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We need heroes to look up to, admire, and to learn from. Fortunately, history is full of amazing people who accomplished amazing things...sometimes. What stinks, however, is occasionally these people we put our faith in don't always end up paying it back to us. With the fuzzy lens of history being skewed just a bit, they aren't always decent human beings.

Reddit user, u/DeadAshes, wanted the truth revealed when they asked:

Who in history is looked up to as a hero but is actually a terrible person?

Not The Best Actor Or President

Ronald Reagan.

People love his story, but he set California back for decades from his time as governor. Also, the war on drugs didn't solve anything but created a new set of issues. Reaganomics too, smh.


Iran contra, ignoring AIDS, refusing to leave office when he became mentally unable to do the job, and his treatment of union strikers just to add a couple more.


More Than Just A Funny Moustache

Pablo Picasso.

I know he's not exactly considered a hero, but most people don't realise how much of a sociopath and ahole he was, especially towards his wives/partners and children.


IIRC he gave little to no money to his kids. They were in dire straits and came to his mansion to ask for help. Pablo let them in, had them watch him eat dinner without giving them any, and once the meal was over said "no".

Also rumored that he never carried a wallet nor money with him, only a pad of paper and a pencil. When paying for things in town instead of money he would scribble an autograph and hand it to them.


He Shouldn't, Wouldn't, With Another


Dr suess. He straight up cheated on his wife for a few years while she had cancer and then when the wife finally killed herself he married the mistress almost straight away


Not The Best Bite

Steve Jobs. Terrible father to his kids, and clearly favored his son over his three daughters. Had to be separated from the rest of the workforce at Atari because he reportedly didn't shower.


And parked on disabled spots and wherever he wanted because he changed his mercedes every 6 months and this way he could not use a license plate, hence not being given a ticket.

And he was against giving to charity.

Fired people without reason. Just because they had a different opinion than him.

Only acknowledged the first daughter after she graduated.

Hid part of the bonus that Atari had given because of the game that Wozniak developed (Breakout) (only mentioned to Woz 1y after)

and more...


Sting Like A Bee

Although a great boxer and a fine showman, I have a lot of problems with things [Muhammad] Ali said when he was younger. That interracial couples should be murdered, that sort of thing:

"A black man should be killed if he's messing with a white woman," he said. And it was the same for a white man making a pass at a black woman. "We'll kill anybody who tries to mess around with our women." But suppose the black woman wanted to be with the white man, the interviewer asked. "Then she dies," Ali answered. "Kill her too."

No, I'm not kidding - Google the exact quotes, they're brutal.


To Be Fair, He Didn't START In A Good Space

He isn't looked up as a hero but a lot of people overlook Geghis Khan's atrocity over the fact that he removed a lot of pollution and has 16 million descendants.

The man caused the death of around 5% of the worlds population and practiced biological warfare by throwing dead animals over city walls

He is responsible for the destruction of a lot of Chinese libraries and research areas. Either though burning or by throwing them in the river.

He destroyed a lot of irrigation systems in the middle east that set back agriculture for a few centuries.


Let It Be

Oh, John Lennon for sure. Just a terrible father to his first son, barely kept in touch with him while he was with Yoko. There was also the time he got in a fist fight with a guy for insinuating that his trip with his gay manager was a romantic one.


A Tricky Line To Walk

Thomas Edison He just stole a bunch of inventions then patented them to make money


Honestly, I think Thomas Edison gets a bad rep. Yeah, he was a ruthless businessman and a capitalist, but from most accounts he was also a pretty decent dude. He was a hard worker and he didn't expect his employees to do anything he wouldn't. He had his morals; like when he refused to help invent the electric chair because he was against the death penalty, or how he made sure injured workers were provided for out of his own pocket. He was by no means perfect, but I wouldn't call him a monster.

Edit: here; for everyone talking about the elephant myth.


I agree. Monster? No. A--hole, and cutthroat businessman with a reasonably loose relationship on ethics? Absolutely.


Dude Still Has A Holiday

Christopher Columbus.

Oh, I remember those 8th grade Social Studies (or basically history) classes where we talked all about his abuse of the indigenous peoples of the early North America, and how he was a major slaver.

BTW sorry to all people who thought he was a hero, in ways he is, but he still is messed up


Heroes With A Dark Past

Emilio Aguinaldo, " first" President of the Philippines. I [put] quotations on first because one of the issues about him is he cheated on the first presidential elections.

He also ordered the assassinations of Gen. Luna and the Bonifacio brothers to name a few. He also sold the Philippines to the Americans for a few hundred bucks.

Considered one of the heroes of Philippines but lately his wrongdoings are being brought to life.


Not The Wisest Of Chouces


He touched a lot of people emotionally, and what he did in philosophy is pretty incredible.

He also touched a lot of young boys. That's a lot less incredible.


Sins Of The Founding Fathers

Thomas Jefferson and almost all the American Founding Fathers. I single out Jefferson because I think he retains the best reputation these days, including a reputation for tolerance (I hear about how he argued for religious toleration, read the Koran and respected Islam etc.) But he owned over 600 slaves. Washington owned slaves too and so did many of the other Founding Fathers. Ben Franklin owned slaves but became an abolitionist later in life and freed them. John Adams did not own slaves. Thomas Paine did not own slaves and was known to be a strong abolitionist very early on in American history. I will give these three a pass, but I do not think the rest of these men deserve a pass because of the times in which they lived.

Many people at the time of the American revolution pointed out the hypocrisy of demanding freedom while purchasing another man's life. The founders would not have been unaware of that concern. Furthermore, they were great thinkers, scholars, and philosophers who didn't hesitate to entertain radical new ideas about government and human society. They were completely capable of understanding that slavery was wrong. Washington willed that his slaves be freed after he and his wife both died, suggesting that he understood it was right for the slaves to be freed. Yet he was unwilling to do it in his own lifetime. George died first and Martha Washington freed his slaves before her death.


Wilson For The Loss

Woodrow [Wilson] was a hardcore racist and iirc he increased the amount of power the President had in politics.

I wouldn't call him a "monster," but he's certainly not to be praised as an all-around good guy. He also thought he could get away with going to the Versailles Treaty and get what he wanted for America without Congress' consensus on what America wanted.


Forced To Love

Soeharto, his only good was like the fact he prevented Indonesian Civil War and a thriving economy (that only last like a few years)

But he is by far the worst human being, done a sh-t ton of genocides, put two tribes into war, taking over personal lands as HIS OWN land, being the most corrupt predident ever existed, being CIA's b-tch for the whole Cold War, having his entire family tree in the politic thus forming a political mafia that lasted until today, and many more. (probably including myself listed in their hitlist)

The only reason some people loved because they were simply told to.


Part Of A Balanc-Excuse Me?

Not a hero per se, but Kellogg, the inventor of Corn Flakes.

He basically invented them so you'd stop masturbating.


Definitely Not The Greatest Showman


P. T. Barnum didn't start the greatest show on earth till he was about 60. Before that he ran what was more or less a freak show, where he held a slave who he touted to be the 160 year old nanny of George Washington, and when she died charged 50 cents to let 1500 people watch her autopsy. He also would go to various other cultures around the world and take native people home to his show with promises to return them and he never would. He took an African cook and displayed him as half -orangutan under the name "WHAT IS IT?", he displayed an El Salvadoran man as "the Aztec wonder", and basically kidnapped the original Siamese twins (the ones from Siam) and never let them go home. The man ran a racist scam of a freak show for a lot of his career.


Why Take That Test?

A significant amount of people.

Ghandi used to sleep in bed with girls to "test" his ability to resist temptations and was a known racist.



Throughout much of his adult life, Gandhi kept plenty of young female companions close to him and allowed these relationships to take several different dark turns.

For starters, he often kept pairs of girls as his daily companions to address his needs right down to basic movement, with Gandhi referring to them, according to Adams, as his "walking sticks."

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