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Free Biography Documentaries

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1.
Available on:
Online Video (Free)
Year Released:
 2010

This documentary for PBS by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere, tells the story of the Buddha’s life...

2.

by WGBH History Unit
Available on:
Podcast
Year Released:
 2002

American Experience, television's most-watched history series, brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form our nation.

3.

by Nelson Mandela
Available on:
Online Video (Free)
Year Released:
 1999

As Nelson Mandela prepares to step down as president of South Africa, FRONTLINE presents a deeply personal biography of one of the great figures of the 20th century.

4.
Available on:
Online Video (Free)
Year Released:
 2010

A vibrant portrait of a Beat Generation icon, WILLIAM S BURROUGHS: A MAN WITHIN explores the brilliant and troubled world of one of our greatest authors.

5.

by Werner Herzog
Available on:
Online Video (Free)
Year Released:
 2000

Wings of Hope is a 2000 made-for-TV documentary directed by Werner Herzog. The film explores the story of Juliane Koepcke, a German Peruvian woman who was the sole survivor of Peruvian flight LANSA Flight 508 following its mid-air disintegration after a lightning strike in 1971.

6.
Available on:
Online Video (Free)
Year Released:
 2010

Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio had often heard the legend of Cropsey. For the kids in their neighborhood, Cropsey was the escaped mental patient who lived in the old, abandoned Willowbrook Mental Institution and would come out at night to snatch children off the streets.

7.

by Ken Burns
Available on:
Online Video (Free)

He was hailed as a champion of the poor and reviled as a dictator. Louisiana's Huey Long rose to Governor and U.S. Senator on a platform of social reform and justice, all the while employing graft and corruption to get what he wanted.

8.

by Steve Jobs
Available on:
Online Video (Free)
Year Released:
 2011

In this candid, in-depth interview with the late visionary filmed in 1995, Steve Jobs discusses at length his early days, career battles, and vision for the future. Small portions of the piece were used for a television series at the time, but the vast majority was shelved and for 17 years thought to be lost.

9.
Available on:
Online Video (Free)
Year Released:
 1985

Clips, an actor (Jack Coulter), and friends, including William S. Burroughs, profile the beatnik author of "On the Road."

10.
Available on:
Online Video (Free)
Year Released:
 1999

Rebels: A Journey Underground is an excellent Canadian documentary history of "the counterculture" produced for television in the late 1990s and narrated by Kiefer Sutherland.

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