Across multiple domains from computer vision to speech recognition, machine learning models have been shown to match or outperform human experts at recognition tasks. We lack such a comparison point for Entity Linking. We construct a human benchmark on two standard datasets (TAC KBP 2010 and AIDA (YAGO)) to measure human accuracy. We find that current systems still fall short of human performance. We present DeepType 2, a novel entity linking system that closes the gap. Our proposed approach overcomes shortcomings of previous type-based entity linking systems, and does not use pre-trained language models to reach this level. Three key innovations are responsible for DeepType 2's performance: 1) an abstracted representation of entities that favors shared learning and greater sample efficiency, 2) autoregressive entity features indicating type interactions (e.g. list type homogeneity, shared employers, geographical co-occurrence) with previous predictions that enable globally coherent document-wide predictions, 3) the entire model is trained end to end using a single entity-level maximum likelihood objective function. This is made possible by associating a context-specific score to each of the entity's abstract representation's sub-components (types), and summing these scores to form a candidate entity logit. In this paper, we explain how this factorization focuses the learning on the salient types of the candidate entities. Furthermore, we show how the scores can serve as a rationale for predictions. The key contributions of this work are twofold: 1) we create the first human performance benchmark on standard benchmarks in entity linking (TAC KBP 2010 and AIDA (YAGO)) which will be made publicly available to support further analyses, 2) we obtain a new state of the art on these datasets and are the first to outperform humans on our benchmark. We perform model ablations to measure the contribution of the different facets of our system. We also include an analysis of human and algorithmic errors to provide insights into the causes, notably originating from journalistic style and historical context.