Friday, December 18, 2009

List of Famous Orphans

List of Famous Orphans

Classical and religious scriptural
Aristotle, Greek philosopher and scientist, orphaned in early childhood.
Cyrus the Great, Persian emperor, orphaned in childhood.
Moses, major prophet in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, orphaned as an infant.
Muhammad, central figure in Islam, orphaned at age 6.
Romulus and Remus, traditional founders of ancient Rome, orphaned in infancy.


Andrew JacksonAlexander Hamilton, U.S. founding father, orphaned at age 13.
Ben W. Hooper, governor of Tennessee, 1911 to 1915, raised in an orphanage.
Herbert Hoover, U.S. president, orphaned at age 9.
Andrew Jackson, U.S. president, orphaned at age 14.
Edward Langworthy, U.S. patriot and founding father, raised in an orphanage.
Nelson Mandela, president of South Africa, raised as a ward.
Eleanor Roosevelt, U.S. First Lady, civil-rights activist, orphaned at age 10.
Bertrand Russell, political philosopher, orphaned at age 3.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, political philosopher, raised by aunt and uncle.
Tecumseh, Native American leader, orphaned as a child.
Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, former Iowa governor, adopted at birth.
Malcolm X, political and civil rights activist, raised in an orphanage and foster care.

Authors and poets
Leo TolstoyEdward Albee, playwright, adopted as an infant.
John Keats, poet, raised partly by his grandmother.
W. Somerset Maugham, author, orphaned in childhood.
James Michener, author, adopted as an infant.
Edgar Allan Poe, author, orphaned in childhood.
J. R. R. Tolkien, author, orphaned at age 12.
Leo Tolstoy, author, orphaned at age 9.
Henry Morton Stanley, journalist, explorer, raised in a workhouse.
Dale Wasserman, playwright, orphaned at age 9.
William Wordsworth, poet, orphaned at age 12.

Arts, entertainment, sports
Ella FitzgeraldLouis Armstrong, musician, raised in an orphanage and by his grandmother.
Johann Sebastian Bach, composer, orphaned at age 9.
Tallulah Bankhead, actress, orphaned as an infant.
Ingrid Bergman, actress, orphaned at age 12.
Carol Burnett, entertainer, raised by her grandmother.
Ray Charles, singer, orphaned at age 15.
Henry Darger, artist whose work focused on orphans.
Ice-T, rapper, actor, orphaned aged 9.
Juliette Drouet, actress, orphaned in childhood.
Ella Fitzgerald, singer, orphaned in childhood.
Samuel Goldwyn, film mogul, raised by relatives.
James Hetfield, singer, ophaned by cancer at 16.
Faith Hill, singer, adopted as an infant.
Billie Holiday, singer, intermittently abandoned in childhood.
John Lennon, musician, raised by his aunt and uncle.
George Lopez, comedian,raised by a grandmother.
Frances McDormand, best actress Academy Award winner, adopted as an infant.
Marilyn Monroe, entertainer, raised in foster care.
Babe Ruth, baseball star, raised in an orphanage.
Bessie Smith, singer, orphaned at age 9.
Barbara Stanwyck, actress, raised in foster homes from age 2.
Trent Reznor, orphaned when parents abandoned him at age 5 and raised by grandparents.
Jeordie White, of Marilyn Manson band, orphaned by father as an infant.
Art Clokey, creator of Gumby. Father died and mother abandoned him at age 11.

Science and business
George Washington CarverGeorge Washington Carver, scientist, inventor, orphaned while a slave.
Steven Paul Jobs, Apple Computer founder and executive, orphaned as infant.
Johannes Kepler, scientist, raised by grandmother.
Percy Spencer, inventor, orphaned in childhood.
Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's restaurants, adopted as an infant.


Logan said...

Great stuff.

David said...

It is awesome to see what people who have lost the most important element of growing and attachment have become. It fills my heart with hope, strength, and possiblities. I am also an orphaned soul and would like also to connect and talk to others that are.

Starshelter said...

Fantastic list of Extraordinary Souls

Fyre said...

I really enjoyed the post about famous orphans but why would you only want to help only "others of your own kind"? There are people who would be better off had they been orphans, IMO. "If you do have a family, don't comment. Try kissing my ass instead." Why such a harsh line of thought? Can someone who is not an orphan just 'not understand' people who were? I think you could indeed help a lot of people who are coming to terms with their situation but don't you think that anger is counterproductive?

Chelsea said...

Orphans put up with enough problems in their lives. I think they need to be tough and not deal with peoples crap. I wrote that comment a long time when someone told me something that just showed they didn't understand. I figured if someone with a family gets their feelings hurt they can just call up their parents and talk about it. But if an orphan gets hurt they don't have much to talk to. People with families don't need my help and most aren't willing to help orphans so they for the most part are not welcome here.

Anonymous said...

I'm writing a counter-argument for abortion. One of the points made was that there were too many orphans already and abolishing abortion would do more harm than good. I completely disagree, of course; I believe every life (or the potential of life) is precious. Your list has helped me in the beginning stages of my research, so thank you. But I would also like to point out that I have a family. Not to irritate you, but to remind you that you are not the only kind of person that cares. I am sorry for the hurt you have experienced and for the life you have had to build around that absence. I am only reaching out to say that people who hold respect and love for people do not have to experience all the hurt in the world to empathize with it. People are people, regardless of circumstance. I don't know you and I hope you don't mistake this for judgment, but bitterness is not love. Even children with parents deserve the love and respect from others and you deserve to live a life free of the burden of cold-heartedness (why add to your load?). Life is not a respecter of persons. It is unfair to everyone. So thank you for your contribution, but I urge you to love people as a whole. They suck, but so do you, and because you deserve love, return it.

Anonymous said...

Looks like this subject of life as an orphan is greatly overlooked. When you realize you are an orphan, people do not understand the relationship challenges that face us day to day. It becomes difficult to be loved by others because we have subjected our souls to self reliance. This is not a criticism of family folks on this board however, you cannot relate to the pain and struggle we face. Please maintain discipline on this post considering Chels' has a right to be angry. As do I. Encouragement will go further than advice. Thank you. Lied to for 37 years and discovering the truth is painful. I applaud your courage to speak out. Thank you.

Mazel said...

Hey Chelsea . I'm so glad I came across this . I am an Orphan . My dad died when I was 2 and my mom abandoned me and my grand parents adopted me . My mom passed away 4 years back ( I never had a proper relation with her ) and my grand parents passed away too. I am completely alone now. I used to think that I am 'normal' but after the love of my life left me I've had a chance to think about my life and issues and I know only another orphan like me would understand another . I'm trying to sort myself out so that I can have a chance of ever having a family and a dog . Wish me luck .

- Mazel