8 Famous People Whose Pasts Are Truly Dark

As tabloids frequently capitalize on horrible events from the past, celebrities' personal life have evolved into prime targets for attack in the world of celebrity gossip.
We prefer to mock celebrities for leading wealthy, expensive lives, as if their indulgences somehow render them ineffective contributors to society.
You know, not all of those individuals merit such harsh judgment. It turns out that a lot of famous people had some very unfortunate life circumstances in order to reach their current status. We're talking about things that are really mind-blowing, such...

1. Ludwig Van Beethoven

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Beethoven’s father was obsessed with the idea that his son has to be the next Mozart. The result was a childhood full of violence and abuse.
As a child, Beethoven was forced to study the piano all day and beaten by his father every time there was a mistake. If the performance wasn’t perfect, his alcoholic father would also lock him in a basement as punishment.

2. Abraham Lincoln

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When Lincoln was just 9 years old, his mother died of milk sickness. His overwhelmed father would beat him hardheartedly, eventually leaving the future President and his sister alone for MONTHS so he could find a new wife.
With nothing to eat but stored berries, a neighbor’s account of the incident recalled the children being unclean and malnourished and the house being in uninhabitable condition.
He eventually got a nurturing step-mother, grew up to be tall and did important stuff… But that year had to suck.

3. Julius Caesar

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A boy was born to a noble, but faltering, Roman family. When he was just 15, his father died. He married as a teen, but was arrested and ordered to divorce.
He refused and escaped by joining the army. Pirates kidnapped and held him for 40 days. He contracted malaria and suffered epileptic seizures. This boy grew up to be a general who transformed a republic into an empire. His name was Julius Caesar.

4. Alexander Hamilton

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The “ten-dollar founding father” was actually born an illegitimate child. The man Hamilton’s mother was married to when she gave birth to him, John Lavine, had cast her out of the home for adultery.
When he was only an infant, Hamilton’s birth father, James Hamilton, abandoned the family. When Hamilton was only 13, his mother died, rendering him an orphan.
In fact, if a hurricane hadn’t decimated the Caribbean island of St. Croix where he grew up, Hamilton may have died there. After reading a piece Hamilton had written on the hurricane, a group of businessmen paid off his trip to America.

5. Charlie Chaplin

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Chaplin grew up in a life of poverty. His mother, Hannah, could barely support him and his older brother. As the situation at home got worse, Chaplin was sent to an orphanage at age 7. A couple years later, Hannah was committed to a Mental Institution.
From there, Charlie was sent to live with his alcoholic father, who had been absent throughout his childhood, until he died of cirrhosis of the liver two years later.

6. Andrew Jackson

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Jackson’s father died shortly after he was born. A year after his eldest brother Hugh was killed in battle, he and his brother Robert joined the Revolutionaries against the British when he was only 13. A year later they were captured.
Ordered to polish a British’s officer’s boots, Jackson refused and received a sword-cut to the face. The brothers’ release was eventually arranged but not before both had contracted smallpox, from which Robert never recovered. Soon after, his mother succumbed to cholera. Jackson was only 14.

7. Bob Dole

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In 1945, while serving as a lieutenant in the US Army, future Senator and GOP Presidential candidate Bob Dole was struck by German fire while trying to rescue a fellow soldier.
He spent 9 hours in a shell hole before he was rescued, and his injuries were so severe that all four of his limbs were paralyzed. He needed 39 months to recover. On the train back to his home in Kansas, some of the other soldiers used his full-body cast as an ashtray.

8. Karol Jozef Wojtyla

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Karol lost his mother, brother and sister by the age of 12. In 1938, he and his father moved to Krakow. Soon after, Nazi forces invaded Poland. They needed young men to work, and Wojtyla went on to work many manual labor jobs.
During that time he was hit by a truck and suffered a fractured skull. The same year he got into an accident that left him in a permanent stoop. By 1941, the last member of his family, his father, died from a heart attack.
After WWII, Karol Wojtyla joined the priesthood and went on to became Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in over 450 years.
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