Napoleon Was Super-short
Most of us know next to nothing about the French general and "emperor for life" Napoleon Bonaparte — a man whose military skill and political ambition made him one of the most powerful and feared figures of the late 18th and early 19th centuries — other than the fact that he was one petite dude. Even today, we say that an overcompensating short guy has a "Napoleon complex."
For years, the history books listed Napoleon's official height as 5 feet, 2 inches (1.6 meters), indisputably in "shorty" territory. But that's because they mistakenly believed that a French "foot" was the same as an English foot.
When the measurements are properly converted, Napoleon stretches to a respectable 5 feet, 7 inches (1.7 meters). That's not going to get him an NBA contract, but it's 2 inches (5 centimeters) taller than former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and nearly a head above Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev [source: BBC News]. Somehow, "Medvedev complex" isn't as catchy.