Attractive historical figures can be found in every profession and every culture. But with the advent of photography, people got to see just how sexy a brooding novelist or scientist or inventor could be. Many of the men and women who are best remembered as old actually used to be incredibly hot – and we have photographic proof. Here are few of the famous people throughout history that you probably had no idea were also gorgeous.
Hermann Rorschach was a Swiss Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, best known for developing a projective test known as the Rorschach inkblot test.
Hunter Stockton Thompson
Hunter Stockton Thompson was an American journalist and author. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, to a middle-class family, Thompson had a turbulent youth after the death of his father left the family in poverty. He was unable to formally finish high school as he was incarcerated for 60 days after abetting a robbery. He subsequently joined the United States Air Force before moving into journalism. He traveled frequently, including stints in California, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, before settling in Aspen, Colorado, in the early 1960s. Thompson became internationally known with the publication of Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.
Joseph Stalin or Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalin was appointed general secretary of the party’s Central Committee in 1922. He subsequently managed to consolidate power following the 1924 death of Vladimir Lenin through suppressing Lenin’s criticisms and expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. He remained general secretary until the post was abolished in 1952, concurrently serving as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 onward.
Lincoln Conspiracy Member Lewis Powell
Lewis Thornton Powell was one of the conspirators in league with John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. He failed in his attempt to assassinate Secretary of State William H. Seward on the same night. Powell was a Confederate soldier of distinction, who had been wounded at Gettysburg, and then served in Mosby’s Rangers, before working with the Confederate Secret Service in Maryland. Here he met Booth, who recruited him into an unsuccessful plot to kidnap Lincoln. But on April 14th 1865, Booth resolved to assassinate Lincoln, Seward and Vice-President Johnson.
Young First Lady Barbara Bush
Barbara Pierce Bush is the wife of the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She is the mother of the 43rd President, George W. Bush and of the 43rd Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. Barbara Pierce was born in New York, New York, attended Rye Country Day School from 1931 to 1937, and is an alumna of Ashley Hall School in Charleston, South Carolina. She met George Herbert Walker Bush at age 16, and the two married in 1945, while he was on leave during his deployment as a Naval officer in World War II. They had six children together.
Young Charlie Chaplin
Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor and filmmaker who rose to fame in the silent film era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona “the Tramp” and is considered one of the most important figures of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.
British War Poet Rupert Brooke
Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War, especially “The Soldier”. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which were said to have prompted the Irish poet W. B. Yeats to describe him as “the handsomest young man in England”.
Young Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system. Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before immigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison in New York City. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla for a short time as a consultant.
Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the US and then as “Harry Handcuff Houdini” on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can. In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from special handcuffs commissioned by London’s Daily Mirror, keeping them in suspense for an hour.
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park”, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory. Edison was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.