It’s officially Movember, which means that stalwart fellows across the country will be growing out the area above their upper lips, whether to promote awareness about prostate and testicular cancer initiatives or just to promote their manliness to their friends. But the young men of the current day have nothing on the mustaches of yore, whether famous literary moustaches or, as we’ve collected here, the lip-beards of historical figures (and we’re sorry ladies, but Tom Selleck is not a historical figure). Click through to see our nominations for the ten greatest moustaches from the history books, and if we’ve missed your favorite, add him on in the comments.
One of only four US presidents with standalone moustaches (you’ll meet another further on in this list), Roosevelt’s bristle was prodigious, the perfect size and shape for riding a bull moose through the water. Just our opinion, of course.
Kaiser Wilhelm I
While we admit that the muttonchops on the first German emperor don’t hurt the picture, we can’t help but be amazed by the sheer horizontal power of his moustache. Especially in contrast to that shiny head of his. Additional points go to him for having Otto Von Bismarck, another well-mustacioed fellow, as his right hand man.
Of course, we don’t have any actual pictures of the Mongol leader, but if this one is anything close to accurate, his moustache was pretty hardcore.
That thick ‘stache with the subtle, expertly twirled ends could only belong to Pancho VIlla. There’s nothing all that, er, revolutionary about it, but it does sort of make us want to follow him.
The Civil War had a formidable collection of excellent facial hair, but we love Josh Chamberlain’s sloppy-yet-dignified mop. It just screams post-battle tea time.
The man who proved that moustaches are indeed trustworthy.
Everyone’s favorite Old West lawman also sports everyone’s favorite Old West moustache, which impresses with both length and thickness. After all, you can’t take down outlaws at the O.K. Corral (and come out totally unscathed) with a baby face. No sir.
Ordered mind; disordered moustache.
If this picture can be believed, Taft’s moustache went grey well before his head, which is impressive enough on its own, but the President also managed to maintain an excellent shape not equalled by any other president. At least, not yet.
Okay, okay, so he’s not exactly the same kind of historical figure as the rest of the gents on this list — but making a list of great moustaches sans-Dali? Now that would be surreal.