Men have been sporting beards for as long as time is old. Beards are a sign of manliness, power, ability, and credibility. For centuries, men have allowed the hair on their faces to grow and they have molded that hair into icons. Think about it, when you think of certain historical figures, you think of a face with a beard. Can you imagine Abraham Lincoln without his beard? I certainly cannot. Throughout history, men have grown and groomed their face fur into glorious beards. Here’s a list of 35 awesome beards from history through today:
1. Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, social scientist, journalist, and businessman. How could someone walk into a business meeting with this man and not take him seriously? I mean, it takes serious dedication to grow your beard like that, but look at his mustache! People today are still wondering how on earth he got his mustache to be that awesome.
Sophocles is one of the three ancient Greek playwrights who wrote tragedies, plays that have survived to this day. Can you imagine him sitting in ancient Greece, writing these epic tales, stroking that majestic beard for inspiration? I think the true tragedy is that we don’t have an actual photograph of the man to appreciate the work of art on his face.
3. Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris is the icon of manliness in today’s society. People idolize him for the tough-man roles that he has played, and rightly so. Whether he was roundhouse kicking someone in the teeth or driving like a mad man chasing the bad guy, he captured the attention of whoever was watching. You know, people say that there isn’t a chin behind his beard; it’s just another fist.
4. Wyatt Earp
Wyatt Earp was an American Old West gambler. While he wasn’t gambling, he was busy being the Sheriff in Pima County. He is also famously known for having a part in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Whether you would have met him at the poker table, or whether he came to enforce the law, you would have no choice but to respect the man for that wonderful mustache of his, a mustache that almost doubled as a beard. I bet no one ever called his bluff.
5. Abraham Lincoln
Possibly no other man in American history has served a greater role in making America what it is today. The 16th President of the United States of America was instrumental in the abolition of slavery. I bet everyone that was attending the Gettysburg Address was absolutely in awe of his beard. They probably didn’t hear a word he said, but were just mesmerized by his face carpet. Read more about Abe’s epic beard style, the chin strap, here.
6. Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen may be best known for his work in The Lord of The Rings movies. Gandalf The Grey travelled Middle Earth showing off his awesome facial hair. After he became Gandalf The White, he still had an amazing show of manliness growing off his face.
7. Ambrose Burnside
Ambrose Burnside was an American soldier, railroad executive, governor, and senator, among other things. He is also an inventor. Probably his greatest inventions were sideburns. No, he wasn’t the first one to ever wear sideburns, but his distinctive style of facial hair earned its name from him.
8. Leonardo Da Vinci
Perhaps the greatest inventor in history, Leonardo Da Vinci was known to also possess great common sense when it came to his facial hair. In his time, most men were clean-shaven, but Leonardo Da Vinci showed his wisdom by allowing his facial hair to flow over his chest.
9. Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist who is considered one of the greatest composers in history. He was known to be an extreme perfectionist. He also sported one of the greatest beards in history, and as you can tell, brought his same desire for perfection to his face fur.
10. Brigham Young
Brigham Young was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and was known for his old personality. He was also bold when it came to his beard, allowing it to grow to the great length depicted above.
11. Mr. T
American tough guy and former professional wrestler, Mr. T has been rocking this beard for a long time. How can you not think a man looking like this could put a hurtin’ on you? To use one of his great lines, “I pity the fool” that doesn’t recognize this greatness in front of him.
12. Paul Newman
American actor, film director, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Paul Newman is known for his success in every area he tried his hand. He clearly had success when it came to his facial hair as well, showing off this masterpiece.
13. General Robert E. Lee
Known best as the general commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee has great taste when it came to his facial hair. The men under him had no choice but to respect him for his leadership on the battlefield and in facial grooming.
14. Billy Gibbons
Guitarist and lead singer of American rock band ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons has been a pioneer in more ways than one. Not only is he a leader in the rock-n-roll industry, he is a pioneer in bringing long beards back to the forefront of pop culture. He not only belongs in the Rock Hall of Fame, but he deserves to be in the Beard Hall of Fame as well.
15. Karl Marx
Karl Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist and socialist. Even if his social viewpoints were a little bonkers, his idea about facial hair was spot on.
16. Hans Langseth
Hans Langseth held the record for having the world’s longest beard. Not much is known about Langseth other than having the world’s longest beard. When he died at age 81, his beard measured 5.33 meters. That is serious dedication. His beard was donated to the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian.
17. Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a founder of French Impressionist painting. His paintings are some of the best of history and fetch strikingly high prices. His beard is easily considered one of the best in history too.
18. Nick Offerman
Nick Offerman is an American actor, comedian, and writer who is best known for his part as Ron Swanson. He also is an avid outdoorsman and wood worker who prides himself on being a very manly man. You can look at his beard and see that he is no joke. His beard makes that scowl look so much more intimidating.
19. James Harden
James Harden is an American basketball player for the Houston Rockets. He is one of the top players in the league for his displays on the court. But the display on his face is what gains him recognition here. He is well known for his beard that has as much skill as he does.
20. Johann Strauss II
Johann Strauss II was an Austrian composer of light music who specialized in dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 polkas, waltzes, and other types of dance music. Other than being a master musician, he was a master of his face carpet as well. You can bet that he was rarely, if ever, turned down after asking a young lady for a dance.
21. Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist and short story write whose writing style strongly influenced 20th-century fiction. His life of adventure and public image have influenced every generation after him. Not only was he a masterful writer, he was a champion for his beardedness.
22. Friedrich Nietzche
Friedrich Nietzche was a German philosopher, poet, and scholar whose work has had a massive impact on Western philosophy and modern intellect. He was known to allow his whiskers to grow and hang over his mouth as well.
23. Phil, Jase, Si, & Willie Robertson
The men of the Duck Commander company all sport extravagant face fur. They consider their beards to be part of their manhood and would never consider shaving them.
24. Dave Grohl
Dave Grohl is an American rock musician and front man of the band Foo Fighters. He is known for being an all-around good guy. He not only has good taste in music, but his taste in facial hair is impeccable.
25. Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and humanist. He will live on in the history books as the Father of Free Verse. He also believed in letting his face fur grow free as is evidenced by this photo of him.
26. Franz Joseph I
Franz Joseph I was the Emperor of Austria and the King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia. He was the longest reigning Emperor of Austria. To go along with his majestic position, he wore a majestic beard to reflect his lofty position.
27. Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley was the founder and editor of the New-York Tribune, which was considered one of the great newspapers of its time. He also took the word neck-beard to a whole new level.
28. Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he was one of the leaders in the abolitionist movement. He was well-known for his dazzling oratory. We can only imagine the amount of respect one would have to give him based on the beard that he wore.
29. Peter Cooper
Peter Cooper was an American inventor who designed the first American steam locomotive. He had a brilliant mind to go along with his brilliant beard. I wonder if his beard gave him the idea for his steam locomotive.
30. Admiral Alfred Von Tirpitz
Admiral Alfred Von Tirpitz was the chief builder of the German Navy in the years preceding World War I. He was well-known for his fork-shaped beard falling over his decorated chest.
31. Otto the Great
Otto the Great was the founder of the Holy Roman Empire. He is said to have loved his beard so much that he swore by it.
32. Daniel C. Beard
With the last name Beard, how could he not make it on this list? Daniel C. Beard was the founder of the Boy Scouts. He not only taught young men invaluable lessons like how to survive in the woods, but he also taught them how to look like a man.
33. King George V
King George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions. He was also Emperor of India during his reign. His reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, and the Indian independence movement. All of these vastly changed the political landscape. Not only was he royalty, but his beard gave him the appearance of one who was royal.
34. Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin was an English scientist, creator of the theory of evolution. I think he should also be well known for his mastery of the face carpet and crafting it into the glorious look above.
Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher and is credited as being one of the founders of Western philosophy. He was an enigmatic figure who is known mainly through the accounts of classical writers. Based on the bust in the Louvre, he not only had a great philosophical mind, he also had his head on straight when it came to his beard.
These are only a few of the beards that history has blessed us with. There are many more epic beards that have and will walk this earth. What do you think? Which one is your favorite? Which ones did we forget. Tell us about it in the comments.