Historical figures, throughout school we have been taught about them, admired them, and heard all sorts of wonderful things about them. But throughout history there have always been assholes. From presidents to philosophers, here’s a list of beloved historical figures that were actually huge jerks. 10.
Gandhi For those of us who have played Sid Meier’s Civilization this may come as no surprise, but to the rest of us, a world renowned pacifist and civil rights activist such as Mahatma Gandhi seems like an unlikely candidate for a spot in a list of assholes. But Gandhi was not as innocent as people would like you to believe. Though known for his stance against violence, Gandhi admitted to abusing and beating his wife. That’s right, innocent little Gandhi, a wife-beater. He was also known to bathe with women much younger than himself, believed semen had magical powers, and enjoyed sharing a bed with his teenage grandniece from time to time. Yuck SOURCES: https://dishashettymusings.wordpress.com/tag/mahatma-gandhi/ https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/thrill-of-the-chaste-the-truth-about- gandhis-sex-life-1937411.html https://brobible.com/life/article/6-iconic-people-actually-complete/ 9.
Thomas Edison Ah Edison, what a debt society owes him. What would life have been like without such famous inventions as the light bulb, phonograph, motion pictures, and of course, the elephant sized electric chair. That’s right! In addition to creating some of the most influential inventions of all time, the wizard of Menlo Park spent his spare time electrocuting innocent animals to run a smear campaign against his competitor Nicholas Tesla by using his discovery of alternating current to fry Dumbo. SOURCES: http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/6_beloved_scientists_who http://www.edisonmuckers.org/thomas-edison-inventions/ 8. Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus played a vital role in the history of America. He is credited with discovering the new world, proved the earth was round, not flat, all for the glory of Queen and country.
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, but there’s a few more facts you should listen to. For one, Chris ran a nice little side hustle selling native American women and girls as sex slaves to his men. Some of these girls were as young as nine. When he wasn’t making bank selling women and children to pedophiles, our boy Chris enjoyed the gentleman’s sport of hunting.
But it wasn’t just deer or birds Columbus was after, he also enjoyed tracking down the natives and using their flesh as dog food. Add to that the mass genocide he committed in Cuba, and you’ve got yourself one grade A asshole. Oh, and here’s a freebie, you know how you were taught in school that it was Columbus who discovered the Earth was round and not flat? Yeah, by the time Columbus set sail it was already common knowledge that the earth was indeed a globe. The main reason Columbus sailed to the new world was for the money and glory.
Sorry about it. SOURCES: https://www.sloshspot.com/blog/10-reasons-christopher-columbus-big-jerk https://www.history.com/news/christopher-columbus-never-set-out-to-prove-the-earth-was-round 7. Aristotle Aristotle was one of the greatest philosophers in all of history. But some of his ideas were straight up rude, and would definitely not fly in today’s politically correct age.
For one, as was common of the time, Aristotle believed that women were inferior to men, even going so far as to say that women, “as it were, a deformity”. YIKES! But don’t worry, our friendly greek philosopher was an equal opportunity offender. Calling other races “barbarians” and stating that slaves were, ” wholly lacking in the deliberative element” SOURCES: http://www.iep.utm.edu/aris-pol/#SH7e 6. Benjamin Franklin Who couldn’t love old Benny? He was one of the founding fathers, he had that sweet grandpa thing going for him, and was known for his catchy little phrases that we still use today.
A penny saved is a penny earned anyone? And if it wasn’t for his discovery of electricity where would we be today? For someone who seemed as down to earth as Benjamin Franklin, he sure did like to play the game. Often making visits as a married man to London and Paris to meet up with “low women”. But Franklin, ever being the fountain of knowledge that he is, did his part to educate other men with insatiable libido what kind of woman they should be on the lookout for. In 1745, he wrote a letter entitled “Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress” In it he suggested that older women make for better “partners” than young ones. Explaining that older women tend to be more discreet, they will take care of you when you are sick, they’re cleaner than prostitutes, and that “there is no hazard of children.” Oh, and that story you heard of old Benny discovering electricity by tying a key to a kite and flying it in a storm? Yeah, completely made up.
But he did invent the rocking chair, and all the old men on their front porches rejoiced! SOURCES: https://www.biography.com/news/benjamin-franklin-ladies-man-famous-love-affairs-video 5. Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson was one of the Founding Fathers and also the third president of the United States, which is commendable. Slightly less commendable is the fact that he was a slave owner. Although slavery was common at the time, Jefferson took it one step farther.
Beyond believing black people to be an inferior race, Thomas Jefferson had some unusual ideas about their biology. In an article written for the book published in 1918 titled “The Journal of Negro History Vol. 3” Thomas Jefferson wrote that black people “secrete less by the kidneys, and more by the glands of the skin, which gives them a very strong and disagreeable odor.” Basically saying that black people sweat piss. SOURCES: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2713794.pdf?refreqid=excelsior %3Acb3103d8bab9d1cae8d1952d19d996c4 http://www.urinecolors.com/urine-facts/what-is-urine 4. Albert Einstein The name Einstein has basically become synonymous with intelligence, but while being one of the worlds greatest minds, he wasn’t so great at remembering his vows.
That’s right, the world renowned astrophysicist and mathematician was a cheat! While in Berlin, Edison cheated on his first wife Mileva Maric by having an affair with a woman named Elsa Löwenthal. Who was this woman? Why none other than his cousin! Yep, Einstein cheated on his wife by having an affair with his own cousin. Because of his infidelity, Albert Einstein and Mileva divorced. The rest of the story doesn’t get much better, Einstein later marries Elsa, who dies in 1936, but not before he cheats on her too.
SOURCES: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/the-forgotten-life-of-einsteins-first-wife/ https://www.biography.com/people/elsa-einstein-282674 3. John Adams And here we have another one of the founding fathers, interesting how they keep popping up. John Adams was the second President of the United States, right before our buddy Tom. Although John Adams co-wrote, and was one of the first people to sign the Declaration of Independence, he seemed to quickly forget exactly what was written there. (Namely the part against tyranny.) John Adams didn’t like people who disagreed with him, and that showed when he signed into law “The Alien and Sedition Acts” in 1798. Among its more controversial acts, the new law made it illegal for anyone to say anything against the fledgling American government.
Anyone found to speak out against the government was subject to fines, imprisonment, or even deportation. Strange this came from the same man who played an invaluable role in creating a government of and for the people. SOURCES: http://www.ushistory.org/us/19e.asp http://www.businesspundit.com/the-5-worst-us-presidents-in-history/ https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript 2. Henry Ford Henry Ford was the father of the automobile, a revolutionary advancement in technology that drastically changed the landscape of America and the world.
Where would we be without cars today? Horse droppings would lay in the streets, it would take you forever to get to grandma’s house, and maybe the worst of all, no fast food drive throughs! He was truly an important figure in American history as any text book would tell you. But what you might not read in your highschool history class is that Henry Ford was a racist, like, big time. He was the owner of “The Dearborn Independent” newspaper. A publication that frequently contained articles rife with anti-semitism.
In 1920, after the Black Sox purposely lost the 1919 World Series, Henry Ford had it published in his paper that the Jews were to blame for baseball’s problems stating, “If fans wish to know the trouble with American baseball they have it in three words — too much Jew” But Ford’s words didn’t go unnoticed, Adolf Hitler saw Ford as an inspiration, he was known to keep a life-sized portrait of him next to his desk, and was quoted saying, “I shall do my best to put his theories into practice in Germany” Ford was later awarded the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle by the Nazi party, the highest honor that could be given to any foreigner. SOURCES: https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/henry-ford-grand-cross-1938/ http://rbutterworth.nfshost.com/Lies/GreatFord https://1927-the-diary-of-myles-thomas.espn.com/henry-ford-blames-the-jews-and-i-get-a-win-1bc1ffff3fe6 1. Theodore Roosevelt With a nickname like “Teddy” how could he be so bad? Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States known for his love of adventure and the great outdoors, Teddy established national parks, forests and monuments intended to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape. He created the “Square Deal” policies which protected small business owners, ensured that foods and drugs had to pass a health test, created worker’s compensation, and abolished child labor. Later, he was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
All around, he seems like a good guy. But looking into his past, you may find that this teddy wasn’t so snuggly after all. In fact, this little teddy bear just may have been rabid! Famous American novelist Mark Twain, called Roosevelt “clearly insane”. Roosevelt was known to ride his horse through Rock Creek Park shooting up at the branches of trees as he passed, unconcerned by the danger he put local home owners in.
Looking to strengthen his wrists, he once hung a wire over the Potomac River and dangled on it as the current of the river rushed past him. But the real reason he belongs in this list is for shooting a neighbors dog out of frustration after getting into an argument with his girlfriend. You can sleep around, be racist, all of those are really horrible things to do, but gunning down innocent puppies will immediately earn you a place in a list of some of history’s biggest assholes. SOURCES: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2006/09/thomas-dilorenzo/bully-boy/ https://www.britannica.com/biography/Theodore-Roosevelt#ref673085