75 Life Story Questions

If you're looking to gather someone's life story, here are 75 questions you can ask.

Life Story Questions

 Photo by Marti Stone

Photo by Marti Stone

 

Birth

1.     Tell me the story of your name.

2.     Tell me the story of your birth.

 

Parents

3.     What was your mother’s name? 

4.     What did your mother do for work?

5.     Describe how your mother looked while you were growing up.

6.     What did she do for you when you were young?

7.     Favorite recipes? Did she teach you to cook/bake?

8.     Interests, passions, projects

9.     How did she influence you? What similarities/differences?

10. What was your father’s name?

11. Describe how your father looked while you were growing up.

12. What did he do for you when you were young?

13. What did he do for work?

14. Interests, passions, projects

15. How did he influence you? What similarities/differences?

 

Siblings

16. What were your siblings' names?

17. Which sibling were you the closest to and why?

18. How did you and your siblings cause trouble?

19. What did you like to do together?

 

Childhood

20. Take me on a tour of your childhood home.

21. Who were the characters of your childhood?

22. Tell me about a favorite/special place there.

23. What do you remember about starting school?

24. What were your feelings about school?

25. How did you behave in school?

26. Did you have any favorite teachers?

27. Who were your best friends?

28. Tell me about a time you had to deal with a bully.

 

Events

29. What kinds of challenges did your family face during the Great Depression?

30. Tell me about a memorable holiday.

31. How was your family affected by war?

32. What has been the biggest turning point in your life?

 

Grandparents/ Ancestors

33. Tell me about visiting your grandparents?

34. Where did your family come from?

35. Are there any immigration stories in your family?

 

Teenager

36. How would you describe yourself as a teenager?

37. What activities did you get involved in during high school?

38. What was your first job?

39. What was something daring and adventurous you did while growing up?

40. Did you have any memorable boyfriends/girlfriends as a teenager?

41. Who were your friends and what did you do with them?

 

Marriage

42. How did you meet your husband/wife?

43. What did you do on your first date?

44. What attracted you to him/her? What did you like about him/her?

45. What was he/she doing for work when you met him/her?

46. What do you remember about your wedding day?

47. How did your life change when you married?

48. How has your relationship changed over the years?

 

Travel/Places Lived

49. What travel adventures have you had?

50. What place gave you a new sense of wonder? What surprised you?

 

Work

51. What was the worst job you ever had and why was it so bad?

52. What was the best job you ever had and why was it the best?

 

Parenthood

53. Tell me the story of becoming a mother/father for the first time.

54. What did it mean to you to become a mother/father?

55. Tell me about raising your children.

56. Tell me about a challenging time as a parent.

 

Grandchildren/Great-Grandchildren

57. Tell me the story of becoming a grandmother/grandfather.

58. What is an activity that you enjoy doing with your grandchildren?

59. What would you like your descendants to know about your life?

60. What advice about life do you have for them?

61. How has your life been different from theirs?

62. What is the biggest change you’ve seen happen in the world during your lifetime?

 

Big Picture

63. If you could do one thing over in your life, what would it be?

64. What makes you happy?

65. Looking back on your life, what do you regret?

66. What do you believe to be true?

67. What is the secret to a happy life?

68. What do you believe happens to us after we die?

69. Who’s had the greatest influence on your life and why?

70. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

71. How would you describe yourself?

72. What’s your idea of a good time?

73. What does love mean to you?

74. What event in your life would you like to live over and why?

75. What is the biggest change you’ve seen happen in the world during your lifetime?