Famous American Non-Fiction Writers

What can be more joyous than re-reading your favorite book for the nth time just because you love it so much? Reading, as any book lover will tell you, is therapeutic and when it is from the stable of one of your most favorite writers, the joy just doubles up. Whether you are looking for inspiration or just need something to read during your downtime, we have got America’s best non-fiction writers covered for you. Here is an extensive list of must-read American non-fiction writers who deserve to be in the wish list of all book lovers. Some new, some old, some you've no doubt already read, these non-fiction writers were, are and will always list on top of every book lover’s catalogue. Now only if you thought non-fiction was stranger and boring than fantasy and fiction, make out time to check out the work by some of these great writers. But before that, don’t miss out to delve into the biography, trivia and facts about America’s famous non-fiction writers.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Non-Fiction Writers

 1 Mackenzie Phillips

Mackenzie Phillips
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 10, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Mackenzie Phillips made her acting debut at 12, with American Graffiti. Fans loved her in the series One Day at a Time and So Weird. She has struggled with drug issues and has appeared on Celebrity Rehab. She also confessed to being raped by her father, in her memoir.

 2 Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro
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Famous As: Political Commentator, Public Speaker
Birthdate: January 15, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

A strong conservative political commentator, author, media host and lawyer, Ben Shapiro became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the US at the age of seventeen and at twenty published his first book. The host of a daily political podcast ,The Ben Shapiro Show, he has frequently invited criticism for his views on various issues like same-sex marriage and abortion.

 3 Jordan Belfort

Jordan Belfort
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 9, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
The former stock broker, who was convicted for stock-market manipulation and cheating several investors, Jordan Belfort spent 22 months in prison before he was released and altered his way of living. Using his life experiences, he became a motivational speaker and also authored two memoirs, one of which, The Wolf of Wall Street, was adapted into an award winning film.

 4 Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter
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Birthdate: December 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Ann Coulter is a political commentator and has written countless bestselling books, including High Crimes and Misdemeanors, which enumerated the reasons why Bill Clinton should have been impeached. She assisted Paula Jones’s attorneys for free. Her columns are featured on various conservative websites. She opposes same-sex marriage and hate-crime laws.

 5 Mara Wilson

Mara Wilson
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Famous As: Writer, Actress
Birthdate: July 24, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Mara Wilson stole the hearts of many with her performance as a child actress in films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda. After growing up, she decided to pursue a career as a writer. In one of her interviews, she spoke about her mental illnesses, including OCD, depression, and anxiety. She also came out as bisexual.

 6 Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 27, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Caroline Kennedy is an American author, diplomat, and attorney. The only surviving child of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Caroline served as the US Ambassador to Japan between 2013 and 2017. A prolific author who writes about civil liberties, Caroline Kennedy has also served as a spokesperson for the Kennedy family's legacy.

 7 Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Fran Drescher is an American actress and comedian. Characterized by her thick New York accent and nasal voice, Fran Drescher serves as an inspiration to many cancer patients as she successfully fought off the disease after suffering from uterine cancer. She is also an outspoken LGBT rights activist and healthcare advocate.

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 8 Anthony Rapp

Anthony Rapp
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 9 Mick Mars

Mick Mars
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 4, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Mick Mars gained fame as the guitarist for the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe and came to be known for his aggressive style of playing the instrument. He has also written songs for bands such as Crashdïet. He has suffered from ankylosing spondylitis since his teenage years. 

 10 Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller
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Famous As: Politician writer
Birthdate: August 23, 1985
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 11 Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity
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Famous As: Talk Show Host
Birthdate: December 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

Sean Hannity is a conservative political commentator and talk show host. As one of the most-watched and most-listened-to hosts, he has played a key role in shaping American politics in the last decade or so. Due to his closeness to President Donald Trump, he is characterized as the shadow Chief of Staff.

 12 Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt was an American actress, comedian, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Renowned for her distinctive singing style, Kitt recorded several chartbusting songs during the 1950s. Also a well-known activist, Eartha Kitt established a non-profit organization called the Kittsville Youth Foundation, which helped underprivileged youths in Los Angeles. She was also an ardent advocate for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

 13 Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 12, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: October 1, 2013
Tom Clancy is best remembered for his espionage- and war-themed novels, many of which, such as The Hunt for Red October, The Sum of All Fears, and Clear and Present Danger, have been made into hit films. He was also a co-owner of the MLB team Baltimore Orioles

 14 Anita Hill

Anita Hill
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Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 15 Sam Harris

Sam Harris
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Famous As: Philosopher, Author
Birthdate: April 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

One of the "Four Horsemen of Atheism," neuroscientist and author Sam Harris is known for his works on topics such as religion, artificial intelligence, and terrorism. His books include the New York Times bestseller The End of Faith. He hosted the podcast Making Sense and released a meditation app, too.

 16 Kayden Kross

Kayden Kross
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 17 Doris Roberts

Doris Roberts
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 4, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: April 17, 2016

Five-time Emmy Award-winning actor Doris Roberts is best remembered as Marie Barone from the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond and as Mildred Krebs from Remington Steele. She also appeared on various talk/game shows and in films such as The Honeymoon Killers. She was a prominent animal rights activist, too.

 18 Amy Fisher

Amy Fisher
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Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: August 21, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 19 Michelle McNamara

Michelle McNamara
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Famous As: Freelance Writer, Blogger
Birthdate: April 14, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: April 21, 2016

True-crime writer, Michelle McNamara, is remembered for coining the name "Golden State Killer" for the serial killer later identified as Joseph James DeAngelo. Sadly, the author died before his identification and arrest. Fascinated by true crime from a young age, she launched her website TrueCrimeDiary in 2006 and dedicated her life to researching and writing about true crime.

 20 Cybill Lynne Shepherd

Cybill Lynne Shepherd
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Cybill Shepherd is best known for her roles in films such as The Heartbreak Kid, Taxi Driver, and Alice. Fans also loved her for her Golden Globe-winning portrayals of Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes in the series Moonlighting and Cybill Sheridan in the sitcom Cybill. She is a follower of goddess-worshipping Paganism.

 21 Jon Lovett

Jon Lovett
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Famous As: Podcaster
Birthdate: August 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 22 Morris Chestnut

Morris Chestnut
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 1, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

Actor Morris Chestnut is best known for his role in the film Boyz n the Hood. Beginning his career as a young man, he appeared in a few TV shows before venturing into films. He steadily evolved as an actor and went on to co-star alongside major actors in big-budget films. He has co-authored a book on health and fitness.

 23 Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 8, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 24 Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw
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Famous As: Baseball Pitcher
Birthdate: March 19, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

An eight-time MLB All-Star, Clayton Kershaw is an American professional baseball player, often described as the best pitcher in the history of baseball. Also known for his humanitarian work, Clayton Kershaw has been honored with the Branch Rickey Award and Roberto Clemente Award. A prolific donator, Kershaw donated $260,000 to build an orphanage called Hope's Home.

 25 Valerie Harper

Valerie Harper
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Valerie Harper is best remembered as Rhoda Morgenstern from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Rhoda, with the role winning her four Emmys. She also hosted Nova and was seen as Valerie Hogan in the sitcom Valerie. She also earned a Tony nomination for the play Looped.

 26 Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette
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Famous As: Magician
Birthdate: March 5, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 27 Sela Ward

Sela Ward
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

Sela Ann Ward is best known for her Emmy-winning role of Teddy Reed in Sisters. She won another Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing Lily Manning in Once and Again. Fans also loved her in the series House and CSI: NY, and the movie The Day After Tomorrow.

 28 Van Jones

Van Jones
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Famous As: Motivational speaker
Birthdate: September 20, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 29 Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

Gary Burghoff is an American actor who is credited with originating the popular role of Charlie Brown in the 1967 Broadway musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He is also known for originating the role of Walter Eugene O'Reilly in the 1970 black comedy war movie MASH and the popular TV series of the same name.

 30 Taya Kyle

Taya Kyle
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Famous As: Activist, Author
Birthdate: September 4, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

Taya Kyle is an American political commentator and author. Since the death of her husband US Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, Taya Kyle has been working towards the welfare of military veterans' family. In 2014, she established the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation as part of her work. In the 2014 movie American Sniper, Taya Kyle was played by Sienna Miller.

 31 George Kennedy

George Kennedy
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 18, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: February 28, 2016

George Kennedy was an American actor who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Dragline in the 1967 prison drama film, Cool Hand Luke. A multi-talented person, George Kennedy was also an aviator and writer; he owned a Beechcraft Bonanza as well as a Cessna 210 and wrote three books, including his autobiography titled Trust Me.

 32 Suzanne Somers

Suzanne Somers
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 33 Loretta Swit

Loretta Swit
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 4, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Loretta Swit is a veteran American stage and small screen actress who became a household name with her award-winning portrayal of Major Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan in M*A*S*H, a comedy-drama series on CBS television. Apart from playing a wide range of character roles on television and stage, she also appeared in movies and hosted a documentary on the Korean war.

 34 John J. Pershing

John J. Pershing
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Famous As: US Army Officer During WW I
Birthdate: September 13, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: July 15, 1948

John J. Pershing was a senior United States Army officer who served as the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in World War I. In his later years, he mentored generals who led the United States Army during World War II.  He was promoted to General of the Armies rank, the highest possible rank in the United States Army. 

 35 Jake Tapper

Jake Tapper
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 12, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

Jake Tapper is an American author, cartoonist, and journalist. Over the years, Jake Tapper's work as a journalist, which includes the coverage of President Barack Obama's inauguration, has been praised by many critics. As the Chief Washington Correspondent for CNN, Jake Tapper plays a vital role in the TV channel's coverage of political matters.

 36 Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna
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Famous As: Philosopher, Psychonaut, Ethnobotanist, Author
Birthdate: November 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: April 3, 2000
Philosopher, ethnobotanist, and public speaker Terence McKenna was the proponent of concepts such as the Novelty Theory and Machine Elf. His work revolved around subjects such as psychedelic drugs, shamanism, alchemy, and metaphysics. He wrote several books and supported the usage of psychedelic mushrooms to experience different states of mind.

 37 Jill St. John

Jill St. John
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 19, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Jill St. John is an American actress best known for portraying the first American Bond girl Tiffany Case in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever. Jill St. John is also credited with founding the Aunts Club, a group of women who provide financial support for children.

 38 Stanley A McChrystal

Stanley A McChrystal
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Famous As: Retired Armed Force Officer
Birthdate: August 14, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Retired United States Army general, Stanley A McChrysta,l is best known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during the 2000s. He was described as "perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat I ever met" by Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Following his retirement, he began teaching courses in international relations at Yale University.

 39 Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 6, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Mike Farrell is an American actor known for playing, Captain B.J. Hunnicutt, in the popular war comedy-drama TV series, M*A*S*H. Farrell's journey from being born into a working-class family to becoming a famous Hollywood actor is quite inspiring. Also a political and social activist, Farrell has worked on several activist campaigns. In 2001, he was honored with PETA's Humanitarian Award.

 40 Christina Crawford

Christina Crawford
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Famous As: Author, Actress
Birthdate: June 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Actor and author Christina Crawford is best known for her memoir Mommie Dearest, which described her relationship with her adoptive mother, movie star Joan Crawford, highlighting the abuse she had been subjected to. It was later adapted into a film. Christina has also appeared in stage productions, films, and series.

 41 Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 5, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

Rick Riordan is an author whose Percy Jackson & the Olympians series was adapted into a film series. Known for writing books based on the mythologies of various cultures, Riordan's works have been translated into 42 languages. In the US alone, his books have sold over 30 million copies and he is a two-time winner of Mark Twain Award.

 42 Dorothy Bush Koch

Dorothy Bush Koch
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 18, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 43 Delta Burke

Delta Burke
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Delta Burke is an American actress, author, and producer. She is best known for playing Suzanne Sugarbaker in the popular TV series Designing Women. Despite struggling with issues, such as eating disorders, depression, and overweight, Delta Burke has managed to establish a successful acting career and serves as an inspiration to people suffering from similar problems.

 44 Patti Davis

Patti Davis
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 45 Michio Kaku

Michio Kaku
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Famous As: Theoretical physicist, Science writer, Popularizer of science, Futurist, University teacher, Non-fiction writer, Radio personality
Birthdate: January 24, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 46 Peter Bogdanovich

Peter Bogdanovich
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: July 30, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 47 Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin
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Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: May 21, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 48 Burt Ward

Burt Ward
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 49 Barack Obama

Barack Obama
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Famous As: 44th U.S. President
Birthdate: August 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, has the distinction of being the first African-American president of the nation. A civil rights attorney and an academic, he has been credited with bringing about a significant improvement in America’s reputation abroad. His efforts to strengthen international diplomacy was recognized with the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

 50 Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris
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Famous As: Vice Preseiden of the United States
Birthdate: October 20, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

A Democrat politician and lawyer, Kamala Harris is the vice president-elect of the United States. She will assume the office on 20 January 2021, alongside President-elect Joe Biden.  Half-Indian, half-Jamaican, Harris is the first woman, the first Black person and the first Asian-American to be elected vice president.