14 Historical Figures Who Famously Took Matters Into Their Own Hands

It’s great to have an awesome family or army or team or whatever, but there comes a time in every leader’s life when you have to say “f*ck it, I’ll just do it myself, then.”

These 14 historical figures for sure knew that moment when they saw it, and luckily, everything worked out fine in the end.

14. Guy had confidence, you’ve got to give him that.

When Julius Caesar decided to just up and f**king march into Rome to declare himself the military leader.

13. He does even more than they show in the movie.

Desmond Doss.

Single handedly saved from 50 to 100 men up on hacksaw ridge in Okinawa. His company was ordered to retreat when they were attacked by the Japanese but instead he said “nah,” stayed up on the ridge alone, unarmed, and dragged as many soldiers as he could to safety without any help.

Even when he was shot by a sniper and riddled with shrapnel, he made sure they took another guy down the hillside before him.

12. You can hate him, but he still got what he wanted.

Henry VIII.

Couldn’t get his way with the pope, so made he made the Church of England so he could do what he wanted

11. Maybe he was a time traveler?

James Clerk Maxwell was idolized by Einstein as being the father of modern physics.

Not only did he formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation but just for shits and giggles he calculated exactly what Saturns rings were made from using pure mathematics. It wasn’t until Voyager 1 and 2 passed by and took photos in the early 80s did we get confirmation that Maxwell was right.

He then calculated how to take a colour photograph in 1855. This was then achieved in 1861 and is recognized as the first ever colour photograph.

10. I’m sure we’ll get a movie about this at some point, too.

A man who was a tractor mechanic company owner made a good chunk of money and bought a Ferrari.

He felt that the car wasn’t as good as it could be, and it wasn’t very comfortable, so he brought his complaints all the way to Enzo Ferrari, the owner of the company.

Enzo insulted the man, saying a mere tractor mechanic didn’t know how to make a sports car.

That sparked a rivalry that lasts to this day.

That man was Ferruccio Lamborghini.

9. That takes some grit.

In 1947 a guy named Thor Heyerdahl was trying to prove his theory that the Polynesian islands were settled by people from South America, not Asia. Nobody believed him because it was thought that crossing such a large ocean with the technology they had back then was impossible.

So he decides to build a boat using only the tools and materials available at the time these migrations took place. And then he sailed that boat across the Pacific Ocean, nearly dying in the process, but ultimately making it to the Polynesian islands.

8. That’s the English for you.

During the American revolution, John Paul Jones sailed over to England to burn down British naval ships.

He succeeded of course, and made back safely. After the revolution he was even pardoned by the town that he burned most of the ships in.

7. When you just really want to play spies.

Juan Pujol García was a Spaniard who created his own counter-intelligence operation for the Allies during WW2. Initially, he approached British & American intelligence to offer them his services, but both countries rebuffed him.

Undeterred, García created a fictional persona as a pro-fascist Spanish official & got himself recruited by the Nazis, who directed him to travel to Britain to recruit agents. Instead, García created a network of fictitious agents & sub-agents using publicly available information like newspapers & travel brochures.

It was at this point that he again contacted Allied intelligence, & he was finally recruited. García continued his work throughout the war, & for the same operation, he received both a knighthood from the British & the Iron Cross from Nazi Germany. The Nazis never realized that he was a double-agent.

6. Hopefully he knew how to cure them, too.

Perhaps when no one believed Barry Marshall that H pylori can cause stomach ulcers so he thought screw it, I’ll test it on myself and ended up getting the Nobel prize?

5. He didn’t have much of a choice, but still.

The doctor stationed in Antarctica that removed his own appendix. Goddamn.

4. I guess how else do you do it?

The guy who made body armor shot him self to test it.

3. It’s nice there’s room for both.

When Nintendo turned down a collab with Sony.

Then Sony said, “F*ck it, we’ll do it ourself”. The rest is history.

2. THIS is a movie we need, y’all.

Martine Rothblatt (founder of Sirius XM and unbelievable polymath), was told her daughter Jenesis had 3 months to live. She had been diagnosed with a type of pulmonary arterial hypertension which was fatal.

The disease causes too much pressure in the blood vessels leading from the heart to the lungs, causing them to narrow and not carry enough oxygen.

So Rothblatt quit all of her other work and went to the library to save her daughter. Even though she had zero background in the field, she figured out a cure and in the process founded United Therapeutics which is a billion dollar biotechnology company.

Rothblatt’s life story is amazing.

1. I think the portrayal of Jefferson in Hamilton is probably accurate-ish.

The first thing that comes to thought here is The Louisiana Purchase.

Congress planned on buying a small piece of the available land, but Jefferson used some interpretation f*ckery to double the size of the US without congressional approval.

I love learning new historical tidbits, don’t you?

Tell me more stories if you have them!