Biographies

The lives you think you know may have backstories you haven't heard; explore the biographies of the famous and infamous in this collection.

  • Original
    • E5
    • 51m
    • 94%
    • 4K

    Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, is the world’s first digital philanthropist. After becoming obsessed with YouTube at a young age, Jimmy built a viral video empire based on the joy he gets from helping others.

  • Original
    • 15m
    • 95%

    Before they led America through national crises, Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson were all transformed by personal trauma. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin reveals the all too human men who became legends.

  • Original
    • E5
    • 3m
    • 97%

    Pulitzer prize-winning historian David McCullough explores how the Wright Brothers achieved the impossible -- and did it without formal education, government support or powerful friends.

    • 56m
    • 94%

    We draw upon Philip K. Dick’s work as well as various cinematographic adaptations of his novels in order to illustrate the extent to which K. Dick’s oeuvre foretold the world that has become our own today. We will take the viewer on a fascinating journey to discover this extraordinary writer.

    • 1h 14m
    • 91%

    This documentary feature chronicles the amazing life story of Joseph Greenstein, “The Mighty Atom – Strongest Man In The World”. Given a death sentence as a young child, standing only 5’4”, Greenstein would go on to create and master unusual feats of strength.

    • 1h 32m
    • 95%

    The incredible true story of the renowned magician turned skeptic and exposer of frauds and hoaxes, James "The Amazing" Randi.

    • 52m
    • 95%

    When Martin Luther nailed his 95 ‘points for discussion’ to Wittenberg’s Castle Church, his quiet life exploded into international confrontation, an argument with the Pope, and ultimately, the Protestant Reformation.

    • 1h 2m
    • 91%

    Go beyond the legends and clichés to discover the real St. Patrick: a fifth-century Christian who was brought to Ireland as a slave, where he labored six long years before finally escaping, only to voluntarily return to bring his message of peace to the Irish people.

  • Original
    • 1h 32m
    • 92%

    Widely regarded as the first woman of Native American and African American descent to have a pilot’s license, Bessie Coleman has long inspired women like her to reach their dreams. Unfortunately, her career ended with a tragic plane crash — but her legacy lives on.

  • Original
    • 27m
    • 94%

    It took an extraordinary set of circumstances to bring Abraham Lincoln to the White House. Violence in the streets... and in the U.S. capital. Dueling Newspapers. An unpredictable election with four main candidates, and an obscure frontier lawyer destined for greatness.

    • 48m
    • 89%

    In 2013, Edward Snowden, an IT subcontractor working for the American signals intelligence agency, the NSA, traveled to Hong Kong to leak thousands of classified US documents on domestic data collection to a group of journalists.

    • 49m
    • 97%

    John Philip Holland was the Irish-born inventor of the modern submarine. A mild-mannered teacher, he created one of the most formidable modern weapons of war. An Irish patriot, whose first working submarines were funded by Irish revolutionaries, he later developed the first US and British submarines

    • 50m
    • 93%

    In 2011, US-troops killed the leader of Al-Qaeda and recovered documents and hard drives. This material is now available and offers a new perspective on Osama Bin Laden.

    • 1h 30m
    • 90%

    Napoleon Bonaparte met with diplomat Metternich, known as Austria’s “strong man” and the Emperor’s closest confidant. This fateful showdown between two of the most powerful men of this time period marked the beginning of the end for Napoleon.

  • Original
    • 43m
    • 90%

    In 2003 Vladimir Putin publicly caged and exiled the richest man in Russia. When Oligarchs asked how to avoid that fate, Putin responded: “50 percent.” In one bold stroke, Putin spread fear and consolidated his power. The inside story of Russia’s super-rich and the man who rules over them.

  • Original
    • 1h 31m
    • 84%

    Dean Reed’s story is the story of a wild and changing world. Through the prism of his life, we witness global youth rebellion, revolutions in popular music, and the shifting tectonics of superpower rivalry.

  • Original
    • E9
    • 46m
    • 91%

    When the lost tomb of King Tut is opened in 1922, it's not only the famous Curse that is unleashed. Fashion, movies and architecture all come under the pharaoh's spell as the world goes mad for Tut-mania. Discover how a 3,000-year-old teenager becomes a celebrity pharaoh and changes the modern world

  • Original
    • E19
    • 46m
    • 93%

    It takes just 25 years for Genghis Khan to conquer the greatest land empire the world has ever seen. It's said he's responsible for over 40 million deaths, and even now 16 million people carry his personal DNA.

    • 1h 15m
    • 96%

    This feature-length documentary tells the story of jockey Ron Turcotte, who, along with his legendary horse Secretariat, won the prestigious American Triple Crown in 1973.

  • Original
    • 1h 35m
    • 96%

    Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera. You know him as El Chapo – a ruthless drug lord who became famous for using slick maneuvers to evade capture. But Chapo is not only a dark and devious character. He is also a wildly successful billionaire entrepreneur with business acumen.

    • 52m
    • 94%

    Picasso died 40 years ago and his legacy radiates beyond words and auction prices. This program offers insights into the artist's rich creative process and life, thanks to unprecedented access to family archives and exclusive interviews with family members and some of his closest friends.

  • Original
    • 1h 46m
    • 93%

    British actor Michael Enright rose to fame in Hollywood and then did something most of us would never dream of doing… he gave it all up for a chance to join the fight against ISIS with the Kurdish forces, known as the YPG, as they battled on the front lines in Syria.

    • 1h 41m
    • 86%

    After bringing democracy to his country, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, the lowest-lying country in the world, takes up the fight to keep his homeland from disappearing under the sea.

    • 52m
    • 92%

    Mata Hari is the very epitome of beauty and feminine seduction. Who is this woman, who exerts a hold over our imagination to this very day? Did Mata Hari really betray secrets revealed to her by influential lovers in moments of weakness?

    • 52m
    • 96%

    He is revered in China as a Buddha, as the 'Schindler of Nanking'. But his deeds have barely been recognized in the West. The German John Rabe, a Siemens manager and fervent admirer of the 'Führer', saved the lives of more than 200,000 Chinese in 1937.

    • 52m
    • 95%

    Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi would have been 100 years in October 2019. His wealth was legendary, and his marriages made tabloid headlines for years. However, his name also stands for a time of human rights violations, vicious oppression, and intolerance.

  • Original
    • 11m
    • 91%
    • 4K

    Take a trip down memory lane with acclaimed director Doug Liman, of Swingers and Bourne Identity fame, as we see his very first short films and hear first-hand the lessons learned before Hollywood came calling.

    • 52m
    • 97%

    Leonardo da Vinci: the most famous, most admired of all painters. Yet, the man himself remains elusive. Old accounts describe someone too handsome, too strong, too perfect to be accurate. Then, a chance discovery takes the art world by storm. Could it be an unknown self-portrait by da Vinci?

    • 1h 25m
    • 96%

    The Bit Player tells the story of an overlooked genius, Claude Shannon (the "Father of Information Theory"), who revolutionized the world, but never lost his childlike curiosity.

    • 1h 24m
    • 96%

    The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames are widely considered America’s most important designers. The work of Charles and Ray Eames remains for designers and consumers an ideal of design at its most virtuous – an alchemical combination of beauty and purpose.

    • 1h 39m
    • 97%

    Harrison Ford gives voice to the first man to walk on the moon. ARMSTRONG tells the definitive life story of Neil Armstrong: from his childhood in rural Ohio, through aerial combat in Korea, to his first steps on the Moon – and the unwanted celebrity...

  • Original
    • 12m
    • 93%

    Meet the Father of Our Country in a whole new way as historians analyze George Washington's voluminous correspondence. Setting out his contacts and letters in the modern framework of a Facebook profile gives Washington's busy and productive career a new transparency.

  • Original
    • 5m
    • 97%

    Author and historian Howard Means reveals the real story of the man who inspired the legend of Johnny Appleseed and the impact he had on pioneers settling the American frontier.

    • 42m
    • 90%

    This short documentary, part animation, and part live-action is a portrait of Canadian cartoonist Seth, best known for his Palookaville comic books. Throughout his works, Seth transforms a poignant inner life into observant and witty graphic stories.

  • Original
    • E2
    • 51m
    • 92%
    • 4K

    At age 19, on a missionary trip to a clinic in Brazil, Kristen Bell helped to deliver two babies. The experience ignited her nurturing nature, which endures today in good works like the snack bars “This Saves Lives” and the organization she co-founded, “No Kid Hungry.”

  • Original
    • E1
    • 52m
    • 94%
    • 4K

    Shaquille O’Neal went from being poor and bullied – and becoming a bully himself – to fame in the NBA. The greatest influence on Shaq’s life was his step-father, who taught him that “true pressure is not knowing where your next meal is coming from.”

  • Original
    • E3
    • 51m
    • 91%
    • 4K

    At age 20 Samuel L. Jackson served as an usher at Martin Luther King’s funeral. Jackson and his wife LaTanya have fought for civil rights around the world, but their greatest satisfactions are hand written thank you notes from children they have supplied with books.

  • Original
    • E4
    • 51m
    • 92%
    • 4K

    Inspired by his mother to be “of service”, LeVar Burton entered the seminary at 13 years old. But after deciding the church didn’t have the answers to his many questions about life, he changed his focus to theater arts, ultimately becoming known for Roots, Reading Rainbow, and Star Trek.

  • Original
    • E6
    • 51m
    • 88%
    • 4K

    These are the intriguing people who capture our attention, fill our social feeds and shape pop culture. In this episode, an intimate portrait of NFL legend Joe Namath, including his journey to help fellow players deal with long-term brain trauma.

    • 1h 32m
    • 86%

    Here's To Life tells the story of the Tempe Arizona band The Refreshments and how they managed to turn one mid-90s hit into an entire career. The film portrays their rise and fall, and their triumphant return in the modern era of independent music.

    • 51m
    • 97%

    Nikita Khrushchev - The Red Tsar chronicles the life and legacy of a controversial Soviet leader. On one hand, he was a Stalinist who ended the terror regime of his predecessor. On the other hand, he was a statesman and reformer who brought the world to the brink of catastrophe.

    • 39m
    • 93%

    During a short career spanning just about one decade, Vincent Van Gogh created more than 900 paintings. This film retraces the famous artist’s journey from age 27, when he painted his first canvases, to his tragic death ten years later.

    • 1h 30m
    • 89%

    This is the untold story of space visionary Gerard K. O'Neill, who wrote the 1977 book "The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space." The Princeton physicist sparked a grassroots movement to build Earth-like habitats in space with the hope of solving Earth's greatest crises.

    • 49m
    • 88%

    Return to President John F. Kennedy’s early years as an adventurous student in the 1930s as he travels across the Atlantic, discovers his love for Europe and searches for his path in life.

    • 51m
    • 92%

    St. Martin was a soldier, an ascetic, a philanthropist. Every year on November 11th, the lanterns remind European children of St. Martin and the legend surrounding his sharing of his cloak. He has become the epitome of altruism and benevolence. But who is the man behind the legend?

    • 59m
    • 95%

    Photographer Harry Burton’s images of the Tutankhamun excavation created a global sensation in the 1920s and are still studied by Egyptologists today. Explore the spectacular locations where he worked and discover why Burton’s photographs inspired a craze for Egyptian designs.

    • 44m
    • 97%

    Follow the life and legacy of Cecil: one of the world's most famous lions. The ultimate big cat king, Cecil was a warrior, a father and a loyal brother, but his untimely death at the hands of an illegal hunt in Zimbabwe spelled the end of his extraordinary reign.

    • E4
    • 52m
    • 96%

    On October 1, 1949, after years of revolutionary struggle, Mao Zedong proclaims the People's Republic of China, aiming to restore its legendary strength and past glory.

  • Original
    • 9 episodes
    • 97%

    An original series that tells the often unknown stories of the men and women who have defined America and its place in the world.

    • 3 episodes
    • 93%

    This documentary series follows and observes three young European queens for an entire year.

  • Original
    • 5 episodes
    • 95%

    Traitor/Patriot gives you an insider's look at the motivation behind the people who committed espionage.

  • Original
    • 6 episodes
    • 97%
    • 4K

    Inspiration, power, greed, scandal – a story that was made for the movies. The gripping drama of how Hollywood was built.

  • Original
    • 8 episodes
    • 97%
    • 4K

    Money made America a global empire, and for the last 150 years, America’s riches have been controlled by the titans of Wall Street.

    • 7 episodes
    • 97%

    Featuring profiles on some of the world’s favorite comedy stars. Barry Cryer, recalls some of his funniest moments working with each of them

    • 11 episodes
    • 96%

    Featuring profiles on some of the world’s favorite comedy stars. Barry Cryer, recalls some of his funniest moments working with each of them

    • 10 episodes
    • 94%

    Featuring profiles on some of the world’s favorite comedy stars. Barry Cryer, recalls some of his funniest moments working with each of them

    • 10 episodes
    • 96%

    Featuring profiles on some of the world’s favorite comedy stars. Barry Cryer, recalls some of his funniest moments working with each of them

  • Original
    • 3 episodes
    • 87%

    Journey into the lives of the planet’s billionaire innovators. Discover how they’ve shaped our lives.

    • 12 episodes
    • 98%

    The relationship between music and film is nearly as old as cinema itself.

    • 22 episodes
    • 97%

    We will take a look into the lives of 22 inventors and see how they work, invent and most of all think!

    • 2 episodes
    • 96%

    She was the “empty-headed” mistress of Adolph Hitler. Now, biographer Heike B. Görtemaker seeks to revise Eva Braun’s image.

    • 2 episodes
    • 87%

    Explore the mystery behind JFK's assassination through first-hand accounts, expert analysis and newly-released government documents.

    • 26 episodes
    • 94%

    Celebrating the world's most notable people, including: explorers, leaders, and legends in art and entertainment.