines of the United States have been known for their fearlessness and courage, and as comedians with wittiness and jokes.

Group biographies, on the other hand, help you understand the needed character traits for your profession and how successful people use those traits to their advantage.

7.Inspiration of hope to a category.

It rekindles the hope of those on the verge of giving up.

It gives them the most needed ingredient of success, which is hope.

Group biographies expose mistakes and booby traps that can negatively impact a career in order to see them clearly and avoid them.

Factors to consider in writing group biographies.

1.Shared characteristics.

One of the most important factors to consider when grouping biographies is whether the subjects shared similar characteristics.

Subjects must share similar characteristics before they can be grouped into one biography.

2.Subject specification.

The topic of discussion must be the same for both parties.

For example, actors can have a group biography together, but if their specialisation is different, it will produce conflicting personalities.

Actors, footballers, musicians, and politicians can be grouped together based on one category alone.

3.Different impacts on the same subject.

If a group of people are put together for a collective biography, each of the group members must have a particular impact on the purpose of the biography.

Moreover, by each having a different impact on the same category, the reader will have more to benefit from.

4.Challenges encountered.

In any good collective biography, it must provide balanced facts and accurate events.

The challenges each encountered must be clearly identified, as well as how he or she was able to overcome those challenges.

5.Path to Success.

Success is never comes in a straight line.

Some people are lucky enough to achieve it with ease, while others have to undergo lots of heartbreaks, failures, and disappointments before they are able to succeed.

A group biography must be able to present these individual facts in a detailed manner.


The subjects in a group biography must have shared similarities among themselves for the biography to be well balanced and interesting to the reader.

7.Lessons that will benefit the reader.

One of the biggest aims of a biography is to serve as a lesson to those that will be opportune to read it.

Having these lessons is a big plus for the success of a biography.

Advantage of group biographies.

1.Streamlining audience.

It helps in generating the right audience for such biographies.

Since the biography focuses on a specific niche, it generates mostly people that have an interest in that niche, thereby getting the needed information to the deserving audience.

A group biography on football stars, for example, will attract a majority of football fans rather than golf fans.

2.Promotes categories.

The category or specification of the biography will help generate more publicity for that particular category in a positive way.

It will also influence many people to gain more awareness from it.

3.Xray the challenges.

It helps in identifying common and complex challenges affecting the sector, which may lead to finding solutions to the problems.

4.Skill sharing.

Group biographies help in increasing skills acquisition.

This is done through the efforts of the experts whose life insights are provided through the biography.

5.Identification of individual contributions.

It helps in the recognition of individual achievements and provides an opportunity for the audience to see and appreciate the efforts.

Disadvantage of group biographies.



Group biographies most often confused the readers.

By putting together various characters into one biography, the reader has a greater chance of getting confused due to multiple names, places, and actions that are mentioned in the biography.


Group biographies are more expensive than a single biography.

When three or more people are combined into a single biography, the cost of production, word count, and number of pages will also be on the high side.

This affects the financial life of the reader negatively.

3.Bulky words count.

Biographies generally have high word counts due to the cradle-to-grave coverage of the subject’s life.

Group biographies tend to skyrocket the word count into a significant number.

When a biography has a large number of pages, people feel discouraged from reading it.

4.Lack of comprehensiveness.

Another problem with collective biographies is that they lack comprehensiveness in their attempt to minimise the word counts.

5.Clash ideas.

In the event of having more than one writer, there is a chance of clashes on how the biography should be done.

6.Different writing styles.

Writers have different writing patterns and styles with which they distinguish themselves.

In groups, biography tends to produce a dissimilar pattern of writing that is not welcome by the reader.

How many authors are needed in group biographies?.

For a group biography, one author can do it effectively, but to speed up the process, a maximum of three is recommended.

Is group biography only for the dead?.

Group biographies are not only for the dead.

They can be for a person who died centuries ago, recently, or for the person that is alive.

Can there be a mix biography between a death person and the who is alive?

Mixing both the dead and those that are alive in a group biography is tricky.

But, it is not prohibited at all as long as the authors can do a very good job.

Examples of group biographies.

The following are some examples of group biographies:

  • Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross’s Revisioning History Book Series.
  • Lead Zepplin: The Biography By Bob Spitz.
  • Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century by J. C. Ryle
  • Positively 4th Street by David Hajdu
  • The Lunar Men: A Story of Science, Art, Invention, and Passion By Jenny Uglow.

Rights in a group biography.

Agreements between mostly three categories govern right ownership in a group biography.

The authors, the publisher, and the subjects, or their relatives.

It can be owned collectively amongst them, or it can be waived by some or all of them.

Publishers most a times hold the right or majority rights due to the Expenses generated as a result of publishing, advertising and distribution of the biographies.

Seeking permission in Group biography.

Group biographies can be written without the permission of their subjects.

However, the absence of a requirement for consent does not mean that it is good to create a work about another person without their consent, regardless of the nature of that work.

It is in the best interest of the authors to obtain the necessary permissions and approvals from all those that are involved in the group biography.

This will mitigate the issues of litigation that can delay or prevent the publication or distribution of the biographies after time, energy, and resources are expended on the project.

Litigation involving a group biographies.

Common litigation that may arise as a result of the group biographies includes the following:

  1. Infringement on the right to privacy.
  2. Noncompliance with a contract.
  3. Violation of the right to be heard.
  4. Character assassination.
  5. Infringement of Copyright.
  6. Violation of public order.
  7. Negative portrayal of the individual.
  8. Violation of obscense-related laws.
  9. Violations of religious and caste laws

Among various others that have not been captured here.

Similarities between group and individual biographies.

  • Both write about people’s lives.
  • They provide information that is mostly accurate.
  • They both preserve the memories of successful individuals.
  • Both are aimed at a broad audience.
  • Both aim at relaying information to the readers.


For various reasons, it is accurate and possible to have biographies of two or more personalities grouped together in a single publication.

Such reasons include, but are not limited to, sharing the same characteristics, profession, skills, time, and contribution, among others.

Group or collective biographies, as they are called, have a huge role to play in impacting the lives of the readers who are interested in reading them.

Group or collective biographies can be about actors, politicians, sportsmen and women, entrepreneurs, and many others.








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