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Famous Bio Guidelines
Before submitting a Famous Biography to Find A Grave, please review the following suggestions which describe the style and standards we strive to achieve for every entry. (We recognize that many of our current biographies do not conform to these guidelines, but we are working to standardize our entries.)
Famous Biographies on Find A Grave should be written in the style of Encyclopedia biographies, conveying information about the subject in a neutral, professional way.
Original work:
Biographies are required to be entirely a submitter's ORIGINAL work. Snippets of other works can be used in the body of the bio but must be properly credited and cannot be the entire bio OR a large part of it, with the exception of quoted Medal of Honor citations.
Category Header:
All bios should start out with a simple category header identifying what the person is notable for. It can be "Actor", "Actress", "Blues Musician", "Businessman", etc. Multiple identifiers are permitted - "US Congressman, US Senator", etc. Except for politicians or world leaders, the nationality of the person is not necessary in the header; i.e., use "Artist" rather then "French Artist". (The nationality or nation of origin should be in the text of the bio.) Words like "Well-known", "Acclaimed", "Famous" etc. should not be used in the category header. (They can be used in the description following the category header, such as "Blues Musician. She was a well-known singer and dancer...", etc.)
Excessive use of the subject's name in the bio is not necessary. In most cases, use "he" or "she" when referring to the person. The subject's name will be featured prominently at the top of the memorial.
Genealogical data:
Genealogical information about the subject should not be included in a Famous bio, UNLESS the subject is related to someone who is famous.
Do not capitalize any words other than the first word in a sentence or an acronym. Only use an acronym when it is more common than the whole phrase, that it stands for i.e. "USS" "NASCAR", "WWF" etc. No other words should be capitalized at all. "
Cities & Countries:
Please do not use abbreviations for cities, states, countries, etc. Use "New York" instead of "NY", "England" instead of "Eng.", etc.
Always use "United States" with ONE exception - Identifying American politicians. They should always be headed as "US Congressman", etc.
Please do not include the birth and death dates in the bio, as it is redundant.
When using dates within the bio, make them standard date sequences, i.e., "May 2, 1935" rather than the military date sequence, "2 May 1935".
Dates of wars are not necessary in bios. Write "He fought in the American Civil War" rather than "He fought in the American Civil War (1861-1865)".
When describing a time span, write it out rather than using a dash. i.e "He was president from 1876 to 1884" rather than "He was president 1876-1884".
Personal information:
Personal opinions from the author of the bio are expressly discouraged. You should say, "He was considered by many to be the greatest Flugelhorn player of all time..." rather than saying "He was the greatest Flugelhorn player of all time..." The first can be considered a testable fact; the second is a subjective opinion. Saying things like "The world is a better place because of her accomplishments" or "Good riddance to him because of the pain he caused" are both subjective opinions as well and are discouraged.
Please do not include any personal messages from you, the author, to the readers of the bio. Never write things like "It took a long time, but I found his grave. E-mail me with questions".
No matter how long a bio is, it should have no paragraph breaks in it. Please, one paragraph only.
Ampersands are not allowed. Write out the word "and" instead of using an "&".
Links to other websites or email addresses are not allowed within a bio. Lines like "More information can be found at" will not be accepted.
These guidelines will be added to and updated from time to time. We at Find A Grave reserve the right to edit any biography submitted to the site to conform to these and any future posted standards.

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