Famous people

Where can I find information about famous people?

Entry last updated: 08/01/18


Famous people are people who are well known throughout the world for what they have done. They come from all areas of life, including politics, sport, music, art, science and technology. Sometimes they are called celebrities or heroes. In this entry we will show you how to find information about famous people from the past and the present.

Some famous people

Here is a list of famous people, but there are many more. Some famous people have their own official websites or foundations, like the ones highlighted below.

Adele (1988 - ): British singer.

Joan of Arc (1412? - 1431): French heroine.

The Beatles (1960 - 1970): British rock band.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827): German composer.

James Cook (1728-1779): English explorer.

Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882): English naturalist.

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955): German-born physicist.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948): Indian peace activist.

Helen Keller (1880 - 1968): American blind and deaf writer.

Martin Luther King, Jr (1929 - 1968): Civil rights activist.

Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865): President United States.

Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013): Anti-apartheid campaigner.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791): Austrian composer.

J K Rowling (1965 - ): British author.

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616): English playwright & poet.

Donald Trump (1946 - ): American President.

Vincent Van Gogh (1853 - 1890): Dutch painter.

Queen Elizabeth II (1926 - ): Queen of England.

Tips: When looking for info on a famous person we always recommend trying to find their official website first, as the information is likely to be more accurate than fan sites.

General websites

These websites have lots of information about famous people from all over the world.


This is a great website for all kinds of information, including famous people, and it's in a simple and interactive format.

  • Search this site for your famous person using the search box
  • or explore the different subjects by choosing from the pictures like history, science, sport and more.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About DK link on this website to find out what the company’s mission and values are.

Encyclopedia of World Biography

A biography is the story of someone's life written by someone else. This website is good if you are looking for information about famous American actors, musicians, writers, presidents and more.

  • Use the search box to find the famous person you are looking for
  • or browse the lists of famous people under the letters of the alphabet.
Tips: You will need to check the information found here against other sources as there is no 'about' link to tell us who is responsible for this website.


If you are looking for video material on famous people this website is a good place to look.

  • You will need to move down the screen to find the search box
  • or select the magnifying glass icon.
Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.

Epic Resources

EPIC is a collection of online resources that have been put together especially for New Zealand school students. The two resources below have lots of information on famous people.

Biography in context

This is a great site for information about famous people around the world. As well as biographies, it includes videos, audio recordings, and images of past and present famous people.

  • Search for your famous person using the search box
  • or browse under headings, like Fashion designers, Environmentalists, Singers, Filmmakers and more.

Britannica School

Britannica School has a whole section on Biographies.

  • You can choose Primary for a short summary
  • or Middle for more information.
Tips: To use the EPIC resources you will need a login and password from your school librarian or you can login into AnyQuestions between 1pm and 6pm Monday to Friday and one of our librarians will help you online.


Famous people are often in the news. Even if they are no longer living, they may be remembered on the anniversary of their death. For example, Princess Diana was recently in the news as it was 20 years ago that she died in a car crash.

BBC News

A great place to find information on current events and news from around the world is the BBC website.

  • Use the search box at the top right of the page to search for your famous person.
Tips: It’s worth checking out what other major news sites have on famous people too: CNN (American), PBS NewsHour (American), ABC News (Australian) and our own Television New Zealand. T hey will all have links to world news.


Your school or local public library will have lots of books on famous people. Here are some suggested titles:

SCIS no: 1850784

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