The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Writers of all time. This list of famous Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Writers.
With an HPI of 78.18, Jorge Luis Borges is the most famous Writer. His biography has been translated into 136 different languages on wikipedia.
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (; Spanish: [ˈboɾxes] (listen); 24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986) was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet, and translator, as well as a key figure in Spanish-language and international literature. His best-known books, Ficciones (Fictions) and El Aleph (The Aleph), published in the 1940s, are compilations of short stories interconnected by common themes, including dreams, labyrinths, philosophers, libraries, mirrors, fictional writers, and mythology. Borges's works have contributed to philosophical literature and the fantasy genre, and influenced the magic realist movement in 20th century Latin American literature. His late poems converse with such cultural figures as Spinoza, Camões, and Virgil. Born in Buenos Aires, Borges later moved with his family to Switzerland in 1914, where he studied at the Collège de Genève. The family travelled widely in Europe, including Spain. On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in surrealist literary journals. He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer. In 1955, he was appointed director of the National Public Library and professor of English Literature at the University of Buenos Aires. He became completely blind by the age of 55. Scholars have suggested that his progressive blindness helped him to create innovative literary symbols through imagination. By the 1960s, his work was translated and published widely in the United States and Europe. Borges himself was fluent in several languages. In 1961, he came to international attention when he received the first Formentor Prize, which he shared with Samuel Beckett. In 1971, he won the Jerusalem Prize. His international reputation was consolidated in the 1960s, aided by his works being available in English, by the Latin American Boom and by the success of García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. He dedicated his final work, The Conspirators, to the city of Geneva, Switzerland. Writer and essayist J. M. Coetzee said of him: "He, more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish-American novelists."
With an HPI of 60.93, Ernesto Sabato is the 2nd most famous Writer. His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.
Ernesto Sabato (June 24, 1911 – April 30, 2011) was an Argentine novelist, essayist, painter and physicist. According to the BBC he "won some of the most prestigious prizes in Hispanic literature" and "became very influential in the literary world throughout Latin America". Upon his death El País dubbed him the "last classic writer in Argentine literature".Sabato was distinguished by his bald pate and brush moustache and wore tinted spectacles and open-necked shirts. He was born in Rojas, a small town in Buenos Aires Province. Sabato began his studies at the Colegio Nacional de La Plata. He then studied physics at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, where he earned a PhD. He then attended the Sorbonne in Paris and worked at the Curie Institute. After World War II, he lost interest in science and started writing. Sabato's oeuvre includes three novels: El Túnel (1948), Sobre héroes y tumbas (1961) and Abaddón el exterminador (1974). The first of these received critical acclaim upon its publication from, among others, fellow writers Albert Camus and Thomas Mann. The second is regarded as his masterpiece, though he nearly burnt it like many of his other works. Sabato's essays cover topics as diverse as metaphysics, politics and tango. His writings led him to receive many international prizes, including the Miguel de Cervantes Prize (Spain), the Legion of Honour (France), the Jerusalem Prize (Israel), and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France).At the request of President Raúl Alfonsín, he presided over the CONADEP Commission that investigated the fate of those who suffered forced disappearance during the Dirty War of the 1970s. The result of these findings was published in 1984, bearing the title Nunca Más (Never Again).
With an HPI of 59.73, Adolfo Bioy Casares is the 3rd most famous Writer. His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.
Adolfo Bioy Casares (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈðolfo ˈβjoj kaˈsaɾes]; 15 September 1914 – 8 March 1999) was an Argentine fiction writer, journalist, diarist, and translator. He was a friend and frequent collaborator with his fellow countryman Jorge Luis Borges. He is the author of the Fantastique novel The Invention of Morel.
With an HPI of 56.51, Manuel Puig is the 4th most famous Writer. His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.
Juan Manuel Puig Delledonne (December 28, 1932 – July 22, 1990), commonly called Manuel Puig, was an Argentine author. Among his best-known novels are La traición de Rita Hayworth (Betrayed by Rita Hayworth, 1968), Boquitas pintadas (Heartbreak Tango, 1969), and El beso de la mujer araña (Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1976) which was adapted into the film released in 1985, directed by the Argentine-Brazilian director Héctor Babenco; and a Broadway musical in 1993.
With an HPI of 56.30, Silvina Ocampo is the 5th most famous Writer. Her biography has been translated into 30 different languages.
Silvina Ocampo (28 July 1903 – 14 December 1993) was an Argentine short story writer, poet, and artist. Ocampo's friend and collaborator Jorge Luis Borges called Ocampo "one of the greatest poets in the Spanish language, whether on this side of the ocean or on the other." Her first book was Viaje olvidado (1937), translated as Forgotten Journey (2019), and her final piece was Las repeticiones, published posthumously in 2006. Before establishing herself as a writer, Ocampo was a visual artist. She studied painting and drawing in Paris where she met, in 1920, Fernand Léger and Giorgio de Chirico, forerunners of surrealism.She received, among other awards, the Municipal Prize for Literature in 1954 and the National Poetry Prize in 1962.
With an HPI of 56.23, Alejandra Pizarnik is the 6th most famous Writer. Her biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Flora Alejandra Pizarnik (29 April 1936 – 25 September 1972) was an Argentine poet. Her idiosyncratic and thematically introspective poetry has been considered "one of the most unusual bodies of work in Latin American literature", and has been recognized and celebrated for its fixation on "the limitation of language, silence, the body, night, the nature of intimacy, madness, [and] death".Pizarnik studied philosophy at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and worked as a writer and a literary critic for several editorials and magazines. She lived in Paris between 1960 and 1964, where she translated authors such as Antonin Artaud, Henri Michaux, Aimé Cesairé and Yves Bonnefoy. She also studied history of religion and French literature in La Sorbonne. Back in Buenos Aires, Pizarnik published three of her major works: Los trabajos y las noches, Extracción de la piedra de locura and El infierno musical as well as a prose work titled, La condesa sangrienta. In 1969 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship and later, in 1971, a Fulbright Fellowship. On September 25, 1972, she died by suicide after ingesting an overdose of secobarbital. Her work has influenced generations of authors in Latin America.
With an HPI of 55.93, Alberto Manguel is the 7th most famous Writer. His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.
Alberto Manguel (born March 13, 1948, in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine-Canadian anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist, editor, and a former Director of the National Library of Argentina. He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (co-written with Gianni Guadalupi in 1980), A History of Reading (1996), The Library at Night (2007) and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008); and novels such as News From a Foreign Country Came (1991). Though almost all of Manguel's books were written in English, two of his novels (El regreso and Todos los hombres son mentirosos) were written in Spanish, and El regreso has not yet been published in English. Manguel has also written film criticism such as Bride of Frankenstein (1997) and collections of essays such as Into the Looking Glass Wood (1998). In 2007, Manguel was selected to be that year's annual lecturer for the prestigious Massey Lectures. in 2021, he gave the Roger Lancelyn Green lecture to the Lewis Carroll Society on his love of the 'Alice' stories from Lewis Carroll. For more than twenty years, Manguel has edited a number of literary anthologies on a variety of themes or genres ranging from erotica and gay stories to fantastic literature and mysteries.
With an HPI of 54.98, Joseph Kessel is the 8th most famous Writer. His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.
Joseph Kessel (10 February 1898 – 23 July 1979), also known as "Jef", was a French journalist and novelist. He was a member of the Académie française and Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour.
With an HPI of 54.10, Victoria Ocampo is the 9th most famous Writer. Her biography has been translated into 27 different languages.
Ramona Victoria Epifanía Rufina Ocampo (7 April 1890 – 27 January 1979) was an Argentine writer and intellectual. Best known as an advocate for others and as publisher of the literary magazine Sur, she was also a writer and critic in her own right and one of the most prominent South American women of her time. Her sister is Silvina Ocampo, also a writer.
With an HPI of 52.87, Juan Gelman is the 10th most famous Writer. His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.
Juan Gelman (3 May 1930 – 14 January 2014) was an Argentine poet. He published more than twenty books of poetry between 1956 and his death in early 2014. He was a naturalized citizen of Mexico, country where he arrived as a political exile of the Military Junta. In 2007, Gelman was awarded the Cervantes Prize, the most important in Spanish literature. His works celebrate life but are also tempered with social and political commentary and reflect his own painful experiences with the politics of Argentina.
Pantheon has 34 people classified as writers born between 1805 and 1978. Of these 34, 10 (29.41%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Alberto Manguel, Jorge Bucay, and María Kodama. The most famous deceased writers include Jorge Luis Borges, Ernesto Sabato, and Adolfo Bioy Casares. As of April 2022, 3 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Jorge Bucay, Roberto Juarroz, and José Mármol.
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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 24 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.