George Washington (1731?-1977) Major figure in US history, honored by Americans as the 'Father of Our Country." During the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), he served as commander of the Continental Army, later helping form the new United States government. Was the 1st President of the United States (1789-1797). This famous leader is on US money, US stamps, and even Mount Rushmore in South Dakota! Usually shown with white hair, but according to several sources he reportedly had reddish-brown hair. (George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens: "When George Washington was a young man, his hair was light reddish-brown. As he got older, his hair turned gray. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not wear a wig.") ('Taking a New Look at George Washington' by Charles Homans:"The young Washington who surveyed Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and built forts along the state's western frontier had red hair and the lean build of a soldier rather than an elder statesman's paunch.") (George Washington, a National Treasure:"While many men in America wore wigs before the Revolutionary War, this practice began to go out of style after 1776. By the time Gilbert Stuart painted his portrait in 1796, Washington’s habit of powdering his own natural hair would have fit the fashion of the day. He tied his hair in a queue, which was sometimes worn in a small black silk bag.")
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) Of Dutch descent but born an American citizen, this redhead was the 8th President of the United States (1837-1841). Previous to his presidency, Van Buren was a key figure in the Democratic Party at the time. This famous leader's nickname was "The Red Fox of Kinderhook" because of his red hair , political talent, and New York birthplace. He served as Secretary of State, Vice President, and President. He has a Presidential $1 coin and a US Stamp bearing his image.
Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) This gangly redhead is often known as just "Lafayette." Born in France, he was an aristocrat and military officer traveled to America, eventually becoming a general in the American Revolutionary War. Lafayette's tactical cunning and fearlessness in battle saved the Revolution many times, especially at the 1781 Battle of Yorktown. Also, when the American government ran out of money to clothe and feed troops, Lafayette used his own money to supply troops (for which he deserves credit for the American victory!). Lafayette and George Washington also became very close, with Washington essentially adopting him. Many cities and monuments throughout the USA bear his name, and he's pictured on a 1957 USA Stamp as well. In 2002 Congress, made Lafayette an American citizen.
(Photo - www.greatitalians.com)
Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) Considered by many to be an Italian national hero, he was an famous Italian military and political figure as well as merchant marine captain and author. He has been dubbed the "Hero of the Two Worlds" in tribute to his military expeditions in both South America and Europe. In "GARIBALDI: An Autobiography"(By Giuseppe Garibaldi, Alexandre Dumas), a Swiss named Gustave de Hoffstiller described Garibaldi's imposing figure to include - "A red beard covered the whole lower part of his face." (Thanks to Rogers in Argentina!)
Joseph Stalin (?1878-1953) Famous leader who was the Premier of the Soviet Union (1941-1953) as well as the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee (1922-1953). Early on he became a Marxist after he read Vladimir Lenin's writings (also a redhead) and joined his Bolsheviks. Per the book "Young Stalin" by Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin's mom was "... an attractive freckled girl with auburn hair."..."The young Stalin had inherited both his mother's freckles and her auburn hair: now he was marked for life on his face and hands by the pox (smallpox)." -- Stalin's hair darkened then grayed later. (Thanks to Sean!)
Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) A redhead, this famous leader was a Russian revolutionary, lawyer, author, philosopher, and creator of the Soviet Communist Party and founder of the former USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) which existed between 1922 and 1991. This famous leader and founder of Soviet communism is entombed in a granite-and-marble mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square, where his embalmed body can be viewed after all these years (ugghh!).
(Image - Frederick with his sons. Medieval illumination from the 'Chronic of the Guelphs' (Weingarten Abbey, 1179-1191).
Frederick I Barbarossa (1122-90) The name 'Barbarossa' means "red beard" in Italian, which came from the northern Italian cities he tried to rule. This charismatic German leader was King of Germany, King of Italy, King of Burgundy, and crowned Roman Emperor (by Pope Adrian IV). His sons were King Henry VI and Duke Frederick VI. Rahewin of Freising (an important German chronicler of the era) describes Barbarossa: "His hair is golden, curling a little above his forehead... His eyes are sharp and piercing, his beard reddish, his lips delicate... His whole face is bright and cheerful."
Brian Boru, Irish: Brian Bóroimhe (about 941–23 to 1014). Believed to be a redhead, he was the last great High King of Ireland and perhaps one of the country's greatest military leaders, credited with unifying the regional leaders of Ireland and free the land from the 'Danish' (Vikings). His 2nd, and famous, marriage was to Gormflaith, rumored to be a vivid redhead. The descendants of Brian were known as the Ui Briain (O'Brien) clan, hence the surnames Ó Briain, O'Brien, O'Brian, etc. He's remembered in one of Ireland's oldest traditional tunes: "Brian Boru's March" which is still widely played by traditional Irish musicians. (Thanks to Philip!)