Famous Redheads Throughout History Vol. 2
Redheads are a big part of history. They helped shape our modern world and have made strides in every field imaginable, ranging from artists to monarchs to just being an interesting person. Learn and enjoy the illustrious achievements and lives in redhead history. Some are very famous and others are relatively unknown. Learn and enjoy!
Annie Moore, first Ellis Island immigrant, 1874 – 1923 or 1924
After a 12-day journey that began in Ireland on December 20, 1891 and ended January 1, 1892, teenaged Annie Moore became the first immigrant to go through Ellis Island. She was born and raised in Ireland. Prior to going aboard the S.S. Nevada, her parents had already migrated to America. This time, it was Annie and her younger brothers. Later, she married a German man and had reportedly 11 children with him.
Some people thought she started a new life Texas but that is a different Annie Moore.
Tycho Brahe, Astronomer, 1546 – 1601
Following in the footsteps of Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho Brahe revolutionized astronomy. Tycho never used a telescope, had a pet moose (that died because he got it too drunk), and had a metal nose. He was born to royalty and as a result had a high quality education. In college, his uncle wanted him to study law but the solar eclipse of August 21, 1560 happened. The dreams of a law career were mere stardust in the wind. Post-graduating, Tycho buckled down and pursued his dream. Around this time he lost his nose in a duel caused by an argument over a math formula.
He didn’t work alone however. There were two assistants, Johannes Kepler and Sophia Brahe (his sister). They kept measurements and notes for him. Tycho took all measures to guard his results from thieves. He was the first person to record multiple supernovas. Also he created the term supernova. There isn’t enough space here to go through all his accomplishments.
Tycho died when his bladder burst after getting a UTI.
Lucille Ball, Entertainment Mogul, 1911 – 1989
In the history of television, very few have reached the level of Lucille Ball. Not only was she an actress and comedian, she was a powerful force behind the scenes.
Lucy was born in Celoron, NY or Butte, Montana, depending on your source. Her father was a Bell Telephone Company lineman which had them moving around frequently. He passed when she was 4 and the family returned to NY. Lucy discovered a love for performing when she was in a chorus line for a Shriners performance. After this she tried and failed several times to make a career. She gained a relatively steady job as a model and became a Chesterfield cigarette girl. In 1933, she was uncredited in Roman Scandals. From here, her career picked up steam carrying her into Olympus.
Everyone knows I Love Lucy, which co-starred her then husband, Desi Arnez. I Love Lucy was a mega hit that captured America’s heart. The show was produced by Lucy and Desi’s production company Desilu Productions. Lucy ran it. She was the first woman to head a production company. Some of the shows they worked on were The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Star Trek, and many more. Her legacy is groundbreaking in countless ways but sometimes overshadowed by her turbulent personal life.
Genghis Khan, Conqueror, 1162 – 1227
There is some debate over this. Some records describe him as having red hair and green eyes but others differ. The Mongols were very diverse so it’s plausible. Since he is usually regarded as a redhead he is included on this list.
He conquered the world or at least the largest chunk of the world that any human ever did. His empire was 12.7 million square miles aka 22% of the world and 25% of the world population circa the 13th century. The only empire that trumped him was the British Empire which was 13 million square miles. The Roman, Spanish, and Russian don’t even come close.
Genghis was born Temujin. His father was poisoned and died. His family was then exiled by the tribe. He was captured and enslaved shortly after getting married. He freed himself rose through the ranks. By 1206 he was named leader of Mongols and took the name Genghis Khan, which means, “Universal Ruler.” He became a force of nature that no one dared get in the way of.
Aeneas Coffey, Inventor, 1780 – 1852
Who likes drinkin’? Aeneas Coffey did. He was born in France to Irish parents. After a few years they returned to Ireland. Aeneas attended and graduated from the University of Dublin. He worked as a tax collector for a few decades and retired in 1824. Around that time the column still was invented by Sir Anthony Perrier. It concentrated alcohol to higher levels than before. Following this Robert Stein improved it slightly but no one really noticed. Then in 1830, Coffey received the patent for the Coffey still that could do 60% alcohol concentration which was unheard of at the time.
The Coffey still took the alcohol world by storm. You could make a whisky, vodka, gin, rum, everything that got you drunk stronger, easier, and cheaper than before. Europe and the Americas adapted to utilizing the Coffey still. He died a rich man.
Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England, 1485 – 1536
Though primarily known for being Henry VIII’s first wife, she isn’t just another generic everyday blue blood. She was born to Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, the Spanish monarchs of that time. Given this Catherine had the best education you could have. It covered everything from Greek to dancing to history. Early on she was paired up with Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. They were pen pals until marrying age. He was 15 and she was 16. They married in 1501. He died in 1502. She was 17. Shortly after, she was ambassador to England, becoming the first female ambassador in European history.
She married Henry VIII in 1509. Out of six children only one survived, Mary I. As a result Henry believed his marriage was cursed so he took a lover, Anne Boleyn. By the 1520s Catherine was deemed too old to have children. Henry VIII tried to divorce her since she didn’t have a son, but that didn’t happen. Henry wanted to have her executed but she was a royal so their marriage was annulled. During this marriage however she was not a trophy wife. She served as regent governor when Henry was fighting wars and was one of his key advisers. Catherine wanted to more women to be educated. She frequently donated to colleges and made women’s education more fashionable and acceptable. Catherine died January 7, 1536. It’s unclear exactly how but England mourned her loss.
Vincent Van Gogh, Artist, 1853 – 1890
Everyone has seen at least one of his paintings. His life and career was never stable or pleasant for the most part. His family specialized in two things, art and religion. His childhood wasn’t fun. According to him, “My youth was gloom and cold and sterile.” He bounced around several jobs for years going from art dealer to minister’s assistant to supply teacher. He tried and failed to become a pastor and was a missionary to a mining town. This whole time he was sketching and drawing everything around him and grew as an artist.
His romances never ended well. The most successful relationship was with a prostitute whom had a 5 year daughter and another on the way. It’s speculated to be his. Van Gogh gave in to family pressure and ended this torrid love affair after they found out. He moved to Paris and made a living off of his paintings but left after 2 years. He had an odd friendship with fellow painter Paul Gauguin in which after an altercation left part of his left ear missing. It’s not clear what happened. He retreated to a country home in his final years and either shot himself or someone shot him.
Emily Dickinson, Poet, 1830 – 1886
Ms. Dickinson was born into a well-known and influential family. Her grandfather founded Amhearst College. Emily was the middle child between William Austin and Lavinia Norcross. Her father made it a point that his children are well educated. She was an excellent student and excelled academically. However she was haunted and disturbed by death. Several people close to her had died and this took a toll. She assumed was going to die soon but didn’t and her phobia dissipated. This was replaced with a religious fervor that was also temporary.
She continued to live with her family after completing her education. Depression reared its ugly head and haunted her for the rest of her life. Ms. Dickinson was not a homebody. She took trips around the country with her family. During this time she wrote 800 poems and realized her calling. As she vigorously wrote poem after poem, she became more and more reclusive. She kept an active social life but never married. Her writing was up and down but ended up writing thousands of poems. She suffered Bright’s disease for 2 and half years and passed away.
Andrew Jackson, United States President, 1767 – 1845
Andrew Jackson is the angry grandpa of American presidents. He was born in Waxhaws border, between the Carolinas. His family came over from Ireland two years prior to Andrew’s birth. His father died in an accident only a month before he was born. His schooling was minimal and he worked as a child mostly. During the Revolutionary War, he was 13 and served as a courier for the Carolina militia. His oldest brother, Hugh, died, in the Battle of Stono Ferry in1779. 2 years later, he was captured with his brother, Robert, by the British. This encounter left scars on his head and hand. They contracted smallpox during this. A mere few days after their release Robert died. Andrew despised the British after this. Later that year his mother died from Cholera.
After these tragic events he studied, taught, and practiced law. He built a reputation so prolific that was elected to the House of Representatives in 1796 for Tennessee. He only served one term then and became a judge for the Tennessee Supreme Court. Around this time he and 2 other investors bought Tennessee land that a few decades later went by the name Memphis. He served in the military for the War of 1812. He became a war hero during the Battle of New Orleans changing the tide of the war. Jackson was elected to the Senate in 1823. He ran for president in 1824 but lost to John Qunicy Adams. He ran again during the next election and won. He served two terms, 1829-1837. In 1835, someone tried to assassinate him. He pulled out two pistols on the active president. Both guns misfired and Andrew, age 67, beat the assailant with his cane until Senator Davy Crockett walked by and helped restrain the failed assassin. He died in 1845 at 78.
Anastasia Romanov, Russian Grand Duchess, 1901 – 1918
There are many rumors and stories about her ultimate fate but this won’t cover that. She was a daughter of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra. She’s described as being short, delightful, and witty. She had a few nicknames, one being shvibzik, which means, “imp.” Her childhood wasn’t the standard royal one. Her and her siblings slept on camp cots with no pillow, cleaned their own rooms, and made to sew things for charity events when they had nothing else to do. She like her siblings suffered from hemophilia among several other health problems.
During World War I, she and her sister, Maria, wanted to become Red Cross nurses but were too young so played checkers and other games with wounded soldiers. Towards the end of the war, Russia withdrew from it because of internal problems. The Bolshevik Revolution annihilated the nation. Bolshevik secret police captured the royal family for several months. They were killed in July 1918.