From Musketeers to Nazis, Archimedes to Harriet Tubman, these famous historical figures changed the course of history -- for better or worse.
Earning a medical degree takes a lot of hard work, but sometimes destiny calls to other things. These folks abandoned their medical careers to get involved in other lines of work and make their names.
She can't shout 'Off with his head!' and have her order carried out. But the queen still has some special powers, most of which she's careful not to use.
Revolutionary Che Guevara has become the personification to all those who want to defy the establishment. But his full true story is one of a ruthless killer who died a sad, unceremonious death.
He was cocky when it came to his boxing career but charitable when it came to his heart. We're talking of course about Muhammad Ali, whose legacy shines as brightly today as his left jab once stung opponents in the ring.
Dame Jean Macnamara's research helped eventually lead to the Salk vaccine for polio. Her lasting legacy as an advocate for people with disabilities still lives on today.
Coco Chanel is a symbol for fashion and feminism. She's credited with designing the little black dress and the Chanel suit, after all. But hanging beside those in her closet were a few pretty big skeletons, too.
Chairman Mao is one of history's worst despots, having murdered millions of Chinese during his communist reign. So why is he also still revered by many in that country?
Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun didn't make much of an impression in his time on Earth, even while he was king. But in the afterlife King Tut rules.
She is the face of feminism – a revolutionary pioneer who changed the trajectory of the feminist movement. We're talking about Gloria Steinem, who has been on the front lines of the fight for equality for more than 50 years.
The ingenious Greek, who started as a young devotee of Socrates, laid the groundwork for more than two millennia of philosophical thought. But what did he say that was so remarkable?
Frederick Douglass spent the first 15 years of his life as a slave but rose to become a famous orator and abolitionist – as well as the most photographed American of the 19th century.
Cesar Chavez was able to do something nobody before him could — organize abused farmworkers through nonviolent resistance. His work transformed their lives forever.
He's been the subject of several movies and TV shows, but make no mistake, Spartacus was a real person who started a short-lived rebellion against the Roman Empire with lasting consequences.
John Adams was the first vice president of the United States, a role he thought was contrived and insignificant. But the function of the VP has changed, and Adams played a huge part in that.
Parks didn't refuse to move from her bus seat because her feet were tired. "The only tired I was, was tired of giving in," she said. What else do we get wrong?
Susan B. Anthony's enduring legacy is for her tireless work for women's voting rights in the United States. But there's so much more to her story than just as a suffragette.
"The unexamined life," said Socrates, "is not worth living." So what was the life of this Athenian sage really like?
Statesman, military leader and Emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the most fascinating characters in European history and his height was the least of it.
Joseph Stalin ruled over the Soviet Union through force, fear mongering and absolute tyranny. His acts of cruelty made him one of the 20th century's worst dictators.
Did Columbus really prove the world was round? Did he think he had found a new continent? And how was he perceived back home?
While all presidents seem to wax and wane in the public consciousness, Jackson's name pops up regularly, even more so in recent years. Why does a president who died in 1845 haunt contemporary political discourse?
As the first major Chinese-American film star, it wasn't easy for Anna May Wong. But she persisted and fought against stereotypes, eventually breaking down barriers in Hollywood.
Amelia Earhart's reaction to seeing her first flight as a kid was one big yawn. But that attitude changed with her first plane ride, paving the way for a life of dare-devilry, one that ultimately cost her life.
Eric Robert Rudolph evaded the FBI and police from 1996 until 2003, after a series of bombings in Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama. But what drove him to kill?
Jimmy Carter isn't considered one of America's greatest presidents. But the legacy he's built in the 40-plus years after leaving the White House is one that will be hard for other presidents to top.
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