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The Most Influential Illegitimate Children Throughout History

Updated 30 Sep 2019 78.6k views15 items

No matter how many times a priest told royals and prominent citizens to keep it in their pants, there were still famous people born out of wedlock. From admirals to generals, artists to poisoners, here are some of the famous bastards from history. 

Let's start with William the Conqueror, the illegitimate child of a Norman French duke who took a spurious claim to the English throne and turned it into a war of conquest. He defeated the Saxon English in 1066 and founded the Norman dynasty; his descendants still sit on the English throne nearly a millennium later. A bunch of his descendants, like Charles II of England and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. also fathered their fair share of bastards, who both helped their families and caused a lot of trouble.

And then there are more modern famous people who were illegitimate. For example, the late, great Steve Jobs was technically born out of wedlock, as was the uber-generous Eva Peron, who helped the poor of Argentina as First Lady in the mid-20th century. They might have grown up in poverty, but they changed the world. From tough circumstances, they started from the bottom and went on to change the world.

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