22 Yearbook Photos Of Historical Figures That Made Us Do A Double Take

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Vote up the famous figures you almost didn't recognize.

From renowned authors to beloved TV hosts to historically shady politicians, everyone was young once. It might be hard to imagine some of these famous figures strolling down a high school hallway, or goofing off with their friends in between classes, yet they all attended school and had to go through the universally painful process of taking a yearbook photo.

In some cases, the images of these historical figures have the same slight smirk, bold brows, or unmistakable eye twinkle that makes them easily identifiable. But in other instances, you may be hard pressed to find any resemblance to the grown-up version, particularly if they became famous at a later age. 

Read on to see the awkward class photos of these people who made their mark on history - for better or for worse.


  • Bernie Sanders, 1959
    Photo: James Madison High School / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. Vermont's at-large Congressman from 1991 to 2007, he is the longest serving independent in U.S. congressional history and a member of the Democratic caucus. Sanders ran unsuccessfully for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president and is running again in 2020. A self-described democratic socialist and progressive, Sanders is known for his opposition to economic inequality. On domestic policy, he broadly supports labor rights, and has supported universal and single-payer healthcare, paid parental leave, and tuition-free tertiary education. On ...more
    • Age: 81
    • Birthplace: New York, New York, US
  • Ray Bradbury, 1938
    Photo: Los Angeles High School / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    Ray Douglas Bradbury (; August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American author and screenwriter. He worked in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery fiction. Predominantly known for writing the iconic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), and his science-fiction and horror-story collections, The Martian Chronicles (1950), The Illustrated Man (1951), and I Sing the Body Electric (1969), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century American writers. While most of his best known work is in fantasy fiction, he also wrote in other genres, such as the coming-of-age novel Dandelion Wine (1957) and the fictionalized memoir Green Shadows, ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 91 (1920-2012)
    • Birthplace: Waukegan, Illinois, US
  • Kurt Vonnegut, 1940
    Photo: Shortridge High School / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (; November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction, with further collections being published after his death. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Vonnegut attended Cornell University but dropped out in January 1943 and enlisted in the United States Army. As part of his training, he studied mechanical engineering at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) and the University of Tennessee. He was then ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 84 (1922-2007)
    • Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, US
  • David Lynch, 1964
    Photo: Francis C. Hammond High School / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    David Keith Lynch (born January 20, 1946) is an American filmmaker, painter, musician, actor, and photographer. He is best known for the acclaimed films Blue Velvet (1986) and Mulholland Drive (2001), regarded by some critics as among the best films of their respective decades, and for his successful 1990–91 television series Twin Peaks, which led to him being labeled "the first popular Surrealist" by noted film critic Pauline Kael. His 1977 debut film Eraserhead is regarded as a widely influential cult film. A recipient of an Academy Honorary Award in 2019, he has received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director, and has won France's César Award for Best Foreign Film twice, as ...more
    • Age: 76
    • Birthplace: Missoula, Montana, US