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6 Admired Historical Figures Who Were Pretty Awful Behind Closed Doors

Did you know about the hidden lives of these admired historical figures?

People say that victors write history. But if that’s true, Historical Files is about to shock you. It turns out that some of the most beloved and admired historical figures look great at first glance.

But a closer look can reveal the profoundly flawed, kind of terrible people they really were. In fact, the individuals we’re talking about were downright awful. Curious to know more? Follow along as we reveal the untold stories behind some of history’s most famous icons.

Even though these people are often talked about for their incredible achievements, a closer look reveals a darker truth lurking behind closed doors.

So, let’s go beyond the pages of textbooks and into the private lives of these admired figures, where their flaws and weaknesses are laid bare.

Scandalous secrets included, each story sheds light on the intricacies of human nature and the often-forgotten aspects of these historical superstars. Keep reading to uncover the hidden truths of 6 admired historical figures, and you might see history in a whole new light.

Admired Historical Figure
Photo by Angga Budhiyanto at Shutterstock

Admired historical figure: Steve Jobs

If you own anything Apple, you can thank Steve Jobs for that. That said, he probably shouldn’t be put on that high pedestal he’s on so often. The truth is that he was a pretty ruthless man.

According to the Steve Jobs documentary: The Man in the Machine, the man was basically a jerk. He had a daughter but denied she was his, and as a result, she didn’t see him for years. He contracted Chinese factories, whose poor conditions drove the workers to exhaustion.

In fact, numerous employees wound up committing suicide over the fast pace they were expected to come up with iPhones and iPads, among other gadgets. And there was also an issue with Apple stocks.

The story goes that this admired historical figure was allegedly illegally backdating them, hoping to cash in. When asked about it by the Securities and Exchange Commission, he first rejected the idea, then said he had to ask Apple’s board of directors for some extra “thank you” stock.

And yet again, later, he shifted the blame to his chief financial officer. That’s pretty much how Jobs would admit something terrible happened: by saying someone else did it.

Admired historical figure: John Wayne

John Wayne’s reputation as a fierce, tough guy gets tainted quickly once you learn about his views on anyone who isn’t white. Yes, you read that right! Apparently, the ultimate cowboy was a full-blown racist.

In a 1971 interview, Wayne admitted he didn’t like African-American people being in charge of anything because he believed that white people were the only ones who knew what they were doing.

In this interview, he stated, “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving irresponsible people authority and leadership positions and judgment.”

He also felt that black people were getting too many opportunities, stating that Hollywood studios were carrying their tokenism a little too far and that minorities should only be given roles meant for them. Wayne also had an issue with Native Americans.

In that same interview, he said that white people grabbing America from the Native Americans was a good thing because Native Americans were hoarding it all for themselves. Wow! Did you know this about this so-called admired historical figure?

Admired historical figure: Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill is world-famous for his efforts in fighting the Nazis during World War II. But it turns out he was a white supremacist himself who had more in common with his enemies than history wants us to believe.

According to Richard Toye’s book “Churchill’s Empire,” Churchill participated in what he dubbed “a lot of little wars against barbarous peoples” in Africa when he was young.

This admired historical figure thought that they were violent against the British not because they were intruding on their land but because they had a “strong aboriginal propensity to kill.”

Years later, when he was in Parliament, Churchill supported more war against minorities, arguing that “the Aryan stock is bound to triumph.”

Then, when Gandhi tried to free India from British rule, Churchill didn’t like it, calling for Gandhi’s murder shortly after he rose to importance in the late 20s. It wasn’t just about Gandhi, though. Churchill openly confessed that he hated Indians.

He believed that they were a beastly people with a beastly religion. Winston didn’t calm down as he got older, either.

In 1943, in between those provoking speeches about never surrendering, he declined to help India survive a brutal famine that eventually killed approximately 3 million people. Churchill blamed the Indians, saying it was their own fault for “breeding like rabbits.”

We kind of understand why Obama didn’t want this man’s bust in the White House now.

Admired Historical Figure
Photo by Chere at Shutterstock

Admired historical figure: Charlie Chaplin

It turns out the beloved Charlie Chaplin wasn’t nearly as goofy in real life as he was on the big screen. Many could say that he was downright predatory, especially when it came to young girls.

Two of his four wives were under 18 years old when he married them, while another was only 18. FYI: He was in his 50s at the time. The only one over 18 was 22, but he thought she was 17. Not exactly a good look, right?

But if it’s somehow not bad enough that he married underage girls, how about the disrespectful ways he behaved towards them? Lita Grey was treated horribly by Chaplin, as per her 1927 divorce papers obtained by the London Times in 2015.

This admired historical figure impregnated Grey when she was 16 and quickly proposed an abortion. When he couldn’t convince her, he married but mistreated her.

He would cheat on her with other young starlets, called her “greedy and lowly born,” didn’t pay any attention to their children, and would demand, as she said, “revolting, degrading and offensive” acts in the bedroom, some of which were illegal at the time in California.

Grey ended up getting $825,000 in the divorce settlement, defiling Chaplin’s name.

Admired historical figure: Mother Teresa

Many would consider it borderline sinful to criticize Mother Teresa. After all, is there anyone else in history who did more to help the poor and the sick? Well, we hear she might not have been that great.

According to the Times of India, Mother Teresa’s true motives were selfish, with less focus on aiding people and more on increasing the numbers of her own religion.

Despite having many charitable donations at their disposal, this admired historical figure’s missions seldom actually helped poor, sick people. In fact, most of these places were dirty, low on food, short on doctors, and largely bereft of medicine.

Nevertheless, Teresa found the suffering beautiful, as if it made the world holier. She once said to Christopher Hitchens, an anti-religious writer: “There’s something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering.”

Now, of course, this never applied to Mother Teresa herself, who, according to reports, would regularly get quality care at good hospitals when she was sick.

Allegedly, Mother Teresa’s true goal was to use charitable efforts to convert individuals to Catholicism.

In her defense, she truly believed that the poor, the sick, and the suffering were like Jesus on the cross. In her mind, if they suffered as He did, that would get them closer to Him.

Admired Historical Figure
Photo by Ververidis Vasilis at Shutterstock

Admired historical figure: Aristotle

We know what you’re thinking… What could we possibly have against one of the most famous philosophers of all time? Well, we agree that the Greek philosopher Aristotle was a wise man, but when it came to women, he was a full-on misogynist.

According to Charlotte Witt’s “Feminist History of Philosophy,” this admired historical figure held views of women that went far beyond typical sexism. He believed women were hardly even human beings at all, at best, they were “deformed men.”

For some reason, he concluded that women have fewer teeth than men, rendering them insufficient, and even though they give birth, he thought they “contribute only matter and not form to the generation of offspring.”

Of course, that can only happen if the child is a man because he thought: “A woman is perhaps an inferior being.” It seems as though there was no “perhaps” about it in his mind, right?

Does this make Aristotle less of a philosopher? Of course not. But it does show that even the wisest among men can have glaring blind spots. And it kind of makes us want to review his ideas. What about you? You can find Aristotle’s complete works on Amazon.

What are YOUR thoughts regarding these admired historical figures? Be sure to let us know in the comments section. Meanwhile, if you found this article interesting, we think you should also read: The 6 Most Brutal Rulers in World History


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