As I have continued to work on my book about biography readers' advisory, I have become increasingly aware that the community of professional biographers is quickly aging. Many of them are in their sixties, seventies, and even older. I can identify only a few authors with three or more books that can be considered biographical who are under fifty years old.
I surmised that biography was a profession for later in life, which it is for some authors. Perhaps reflecting on someone else's life is comforting as one foresees the end of one's own life only a few decades away. The evidence does not, however, bear this out.
Peter Ackroyd was 32 when he wrote his first biography.
Stephen Ambrose was 26.
A. Scott Berg was 29.
David Herbert Donald was 28.
Joseph J. Ellis was 30.
Antonia Fraser was 37.
Doris Kearnes Goodwin was 33.
J. Randy Taraborrelli was 29.
I could go on. Most had three biographies by the time they reached fifty.
I only see Douglas Brinkley, Ross King, and Ben Macintyre in the under fifty crowd with three or more books that could be considered as biographies.
So, who will write biographies in the future? There may be some openings. Know how to write?