1. Charlie Chaplin (1921)
We’re so used to seeing this iconic silent film actor in character that many of us may have no idea that behind the ludicrous mustache and the heavy stage makeup young Charlie Chaplin was a very handsome man. Just look at those charming eyes and gorgeous glowing skin!
2. Thomas Edison (c. 1877)
Most school books feature Thomas Alva Edison as a balding silver-haired man with a serious, almost grim look in his eyes, but in his 30s, this genius inventor and businessman looked quite stylish and attractive, don’t you think?
3. Hermann Rorschach (c. 1910)
Wow, is this truly the photo of the world-famous Swiss psychoanalyst who developed the Rorschach test, in his mid-twenties? Because he really looks like Brad Pitt’s long-lost twin. The resemblance is uncanny!
4. Vivien Thomas
We’re all very lucky that at the beginning of the 20th century, a modeling career wasn’t very profitable, as Vivien Thomas could have easily passed for a model, that’s how handsome he was. As many of you will know, however, he chose a career in medicine and became one of the most prominent surgeons of his time, raising above poverty and racism.
5. Maharani Gayatri Devi (1954)
A royal family member, a social activist and one of the most prominent political figures in India during the 1960's, Gayatri Devi was also one of the fashion icons during her early adulthood, but this didn't stop her from pursuing a career in both art and politics. Gayatri Devi was even part of Vogue magazine's Ten Most Beautiful Women list in the 1940's. We can definitely agree that she looks dazzling and very luxurious even with a simple makeup and outfit like in the picture above.
6. Jack Kerouac (1956)
The standards of beauty may change over the years, but even today, the famous novelist would be considered extremely good-looking, so much so that his looks may be on paar with his writing talent. For those of you who might be less familiar with his works, Kerouac is considered a literary iconoclast and a pioneer of the Beat Generation in literature. Unfortunately, the genius writer passed away at the all-too-young age of 47.
7. Tenzing Norgay (1953)
Tenzing Norgay was one of the 2 first people along with Edmund Hillary to reach the top of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953, for which he was added to the list of 100 most influential people of the 20th century. On one of the trial expeditions leading up to the great Everest climb, he even saved Hillary's life: he prevented Hillary from falling into a crevasse by promptly securing his rope to an ice axe. Apart from all his heroism and outstanding mountaineering skills, Tenzing was quite handsome, too.
8. Arthur Rimbaud (1872)
Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet, who had a very short and ambivalent life, jumping university dropout to poet to traveling merchant. His poetry, as well as restless character and active life influenced many XX century writers, artists and musicians. His life story was even adapted into a 1995 film titled Total Eclipse, where no other than young Leonardo DiCaprio played Rimbaud's role, and we can definitely see the resemblance.
9. Rupert Brooke (1915)
Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet, who was as celebrated for his good looks in various English poetry societies as he was for his sonnets dedicated to the horrors of the First World War. His handsome, boyish face served as the inspiration for both artists and poets. Unfortunately, the poet never managed to reach his full creative potential, as he suffered a sudden death from an infected mosquito bite during a sea voyage throughout the Mediterranean.
10. Fawzia Fuad of Egypt
Fawzia Fuad was an Egyptian princess who became the Queen of Iran as the first wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. She was educated in Europe and was believed to be one of the most beautiful women in Egypt in the 1940's. Stories of her beauty spread far and wide, and she was often compared to iconic film stars like Hedy Lamarr and Vivien Leigh.
11. Lev Tolstoy (1848)
Anyone who had ever held at least one of the War and Peace books will know that Leo Tolstoy is most often depicted as an elderly man with a long Santa Claus beard and the bushiest of eyebrows. However, many people don't know that Leo Tolstoy wrote his Nobel Prize winning masterpiece at the age of 39, and he likely looked more like the young good-looking man on the picture (although the picture above was taken in his 20's) than the elderly man that we associate him with.
12. Nikola Tesla (1890)
Known as the pioneer of wireless communication, Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-born physicist and inventor. His contributions to electrical engineering were underappreciated in his lifetime, but his name became increasingly popular since the 1990's, as many of his futuristic inventions were featured in science fiction. Dated mustache aside, many would say that the ill-fortuned inventor was quite attractive.
13. Mark Twain (1867)
Speaking of dated mustaches, here is a 1867 photo of Mark Twain, whose name needs no introduction. No matter if you're a fan of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or his other works, you will often remember Twain as a white-haired man with a very bushy mustache. Though it seems he stuck with the same hairstyle for at least a few decades, I'd say that 32-year-old Samuel Clemens was a very strong and handsome man.
14. Virginia Woolf (1902)
I cannot help but admire how pristine, elegant and gorgeous Virginia Woolf was like. Apart from her role in inspiring feminism way before it was cool (Virginia lived and wrote during the end of the Victorian era), Virginia Woolf is a recognized modernist writer, who pioneer the use of the stream of consciousness technique as a narrative device. You likely know her from her novel Mrs Dalloway (1925) that gained world-acclaim.
15. Winston Churchill (1895)
The last, but definitely not the least on our list of famous people is a picture of 21-year-old Winston Churchill in a military dress uniform. It is difficult to deny that young Winston was quite stately and good-looking, although we usually imagine him at a much older age when he was the ultimate British Prime Minister.