100 Great Heroes

A great collection of portraits of the most iconic people throughout history that I remembered from my childhood book named ‘سو بڑے آدمی’ – very nice book to remember the name of the hero by their face.

I hope that this collection inspires you, makes you gasp and even smile. I want you to come away with a sense of what made each portrait unique and memorable.

I thought to post it here after an interesting event happened with me.

Buzz Aldrin

This image was captured in 1969, the day that the Eagle lunar lander made the first touchdown on the moon, by Neil Armstrong of fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Date: 1969. Photographer: Neil Armstrong.

Buzz Aldrin in Space When Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong took a stroll on the moon

Buzz Aldrin in Space When Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong took a stroll on the moon

Muhammad Ali

Ali was a three-time heavyweight World Champion in boxing. Born Cassius Clay, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali after joining the Nation of Islam. Date: 1967. Photographer: Ira Rosenberg.

Muhammad Ali - Well known for his fighting style

Muhammad Ali - Well known for his fighting style

Marie Curie

Curie was a physicist and chemist, and the first person to receive two Nobel prizes. She coined the term “radioactivity”, pioneered radiation therapy for cancer, and discovered two new elements. This shot is often cropped to remove Pierre Curie, the famous chemist’s husband. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Unknown.

Marie Curie - Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry for the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds.

Marie Curie - Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry for the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds.

Marie Antoinette

Antoinette was the last Queen of France and one of the more famous victims of the guillotine during the French Revolution. Antoinette was famous for her excess in a time of extreme economic hardship for her country. Date: 1769. Artist: Joseph Ducreux

Marie Antoinette - at the age of thirteen; this miniature portrait was sent to the dauphin, so he could see his bride before he met her.

Marie Antoinette - at the age of thirteen; this miniature portrait was sent to the dauphin, so he could see his bride before he met her.

Joan of Arc

Jeanne d’Arc, her name in the original French, was responsible for both repelling English invaders from her homeland and assisting Charles VII in succeeding to the throne of France. She is a Catholic saint. The only known portrait that she sat for was destroyed, so all we have are renditions. Date: 1876. Artist: Eugene Thirion.

Joan of Arc - in French, Jeanne d'Arc, also called the Maid of Orleans, a patron saint of France and a national heroine.

Joan of Arc - in French, Jeanne d'Arc, also called the Maid of Orleans, a patron saint of France and a national heroine.

Neil Armstrong

An American aviator and a former astronaut, test pilot, university professor, and United States Naval Aviator. He was the first person to set foot on the Moon. Date: 1969. Photographer: NASA/Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.

Neil Armstrong - a United States astronaut, was the first person to set foot on the moon.

Neil Armstrong - a United States astronaut, was the first person to set foot on the moon.

Wright Brothers

The name of the Wright Brothers is synonymous with the word “airplane” for it was they who first gave us motorised flight. Of course there had been people “flying” even before that, what with all the balloon flights and the glider flights being undertaken.

Wright Brothers - Orville (left) and Wilbur : The first men who gave the flight.

Wright Brothers - Orville (left) and Wilbur : The first men who gave the flight.

Alexander Graham Bell

An eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone. Date: 1904. Photographer: Unknown – Print from Library of Congress.

Alexander Graham Bell - A pioneer in the field of telecommunications.

Alexander Graham Bell - A pioneer in the field of telecommunications.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon arranged a coup d’etat which brought him to power in 1799. Five years after that he crowned himself as Emperor of France. He led successful military campaigns in Italy and Egypt that bolstered his reputation. His Napoleonic Code is still being used as a basis for law in many countries. Date: 1802. Painter: Antoine-Jean Gros.

Napoleon Bonaparte - A masterful soldier, an unequalled grand tactician and a superb administrator.

Napoleon Bonaparte - A masterful soldier, an unequalled grand tactician and a superb administrator.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was the British Prime Minister during World War II. He was widely credited with being one of the strategic masterminds that made the Allied victory possible. Churchill was also a prolific writer and won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

This shot was snapped in the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Canada after the photographer had annoyed Churchill by taking away his cigar. Widely considered one of the most famous portrait photos ever taken. Date: 1941. Photographer: Yousuf Karsh.

Winston Churchill - The master statesman stood alone against fascism and renewed the world's faith in the superiority of democracy.

Winston Churchill - The master statesman stood alone against fascism and renewed the world's faith in the superiority of democracy.

Abraham Lincoln

Among American heroes, Lincoln continues to have a unique appeal for his fellow countrymen and also for people of other lands.
serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and was responsible for abolishing slavery in the United States through the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. He also held the dubious honour of being the first president to be assassinated.
This photo was taken by one of Lincoln’s best-known photographers, Alexander Gardner. Date: Nov. 8 1863. Photographer: Alexander Gardner.

Abraham Lincoln - 16th President of the United States

Abraham Lincoln - 16th President of the United States

Charles Dickens

The most popular English novelist of the Victorian era. He was a vigorous social campaigner, both in his own personal endeavours as well as through the recurrent themes of his literary enterprise. Date: 1858. Artist: Charles Baugniet.

Charles Dickens - Charles Dickens is much loved for his great contribution to classical English literature.

Charles Dickens - Charles Dickens is much loved for his great contribution to classical English literature.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney founded Walt Disney Corp. from humble beginnings as an animator. His studio produced some of the most timeless children’s movies ever and still continues to do so. Date and photographer: Unknown.

Walt Disney - transformed the entertainment industry, into what we know today. He pioneered the fields of animation, and found new ways to teach, and educate.

Walt Disney - transformed the entertainment industry, into what we know today. He pioneered the fields of animation, and found new ways to teach, and educate.

Amelia Earhart

Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo over the Atlantic. Earhart disappeared in a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. Date: 1932. Photographer: Unknown.

Amelia Earhart - The first woman to fly as a passenger across the Atlantic Ocean.

Amelia Earhart - The first woman to fly as a passenger across the Atlantic Ocean.

Thomas Edison

This photo of a young Edison was taken with the phonograph that he invented. He was most famous for inventing a long-lasting, practical lightbulb. Date: 1877-1878. Photographer: Levin C. Handy.

Thomas Edison - An American inventor, scientist and businessman who developed many devices.

Thomas Edison - An American inventor, scientist and businessman who developed many devices.

Albert Einstein

Einstein is another father of modern science. While his most famous theory is his theory of relativity, he put forward a number of new theories that formed the foundation of modern physics and paved the way for the Atomic Age. Date: 1947. Photographer: Oren Jack Turner. Second photo: Date: 1951. Photographer: Arthur Sasse.

Albert Einstein - astounding theory of relativity and his discovery of the quantum, his thoughtful philosophy.

Albert Einstein - astounding theory of relativity and his discovery of the quantum, his thoughtful philosophy.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower was the chief general in charge of the US forces during World War II, and later went on to be President. This photo was taken a year after victory over Axis forces in WWII. Karsh would go on to photograph Eisenhower as President and in his retirement, where he delighted in showing Karsh the oil painting that he was working on of Churchill for which he used Karsh’s portrait as a source. Date: 1946. Photographer: Yousuf Karsh.

General Dwight Eisenhower - 34th President of the United States

General Dwight Eisenhower - 34th President of the United States

Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth’s reign is famous for a number of historical events, including a Spanish invasion of England that was foiled by bad weather. After a couple of potentially politically disastrous marriage alliances were put forward to her, Elizabeth dubbed herself “The Virgin Queen”, and stated that “If I follow the inclination of my nature, it is this: beggar-woman and single, far rather than queen and married”.
Date: 1575. Artist: Unknown, perhaps Federico Zuccaro (see Sir Roy Strong, The English Icon, 1969). This entry is known as the “Darnley Portrait.

Queen Elizabeth I - whose name has become a synonym for the era

Queen Elizabeth I - whose name has become a synonym for the era

HRM Queen Elizabeth II

There have been many iconic photos of the Queen, but this one taken by famous photographer Annie Leibovitz conveys her regality while presenting her in a state of contemplation accented by the eternally inclement English weather. Taken in Buckingham Palace, the shot caused a furor in the British tabloid press when Leibovitz asked the Queen to remove her crown. Date: 2007. Photographer: Annie Leibovitz.

Queen Elizabeth II - The Queen or Her Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II - The Queen or Her Majesty

Anne Frank

Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who hid from the Nazis with her family in Amsterdam and wrote an account of it in her diary. “The Diary of Anne Frank” is universally read by schoolchildren all over the world as an account of the Holocaust. This portrait was taken just a few months after Frank and her family went into hiding on October 10, 1942. Date: 1942. Photographer: Unknown.

Anne Frank - With a diary kept in a secret attic, she braved the Nazis and lent a searing voice to the fight for human dignity.

Anne Frank - With a diary kept in a secret attic, she braved the Nazis and lent a searing voice to the fight for human dignity.

Benjamin Franklin

One of the founding fathers of the United States, Franklin served in many positions to further the independence of the United States, including a few posts as foreign ambassador in order to raise funds for the formation of the new country. This portrait of Ben Franklin by Duplessis was immortalized on the American one hundred dollar bill. Date: Unknown. Artist: Joseph Siffred Duplessis.

Benjamin Franklin - A printer by trade, a scientist by fame, and a man of action by all accounts

Benjamin Franklin - A printer by trade, a scientist by fame, and a man of action by all accounts

Sigmund Freud

Freud is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind and the defense mechanism of repression and for creating the clinical practice of psychoanalysis for curing psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Date: 1920. Photographer: Unknown.

Simon Freud - One of the most influential and authoritative thinkers

Simon Freud - One of the most influential and authoritative thinkers

Yuri Gagarin

Gagarin was the first human in outer space and the first to orbit the earth. He died in a training flight in 1968 and was buried within the walls of the Kremlin in Moscow. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Unknown.

Yuri Gagarin - First man in space

Yuri Gagarin - First man in space

Galileo Galilei

The father of modern observational astronomy, Galileo invented improvements to the telescope and supported the theory put forward by Copernicus that the Earth orbited the Sun, and not the other way around. He was also a pioneer in the field of physics. Galileo spent the latter part of his life under house arrest for heresy against the Catholic Church. Date:1605. Artist: Domenico Robusti.

Galileo Galilei - pioneered "experimental scientific method" and was the first to use a refracting telescope to make important astronomical discoveries.

Galileo Galilei - pioneered "experimental scientific method" and was the first to use a refracting telescope to make important astronomical discoveries.

Dr. Stephen Hawking

Dr. Hawking achieved fame in academic circles as a theoretical physicist, and introduced his theories to mainstream society through his book “The Brief History of Time”. Date: April 26, 2007. Photographer: Zero Gravity Corp.

Stephen Hawking - best known for his discovery that black holes emit radiation which can be detected by special instrumentation. His discovery has made the detailed study of black holes possible.

Stephen Hawking - best known for his discovery that black holes emit radiation which can be detected by special instrumentation. His discovery has made the detailed study of black holes possible.

Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway wrote many memorable novels, including “The Old Man and the Sea”, “The Sun Also Rises”, and “A Farewell to Arms”. His life is almost more colourful than one of his novels, full of trips all over the world and the popularization of the daiquiri. Date: 1957. Photographer: Yousuf Karsh.

Ernest Hemingway - An American writer and journalist.

Ernest Hemingway - An American writer and journalist.

Jimi Hendrix

Widely considered to be the best electric guitarist in history, Hendrix is known for “Are You Experienced”, his rendition of “All Along the Watchtower” by Dylan, and his version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”, along with many others. Hendrix was also one of the first artists to add effects to his music in the studio. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Unknown.

Jimi Hendrix - the greatest guitar player

Jimi Hendrix - the greatest guitar player

Adolf Hitler

Hitler gained absolute political power in Germany through an election and subsequent political and military manoeuvres that established him as the Fuhrer of Germany. His vision of a unified Germany appealed to the wider German electorate, but the darker side of Hitler’s views and the subsequent World War II brought about a decimated Germany and his own downfall. Date: Around 1932. Photographer: Unknown.

Adolf Hitler - military and political leader of Germany 1933 - 1945, launched World War Two and bears responsibility for the deaths of millions.

Adolf Hitler - military and political leader of Germany 1933 - 1945, launched World War Two and bears responsibility for the deaths of millions.

Mick Jagger

A Golden Globe and Grammy Award winning English singer, songwriter and occasional actor, best known for his work as lead vocalist of The Rolling Stones. Date and photographer: Unknown.

Mick Jagger - Golden Globe and Grammy Award winning English musician, singer, songwriter, record producer.

Mick Jagger - Golden Globe and Grammy Award winning English musician, singer, songwriter, record producer.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs founded Apple, left it to start NEXT, and returned to catapult Apple into superstardom with the iMac, iBook, iPod and iPhone. Jobs will always be best remembered visually for making his historic announcements about the next Apple milestone at Macworld conferences. Date and photographer: Unknown.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Andy Kaufman

Kaufman was an eccentric entertainer best known for his work on Saturday Night Live in the 1970’s. He was famous for his off-centre comedic style. Date: 1983. Photographer: David McGough.

Andy Kaufman - The Entertainer

Andy Kaufman - The Entertainer

Helen Keller

Helen Keller was not born blind and deaf; it was not until she was nineteen months old that she contracted an illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain,” which could possibly have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her deaf and blind. She was a prolific author and tireless advocate for humanitarian causes. Also the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor’s degree. This image depicts a young Helen Keller. Date: 1904. Photographer: Unknown.

Helen Keller

Helen Keller

Martin Luther King

King was famous for his civil rights actions to bring about equality for African-Americans, including his famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered at the March on Washington in 1963. Date: 1960. Photographer: Howard Sochure.

Martin Luther King - American clergymen, Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the principal leaders of the American civil rights movements.

Martin Luther King - American clergymen, Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the principal leaders of the American civil rights movements.

Bruce Lee

Scenes involving Bruce Lee’s fists and legs actually had to be slowed down through the process of shooting the film at a higher framerate in order for audiences to be able to watch him fight in some of his movies. Lee was an icon of the Chinese martial arts, particularly Kung Fu and Wing Chun. Date: Unknown. Artist: Columbia Pictures.

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was elected the first African President of South Africa in 1994, officially ending a long tradition of apartheid in South Africa. Mandela had been jailed for speaking out against apartheid until it was abolished in 1990. Date: 1994
Photographer: African National Congress.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Michelangelo

An Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci. Date: 16th Century
Artist: Jacopo del Conte.

Michelangelo

Michelangelo

Sir Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton is considered, amongst other things, to be one of the fathers of modern science. Universal gravitation and the three laws of motion are just two of his many theories. He also invented the first reflecting telescope. Date: 15th/16th Century. Artist: Sir Godfrey Kneller.

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton

Louis Pasteur

He is best known for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of disease. He created the first vaccine for rabies. He was best known to the general public for inventing a method to stop milk and wine from causing sickness, a process came to be called Pasteurization. Date: Prior to 1895. Photographer: Felix Nadar.

Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur

Pablo Picasso

Picasso was one of the pre-eminent artists of the 20th century and a major proponent of the Cubist movement. While being shot for this portrait, Picasso could view himself in the wide angle lens of the camera and instinctively moved to place himself where he needed to be for the shot. Date: 1954. Photographer: Yousuf Karsh.

Pablo Picasso - Famous as no artist ever had been, he was a pioneer, a master and a protean monster, with a hand in every art movement of the century.

Pablo Picasso - Famous as no artist ever had been, he was a pioneer, a master and a protean monster, with a hand in every art movement of the century.

Plato & Artistotle

This commonly cropped part of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio features the two famous philosophers, presumably arguing about philosophy. Aristotle was Plato’s student. Date: 1509. Artist: Raffaello Sanzio.

Plato Artistotle

Plato Artistotle

Edgar Allan Poe

Poe was an eccentric and prolific author that published some of the best horror fiction ever known. He also coined “Poe’s Law”, which was that poems should be short enough to read in a single sitting. Date: 1848. Photographer: W.S. Hartshorn.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley popularized of music called “Rock and Roll” that was the delight of younger people of his generation and the bane of parents who credited his style of music with demoralizing a generation.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Rembrandt

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, more commonly known as Rembrandt, is considered to be the most important painter in Dutch history and one of the most important painters in European art history. Date: 1661. Artist: Rembrandt.

Rembrandt

Rembrandt

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare produced a huge folio of work as both a playwright and a poet. There are ongoing debates as to which portraits of Shakespeare are “real”, if any. The Chandos Portrait, pictured below, is the most famous of them all. See Wikipedia for more details on the controversy. Date: Early 1600’s. Artist: John Taylor.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Mother Teresa

At the time of her death in 1997, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity organization was running 610 missions in 123 countries. Date: 1986. Photographer: Túrelio.

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

Nicola Tesla

Tesla was best known for his inventions which formed the basis for alternating current power, which is the kind of electric current that powers homes today. He also invented wireless radio and was known for countless other inventions. After making numerous improvements at the Edison company, he was denied a promised bonus and raise, at which point he left to focus on his own work. Date: Unknown but prior to 1896. Artist/Photographer: Photographed by Napoleon Sarony and engraved by T. Johnson.

Nicola Tesla

Nicola Tesla

Whistler’s Mother

This painting, Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter’s Mother, was the pinnacle of James Whistler’s career. It was purchased by France and is now in the Musee D’Orsay in Paris. Date: 1871. Artist: James Whistler.

Whistler Mother

Whistler Mother

Malcolm X

Born as Malcolm Little, he changed his surname to “X” when he joined the Nation of Islam, a common practice among members. He fought for civil rights, sometimes using violent methods to do so. He denounced leaders of the civil rights movement as being “stooges” for the establishment. Date: 1964. Photographer: Marion S. Trikosko.

Malcolm X

Malcolm X

Dante Alighieri

Commonly known as Dante, was an Italian poet of the Middle Ages.In Italy he is known as “the Supreme Poet”. His central work, the Divina Commedia (originally called Commedia and later called Divina (“divine”) by Boccaccio), is often considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.

Dante Portrait de

Dante Portrait de

Alexander the Great

Alexander was acknowledged as a military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and those of his soldiers. The fact that his army only refused to follow him once in 13 years of a reign during which there was constant fighting, indicates the loyalty he inspired.

He died of a fever in Babylon in June 323 BC.

Alexander the Great - conquered much of what was then the civilized world, governed by his divine ambition of the world conquest and creation of universal world.

Alexander the Great - conquered much of what was then the civilized world, governed by his divine ambition of the world conquest and creation of universal world.


I have some other great iconic heroes names in my mind, will see in Next post.

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~ by UTS on October 25, 2009.

2 Responses to “100 Great Heroes”

  1. 100 Great Heroes October 27, 2009 chimac Leave a comment Go to comments Very nice list with photos. 

  2. This reads well. Do you write for any other blogs? Nicely done, Steven.

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