11 Famous Historical Figures Who Were Actually Problematic AF

Turns out there were a bunch of historical figures who were actually problematic as hell. History textbooks might paint them as great people we should admire, but in reality, these guys are horrible human beings regarding their moral compasses. In fact, these people would probably be canceled immediately if they were born in our time.
So let’s uncover what the school never teaches you about history. Here are 11 famous historical figures who were actually problematic and have done pretty horrible things.

1. Mother Teresa Was A Hypocrite Who Made Thousand People Suffered

 historical figures who were actually problematic Mother Teresa Was A Hypocrite That Made Thousand People SufferedSource: © Getty Images

Mother Teresa was Roman Catholic. She believed that suffering brought people closer to Jesus Christ. She claimed to heal people with her poor practices when in reality, her treatment centers had mortality rates of over 40%. Inside those "treatment centers," they were reusing needles, treating patients with expired medicine, and using untrained volunteers to handle patients with fatal illnesses.
Needless to say, a lot of people wouldn’t have died if they had received basic medical intervention instead of going to these centers. And the irony was that Mother Teresa immediately went to America and received advanced health care in a modern hospital as soon as she got heart problems. Her hypocrisy didn't just stop there. She received $30 million from donations to improve the conditions of her centers, but people never knew where this money went.

2. Albert Einstein Was A Terrible Husband And Father

 historical figures who were actually problematic Albert Einstein Was A Terrible Husband And FatherSource: © Getty Images

Albert Einstein's mind is brilliant, but not his moral compass. He was a terrible husband and a bad father. His first wife Mileva Marić, who was a talented physicist, helped Einstein develop many of his theories. He refused to give her any credit for her work and cheated on her with his first cousin instead. To make things more humiliating for Mileva, Einstein created a contract that basically turned Marić into his maid. Thankfully, the pair went separate in 1919.
Einstein treated his children as sh*tty as he treated his first wife. He forced Mileva to give up their first child for adoption and treated his other kids like they didn't even exist. His negligence was so bad that his son had a breakdown and was sent to Zurich for treatment. But Eisenstein never paid much attention to that event as he believed his only duty as a father was to provide financial assistance to his children.
And bonus, during WWII, Einstein urged President Roosevelt to use nuclear weapons. He only regretted his decision after seeing how destructive they could be.

3. Picasso Was A Sadist Who Abused His Women

 historical figures who were actually problematic Picasso Was A Sadist Who Abused His WomenSource: © Getty Images

Speaking of historical figures who were actually problematic AF with how they treated women, Picasso treated all the girls he met in his life equally: he abused them all. The famous painter stayed true to his famous quote "sex and art are the same things." He lived his life as a promiscuous man who viewed women as sexual objects there to meet his sexual needs.
Wives, lovers, muses, it doesn't matter. All these unlucky women would be beaten until unconscious. Picasso took pleasure and inspiration from suffering women. He didn't create his art through imagination, he just painted his victims after he was done beating them.

4. Coco Chanel Was A Nazis Spy

 historical figures who were actually problematic Coco Chanel Was A Nazis SpySource: © Getty Images

To ensure the survival of her business in WW2, Coco Chanel began dating German military officer Baron Hans Günther von Dincklage and agreed to be an undercover Nazi agent. She was tasked to feed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill false information by the means of her connections. In journalist Hal Vaughan's biography, he argued and presented compelling evidence that Chanel was Agent 7124 and served the German Abwehr during the Second World War.
Her plan of feeding false information would have worked if Vera Lombardi hadn't denounced Chanel and her associates as German spies. When the Second World War ended, Chanel appeared in French courts facing accusations of being a Nazi. However, she was able to wriggle out of her charges thanks to her status and lived the rest of her life as a fashion icon.

5. Henry Ford Supported Hitler’s Anti-Semitic Beliefs

 historical figures who were actually problematic Henry Ford Supported Hitler’s Anti-Semitic BeliefsSource: © Getty Images

Speaking of Nazis, Henry Ford also shared the same anti-Semitic beliefs as Hitler. In fact, he even wrote a four-volume anti-Semitic and fascist book called The International Jew, then distributed over half a million copies of the book. His book inspired Hitler so much that in 1938, Hitler awarded Ford the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, Germany's highest honor for foreigners.
Ford believed that all evil in the world was caused by Jewish people, so he established the Ford Sociological Department. This was a team of over 200 people who he hired to spy on his employees at their homes. He wanted to ensure his workers were living up to his moral standards.

6. Winston Churchill Was A Racist

 historical figures who were actually problematic  Winston Churchill Was A RacistSource: © Getty Images

Winston Churchill also was a huge racist. He believed in eugenics, which made him put the white protestant Christians at the top of the racial hierarchy. He also advocated for the use of chemical weapons against the Kurds and Afghans. During his time serving as the minister for war and air in 1919, he said "I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes."
He also indirectly killed over 3 million Indian people in the 1940s by refusing to provide aid to India during the Bengal Famine. Keep in mind that India was a British colony at the time, so his action was unacceptable.

7. Thomas Edison Was A Thief

Thomas Edison Was A ThiefSource: © Getty Images

Thomas Edison wasn't a great inventor as history books painted him to be. He was a huge bully who took credit for things other people invented. In 1894 when Nikola Tesla came to America to work with Edison, Edison bullied him into thinking his idea for creating a motor that was powered by alternating current electricity was too dangerous.
Edison then promised Tesla $50,000 if he could improve upon Edison's technologies instead. Tesla did and when he went to collect his money, Edison laughed in his face and said "When you become a full-fledged American, you will appreciate an American joke."
When George Westinghouse bought Tesla's alternating current patent, Edison felt threatened by him. So he launched a smear campaign where he publicly electrocuted animals to convince other people that Tesla's technology was dangerous. He even agreed that electrocution was a humane method of execution, and hired an employee to create the first electric chair using Tesla's alternating current technology.

8. Charles Dickens Tried To Send His Wife To An Insane Asylum

Charles Dickens Tried To Send His Wife To An Insane AsylumSource: © Getty Images

Charles Dickens blamed his mother for being pulled from school and sent to work at a factory. His bitterness toward women would continue to follow him for the rest of his life. He distrusted his wife, Catherine Hogarth, so much that he even followed her to the store to ensure she ran his errands correctly.
When he started an affair with 18-year-old actress Ellen Ternan, he bribed doctors to diagnose Catherine with a mental illness so she could be out in an asylum. Dickens then could justify divorcing her. Luckily, doctors refused to carry out his ridiculous request.

9. Elvis Presley Groomed 14-year-old Girls

Elvis Presley Groomed A 14-year-oldSource: © Getty Images

Elvis Presley would often invite underage girls back to his hotel or tour bus during his time on the road. He married Priscilla Presley when he was 24 and she was just 14. He refused to have sex with her ever again after she gave birth to their daughter.
After Elvis and Priscilla divorced, his new lover was Reeca Smith, who was 14 years old at that time. Elvis later proposed to Ginger Alden, a 21-year-old former pageant star. Elvis once fired a gun at the headboard while Alden was sleeping to get her attention.

10. Alfred Hitchcock Abused His Actors

Alfred Hitchcock Abused His ActorsSource: © Getty Images

Alfred Hitchcock sexually assaulted Hedren. Hedren wrote in her memoir that Hitchcock tried to force her to kiss and touch him on the set. He also promised her that they would use mechanical birds for a scene in The Birds, but later said there was a mechanical issue with the fake birds. Hedren was repeatedly pecked by real birds for hours
In 2021, Hedren's granddaughter Dakota Johnson blamed Hitchcock for ending her grandmother's career. The young actress said he ruined Hedren's career after she refused to sleep with him.

11. John Lennon Treated His Son Like Sh*t

John Lennon Treated His Son Like Sh*tSource: © Getty Images

John Lennon had a rough childhood and he complained about it throughout his adult life. But instead of avoiding his parent's footsteps, he repeated his tragedy by being a very neglectful father to his son Julian. According to his housekeeper Dorothy Jarrett, Lennon frequently criticized Julian and smacked him at the dinner table. Drugs were also often left lying around the house.
Lennon later had an affair with Yoko Ono and eventually divorced his wife Powell to marry her. He forced Ono to accompany him everywhere. She even had to go with him to the bathroom when he was using it. Lennon admitted that he hit women in a Playboy interview. "That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace," he said.
Those are some historical figures who were actually problematic and what they have done. We bet that your school didn’t tell you about their dark sides. Speaking of historical figures, Hollywood has made many Movies based on actual past events. There are times when they successfully take our breath away with their flawless costumes, and you should definitely check out these gorgeous historically correct outfits here.
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