History’s Most Famous Facial Hair

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History’s Most Famous Facial Hair

From sideburns symbolizing rebellion to beards that carry a massive mythology, the past proves that a man’s facial fur can take on a life of its own. So read on for MF’s take on the 13 most meaningful—or just plain memorable—sets of whiskers.

What better way to start off than with our 16th president, recently immortalized by Oscar winner Daniel Day Lewis, who is no stranger to on-screen facial hair (see: Gangs of New York, There Will Be Blood)? But we digress. Before Honest Abe came around, the White House was pretty devoid of beard and stache. Then, while running for office, a beard-less Lincoln was encouraged by a letter from an 11-year-old girl to “grow some whiskers,” since she thought his face was too thin. The Republican nominee took the young girl’s advice, won the election, and the rest was history. The great United States got a president who eventually abolished slavery—and the original “chinstrap.”

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