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12 Historical Figures You Didn’t Realize Were Smokin’ Hot

You probably learned about these people in history class, but their attractiveness likely wasn’t part of the discussion.  Maybe it should have been.

Let’s first have a look at the beautiful women of history.

1) Martha Washington

martha_Washington

Happy birthday, Mr. President

Everyone is used to seeing the images of an older Martha Washington – a frumpy and plump white-haired woman with a shower cap on her head.  But recently, forensic anthropologists completed a computerized age-regression portrait of her in her mid-20s, and it turns out that George had gotten himself quite the catch.

2) Nellie Bly

Nellie_Bly_2

Careful, she was in an institution.

Nellie Bly was the pen name of  Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, an American writer who was famous for faking insanity to study a mental institution from within.  She further increased her fame by making a record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days, in the effort of making the fictional Around the World in Eighty Days into fact.

3) Sigrid Undset

Sigrid Undset

Sigrid, a Norwegian novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928, wrote feverishly until WWII broke out in 1939.  She was halfway through her new novel when the war drove her from Norway.  Her son was killed in the fighting and she witnessed great destruction and loss.  She returned home when the war was over, but never wrote another word.

4) Bonnie Parker (Bonnie and Clyde)

bonnie-parker-1934

Natural Born Killers, for real.

Representing half of the infamous pair of American Outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie’s role as a gun-wielding, cigar smoking killer was probably overstated.  She was certainly present for the hundreds of felonies that Clyde committed, but gang members later stated that they had never seen her actually fire at officers.  She would meet her end with Clyde when they were ambushed and killed by officers on May 23, 1934, on a rural road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

5) Gloria Steinem

gloria_steinem

Gloria Steinem was a very large part of the feminist movement that took place in the 60’s and 70’s, working for New York magazine and founding Ms. magazine.  She still travels and lectures today at the age of 81.

6) Mati Hara
A Portrait of Mata Hari, circa 1907

Mati Hara was a Frisian exotic dancer and courtesan born in the Netherlands who was famous for her shows across Europe.  During WWI, she was accused and convicted of spying for Germany, and was executed by the French on 15 October 1917.  She denied the claims but post-war discoveries confirmed that the accusations were accurate.

Now, onto the handsome men from the pages of history.

7) Joseph Stalin

stalin

As one of 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.  After Vladimir Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin was effectively dictator of the state until his death in 1953.

8) John Wilkes Booth

wilkes_booth

What do you mean this pose doesn’t look natural?

Booth was a well-known actor in the 1860’s, and also a Confederate sympathizer.  Although Robert E. Lee’s army had surrendered 4 days earlier, Booth believed that the war was not yet lost.  He assassinated Lincoln and paid for it with his own life 12 days later, when he refused to surrender and was shot.

9) Johannes Brahms

brahms

This guy knows the piano is a panty dropper

Brahms was a German composer and pianist famous sometimes grouped as one of the “Three B’s” with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.  He was known as an innovator, and composed pieces such as the choral masterpiece Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem).  He died On April 3, 1897 and was buried next to Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

10) Jack Kerouac

kerouac

Kerouac is an American writer, literary iconoclast, and pioneer of the Beat Generation, penning such pieces as On the Road and The Dharma Bums.

11) Hermann Rorschach

Rorshach

A Swiss Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, when Rorschach was a child he was known as Klecks, or “inkblot” since he enjoyed klecksography, the making of fanciful inkblot “pictures”.  After studying science, he wrote his book Psychodiagnostik, which was to form the basis of the inkblot test that bears his name.  Only one year after writing his book, however, Rorschach died of peritonitis, probably resulting from a ruptured appendix.

12) Thomas Edison

Thomas_edison

I told you not to take my picture when I’m inventing, mom.

Similar to Martha Washington, it’s easy to picture Edison in the late stages of his life.  But also like Martha, he was young once.  During his life, the world changed due to the impact of his inventions: electric light and power utilities, sound recording, and motion pictures all established new major industries world-wide.