Scottish author whose 1791 work, Life of Samuel Johnson, was lauded by critic Harold Bloom as the greatest English-language biography ever written. Boswell's other works include The Cub at Newmarket (1762) and Account of Corsica (1768).
During his time at the University of Edinburgh, he suffered from depression and poor health. He later continued his education at the University of Glasgow and went on to study law at Utrecht University.
In the 1780s, his health began to decline as a result of alcoholism and venereal disease. He passed away in London in 1795.
His father was Alexander Boswell, Lord Auchinleck, a judge. James Boswell married Margaret Montgomerie and fathered seven children (two from extramarital affairs).
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character, Sherlock Holmes, refers to Dr. Watson as his Boswell.