Weird History
851 voters

Historical 'Good Guys' Who Weren’t Actually Good

September 22, 2020 5.4k votes 851 voters 108.5k views13 items

List RulesVote up the most disappointing truths about history's supposed heroes.

There's a reason people say "never meet your heroes." No matter their achievements, no matter their importance to history, they are ultimately human beings. They possess the same vices and frailties as the people who don't appear in textbooks or on the silver screen.

Sometimes this means our heroes lived in an era with drastically different morals; the Founding Fathers, for example, forged a new nation "conceived in liberty" while still owning slaves. Other heroes of history, like inventor Alexander Graham Bell, clung to damaging personal beliefs that impacted immigrants and the disabled.

While the inventions, ideas, or music these folks left behind may undoubtedly be great, there's no getting around the fact that some historical heroes were really villains. As shared by users on Reddit, this is a list of historical figures who did bad things that definitely wouldn't fly today. Vote up the ones you're most disappointed to learn.

  • From Redditor u/doyoudoodle:

    Alexander Graham Bell pushed for the eugenics of deaf and hard of hearing people, and was a major obstacle to fund schools for the deaf, which thankfully did persist despite this *sshat.

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  • From Redditor u/DragoerChampion:

    John Lennon. He is basically portrayed as this selfless angel of the hippie movement, but the more you look into his life, his actions and how he treated other people close to him, you will quickly realize he is what some people would call, “a terrible human being”

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    [Editor's Note: John Lennon was physically abusive to both his wives, as well as physically and emotionally abusive to his son Julian. Vice's Lauren Oyler writes: "It is difficult to condense the variety and scope of Lennon's treachery into a short article... Starting with his first marriage, to Cynthia Powell... Lennon did many things that can only be classified as classically bad. According to the Lennons' housekeeper, Dorothy Jartlett... the years following the birth of their son, Julian, saw Lennon as an absent father who would criticize and even smack the sensitive Julian for things like having bad table manners.... Throughout the marriage, Lennon slept with other women and would leave drugs 'lying around the house.'"]

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  • From Redditor u/weskeryellsCHRISSS:

    [Bob Marley] was also alleged to be monstrously terrible to his wife, according to her.

    From Redditor u/its_all_relativity:

    That’s so sad to read. She insists he was a good husband despite cheating on her repeatedly, fathering children that weren’t hers, and raping her. It’s like Stockholm syndrome...

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  • From Redditor u/Hugo_Hackenbush:

    Henry Ford was so anti-Semitic that Hitler considered him a hero.

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    [Editor's Note: Hasia Diner, the Paul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History and Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, told PBS, "Hitler was very aware of Henry Ford, of Henry Ford's writings, and praised them. He turned to the same documents. There's a common thread. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a cherished text for both. And there were certainly business connections between Ford Motors and the Nazi regime."]

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