Weird History

12 Historical Figures You Didn't Know Had STDs

A lot of historical figures have been accused of having STDs. Before doctors could properly diagnose a disease like syphilis, it was easier for someone with a grudge – like a political opponent, for example – to spread nasty rumors about someone’s health, especially if it was already in decline. There are a ton of people from history who had STDs, of course, but they’re not necessarily the figures you'd think of first.

A Google search for “historical figures with STDs” will get you pages and pages of unconfirmed rumors and theories about presidents, dictators, kings, and other famous figures who supposedly had syphilis or gonorrhea. “Did Hitler have an STD? Did Hitler have syphilis?” Not likely. What about presidents with STDs? None have been confirmed. Nietzsche? Nope. Oscar Wilde? No. So which famous people definitely had STDs? Read on!