Auburn is the county seat of Placer County, California. Its population at the 2010 census was 13,330. Auburn is known for its California Gold Rush history. One of its most famous citizens was the poet and short-story writer Clark Ashton Smith, who was born in Auburn in 1893 and who lived there most of his life. Born and raised in Auburn, Stacy Dragila was the first to win an Olympic gold medal in women's pole vaulting. Tomas Arana, an actor most notable for his role in Gladiator, was born in Auburn. Also, the town is featured toward the end of British author Anthony Horowitz's book, Nightrise.
Auburn is part of the Greater Sacramento area.
Archaeological finds place the southwestern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Auburn area. Native Americans, the Nisenan, an offshoot of the Maidu, were the first to establish a permanent settlement in the Auburn area.