Philosophers and writers have long debated the roles people have played in influencing the progress of civilization. While Thomas Carlyle, for example, felt that great figures are key to guiding us forward, Leo Tolstoy, on the other hand, was of the belief that no individual can single-handedly steer the course of humanity, no matter what position they held.

Regardless of what the case might be, there are two kinds of people: those who are forgotten and those who live on in our collective memory. In an attempt to figure out if some of the latter are getting undeserved praise, Reddit user TGYHJDFGH made a post on the platform, asking everyone: "What beloved person in history should be hated?" and it was immediately flooded with answers.

But before you scroll down to check them out, I want to make things a little bit more interesting and/or complicated for you. Tell me, can we judge someone's morals after hundreds of years, when the entire cultural landscape has changed course? And where do we draw the line between what we can and cannot accept about someone's personal life if their work has transcended time and allowed countless people to find meaning?

I know, these are pretty tough questions. But humans are walking contradictions and it would be irresponsible to instantly dismiss the legacy of, say, the Founding Fathers or Mother Teresa.

#1

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Christopher columbus...didnt discover s**t and brought misery wherever he went.

sticksnXnbones , wiki Report

Aran Lindvail
Community Member
2 weeks ago

This needs to be higher. Columbus was THE WORST. Slavery, murder, torture, you name it.

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#2

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Mother Theresa. My father was a taxi driver in Australia and one of his customers was a man who'd been raised in Mother Theresa's orphanage. He said she beat him terribly.

Another user also added: She was obsessed with preventing wartime sexual abuse victims from getting abortions.

Her order sold babies.

She buddied up to dictators and accepted stolen cash from them.

Collected millions in donations and never spent them on her "houses of the poor" which were vermin infested crapholes where people went to die.

Refused pain medication for the dying and ill because she believed suffering = being close to god.

Had nothing but top of the line medical care for herself.

20thCenturyCobweb Report

Lucifer
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Teresa was a horrible human being. She believed that only through pain you can reach Christ, so let the people suffer in her care. And it was backed by the Catholic Church so that she can convert as many people as possible to Christianity. And the Western world backed her with billions in donations. (Read 'Missionary Position' By Christopher Hitchens)

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#3

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Thomas Edison. I’ll never forgive him for what he did to Tesla.

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Nunya Business
Community Member
2 weeks ago

He electrocuted an elephant to death to prove his point about AC/DC electricity and I will forever detest him for that.

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#4

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Ronald Reagan - moved somewhere between 50-80 TRILLION from middle class to upper 1%. Ruined America!

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Lucifer
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Reagan is the reason why America is in such a mess right now. He was the original cult leader, before Trump took over the GOP.

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#5

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Coco Chanel was a goddamn Nazi spy. Yes, she was an incredible designer, and she's probably one of the most influential humans of the 20th century, based on the number of people who have worn clothing directly inspired by her over the past 100 years. She really did change the way women dress in a truly radical way, and I respect that - knitwear, feminized menswear, ditching the corset, transforming black into an everyday color, the essential skirt suit, costume jewelry, synthetic fragrances in perfume, the list goes on.

But she was a goddamn Nazi spy. Coco was a wretched anti-Semite, like so many other members of the European elite during the 30s. She dated a number of staggeringly wealthy British aristocrats and they'd all sit around talking about the Protocols of Zion and s**t, trying to figure out whether any members of the royal family were secretly Jews, etc. When war broke out, the two Jewish brothers who ran her perfume empire (aka Chanel No 5, the best selling perfume in the world then and now) had to flee to the US for safety. How did Coco respond? By writing to the Nazis to ask them to transfer ownership over to her, a good Aryan, so she could make more money. But that's not the half of it.

She fell in love with a dashing German spy named "Spitz" who'd been seducing bluebloods all over France and England for years leading up the war. Coco was a useful woman - she was simply one of the richest women in the world, and she knew everyone in the British aristocracy, including her old hunting buddy and dear friend, Winston Churchill himself. She and Spitz socialized with all the biggest Nazi names in town, especially Otto Abetz, the Nazi ambassador to France, who invited them to every party in town. Spitz convinced her to join the Abwehr (aka the German secret service) and make trips to Spain. Operating under the code name "Westminster", she attempted to broker a "separate peace" between Germany and England. (In the meantime, she may or may not have reported at least one woman at the Hotel Ritz whom she suspected of being Jewish to the SS.) She had a grand old time going on her adventures, and wrote about the excitement of working for the Abwehr in her private notes.

Chanel was arrested only a few days after the liberation of Paris - absolutely everyone in town knew what she'd been doing and who she'd been doing it with - but for rEaSoNs UnKnOwN she was released without charges. It's widely believed that Winston Churchill personally intervened. It might be because the two of them had been close friends for decades. It might be because she was going to embarrass the s**t out of Britain by outing all the anti-Semites and pro-Nazis in the British aristocracy - including the recently abdicated Edward VIII who used his f***ng honeymoon as an excuse to tour Nazi Germany and shake Hitler's hand. She spent the rest of her life being a nasty, bitter morphine addict living in the Hotel Ritz. The House of Chanel has very, very little to say about the matter, and every few years a few more bits of damning evidence are declassified from the vaults.

If you want to learn more, I did a whole episode about her Nazi days in my French history podcast: "The Collaborator"

overduebook , wiki Report

Arik
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Not co-co-ol

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#6

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Pablo Picasso, he was misogynistic and sexually assaulted women

Camby_doodles , wiki Report

karl briggs
Community Member
2 weeks ago

And children.

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#7

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Gandhi. After learning all the colorist and racist s**t he would say to those who had darker complexion or those of African descent in my 8th grade year i haven’t seen him the same.

unknown , wiki Report

Lucifer
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Gandhi was racist and also liked younger women.

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#8

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Bill Cosby. America's dad. Up until those allegations started

NealR2000 , wiki Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 weeks ago

he had creepy eyes IMO even when I was little, and being little, I'd say "creeper eyes"...

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#9

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Woodrow Wilson.

Guy was majorly racist, segregated the military, kicked black people out of the government, he screened a KKK movie in the White House and was a strong defender of the KKK. Even for his time he was considered racist

starcraft_al , wiki Report

Bee she/her
Community Member
2 weeks ago

BUT HE KEPT US OUT OF WAR🙄

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#10

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers PT BARNUM.

Most people know but due to the romanticization of The Greatest Showman, people should know that he was a maniac that did an ungodly experiments on living beings, locked people in cages, abused them, and mocked them. All whilst earning pocket from them.

RogueVogueDino Report

Florence
Community Member
2 weeks ago (edited)

i loved the greatest showman and i knew these things but i didn’t realize how the greatest showman was covering up the true stories of how shitty he was

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#11

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers John Lennon. Treated like s**t during his childhood, whinges about it his whole life, then does the exact same thing to his son Julian.

BigMattress269 , wiki Report

Steve Kenney
Community Member
2 weeks ago

He also beat his wife Yoko Ono

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#12

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Based on personal experience with Oprah Winfrey at Barnes Municipal Airport on New Years Eve in 1991, I would say it would have to be her. Cosby's private jet brought her and Steadman into the airport under cover of darkness to go to the Cosby estate up North. I watched from the tower and she shoved a lone child out of the way and slammed the door to the limo. All the child wanted was an autograph. Oprah's kindness and compassion was an act. If she didn't get something out of it, she was quite capable of stepping on feelings of a lone child when the cameras were not on her

LeoEmptor , wiki Report

You cant stop the truth
Community Member
2 weeks ago

most celebs are actors, right?

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#13

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Elvis Presley. He groomed a then 14 year old and slept with her while he toured.

YellowB , wiki Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 weeks ago

This. He was a straight-up pedo.

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#14

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers King Edward the VIII was a nazi sympathizer who possibly colluded with the Germans to retake the throne in the event of an invasion and conquest of Britain.

He wasn’t just a love sick romantic who gave up his kingdom for a woman.

mwm1980 , wiki Report

Joy
Community Member
2 weeks ago

The royal family have more secrets than the Vatican and are just as determined to hold onto the devotion, worship and wealth.

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#15

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Steve Jobs. The way he treated his family is horrible.

iameshwar_raj , wiki Report

Kookamunga
Community Member
2 weeks ago

The silence for this one is deafening.

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#16

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Alfred Hitchcock, the guy probably was one of the best filmmakers ever, yes. but it's worth mentioning how much he abused his actors, including sexually harassing Tippi Hedren

RingoStarAllies , wiki Report

Joy
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Indeed. He was a miserable sonofabitch who used his skill to belittle, mock and humiliate actresses.

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#17

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Not quite beloved, but Joseph P. Kennedy Sr..

He decided that Rosemary (his daughter) who was 23 at the time should have a lobotomy; he did not inform his wife of this decision until after the procedure was completed. And then they sent her away to an institute.

In her early young adult years, Rosemary Kennedy experienced seizures and violent mood swings. In response to these issues, her father arranged a prefrontal lobotomy for her in 1941 when she was 23 years of age; the procedure left her permanently incapacitated and rendered her unable to speak intelligibly.

Sick f**k, who would do this to their own child.

renaissancemonse , wiki Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 weeks ago

"Who would do this to their own child". In that era? Quite a few people, unfortunately. The lobotomy at that time was peddled as a "cure" ----- they truly didn't know better.

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#18

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers 8000 comments so it might be here Apparently John Wayne needed to be restrained from assaulting a native American actress in the 70s at the academy awards or something. I think her name was Sacheen Little feather. And Clint Eastwood allegedly was mocking her too.

b10h454r8_y , wiki Report

Eric G
Community Member
2 weeks ago (edited)

John Wayne was definitely racist. Remember the playboy article where he said “I believe in white supremacy,” he said, and spoke harshly about African Americans, saying, “We can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks.” “I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people,” he said. This is just the tip of the iceberg. And Clint Eastwood talks to invisible people in chairs.

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#19

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Einstein wasn’t a great guy. Brilliant, sure, but kinda douchy in his personal life.

He refused to marry his long time lover for years, even after she got pregnant. The child was assumed to be given up for adoption, but no record has ever been found.

He and his wife, Mileva Marić, worked together on their research. People saw them do it. They made jokes about it at parties. He proudly told people that she did all his calculations. They only put his name on their work and he went on to claim all the credit - ignoring any work she had done. Part of their agreement was that she would get the Nobel prize money but he tried to prevent that.

She raised two children - one schizophrenic - took care of the house and tutored to bring in extra money because he couldn’t get a job for a long time. He started getting more notoriety and then began an affair with his first cousin.

He moved to a different country to be with his new hillbilly mistress. He divorced his wife and quickly married the new, younger model. He had rules she had to abide by, such as leaving the room immediately when told and not expecting or asking for any sort of affection except when necessary for appearances sake.

Elsa, his second wife, was dying and he worked nonstop because he didn’t know what to do (I guess). She was basically abandoned her last few months.

He cheated on both his wives, numerous times. Ignored his children. Oh - and he was pretty into his second wife’s daughter and thought about marrying her instead.

Miss_Adventures123 , wiki Report

Bee she/her
Community Member
2 weeks ago

About the missing child, there is a series called The Missing By Marget Peterson Haddix, book fives discusses it

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#20

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Charles Dickens had his wife, the mother of his children, committed to an insane asylum so he could run off with a teenage actress.

Edit- I have been informed that this wasn't successful, he tried to have the mother of his ten children committed but it didn't work. Which is still quite bad

Spacebarman010101 , wiki Report

Tigerpacingthecage
Community Member
2 weeks ago

People (men, or ok "not all men") still try to label women as crazy or mentally unfit to get what they want.

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#21

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Joseph Smith-

I grew up LDS and left with my family when I was in junior high. After some reading and learning from historical documents without church bias, I realized how drastically different he was when he wasn’t viewed in the eyes of the church.

LocalWitch56 , wiki Report

Tonya Wallace
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Joseph Smith...Big pimpin' (I saw that on a t-shirt that I regret not buying. 😭)

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#22

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Churchill. He started the Bengal Famine which killed 3 million people. He also was incredibly racist and liked killing through gas.

ComplexNombers , wiki Report

Lucifer
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Winston Churchill, a hero according to the UK & US. Churchill carried out a genocide in India (4+ million killed through deliberate famine). And Churchill believed that eugenics could solve race deterioration and reduce crime and poverty. US & UK were very much on the side of Hitler, until they realized that he posed a threat to their power on the global stage. That seems to be missing in the narrative of why WW2 started.

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#23

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Andrew Jackson.

He’s always presented as the “common man’s president” but he treated the Native American’s terribly . He also had a huge rowdy party and trashed the White House

Account28784 , wiki Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 weeks ago

He's Trump's fave POTUS. Nuff said.

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#24

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Travis Scott, still ain’t over what insane s**t he did

GrouchyInteraction12 , wiki Report

Priscilla Reshell
Community Member
2 weeks ago

That concert was hell

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#25

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Oliver Cromwell

Tried to make England a republic, ended up being a king in all but name. Butchered the Irish, banned Christmas and is partially responsible for the puritans (who fled to America after the monarchy was restarted)

EwanWhoseArmy , wiki Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Oliver Cromwell is/was "beloved"?!

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#26

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Charlie Chaplin definitely. Dude groped/assaulted girls and married a woman 40 years younger than him

cnoelle94 , wiki Report

Nicole Weymann
Community Member
2 weeks ago

First wife had (falsely) announced a pregnancy at 16, then they married, later divorced. Second wife announced pregnancy at 15, he married her, otherwise might have been prosecuted because she was a minor when she got pregnant. Also divorced. Marriage no. 3 was relatively unspectacular age wise (she was 21). Within and in between marriages multiple affairs. His last wife, Oona, was 18 when they married (he was 54). They stayed together until his death, had eight children. (All according to Wikipedia - not good, but I found no 40 year age gap).

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#27

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Benito Juárez

He was the type of president who kills his opposition instead of negotiating. He did a lot of illegal executions.

He was going to be executed in Guadalajara, however one of his ministers convinced the soldiers not to kill him with a famous phrase "alto, los valientes no asesinan", the soldiers forgave his life and risked theirs as the disobey an order. Well, as soon as Juarez returned to Mexico city, he immediately ordered to kill all of those soldiers with no mercy (source: my sister worked with the Sargent's descendant)

After Juárez's government, there's a period Known as the porfiriato, where Porfirio Díaz was Mexico's president for 30 years. It was possible just because there was no opposition alive

Juarez suddenly died in 1872 from a heart attack. It's believed that a woman, to avenge his husband, worked on his home as a maid, and when she had the opportunity, she put an infusion of "veintiunilla'" a herb known by the natives for being poisonous and cause a heart attack 21 days (veintiún dias) after it was drank

elav92 , wiki Report

Lorraine
Community Member
2 weeks ago

This. Not to mention he reformed the Mexican state by removing the church influence (which was not wrong) only to enrich himself and his family with all the resources confiscated. Also, he was indigenous but ashamed of it so he was extremely racist. If he hadn't died, he was ready to change the law to stay in power indefinitely.

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#28

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Andy Warhol was a fraud and an abuser.

The book Edie is a great read, but sad.

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Luther von Wolfen
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Warhol wasn't great as a person, but I've done a little research into him. He was a complex person who suffered in some ways. He did horrible things, but he also served at his church's homeless shelter well into his later years. Derinitely suffered from trauma and possibly depression.

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#29

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Dr Suess cheated on his partially disabled wife and she eventually committed suicide because of how distraught she was.

“I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you,”

brunette5179 , wiki Report

Felipe Pereira de Sousa
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Also a racist.

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#30

Someone Asked "What Beloved Person In History Should Be Hated?", Here Are 30 Eye-Opening Answers Kinda coming much more into light now but The Founding Fathers, all of them owned slaves and by modern day standards they would be horrible people. But something I think lots of people don’t remember is even if these things are utterly reprehensible, everyone was doing it and they were all children of their time.

madrazych7 , wiki Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 weeks ago

What history books didn't mention that fact? I learned that in the 1970s! And we had debates in Ethics class about this stuff....

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