People Explain Which Historical Figures Society Mistakenly Idolizes

We're taught about all kinds of historical figures in school, and told why they're great. Copernicus realized the Earth revolved around the son, Newton discovered gravity, and Paul Revere warned Americans that there was to be a British attack.

What we're not told is that many historical figures we idolize were not great people. Yes, they accomplished some great things, but they also committed some horrible acts.

Redditors are ready to burst our bubbles about those historical figures we thought were all-around great.

It all started when Redditor Sufficient-Citron269 asked:

"Which historical figure is mistakenly idolized?"

His (Hateful) Majesty

"King Richard I aka Richard the Lionheart."

"He is held in a high regard but he was actually a bad king. He had no interest in governing and his attention span was limited to killing people in warfare. He was regarded as a cruel leader (even by the standards of the 12th century) and is only held in high regard because the monks liked his crusading and because the Victorians considered him an "empire builder.""

"I should also point out that, despite being born in Oxford, Richard I did not consider himself "English" and he considered himself a Frenchman where he spent most of his adult life. He considered England to be nothing more than a piggy bank to fund his crusading and he hated the nation which is why it is so baffling to see England football fans use crusader imagery and boast about the "three lions on the shirt.""

"If you want to know more, watch Terry Jones's Medieval Lives."

– TailsxCream4Eva

​Memorialized In Green

"Andrew Jackson. He carried out ethnic cleansing against Native Americans. Jackson was a disaster of a human being on every possible level, and should not be commemorated positively by any branch of American government. And as he was a slave owner, putting him on the $20 bill is disgraceful."

– Miguenzo

"putting him on the $20 bill is disgraceful."

"It's a troll because Andrew Jackson hated the idea of a central bank and dissolved the Bank of the United States."

"He'd be rolling over in his grave if he knew they put his face on the dollar."

– Fausterion18

"Not A Good Idea, Mr. President"

"Almost all of the US presidents have skeletons in their closets that nobody really talks about."

"Whether it's leading an invasion of a country, or using slave's teeth as dentures. History is a rocky subject, and a rabbit hole when it comes down to the United State's life."

– X-Cross_X


"Mother Teresa was apparently a b*tch."

"Over a third of her patients received inadequate care. Conditions there were likened to nazi concentration camps. She actively campaigned against the use of condoms during the aids epidemic."

"When she fell ill she ran away to California for care, instead of staying in one of her death traps."

"Here's a quote from her:"

""There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ's Passion. The world gains much from their suffering.""

– MaliciousPorpoise

Actors *Shakes Head*

"Ronald Reagan."

– TesticleMayhem

"Nancy too. Ran his meeting schedule using astrology charts."

– death_or_glory_

"He did a ton of damage to California and the USA."

"Been calling this out for decades, but the right-wing hold him up like a political Jesus."

– slavnar95

Time To Do Good

"Andrew Carnegie. Absolutely horrible man. Treated his workers like sh*t, but he always had a scapegoat and would claim ignorance. Then, when he got old and thought he was probably going to hell, he started donating money and building public spaces so he could "buy his way into heaven." Told all his friends to do the same."

"But no, he was such a wonderful charitable man."

– Euphoric-Hyena8926

This Was A Hard One

"Alexander Graham Bell"

"He did not invent the telephone at all but stole it from a poor but brilliant Italian named Antonio Meucci who could not afford to pay for the patent"

– Fanfrenhag

"He also was an a**hole who was against deaf people getting married and having kids and being forced to talk. Horrible man. Absolutely hate him."

– FrankSinatraHot

Remember The Rest

"Woodrow Wilson. Often remembered for coming up with the League of Nations idea, he was a super racist religious fundamentalist weirdo."

– VerbalChains

"The guy who didn't kept his promise of not involving the US in WW1 and had an infamous pro-Klan movie projected at the White House isn't that much of a hero? Can't say I'm surprised"

– MudkipzLover

Hard To Come Back From That

"Julius Caesar was to ROMAN standards, a monster. ROMAN STANDARDS."

– Arlecchinobaby


"Christopher Columbus. He didn’t discover that the Earth was round (because by his time, it was already common knowledge), he never set foot in the U.S., he slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocent Taino people and he enslaved the living ones to work in gold mines that he and his men set up on their island. And yet this moron has his own U.S. holiday."

– Longjumping_Event_59

Intellectual Property

"Steve Jobs. Not only was he incredibly mean and cruel to his coworkersllectual and employees, he also essentially stole credit for everything that was achieved under the name "Apple". He had no particular skills that aided him in succeeding other than to take credit for others accomplishments."

– 0xVali__

Not Black And White

"Thomas Edison."

– darkwulf1

"Edison still deserves a lot of credit."

"No, he didn't invent the light bulb. His specialty was improving other inventions. For example, he didn't invent the telegraph but he did invent the carbon telephone transmitter which took the transmission rate from 120wpm up to over 1000."

– sarcasticorange

"Yes and no. He is mistakenly idolized for being the main inventor of electricity. However, he was the guy to get it funded and pushed the technology in it's infancy stage and bring it to the public."

"It's easy to discount the difficulty of getting something off the ground. You have to make the right connections, demo the product, sell the idea, get in front of the right people, and organize all the logistics behind it."

"Edison was the guy making it happen. So while Tesla was really the scientist behind the idea, it was Edison who had the business sense."

"Say whatever you want about his sketchy character. But doing what he did is not as easy as people think it is. And honestly, I feel like a lot of historical figures are going to be sketchy by definition because they were from the past when cultural norms and standards were different."

– FailosoRaptor

"Christmas Is Creepy"

"Santa, he spies on kids and breaks into people's houses only when they are asleep"

– Jacobflamecaster23

Is it bad that I'm not totally surprised?

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