Famous Male Pirates

List of famous male pirates, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest male pirates list contains the most prominent and top males known for being pirates. There are thousand of males working as pirates in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic pirates have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a male aspiring to be a pirate then the people below should give you inspiration.

This list has a variety of people in it, from Salih Reis to Benjamin Hornigold. These names of famous male pirates might sound familiar. 

While this isn't a list of all male pirates, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous male pirates?" and "Who are the best male pirates?"

  • Edward Teach or Edward Thatch (c. 1680 – 22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was an English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain's North American colonies. Little is known about his early life, but he may have been a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne's War before settling on the Bahamian island of New Providence, a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined around 1716. Hornigold placed him in command of a sloop that he had captured, and the two engaged in numerous acts of piracy. Their numbers were boosted by the addition to their fleet of two more ships, one of which was commanded by Stede Bonnet; but Hornigold retired from piracy towards the end of 1717, taking two vessels with him. Teach captured a French merchant vessel known as La Concorde, renamed her Queen Anne's Revenge, and equipped her with 40 guns. He became a renowned pirate, his nickname derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance; he was reported to have tied lit fuses (slow matches) under his hat to frighten his enemies. He formed an alliance of pirates and blockaded the port of Charles Town, South Carolina, ransoming the port's inhabitants. He then ran Queen Anne's Revenge aground on a sandbar near Beaufort, North Carolina. He parted company with Bonnet and settled in Bath, North Carolina, also known as Bath Town where he accepted a royal pardon. But he was soon back at sea, where he attracted the attention of Alexander Spotswood, the Governor of Virginia. Spotswood arranged for a party of soldiers and sailors to capture the pirate, which they did on 22 November 1718 following a ferocious battle. Teach and several of his crew were killed by a small force of sailors led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard. Teach was a shrewd and calculating leader who spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response that he desired from those whom he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day picture of the traditional tyrannical pirate, he commanded his vessels with the consent of their crews and there is no known account of his ever having harmed or murdered those whom he held captive. He was romanticized after his death and became the inspiration for an archetypal pirate in works of fiction across many genres.
  • Paul Franklin Watson (born December 2, 1950) is a Canadian-American marine wildlife conservation and environmental activist, who founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an anti-poaching and direct action group focused on marine conservation and marine conservation activism. The tactics used by Sea Shepherd have attracted opposition, with the group accused of eco-terrorism by both the Japanese government and Greenpeace. Watson is a citizen of Canada and the United States. The Toronto native joined a Sierra Club protest against nuclear testing in 1969. He was a co-founder of Greenpeace, crewed and skippered for it and a founding board member in 1972. He has been credited by The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other publications with being a founder of Greenpeace. The documentary How to Change the World shows that Watson was indeed one of the original founding members of Greenpeace. Because Watson argued for a strategy of direct action that conflicted with the Greenpeace interpretation of nonviolence, he was ousted from the board in 1977 and subsequently left the organization. That same year, he formed the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The group was the subject of a reality show named Whale Wars. He promotes veganism, and a biocentric, rather than anthropocentric, worldview.Watson's activities have led to legal action from authorities in countries including the United States, Canada, Norway, Costa Rica and Japan. He was detained in Germany on an extradition request by Costa Rica in May 2012. The Interpol red notice was issued on September 14, 2012, at the request of Japan and Costa Rica.After staying at sea for 15 months, he returned to Los Angeles late October 2013, going through customs and "was not arrested". He appeared before a US appeals court on November 6, 2013, stating that neither he nor Sea Shepherd violated a 2012 order requiring them to leave whaling vessels alone. Although the United States is a signatory member of Interpol, Watson has not been detained for extradition to Japan or Costa Rica. He was living in Vermont, writing books. He has resided in Paris since July 1, 2014.
    • Age: 72
    • Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Bartholomew Roberts
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    Bartholomew Roberts (17 May 1682 – 10 February 1722), born John Roberts, was a Welsh pirate who raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy as measured by vessels captured, taking over 400 prizes in his career. He is also known as Black Bart (Welsh: Barti Ddu), but this name was never used in his lifetime.
    • Age: Dec. at 39 (1682-1722)
    • Birthplace: Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom
  • Henry Every
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    Henry Every, also Avery or Evory (20 August 1659 – time of death uncertain), sometimes erroneously given as Jack Avery or John Avery, was an English pirate who operated in the Atlantic and Indian oceans in the mid-1690s. He probably used several aliases throughout his career, including Benjamin Bridgeman, and was known as Long Ben to his crewmen and associates.Dubbed "The Arch Pirate" and "The King of Pirates" by contemporaries, Every was infamous for being one of few major pirate captains to escape with his loot without being arrested or killed in battle, and for being the perpetrator of what has been called the most profitable act of piracy in history. Although Every's career as a pirate lasted only two years, his exploits captured the public's imagination, inspired others to take up piracy, and spawned works of literature. Every began his pirate career while he was first mate aboard the warship Charles II. As the ship lay anchored in the northern Spanish harbor of Corunna, the crew grew discontented as Spain failed to deliver a letter of marque and Charles II's owners failed to pay their wages, and they mutinied. Charles II was renamed the Fancy and Every elected as the new captain. His most famous raid was on a 25-ship convoy of Grand Mughal vessels making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, including the treasure-laden Ghanjah dhow Ganj-i-sawai and its escort, the Fateh Muhammed. Joining forces with several pirate vessels, Every found himself in command of a small pirate squadron, and they were able to capture up to £600,000 in precious metals and jewels, equivalent to around £89.6 million in 2019, making him the richest pirate in the world. This caused considerable damage to England's fragile relations with the Mughals, and a combined bounty of £1,000—an immense sum at the time—was offered by the Privy Council and the East India Company for his capture, leading to the first worldwide manhunt in recorded history.Although a number of his crew were subsequently arrested, Every himself eluded capture, vanishing from all records in 1696; his whereabouts and activities after this period are unknown. Unconfirmed accounts state he may have changed his name and retired, quietly living out the rest of his life in either Britain or an unidentified tropical island, while alternative accounts consider Every may have squandered his riches. He is considered to have died anywhere between 1699 and 1714; his treasure has never been recovered.
    • Birthplace: Newton Ferrers, United Kingdom
  • Francis Drake
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    Sir Francis Drake (c. 1540 – 28 January 1596) was an English sea captain, privateer, slave trader, naval officer and explorer of the Elizabethan era. Drake carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580, and was the first to complete the voyage as captain while leading the expedition throughout the entire circumnavigation. With his incursion into the Pacific Ocean, he claimed what is now California for the English and inaugurated an era of conflict with the Spanish on the western coast of the Americas, an area that had previously been largely unexplored by western shipping.Elizabeth I awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581 which he received on the Golden Hind in Deptford. As a Vice Admiral, he was second-in-command of the English fleet in the battle against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He died of dysentery in January 1596, after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico. Drake's exploits made him a hero to the English, but his privateering led the Spanish to brand him a pirate, known to them as El Draque. King Philip II allegedly offered a reward for his capture or death of 20,000 ducats, about £6 million (US$8 million) in modern currency.
    • Birthplace: Tavistock, Devon, England
  • William Dampier
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    William Dampier (baptised 5 September 1651; died March 1715) was an English explorer, ex-pirate and navigator who became the first Englishman to explore parts of what is today Australia, and the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. He has also been described as Australia's first natural historian, as well as one of the most important British explorers of the period between Sir Walter Raleigh and James Cook.After impressing the Admiralty with his book A New Voyage Round the World, Dampier was given command of a Royal Navy ship and made important discoveries in western Australia, before being court-martialled for cruelty. On a later voyage he rescued Alexander Selkirk, a former crewmate who may have inspired Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Others influenced by Dampier include James Cook, Horatio Nelson, Charles Darwin, and Alfred Russel Wallace.
    • Age: Dec. at 64 (1651-1715)
    • Birthplace: East Coker, United Kingdom