From antiquity to today, people have a hidden desire for fame, power, and glory. We find this reflected in our admiration towards people who stand out and excel in a certain field of activity.
This attention and admiration are not wrong if the individual has stood for a noble cause. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Since these icons and beloved figures are a projection of our own desire for admiration, we can tend to follow such people and idolize all their deeds. In some respects, we tend to treat them like “gods” although they remain nothing more than human beings. As everyone else, even those we admire have both strengths and weaknesses.
As one of the most loved and admired figures of all times – Jesus Christ – used to say (paraphrased), “Nobody’s perfect.” The 25 Unpleasant Facts About History’s Best People that follow will definitely convince you of this!
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Alexander the Great murdered his best friend
We literally need a whole list (if not book) to mention this legendary Greek king’s accomplishments. He is mainly remembered for being undefeated in battle and is possibly the most successful military commander that history has ever witnessed.
He’s also responsible for the spread of Greek culture worldwide and the birth of the so-called ”Hellenistic civilization,” aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th-century AD.
However, there are some not-so-nice things to say about the greatest general of all time. Most remarkably, he killed his best friend, Cleitus, while extremely drunk. Truth be told, Cleitus kept pushing and insulting the great conqueror but he probably didn’t expect that this would be the last thing he would do during his lifetime.
For the record, other than being his close friend, Cleitus had also saved Alexander’s life in battle.
Chuck Berry made a few bad decisions
Chuck Berry was one of the most significant early rockers. Actually, he was the first artist to exhibit many of the traits that would come to define rock n’ roll.
First, he featured his own electric guitar prominently in his music, building blocks this way for the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, and many more.
He wasn’t as good of a person in his everyday life though. See, the famous musician had already been convicted of armed robbery by the time he graduated from high school.
Later in life, he had many more troubles with the law, including one in which he took a 14-year-old girl across state lines in 1962, and one in 1979 for tax evasion.
Charlie Chaplin dated under-aged girls
Famous for his character “The Tramp,” the sweet little man with a bowler hat, mustache, and cane, Charlie Chaplin was an iconic figure of the silent-film era. For that matter, he elevated the film industry in a way few could have ever imagined.
Can you imagine how bad his legacy would have tarnished if Chaplin lived and worked in today’s society?
John Lennon mocked disabled people (among other things)
John Lennon’s status as a legend of music is set in stone. However, The Beatles icon had a much darker side. Love or hate it, the fact is that John Lennon wasn’t the “saint” that media portrayed him to be after his death.
Archive footage revealed in 2015 from Channel 4’s show It Was Alright In The 1960s showed the legendary singer mocking disabled people.
John Lennon’s attitude towards hitting women isn’t something he shied away from either. In fact, he openly admitted it during a 1980 interview with Playboy while insisting his earlier violence motivated his later calls for peace and love.
Oprah Winfrey's overlooked hate speech
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most beloved women in American history. Her influence is literally out of this world.
She has become a feminist and anti-racist symbol by American media, which loves and worships her for her efforts to bring people of all cultures, races, and religions together.
However, when she’s discussing racism, she doesn’t appear to be all that peaceful or colorblind. During an interview, Oprah pretty much said that all old white people need to die for the world to become a better place because, according to her, all older white people are racist.