The Most Epic Beards Throughout History

Bubba Stacy
7 minute read

Throughout history, we have seen men sport some seriously epic beards. These bad boys have shaped the bearded world as we know it. Check out some of the most rocking facial hair in all of history. Who knows — you might even find some inspiration for your own beard style!

Famous Epic Beards Of Men Who Shaped The World

Historical Figures with Famous Beards

1. Otto the Great

Talk about badass, Otto I, also known as Otto the Great, was a German king and Holy Roman Emperor -- a born ruler. Throughout his lifetime, Otto the Grea accomplished many things. But what’s remarkable about this no-nonsense fella is his habit of swearing by his beard. Who the hell swears by his beard?! Well, apparently, history tells us that he did so whenever he made an important decision. If that doesn't have badass written all over it, I don't know what else to call it.

2. Edward III

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Born in the 1300s, Edward III was the King of England and the Lord of Ireland. This king also had no trouble matching his shoulder-length hair with his long beard. He made it his business to keep his locks and beard trimmed and groomed. After all, a king's still gotta look sharp in front of the ladies, eh?

3. John Knox

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Knox was a Scottish clergyman from the 15th century. He led his country's Reformation and founded the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

What else did he do? Knox rocked his beard long and it's often depicted to reach his chest. Who says church and swagger can't go together?

4. William Shakespeare

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One of the greatest writers of all time, Shakespeare, the Bard. While some theories say the man may be a myth, and we have no actual photo proof, one can still dream, and imagine that this bearded man shaped so much history reciting plays and sonnets while rocking this mischevious mustache.

To beard or not to beard, anyone?

5. Peter Cooper

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Born in the 1700s, US presidential candidate Peter Cooper's claim to fame was the first steam locomotive in America, Tom Thumb. What he should've been known for was his badass, full-blown, and bushy beard.

6. Ambrose Everett Burnside

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Burnside was an American soldier and a politician hailing from Rhode Island in the 1800s. Burnside was a railroad executive, an industrialist, and an inventor. He became the National Rifle Association’s first president as well.

Trivia: The term "sideburns" was coined from his family name. See that monster of a mutton chop on his mug? Now that's legacy!

7. Charles Darwin

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Darwin is famous for his contributions to science and the theory of evolution. He was born in England in the 1800s and he worked as a geologist, biologist, and naturalist.

Aside from his achievements, he also has one of the most famous beards in history. The man had some serious beard on him. He sported an abundance of snow-white beard that went past his collar, proving to us you don't need to make music to be a rockstar!

8. Claude Debussy

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Now here's a legitimate rockstar -- kinda. French composer Debussy was born in the 1800s. Some of his famous works include the Préludes and Études, and he is credited as the first Impressionist composer.

It’s no doubt that Debussy’s full beard gave him that mysterious rockstar vibe about him. He probably set the bar for them headbangers to follow. Whether he did it or not, he sure rocked that look... see what I did there?

9. Sigmund Freud

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Freud is most known for his work in the field of psychology. He was an Austrian neurologist who founded the clinical method of psychoanalysis.

If you're not into the caveman look and want a trimmed and neat-looking beard, Freud's your guy. His beard is so well-groomed that it seems to cling to his face like a second skin.

10. Horace Greeley

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You may recognize Greeley's name from the world of American journalism. He was the founder and editor of the New York Tribune. Greeley also delved into politics and served as a congressman. He ran for president in 1872 but was unsuccessful.

Greeley’s distinct neckbeard is something that is hard to miss. Sometimes he would let it cover his collar, but other times he would also tuck it in. Quite a hard feat for a man with as glorious a neckbeard as his!

11. Franz Joseph I

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Franz Joseph I was an Austrian Emperor and a Hungarian King. He had the longest reign of his dual titles. And in European history, he is the third monarch to have the longest reign in any country.

Though probably not as long as his reign, Franz Joseph I's facial hair is quite distinctive, covering everything but the chin. At least the man knew how to stand out.

12. George V

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Like one of our previous monarchs, George V also held dual titles. In the 1900s, he became the King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions. At the same time, he was also the Emperor of India.

Check out the strong mustache-and-beard game this king had! This man's game was tight!

13. Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln | The Most Epic Beards Throughout History | epic beards in history

Lincoln was a lawyer who served as a President of the United States. He is famous for leading his country through the Civil War from 1861 to 1865.

Lincoln also has one of the most notable beards in US history. His well-suited chin curtain completed his brooding look.

He once said, "There are no bad pictures; that's just how your face looks sometimes." Well, Abe, with that scruff, you definitely didn't have to worry about no bad photos.

14. Karl Marx

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Marx was born in Germany in the 1800s. He held many titles and occupations in his life but he is best known for Marxism — his theories on society, politics, and economics.

His full-blown beard and bushy hair combo earn him a place on this list. You simply cannot ignore that look.

15. Nikola Pašić

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Pašić was a prominent Serbian and Yugoslav politician who led the People's Radical Party. He served as Prime Minister in the Kingdom of Serbia and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as well. During World War I, Pašić was the Serbian Prime Minister.

16. Alfred von Tirpitz

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Tirpitz was known for his work in the German Imperial Navy. He served as a Grand Admiral and also strengthened the then-modest Imperial Navy.

Forked beard... 'nuff said.

17. Ernest Hemingway

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Hemingway was an American writer and journalist. In 1954, he earned a Nobel Prize in Literature for his work. Hemingway also came up with the writing style called Iceberg Theory, which has influenced fiction in the 20th century.

In his later years, he grew a full beard that accentuated his handsome features. I mean, come on! Look at those whiskers! By styling and maintaining your beard, you too can achieve this rugged and striking look.


Want to know how you can achieve the kind of beard you've always wanted? Head to Wild Willies and check out the beard products made for men like you.

Along with style, men's facial hair has evolved over the years. Check out this BuzzFeedBlue video on the evolution of American facial hair:

Epic beards go in and out of fashion over time. Each era adapts a certain beard trend (or no beard at all). But it's no doubt that having awesome facial hair is a huge confidence-booster. So if you want to have one of the best beards ever, use the very best beard care products!


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