Reddit | MadeYaLookOP

16+ Pics Of The Past That Show A New Spin On Famous Figures

Sometimes, it can be kind of hard to tell what makes certain pictures of a historical figure stand out from the rest.

Granted, it makes sense that when we picture Martin Luther King Jr., the first thing that pops into our head would likely be him delivering his "I Have a Dream" speech due to the power of his words.

But for others, there's a more vague sense of them looking particularly iconic during a given chapter of their lives and we have to train ourselves to recognize them when they didn't look quite like that. There are pictures of Marilyn Monroe with brown hair, after all.

So whether we're about to see a specific person or a wider moment in history in a new light, these photos will surely warp our expectations.

Although many of the animals that were sent into space didn't make it back to earth, we have photographic proof that this wasn't always how that went.

Reddit | prosperarena

For instance, here we see Ham the chimpanzee posing with a newspaper excitedly announcing that he survived his journey into the final frontier.

It's pretty much impossible to find a non-intimidating picture of infamous "Mad Monk" Grigori Rasputin, but this is likely as close as we're getting.

Reddit | derstherower

Here we see him with Russian Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, her five children, and their nurse.

Maybe it's just me, but I think Rasputin looks a little bit like Ringo Starr in this photo. Maybe that's why he's not as scary here.

Only the biggest of superfans will recognize the man playing Henry Higgens in this 1976 production of My Fair Lady.

Reddit | eaglemaxie

For those who give up, this is none other than Leonard Nimoy.

Considering that reviews at the time pegged him as playing the role quite well, it's not surprising that he spent years frustrated by the fact that most people only knew him as Mr. Spock.

Everyone in this family photo has at least one Nobel prize to their name.

Reddit | GeneReddit123

To the right is Marie Curie, who would win two of them in her lifetime. One for physics was split with her husband Pierre in 1903, while another for chemistry was earned on her own in 1911.

Also pictured is their daughter Irène, who would also take home the prize for chemistry in 1935.

Considering he only lived to the age of 27, it seems hard to believe that there was a period where someone as iconic as Doors frontman Jim Morrison would be hard to recognize.

Reddit | vintageeveryday

However, we're so used to seeing him with the more chiselled features of his youth that if we passed by him while this 1971 photo was taken, we may never realize who he was.

Even if you have absolutely no idea who this man is, I guarantee you've heard his name.

Reddit | cluelesslukas

Here we see Louis Chevrolet, who was both a champion bicycle racer and the owner of a bike brand before his name became so closely tied to cars.

The world recently lost country music legend Charlie Daniels and this is what he looked like a couple of years before "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" put him on the map.

Reddit | joetophat

Aside from those wide glasses and a lot less gray in his beard, he doesn't look terribly different to how we might picture him later in life.

Although John Armstrong Jr. might not exactly be a household name, the fact that this photo of him exists at all means he made history.

Reddit | derstherower

As confirmed by the U.S. House of Representatives, he was a member of the Continental Congress that also counts America's founding fathers among its ranks.

By 1840, he became the only Continental Congress member to be photographed.

If you don't recognize this man, yet still find him strangely familiar, there's a reason for that.

Reddit | Life2021

This is a photo of Queen Elizabeth's husband Prince Phillip that was taken back in 1936.

He obviously looks very different now, but you might notice he shared some facial features with the younger members of his family in this picture.

He's a little obscured by this window, but this was likely the last person a troubled man on a ledge expected to meet that day.

Reddit | prosperarena

At a Los Angeles high-rise in 1981, the unidentified man we see here made it clear to the gathered crowd that he was going to jump.

When boxing legend Muhammad Ali heard about this situation from his public relations manager, however, he traveled to the scene and leaned out of a ninth-floor window to convince the man not to go through with it. Fortunately, he was very persuasive that day.

Although he's not difficult to recognize here, a lot had changed in Vladimir Lenin's life by the time this photo was taken in 1923.

Reddit | haroldas194

By this point, he had experienced three strokes, the last of which rendered him completely mute.

It's perhaps not surprising that this would be the last photo he would sit for in his life.

Although he was only 23 in this photo, Patrick Stewart already looked a little closer to how we imagine him than he might seem here.

Reddit | user320name

As he told Rolling Stone, he had become completely bald by the time he was 20, but used to wear this expensive hair piece to auditions.

As he said, he would often take it off and say to casting directors, "Hey, two actors for the price of one. You can’t turn this down, can you?"

This photo of Civil War General and eventual U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant never actually took place.

Reddit | prosperarena

Although Photoshop obviously didn't exist in 1902, the Library of Congress confirmed that this photo was a fake created by slicing multiple negatives together.

You've likely seen the man on the right in this photo more than you might realize.

Reddit | NeutralNoodle

Although it's hard to recognize him with a full head of hair, his preferred style of glasses offer a small clue as to who we're looking at here.

It's actually Curb Your Enthusiasm creator and Seinfeld co-creator Larry David.

Since this isn't the clearest photo, it's hard to blame you for not being able to tell who this is.


But if you've figured out that this 1966 selfie was taken by Beatles icon John Lennon, then you're on a level of Beatles fandom that borders on Beatles historian.

Before she built a media empire, Oprah Winfrey was racking up considerably more obscure achievements in life.

Reddit | Intelligent_Badger_1

As confirmed by The Chicago Tribune, here we see her being crowned Miss Fire Prevention of Nashville in 1971.

It's unclear what exactly she did to earn that title, but it was apparently very safe.

There's something oddly comforting about the fact that Al Pacino has apparently always looked excited on camera.

Reddit | Sadmuraii

Yes, that is actually what he looked like as a baby. He's pictured with his parents, Rose and Salvatore, in 1940.

I think we can kind of see the resemblance here.

Part of this comes down to the picture quality, but it might take a closer look to guess who we're seeing on the left here.

Reddit | MadeYaLookOP

It's none other than 44th President of the United States Barack Obama pictured when he was about 20 years old.

Albert Einstein looks pretty much as we'd expect him to here, but his appearance isn't what makes this photo stand out.

Reddit | prosperarena

Instead, it reveals not only that at least one person made a puppet version of him while he was alive, but also that he was aware of it.

It's both a little surprising and oddly appropriate that this is what the 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt looked like when he was 19.

Reddit | naanoso

He also happened to be studying at Harvard at the time and while this may not be what he wore to class, it's hard to imagine someone with enough guts to stop him if he wanted to.

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