6 Bald Men Who’ve Shaped History

Originally Published in 2012

Famous Bald Men in History

If history were shaped like anything, we believe it would probably be a bald head.

However, as history itself is intangible, it isn’t really shaped like anything.

In lieu of scientific evidence to the contrary, please bear witness to our most fantastic list of 6 baldies who have shaped history.

1. Mahatma Gandhi


If ever any baldie – be they man, be they woman or be they weird-breed of cat – should ever feel anything but pride over their lack of head hair, then inspiration lies no further than an internet connection and a google search for “Mahatma Gandhi”.

He lead the Indian National Congress party in 1921.

He visited Downing Street in a shawl made from yarn he spun himself.

And sandals.

I’ll say that again – he visited Downing Street in sandals.

Oh, and he managed to show that a brutal tyranny can be overcome without resorting to violence (by kicking the British out of India).

What part did baldness play in all this?

The hairy man (or the British Raj, if you must) shoots tigers and oppresses the natives.

The bald man kicks him out.

Some would say not a jot.

But then, some would say the earth is flat.

Gandhi marched 241 miles to make his own salt, in protest at the British taxing it.

Would this have been possible if he had to lug around a jumbo jug of Head and Shoulders?

We think not.

Furthermore, he spent a long time in prison, often in isolation.

Would he have been able to command respect if he’d come out a shabby, hairy, bespectacled monster?

Not a chance.

No, his saving grace was his baldness.

It allowed him to out a shabby, bald, bespectacled man.

All in all, Gandhi is one of humanity’s greats.

And he was bald.

Need we say more?

2. Mikhail Gorbachev

Image Credit: The Official CTBTO Photostream, Gorbachev (cropped), CC BY 2.0

So, what did Mikhail Gorbachev do? Well, he played a large part in the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union.

He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, and he ushered a form of freedom of information in the Soviet Union (glasnost, in case you wondered).

Gorbachev started life as a peasant, and probably bald.

In neither aspect was he remarkable. In rising from combine harvester operator to head of the CCCP and the Soviet Union, he was remarkable.

His combine harvester operating skills aren’t to be knocked, either – he was the one of youngest ever recipients of the Order of the Red Banner of Labour for collecting a record crop on his family’s collective farm.

Not that baldness and combine harvesting skills necessarily mark you out for greatness.

We’re just saying they’re probably part of the equation.

3. Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin


Apparently, yes.



Whether or not you believe in what Darwin theorized in “On the Evolution of Species“, to deny that he has helped shape history is something akin to denying that baldness makes men more attractive.

In a word; rubbish.


What did he propose?

The theory of evolution, and of natural selection.

Debates have raged ever since about how this sits with religion, how this sits with humans and, most importantly, how this sits with the age-old hair vs sans hair controversy.

Could we be descended from the same species?

His work also led to uglier results – eugenics and social Darwinism are both grew from a base level acceptance of Darwin’s proposed methodology.

4. Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill arguably deserves a place on this list for his witticisms alone.

His famous reply to being told by Bessie Braddock that he was drunk when leaving the Commons gets my vote on its own:

“Sir! You’re drunk!”

“Madam, you’re ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you’ll still be ugly!”

Whether that is funnier than his response to Nancy Astor’s claim that if she were his wife, she’d poison his coffee (“Nancy, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”) is open to debate.

The war had taken its toll.

What isn’t open to debate, however, is the fact that Winston changed history.

He rallied the British troops and led them to glory in WW2.

He won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

He was very posh indeed.

What’s more, he didn’t just change history – he pretty much defied it.

His political career was considered practically dead by the mid-1930s.

He was, of course, Prime Minister twice after that, from 1940 – 1945 and then from 1951 – 1952.

5. Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is considered the greatest writer in the English language.


He was also one of those people who makes up for baldness on top by going a bit crazy on the back and sides.

I suppose, though, for the greatest writer in the English language ever, we can forgive that.

…I suppose…

Ahead of his time in both the spheres of literature and of course, fashion.

He wrote, among others, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, Hamlet, and the Tempest.

He coined words, such as ‘fashionable’, and phrases, such as ‘a sorry sight’ and ‘seen better days’.

The way in which we communicate has been influenced by the man above.

His baldness may have been the reason for his demonstrably silly hair, but it was also, we think, a large part of his genius.

6. Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin

We’re not sure if Lenin looks like the devil, or if the modern devil has been influenced by this picture.

Definitely bald, though.

Lenin changed history. You can love him or you can hate him, or if you’re ill-educated you can remain unaware that he ever even existed.

He led the Bolshevik political party from 1917 to 1924, led the October Revolution of 1917 and fought to establish a communist economy in Russia.

He was also responsible for the creatively named ‘Marxism-Leninism’, which is Lenin’s practical application of Marxism for Russia.

Still unconvinced?

Over 100,000,000 have visited his mummified body, and his work inspired the revolutions of Castro, Mao and Ho Chi Minh.

Despicable as some of them may be.

The problem with Lenin isn’t his politics.

It isn’t the fact that his state, albeit under the control of bizarre mental case (and, if you hadn’t noticed, owner of a full head of hair) Joseph Stalin, was responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths.

It isn’t even the fact that he looks alarmingly like the devil.

It’s the fact that he wore a wig.

Lenin Wig

Who’s Your Favorite Bald Man in History?

You’ve read our list, now we’d love to hear from you!

Who’s your favorite bald man in history?

Feel free to drop a comment below with your pick.

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Balding Pete's the name and hair loss is my game! I write about hair loss products, treatments, and the best and the baldest of us. Balding Pete is just a pen name - I don't want to reveal my true identity because I'm kind of embarrassed by my receding hairline and I don't want to bring too much attention to it. Maybe one day I'll fully embrace it, but we'll see!


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