40 Portraits of Iconic Personalities
04th September, 2020
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These legendary icons became examples and are the most prominent figures who have helped shaped the world as we know it today with their contributions. They have walked among us and will forever be enshrined in our memories. We are talking about some of the most extraordinary personalities to have graced us with their presence, charm, and wit through their works in arts, sciences, literature, and humanitarian efforts. From the legendary king of rock and roll to the king of pop, literary geniuses, and even political leaders, here are 40 amazing portraits of some of the greatest icons.
Louis Armstrong www.udiscovermusic.com
01
Louis Armstrong
“Satchmo” and “Pops” were just a few nicknames of Louis Armstrong, one of the most iconic personalities fondly remembered in the world of Jazz. Hailing from New Orleans, he rose to fame in the 1920s and was widely celebrated for his unique vocals and bold style of playing the trumpet. This picture was taken in 1953 at the peak of his career.
Kurt Cobain ew.com
02
Kurt Cobain
When you think of Grunge bands, Nirvana and its lead singer Kurt Cobain are the two first names that come to mind. This rock legend became famous for two of the best albums in the history of rock and roll music. Nevermind and In Utero, both of which catapulted to the top of the charts back in the '90s. Photographer Mark Seliger took this picture.
Jim Morrison telanganatoday.com
03
Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison was the iconic frontman of the psychedelic rock group called The Doors in the late 1960s. He was the lead singer of the band, and he is often credited for revolutionizing the rock movement after attaining much fame and success. He is, to this day, regarded as one of the greatest singers of the genre. This image of him was snapped by photographer Joel Brodsky in 1967.
John F. Kennedy time.com
04
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. In the 1960s, JFK led the expansion of the space program developed by NASA and was committed to putting a man on the moon to mark one of the most successful spaceflights in the history of mankind. This mission was made possible with Apollo 11 spaceflight in 1969. This portrait was clicked by Alfred Eisenstaedt in 1961.
Marlon Brando www.newsweek.com
05
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando introduced his own brand of method acting. However, his slurred dialogue delivery is what the audience actually loved about his performance. The actor often played roles that required a certain brooding characterization. He won the Oscars twice and will always be remembered for playing the extraordinary role of Don Corleone in the 1972 crime movie The Godfather.
Alexander Graham Bell en.wikipedia.org
06
Alexander Graham Bell
Graham Bell is credited for the invention of the first ever working telephone. But his journey to this successful invention was long and gruesome. In fact, Bell was attacked with 600 lawsuits. They were filed against his patent designs. Most of them sparked the longest patent claims battle in the history of mainstream lawsuits. This portrait was taken in 1904.
Bette Davis www.mentalfloss.com
07
Bette Davis
The iconic actress was known all over Tinseltown for her larger-than-life persona. She starred in over 100 films with a career spanning over six decades. She made her first Broadway appearance in the theatre production comedy Broken Dishes. It was shortly after that Bette Davis passed a screen test with Universal Pictures to begin her successful career in film.
Charles De Gaulle en.wikiquote.org
08
Charles De Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle was a French soldier, statesman, and one of the leading influencers of the Fifth French Republic. A military man of intelligence and outstanding courage, he led the Free French Forces during the Nazi invasion of France. De Gaulle founded the Fifth Republic and continued to serve as the President of France for the next decade. This picture was taken in 1943.
Princess Diana www.sothebys.com
09
Princess Diana
Princess Diana was fondly referred to as the People’s Princess because she managed to win hearts all over the world. She was responsible for establishing over a hundred different charities that catered to the needs of the common folk. The iconic portrait was taken by her friend and photographer Patrick Demarchelier in 1990. It was the same picture that made the cover of "People" in 1997.
Albert Einstein www.space.com
10
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein is a renowned personality who is known all over the world and has influenced the development of general and special theories of relativity. This portrait was taken by photographer Oren Jack Turner two years after the unfortunate atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was during 1947 that Albert Einstein was actively fighting against the production of nuclear weaponry.
Anne Frank www.annefrank.org
11
Anne Frank
Anne Frank penned down one of the most widely read accounts of the Holocaust when Adolf Hitler came into power in 1933. The Jews were forced into hiding to avoid being sent to concentration camps set up by the Nazis. It was during this time that Anne Frank wrote about her experiences. This portrait was taken before Anne Frank went into hiding.
Ernest Hemingway studybreaks.com
12
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway’s name is forever celebrated in the history of American literature. He is famously known for his works, such as A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, and the Pulitzer prize-winning novel The Old Man and The Sea. Receiving the Nobel prize for literature in 1954 was only the cherry on top. Photographer Yousuf Karsh clicked this portrait of Hemmingway.
Steve Jobs www.poineeringminds.com
13
Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs told everyone to think differently, and that you would never look at a computer the same way ever again. The visionary genius famously pushed the boundaries of innovation to design products that revolutionized personal computing. He is the founder of Apple Inc., one of the most valuable tech companies, with its products earning a status of social currency.
Helen Keller www.hki.org
14
Helen Keller
Helen Keller was stricken with severe illness at the tender age of two that left her visually and hearing impaired. However, these adversaries did not stop her from becoming one of the greatest American authors and educators of the time. She wrote her first book in 1903, and a year later, this photograph was taken. She also worked tirelessly as an advocate for humanitarian causes.
Bruce Lee www.seattletimes.com
15
Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee became a household name in mainstream the Kung Fu cinema. He is famously remembered for one of the best martial arts movies Enter the Dragon. The martial artist excelled in the areas of Kung Fu and Wing Chun. Lee's movements were so swift that the scenes that involved his fists and legs had to be slowed down when shooting, or the audience wouldn’t be able to catch them.
Nelson Mandela karsh.org
16
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela was the first Black elected president of South Africa. He was instrumental in leading nonviolent campaigns against the South African Government and its policies that were regarded as racist. He was also one of the prominent figures in the history of the country to bring an end to the Apartheid. Mandela spent 27 years in prison and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 before being elected.
Pablo Picasso intutive-business.com
17
Pablo Picasso
Picasso was definitely one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He is also regarded as one of the major contributors of the Cubist movement, an art form that uses geometric shapes to depict human and other living forms. Pablo Picasso learned to paint from his father and has created more than 50,000 unique artworks throughout his lifetime.
Elvis Presley www.nytimes.com
18
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley introduced the world of rock and roll to his unique style and iconic dance moves. He was one of the most influential musicians of his time and managed to woo his audience with one hit after another. The Rock and Roll legend is famously known for iconic numbers like "Jailhouse Rock," "Heartbreak Hotel," and "Blue Christmas." He also dabbled in acting.
Eleanor Roosevelt www.britannica.com
19
Eleanor Roosevelt
She became the longest-serving first lady of the United States when her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt held office for four terms. Eleanor Roosevelt was a humanitarian and a well-renowned United Nations diplomat who dedicated her life to advocate civil and women's rights. A woman of substance, poise, and great capabilities, she was a respected representative and an icon on a global stage.
Frank Sinatra www.liveabout.com
20
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra rose to fame in that music industry and as an actor during the era of the big band music scene. He quickly became one of the most popular performers of the 20th century, pumping out a hit after another. Many of his songs were later on used in films, featuring iconic tunes like “Love and Marriage” and “New York, New York,” which earned him eleven GRAMMYs.
John Wayne standard.co.uk
21
John Wayne
John Wayne rose to fame after starring in True Grit and The Alamo. He won his first Academy Award for his character of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. However, this was just the beginning of the actor’s promising and blossoming career. The actor went on to have star in 142 old Western movies. This photograph was snapped by David Sutton.
Mae West lwlies.com
22
Mae West
Mae West gained popularity on-screen after starring in movies that were, at the time, under the scanner for their blunt sexuality and intimate love scenes. This also led to a number of censorship issues that became the highlight of her blossoming movie career. Mae West also wrote and produced Broadway plays that became a box office hit but were criticized for their portrayal of raw sexuality.
Dame Elizabeth Taylor en.wikipedia.org
23
Dame Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Taylor was the epitome of attractiveness and was famously known for her mesmerizing violet eyes and stunning personality. This photograph snapped in 1951, truly depicts her beauty. She played the lead role in the movie Cleopatra and became the first actress to be paid $1 million dollars for signing a film. Taylor was also in the limelight for her scandalous love affairs.
Edgar Allan Poe www.britannica.com
24
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allen Poe is famously known for "Poe's Law," a term he coined to describe poems that can be read in one sitting. He remains to be one of the most notable authors and poets in American literature. Poe was also a strong athlete, and both his parents were actors. Interestingly, he also married his cousin Virginia. The photograph was clicked by S W Hartshorn.
Marilyn Monroe www.telegraph.co.uk
25
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was considered to be one of the most beautiful actresses of her time, and also one of the most enduring sex symbols of the '50s. She starred in box office goliaths that grossed over $200 million dollars in total. She is also famously known for her relationships with Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio. Her death was quite tragic, and many say the circumstances of her passing were mysterious.
Abraham Lincoln en.wikipedia.org
26
Abraham Lincoln
President Abraham Lincoln was popularly known among the masses as Honest Abe. The 16th leader of the Free World played one of the pivotal roles in abolishing slavery in the country, a feat regarded high above his many notable political achievements. He was also well recognized for his long uncombed beard that became a signature style. Alexander Gardner captures his attributes quite beautifully in this portrait.
Ronald Reagan projects.latimes.com
27
Ronald Reagan
Before becoming the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan was an actor and served as the Republican Governor of California. He made his film debut in 1937 after signing a contract with Warner Bros. for the movie Love Is on the Air. Ronald Reagan's presidential administration was credited with bringing an end to the infamous Cold War.
Vladimir Lenin www.britannica.com
28
Vladimir Lenin
He was the founder of the Russian communist party, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, and the first head of the Soviet state. But above all, Vladimir Lenin was known for his Marxist theories and branded Leninism during the time of the Russian Revolution. He was the most significant political leader during one of the major turning points in the revolution. This portrait was taken in 1918.
Martin Luther King www.phillytrib.com
29
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King’s name became synonymous with the American Civil Rights movement during the mid-1950s. He was a Baptist minister and social activist who fought for the equality and human rights of African-Americans all over the world. Famously remembered for his “I have a dream” speech, he advocated his policies and demanded people’s rights through peaceful protests. Even today, he is renowned as one of the most prominent leaders.
Mother Teresa www.thetablet.co.uk
30
Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa founded one of the biggest Roman Catholic congregation of women called the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, which was dedicated to helping the poor. Famously regarded as one of the greatest ever humanitarians to have walked this planet, her charity organization ran nearly 610 missions worldwide. She has also been honored as Saint Teresa of Calcutta by the Roman Catholic Church.
Stanley Kubrick www.nme.com
31
Stanley Kubrick
Kubrick is well known for directing some of the most critically acclaimed films including The Shining, 200: A Space Odyssey, and Full Metal Jacket. Stanley Kubrick believes strongly in perfection, an attribute that can actually be seen on screen, from finding the perfect cast, to perfecting a film score, or even the perfect climax. Kubrick was a photographer before he started exploring filmmaking.
Sigmund Freud en.wikipedia.org
32
Sigmund Freud
Australian neurologist Sigmund Freud penned down many notable works that tackled a broad range of subjects, like human emotions, dreams, sex, religion, women, and culture. One of his most notable works is the book called The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud also introduced the concept of psychoanalysis as clinical treatment and is known for his contributions in the field of psychology.
Josef Stalin www.thetimes.co.uk
33
Josef Stalin
Josef Stalin was responsible for the transformation of the Soviet Union. From being a peasant society to an industrial and military superpower, the country had a drastic change due to the great famine, killing millions. A Georgian revolutionary, he seized power in communist Russia after the death of Lenin. This portrait photograph of him is believed to be taken during the period of 1922-1940.
Paul Newman www.goodhousekeeping.com
34
Paul Newman
Paul Newman started his acting career at Broadway. Neman made his film debut with The Silver Chalice, which tanked at the box office. However, after starring in films like Cool Hand Luke and The Hustler, he became to be known as one of the finest actors of his time. Paul Newman also had a food company called Newman’s Own that donated all profits to charity.
Sophia Loren commons.wikimedia.org
35
Sophia Loren
Actress Sophia Loren had a successful TV and movie career. But it was not always the case, as the Italian superstar hailed from a poverty-stricken background in the post-war city of Naples. A prominent figure in the Golden Age of Italian arts, she became a major part of the music and television industry and is known as an icon worldwide.
Bob Marley www.morrisonhotelgallery.com
36
Bob Marley
Bob Marley became the world ambassador for reggae music after he and his band, the Wailing Wailers, started music. Bob Marley rose like a phoenix from the ashes of a then third world country to become an international superstar. He sold over 20 million records in the genre. He also converted from Christianity to join the Rastafari movement in the 1960s.
John Lennon www.indiatoday.in
37
John Lennon
The singer and songwriter campaigned for several causes, such as peace between the US and Russia at the time of the Cold War. Photographer Iain Macmillan was first introduced to John Lennon when he was asked to take the now famous Abbey Road session pictures of the Beatles walking across the zebra crossings. This portrait was also taken by the same photographer.
Mahatma Gandhi www.oneindia.com
38
Mahatma Gandhi
Known as the Father of the Nation in India, Mahatma Gandhi played one of the most crucial roles of freeing millions of Indians from the shackles of the British Rule. Practicing his world-renowned ideologies of "Ahimsa" (non-violence) and "Satyagraha" (passive political resistance), Mahatma Gandhi helped India gain independence in 1947. This is one of his famous portraits captured in the 1930s.
Micheal Jackson www.morrisonhotelgallery.com
39
Micheal Jackson
Dubbed as the King of Pop, the singer ranked among some of the greatest music legends to dominate the music industry during the '80s and '90s. His iconic moonwalk and high-pitch vocals earned him his commercial success. Even to this day, music aficionados and patrons from all over the world recognize Thriller as one of Michael Jackson’s greatest albums ever made.