The Most Famous Author of All Time: Ranking the Ultimate Literary Icon

Choose the writer you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 1, 2023 10:38)
Welcome to StrawPoll's ultimate showdown of literary legends! Dive into our ever-growing realm of wordsmiths as we rank the titans of the written word in our quest to crown the most famous author of all time. Unleash your inner bookworm and cast your vote for your favorite master of storytelling, or champion the cause of a missing literary luminary by suggesting their name. Will the enchanting tales of J.K. Rowling reign supreme, or will the timeless works of William Shakespeare steal the show? Perhaps the vivid imagination of Tolkien will conquer all, or the wit of Jane Austen will secure her place at the top. The power to decide lies in your hands, dear reader! So grab your quill, ink your opinions, and join us in celebrating the spellbinding world of literature!

Who Is the Most Famous Author of All Time?

  1. 1
    William Shakespeare
    Attributed to John Taylor · Public domain
    William Shakespeare - considered one of the greatest playwrights in history, his works have been translated into every major language and his influence can be seen in literature, theatre, and film.
    William Shakespeare in other rankings
  2. 2
    Jane Austen
    Cassandra Austen · Public domain
    Jane Austen - known for her novels that capture the social norms and values of the 19th century. Her works continue to be widely read and adapted for film and television.
    Jane Austen in other rankings
  3. 3
    Mark Twain
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Mark Twain - an American author and humorist who wrote classics such as "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." His works often explore the themes of freedom, individuality, and social justice.
    Mark Twain in other rankings
  4. 4
    Charles Dickens
    Jeremiah Gurney · Public domain
    Charles Dickens is a British author whose novels such as "Oliver Twist" and "Great Expectations" portray the harsh realities of life during the Victorian era. His works continue to be widely read and adapted for film and television.
    Charles Dickens in other rankings
  5. 5
    Ernest Hemingway
    Lloyd Arnold · Public domain
    Ernest Hemingway - an American novelist and short-story writer who is known for his minimalist writing style and his portrayal of war and the human condition. His works include "The Old Man and the Sea" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls."
    Ernest Hemingway in other rankings
  6. 6
    Virginia Woolf
    George Charles Beresford · Public domain
    Virginia Woolf is a British author who is known for her experimental writing style and her exploration of gender and sexuality. Her works include "Mrs. Dalloway" and "To the Lighthouse."
    Virginia Woolf in other rankings
  7. 7
    Fyodor Dostoevsky
    Vasily Perov · Public domain
    Fyodor Dostoevsky is a Russian author who is known for his psychological depth and his exploration of moral and philosophical themes. His works include "Crime and Punishment" and "The Brothers Karamazov."
    Fyodor Dostoevsky in other rankings
  8. 8
    George Orwell is a British author who is known for his social and political commentary. His works include "Animal Farm" and "1984," which have become classics of dystopian literature.
    George Orwell in other rankings
  9. 9
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Gorup de Besanez · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a Colombian author who is known for his magical realism style and his portrayal of Latin American culture. His works include "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Love in the Time of Cholera."
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez in other rankings
  10. 10

    Toni Morrison

    Toni Morrison
    Toni Morrison - an American author who is known for her exploration of African American culture and history. Her works include "Beloved" and "The Bluest Eye," which have received critical acclaim and numerous awards.
    Toni Morrison is a novel
    • Year of publication: 1970
    • Genre: Fiction
    • Narrative style: Multi-perspective
    • Themes: Race, identity, memory
    • Awards: Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Nobel Prize in Literature
    Toni Morrison in other rankings

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Ranking factors for famous author

  1. Literary impact
    How influential has the author been on literary history? Have they created new genres or styles, or influenced the work of other writers?
  2. Sales and popularity
    How widely-read is the author's work? Have they achieved commercial success and become a household name?
  3. Critical acclaim
    Have the author's works received critical acclaim and awards? Have they been recognized by literary institutions or fellow writers?
  4. Cultural significance
    Has the author's work had a broader cultural impact, inspiring adaptations, film versions, or becoming part of the popular lexicon?
  5. Longevity
    Has the author's work stood the test of time, remaining relevant and widely read years after their death?
  6. Diversity of work
    Has the author produced a diverse range of works, including novels, poems, plays, and essays? Have they demonstrated a mastery of different styles and genres?

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous author of all time. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or writer is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 223 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each writer once every 24 hours. The rank of each writer is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous author of all time

Background Information: Who is the Most Famous Author of All Time? Literature has been a source of inspiration and entertainment for centuries, with countless authors carving their names into the annals of literary history. But among them, who can claim the title of the most famous author of all time? One name that is likely to come to mind is William Shakespeare, often hailed as the greatest playwright in the English language. Born in 1564, Shakespeare penned some of the most enduring works of literature, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. His influence on the English language and culture is immeasurable, with countless phrases and expressions from his plays still in use today. Another contender for the title of the most famous author is Charles Dickens, whose novels such as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and A Tale of Two Cities have been beloved by generations of readers. His vivid characters and social commentary have made him a household name, and his works have been adapted into countless films and TV shows. Other authors who could lay claim to the title include Jane Austen, Mark Twain, and J.K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter series has sold over 500 million copies worldwide and spawned a multibillion-dollar franchise. Ultimately, the question of who is the most famous author of all time is a matter of personal opinion, influenced by factors such as cultural background, personal taste, and historical context. However, the enduring legacy of these authors and their works is a testament to the power of literature to inspire, entertain, and shape our world.

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