Biographics: History One Life at a Time

132 - Mata Hari - Dancer, Lover, Spy

An episode of Biographics: History One Life at a Time

By Simon Whistler
For better of for worse these are the people who changed our world.
More places to listen
For better of for worse these are the people who changed our world.

More places to listen

168 - Michel de Nostradame - AKA Nostradamus
There is little that we know with certainty about his life and exploits, but we will trace his career and look in detail at some of his most famous prophecies. And, as it is fitting for such a mysterious character, there is more to be discovered about Nostradamus and his prophecies, as proven by the recent finding of a Century nr 13 in the old library of his alma mater, the University of Montpellier. A chapter a pparently entirely dedicated to the End of Times, from which we have quoted the early quatrain … but more on this later. For the moment, let’s dive into Nostradamus’ formative years.
December 12, 2019
167 - Fredericka Mother Mandelbaum - New Yorks First Female Crime Boss
Long before Al Capone turned his eye to bootlegging and well before Bugsy Siegl decided to take his ill-gotten gains and cash in on the casino boom in Vegas, there was another boss in town. This one was perhaps the most unassuming of ladies, and within just a few years of setting foot on American soil for the first time, she had built up one of the largest organized crime empires the still-new nation had ever seen. 
December 11, 2019
166 - Bass Reeves - The Lone Ranger
It’s a cold autumn night, sometime in the late 1870s, somewhere in the Western District of Arkansas. The West just cannot get Wilder here. You are on the run from the law, with a sentence hanging on your neck, issued by none other than infamous Federal Judge Isaac Parker, also known as “The hanging Judge”. He has dispatched his most effective and relentless enforcer to bring you back to justice. A lawman so feared and respected that he haunts criminals in their nightmares. How would you picture him in your head? You are probably thinking about your typical cowboy, complete with Stetson hat, six-shooter and star-shaped badge, popularised by Hollywood. Tall like Gary Cooper, strong like John Wayne, rugged like Clint Eastwood and full of grit like Jeff Bridges. You got most of it right, except one detail. You nemesis is a freed former African-American slave: Bass Reeves, the first black Deputy US Marshal to ride for justice west of the Mississippi River.
December 10, 2019
165 - Charles Dickens - The Greatest Victorian Novelist
Charles Dickens is one of the best-known writers in the world, and is considered to be the greatest novelist of the Victorian Era. If you live in an English-speaking country, you probably read Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and A Christmas Carol in school. His work became so popular, it even sparked the creation of the world “Dickensian” to describe his style. So, why is Charles Dickens’ work considered to be so good that it has inspired future generations? And who was the man who created all of these well-known characters?
December 9, 2019
164 - Edgar Allan Poe - Beyond the Horror
Many of us have grown reading his tales on self-destruction, revenge and violence. Tales of premature burials, of ghastly cats and ravens, where the line between the living and the dead is never clear. But when you look deeper into the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe a more complex figure emerges, beyond the traditional image of the alcoholic, pale, sickly author with an obsession for death.
December 6, 2019
163 - Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII - The Marriage that Changed History
On the 11th of December 1936, a man spoke on the BBC. Millions of listeners held their breath as he announced his resolve to go forward with a decision which was, and remains, unique in British history: his abdication to the throne. That man was Edward VIII. The reason behind his abdication was his love for a woman that the British Court and the establishment would have never accepted as a Queen: the American, twice divorced, Wallis Simpson.
December 5, 2019
162 - Giuseppe Garibaldi - One of the Greatest Generals of Modern Times
General Garibaldi cut a distinctive figure amongst the protagonists of that epic novel that is European history of the XIX century, when Nations were forged in iron, blood, but also in gold and deception. With his enviable beard, his Tuscan cigars, Argentine ponchos, his trusty saber and six-shooter, Garibaldi had become one of the most popular men in the World. So much so that his men accepted his autographed photos as a salary!
December 4, 2019
161 - Martha Gellhorn - The Worlds Greatest War Correspondent
Martha Gellhorn was present during every single war and conflict around the world for 60 years. She was the only woman to land on the shores of Normandy during D-Day. Throughout the course of her life, she was a pacifist, and devoted her life to documenting everything she could with a sense of perspective and empathy for the human beings she was surrounded by. Many have called her the greatest war correspondent who ever lived.
December 3, 2019
160 - Harry Houdini - Escape Artist and Marketing Genius
This is the story of the success of a Hungarian boy who went to America and became one of the most successful entertainers of all times, known as the Master of the Escape. He was, of course, Harry Houdini – acrobat, contortionist, magician, escape artist, entrepreneur, film tycoon, debunker of occultists, maybe even a secret agent …???
December 2, 2019
159 - Roy Benavidez - The Lazarus Soldier
This is the extraordinary story of Master Sergeant Raul ‘Roy’ Benavidez, the Lazarus soldier, and of his three lives. This outstanding individual never surrendered in the face of adversity, from childhood to military life. Those who know his story mostly remember him for a six hour Calvary, during which, to great personal sacrifice he held at bay an entire battalion of North Vietnamese infantry to save eight wounded comrades. But how did he get there? And what happened afterwards?
November 29, 2019
158 - Burke and Hare - The Anatomy Murderers
William Burke lived from 1792 to 28 January 1829. His partner-in-crime, William Hare, lived from (probably) 1792 to 1859. The two are almost always paired together, being known simply as Burke and Hare.
November 28, 2019
157 - Eugène Vidocq - The Father of Modern Criminology
He went from a life of crime spent either on the run or in the prisons of France to establishing a national detective police force that served as the model for Scotland Yard and others that followed it. He employed proto-forensic techniques such as ballistics and casting foot impressions. When he left the force, he started his own agency and became the world's first private eye.
November 27, 2019
156 - Augusto Pinochet - The Great Betrayal
Imagine, for a moment, that you were given the opportunity to become the most powerful person in your country. To get there, all you need to do is betray the very man who made you who you are. Would you demure, step back, say “thanks, but no thanks”? Or would you grab that opportunity with both hands? Nearly half a century ago, one man in Chile made the decision to betray everything for his own glory. His name was Augusto Pinochet.
November 26, 2019
155 - Hong Xiuquan - The Taiping Rebellion
It’s one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history. In 1851, the Taiping Rebellion exploded in Qing dynasty China, causing death on an unprecedented scale. Over 14 years of civil war, an estimated 20 million people died, more than were killed in the whole of WWI. It was, simply, the deadliest war of the nineteenth century, and it was all thanks to one man: Hong Xiuquan.
November 25, 2019
154 - The Ayatollah Khomeini - The Cleric, The Emperor and The Great Satan
His image has become iconic: the thin, bearded, ascetic religious leader who had turned a once Western-friendly country into a theocratic regime and a rogue state. I am talking of course about Ayatollah Ruhollah Mostafavi Khomeini, the supreme leader of the Iranian revolution.
November 22, 2019
153 - King Herod - Mad Tyrant or Misunderstood Hero
If you open a Bible to Matthew 2:16-18, you’ll encounter one of the most notorious stories in any religion. Suspicious of a prophesy about a new king, Herod the Great tricks the Magi into telling him where baby Jesus was born, then sends his soldiers to massacre every child under the age of two in Bethlehem. It’s a scene of shocking cruelty, one that has ensured King Herod’s name is still synonymous with evil today. 
November 21, 2019
152 - James Dresnok - The US Soldier Who Defected to North Korea
During the Cold War, an American soldier named James Joseph Dresnok was stationed on the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. One day, he decided to simply walk over the line to the North. He was “defecting”; betraying his country and choosing to start a new life in an enemy land that he knew nothing about.
November 20, 2019
151 - Reinhard Heydrich - The Butcher of Prague
To his friends, he was the Blond Beast. To his enemies, he was the Hangman, or the Butcher of Prague. To the man he devoted his life to, he was the Man with the Iron Heart. During his life, Reinhard Heydrich was known by many names, too numerous to list here. But you probably associate him with one name in particular: Heydrich was the Nazi target of Operation Anthropoid.
November 19, 2019
150 - Virginia Hall - The Most Feared Spy of World War II
During World War II, the Nazis were terrified of a mysterious female spy that they called “The Limping Lady.” Hundreds of posters with her face were plastered in every major French city, and yet she managed to slip by undetected. This was Virginia Hall: An American spy living in Nazi-occupied France. She walked with a limp on her prosthetic leg called “Cuthbert”. Even with her disability, she still managed to orchestra jailbreaks for POW’s, run resistance newspapers, and get vital information back to the Allies. Even Klaus Barbie, The Butcher of Lyon, considered her to be one of the most dangerous Allied spies, and he was on a personal mission to hunt her down. So, who was Virginia Hall, and how did she become one of the most successful spies in history?
November 18, 2019
149 - Josip Broz Tito - Too Tough for Stalin
It takes a tough skin to be a leader of a Country, even more so of a Country that basically did not exist until a few years before you took power, even more so if that Country is torn between two cold-warring blocks, locked in an arm-wrestling contest that will result in total destruction … and yet you manage to give the middle-finger to both factions and do your own thing.
November 15, 2019
148 - Frida Kahlo - WorldRenowned Artist Who Overcame Polio
Even if you don’t know her by name, you have most likely seen Frida Kahlo’s paintings before. She is the Mexican woman with a bold unibrow, wearing a flower crown and brightly colored clothing. Kahlo was physically disabled her entire adult life, and yet she loved herself enough to be her own muse. Years before her time, she challenged society’s expectations, and was able to create Surrealist works of art that examined the inner workings of the human soul. On today’s Biographics, we will tell you the story of the great artist, Frida Kahlo.
November 14, 2019
147 - John Franklin - The Lost Arctic Expedition
John Franklin was born on April 16th, 1786 in Spilsby, Lincolnshire in England. He was the ninth of twelve children to Willingham Franklin and Hannah Weekes. Willingham was a successful merchant, which enabled him to provide a comfortable standard of living for his family.
November 13, 2019
146 - Metternich - A dandy, womanizer, pompous fop and great diplomat
In late 1814, the great powers of Europe gathered after the fall of Napoleon to discuss what to do next. At the time, the continent was in ruins. The old order had been exploded as effectively as if someone had detonated an atom bomb beneath it. Just as it would in 1945, Europe needed a new roadmap, a blueprint for the future. Designing that blueprint fell to one man: Metternich.
November 11, 2019
145 - Empress Sisi - The 19th Century Princess Diana
She was a royal who hated the pressures of royalty. An aristocrat with the common touch, who dedicated herself to helping the poor. She was also a woman trapped in a loveless marriage, whose life was tragically cut short. Nope, we’re not talking about Princess Diana, the beloved British royal who died in 1997. We’re talking about Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as Sisi.
November 8, 2019
144 - Caligula - Romes Mad Emperor
What would you do if you were given absolute power? Would you use it to fix the world’s ills? Or would you use it to satisfy your own darkest desires? It’s a question we’ve seen answered again and again in history, but never so conclusively as in the reign of Rome’s third emperor, Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus. Or, as you know him: Caligula.
November 7, 2019
143 - Ho Chi Minh - The Leader of North Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh, father of independent Vietnam, was a man of contrasts. Standing at just four foot, eleven inches and weighing less than a hundred pounds, he appeared to pose no threat to anyone. Yet, through the force of his personality and the steely determination of his will he defeated two of the world’s mightiest nations. He portrayed himself as a simple man of the people yet he ruled over a repressive regime that committed terrible atrocities. While many viewed him as the bringer of light to a repressed people, to others he was simply a Communist spy planted by the Soviets. In today’s Biographics, we discover the truth about the real Ho Chi Minh.
November 6, 2019
142 - Chris Gardner - From Homelessness to Happiness
You may remember Chris Gardner from the movie Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith. If so, you already know the story. He was a single father who pulled himself out of homelessness to become a millionaire stockbroker. But of course, like any movie based on a true story, it is going to have some parts that only gloss over the events of a person’s life. In today’s Biographics, we will tell you the true story rags-to-riches story of Chris Gardner.
November 5, 2019
141 - Junio Valerio Borghese - The Black Prince of World War II
In this channel we have covered the lives of so many Nazi officers and officials that we almost forgot about their Axis allies to the other side of the Alps: Italian Fascists. Their history may not be as well-known as the lives of other protagonists of WWII, and yet I can assure you they had some interesting characters marching about in their black-shirted uniforms since Mussolini founded the Fascist Movement in 1919.
November 4, 2019
140 - Hunter S. Thompson - Gonzo Extraordinaire
These are the perfect words to describe the life of Hunter S. Thompson. He was a writer who is best known for his semi-autobiographical novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and he was the founder of “gonzo journalism”. He has gone down in history as being one of the wildest writers in American history.
November 1, 2019
139 - Boudicca - The Celtic Warrior Queen
Boudicca was an ancient Celtic warrior Queen who lead an army in a rebellion against the Roman Empire. The story of this brave woman’s life has often been reduced to just a few sentences in a textbook, and that’s because there is very little known about her life. There were just two Roman historians; Tacitus and Cassius Dio, who wrote down information about Boudicca. So everything we know about her is skewed from the enemy’s perspective, and both of their versions of the story vary slightly from the other.
October 31, 2019
138 - Giovanni Battista Belzoni - A Real Life Indiana Jones
The protagonist of today’s story discovered ancient tombs, explored secret passages inside pyramids and recovered artefacts as old as time - while getting into fistfights, foiling assassination attempts with his trusty whip, dodging bullets amongst Egyptian ruins and facing the opposition of a French rival.
October 30, 2019
137 - Lyudmila Pavlichenko - The Extraordinary Sniper
During World War II, most women were doing their duty on the home front by working in factories and looking after the future generations of their respective nations. But for one 24-year old Ukrainian woman named Lyudmila Pavlichenko, she wasn’t about to let Nazi Germany take over her beloved USSR. With 309 confirmed kills, Lyudmila Pavlichenko became the most successful female sniper in all of history.
October 29, 2019
136 - F.D.R - The Four-Term President
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the longest serving President in US history, serving 12 year in office from 1933-1945. He steered the nation through its worst economic crisis, only to be faced with the most horrific war in history. Though facing titanic physical challenges of his own, he imbued America with the indomitable fortitude and sense of morale that was required to spur the nation to victory. In today’s Biographics we examine the inspirational life of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
October 28, 2019
135 - Aleister Crowley - The Great Beast 666
Aleister Crowley may just be one of the most interesting men who ever lived. He was a self-proclaimed magician, scholar, writer, and even an undercover spy. He was known as “The Great Beast 666”, because some even believe that he was the AntiChrist told in the Book of Revelation. Others believe that he was a genius and a visionary, and that the world would not be the same if it were not for his teachings. Today, we’re going to talk about the life of this legendary figure, and you can decide for yourself if he truly was “The Wickedest Man Alive”.
October 25, 2019
134 - Guy Fawkes and the Conspiracy of the Gunpowder Plot
On November the 5th, 1604, thirteen men plotted together to blow up the Palace of Westminster in London on the day when the most powerful men in England were set to meet at Parliament. The authorities learned about the plan through an anonymous letter, and the terrorists were stopped just in time. The first man they encountered at the scene was Guy Fawkes, who had been guarding barrels of gunpowder in the basement below the palace.
October 24, 2019
133 - Douglas MacArthur - The Five-Star General
He was the flamboyant, controversial symbol of America’s dogged resolve during World War Two. With his trademark corn cobb pipe and his love of self-publicity, he is among the most well-known of war heroes. Though he often disregarded authority he was praised for his bold, imaginative military strategy. In today’s Biographics, we look into the colorful life of General Douglas MacArthur.  
October 23, 2019
132 - Mata Hari - Dancer, Lover, Spy
She was an exotic dancer in Paris at the height of the Belle époque. She was the object of sexual desire for wealthy men, ambassadors and high ranking officers. She was Mata Hari: the dancer, the spy, one of the great names of WWI espionage.
October 22, 2019
131 - Eleanor Roosevelt - The First Lady to the World
She was the poor little rich girl who overcame huge obstacles to become the First Lady of the World. Orphaned at the age of nine, she took control of her own destiny, transforming herself from a shy, fearful girl into a strong, socially aware, confident woman. As the First Lady of the United States she took a ceremonial title and turned it into a platform to help others, then going even further to develop the magna carta of the modern age – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In today’s Biographics, we examine the very busy life of Eleanor Roosevelt.
October 21, 2019
130 - Adolf Hitler - The Rise of a Fanatical Führer
There is a sociological phenomenon called “Godwin’s Law”, which says that when an online conversation goes on long enough, someone is guaranteed to bring up Adolf Hitler, and it has never been more true than the comments of our videos! That’s right, the time has come for us to finally talk about the biggest Nazi of them all; Adolf Hitler.
October 18, 2019
129 - Ed Gein - The Real-life Leatherface
On November 16, 1957, officers in Plainfield, Wisconsin, walked into one of the most gruesome crime scenes in history. On a remote farm they found a house decorated with the body parts of women. There were wastepaper baskets made from heads. Chairs upholstered with human skin. Masks made from shriveled faces. It was a house of horrors unlike anything the state had seen before, and it was all the work of one man: Ed Gein.
October 17, 2019
128 - Charlie Chaplin - The Tragic Life of the Little Tramp
Over a century after he first appeared in movies, Charlie Chaplin’s name still conjures images of a funny little guy in a bowler hat causing mirth-inducing chaos. By some measures, his Little Tramp is the most famous character to have ever existed, a clown so beloved that not even Hitler stealing his mustache could ruin him for us.
October 16, 2019
127 - John F. Kennedy - The Life and Death of a President
John F. Kennedy served as the 35th President of the United States, before he was killed in 1963. While we all know about JFK, chances are that you probably know more about the conspiracy theories surrounding his assassination that the actual details of his life. 
October 15, 2019
126 - David Berkowitz - The Son of Sam
In the summer of 1976, the city of New York was thrown into a state of terror. A madman was on the loose, wandering the streets and killing people at random. This was a killer who loved publicity, sending vicious, taunting letters to the police and media. Each one was signed with the moniker ‘Son of Sam’. When fate finally caught up with the monster, he was revealed to be a chubby introvertby the name of David Berkowitz. In this week’s Biographics we discover his story.
October 14, 2019
125 - Joan of Arc - The Maid of Orléans
She’s one of history’s youngest warriors. At an age when most of us were still stressing over what to wear to school, Joan of Arc was leading thousands of French troops into battle against the English. Supposedly inspired by divine visions of Catholicism’s greatest saints, Joan first took up her sword at 16, was leading armies by 17, and was burned at the stake before she was 20. In her short life, she managed to change the course of the Hundred Years’ War, ending English domination of France. Not bad for an illiterate girl from the sticks.
October 11, 2019
124 - Balto - The Canine Hero
Balto the Siberian Husky is remembered for leading a team of sled dogs to deliver medicine that saved the town of Nome, Alaska from a deadly epidemic. He became a national hero, and his photo was on the front page of every newspaper in the country. A statue was erected in his honor in Central Park in 1925, and it is still one of the most beloved tourist attractions today. Many of you may have grown up watching the 1995 animated film by Universal Pictures, and that may be the extent of what you know about Balto. But the true story is far more dramatic than what you ever learned from cartoons and children’s books. On today’s Biographics, we bring you the story of Balto, the canine hero.
October 10, 2019
123 - Napoleon III - The Forgotten Bonaparte
What comes to mind when you hear the words “Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France”? We’re guessing it’s a certain petit corporal in a bicorne hat, rearing up majestically on a horse as he conquers half of Europe. But what if we told you there was another Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte? A Bonaparte who not only managed to rule France for longer than his famous predecessor, but basically created modern Paris.
October 9, 2019
122 - Belle Starr - The Female Outlaw
Belle Starr has come down through time as one of the great anti-heroines of the Old West. She is the Bandit Queen, the female Robin Hood, who was quick with her fists and even quicker with her Colt 45. The reality was quite different. The Belle of history was a battler who made some bad choices in men, ended up twice widowed with two children and made the most of the cards she was dealt – only to meet the most violent of ends. In today’s Biographics, we go beyond the legend to reveal the real Belle Starr.
October 8, 2019
121 - King Arthur - The Life and Legend
“The magnanimous Arthur, with all the kings and military force of Britain, fought against the Saxons. And though there were many more noble than himself, yet he was twelve times chosen their commander, and was as often conqueror.” This is a quote from the ancient text known as the Historia Brittonum, which was one of the oldest records of King Arthur’s life story.
October 7, 2019
120 - Malcolm X - The Defender of Human Rights
When we think about the civil rights movement in the United States, most people immediately think of Martin Luther King Jr., and almost everyone can recite the beginning of his “I have a dream speech”. But the story of another human rights activist, Malcolm X, is often censored in history class. He is misunderstood as someone who preached hate and violence against white people, and some believe that if young people watched his speeches, it could actually be dangerous.
October 4, 2019
119 - John Wayne Gacy Jr - The Killer Clown
“Twenty-seven people. They were boys, with their cars, summer jobs. Oh my God...Are you one of them? He dressed up like a clown for them, with his face paint white and red. And on his best behavior, in a dark room on the bed, he’d kill them all, with the sleight of his hand. Running far, running fast, to the dead.”
October 3, 2019
118 - Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - The Boston Bomber
April 15, 2013 – two bombs tear through the crowd welcoming runners over the finish line at the Boston Marathon. The carnage is total with three people killed and dozens wounded. Within hours the FBI have identified a pair of suspects. The two brothers are immigrants to America whose parents have fled the violence of Chechnya to give their children a better life. So, how did it all go so wrong? Today, through the story of the younger of the two bombers, Dzokhar Tsarnaev, we find out.
October 2, 2019
117 - Sefton Delmer - The Master of Black Propaganda
Sefton Delmer was a writer who created “Black Propaganda” on behalf of the British government, and used “fake news” to fight the Nazi regime. Through postcards, court documents, and pirate radio programs, Delmer and the rest of the secret service infiltrated the minds of the German people, using elements of violence, sex, and death in their stories to subtlety break down the morale of the Nazis. So, who was Sefton Delmer? And why was he most likely the only man on Earth who could have become the true master of Black Propaganda?
October 1, 2019
116 - Matthew Hopkins - Witchfinder General
On August 27, 1645, the small town of Bury St Edmunds, England set a grisly record. That day, 18 men and women were hanged together as witches. It was the single biggest mass-execution for witchcraft in English history, and it was all the work of one man. Matthew Hopkins was many things: a tavern owner, a former lawyer, a dedicated Puritan. But, to the people of Bury St Edmunds, he had only title worth knowing: Witchfinder General.
September 30, 2019
115 - Edward Longshanks - The Braveheart Bad Guy
Edward Ist, known as Longshanks for his uncharacteristic height, was a man among men and a king among kings. As a child he was so sickly that few thought he would survive to take the crown. But take it he did, immediately displaying a strength and determination that had been sorely lacking. He quickly established his authority, with his ruthless suppression of rebellion earning him the nickname the Hammer of the Scots and the adoration of all England. In this week’s Biographics we get up close and personal with the man who was Edward Longshanks, King of England.
September 27, 2019
114 - H.P. Lovecraft - A Titan of Terror
He’s American literature’s titan of terror. The writer who created some of the most iconic names in sci-fi. In his 46 short years of life, H.P. Lovecraft was responsible for the alien god Cthulhu, the Necronomicon book of the dead, and the haunted town of Arkham where things alwaysgo bump in the night. He inspired everyone from Stephen King, to Jorge Luis Borges, to the writers of Batman. His work has so penetrated pop culture that you can even buy plush toys of his creepiest monsters.
September 26, 2019
113 - Satoshi Nakamoto - The Mysterious Founder of Bitcoin
Satoshi Nakamoto invented Bitcoin, and more importantly, its underlying blockchain technology. No matter what the future price of Bitcoin may be, the real treasure is blockchain, because it is going to change the world as much as the internet did in the 1990’s. Satoshi Nakamoto was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Economics, and he is a multi-billionaire...And yet no one knows what he actually looks like. He may not even be a single person, and the name may serve as a cover for a group who came together for the sake of starting a digital revolution.
September 25, 2019
112 - Frank Miller - The Father of Comic Book Noir
Frank Miller is a comic book artist, writer, and movie director who is known for his edgy storytelling. He is one of the very few creators who has worked on major projects for both Marvel and DC Comics. Some of his most popular works are Daredevil, Sin City, 300, and Batman: The Dark Knight. While you may have seen his name on the cover of a comic book or in the movie credits, few people know the story of how Frank Miller went from being a comic book fan growing up a small town in Vermont to someone who has gained international fame and fortune.
September 24, 2019
111 - Joseph Goebbels - The Propaganda Maestro
In modern times, we look back at the Nazi’s Third Reich and wonder how on earth anyone could have followed Adolf Hitler when he was so clearly an evil dictator. This was all thanks to Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda. He knew exactly how to manipulate the minds of a nation with fake news, Nazi-idealized books, and propaganda films. Goebbels was single-handedly responsible for brainwashing entire populations, and destroying people who were caught in his web of lies. Today, on Biographics, you’ll learn just how one man convinced millions of normal German people to become faithful Nazis.
September 23, 2019
110 - Kaiser Wilhelm II - The Last German Emperor
He was the child from hell – born into royalty with a deformity that put a lifelong chip on his shoulder, he quickly alienated everyone around him. By the time he became ruler of Germany, this grandson of Queen Victoria had grown to hate the British, the French and just about every other European power. Over the next twenty years, he orchestrated the tension that exploded into the nightmare that was World War One. In this week’s Biographics, we uncover the mixed-up life of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
September 20, 2019
109 - Hans Massaquoi - Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany
When you think of Nazi Germany, you mostly think about the human rights abuses, and the concentration camps like Auschwitz. But have you ever wondered what happened to the black people living under the Third Reich? It turns out that even though there were racial laws demanding the extermination of the Jewish and Roma people, there were so few Africans living in Germany, that they were not considered to be one of Hitler’s main priorities.
September 19, 2019
108 - Bill Cosby - The Life and Downfall of an Icon
Bill Cosby is a stand-up comedian and actor. He became an American icon, and someone who millions of people looked to as a father figure, and a moral compass. He would disappoint the entire world when they began to learn that he was not at all the wonderful person that he portrayed himself to be. Today on Biographics, we are going to talk about the life, career, and downfall of Bill Cosby.
September 18, 2019
107 - Theodor Seuss Geisel - The Real Dr. Seuss
Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in 1904 to German immigrants. His father owned a very successful brewery in Springfield, Massachusetts. As a child, his favorite pastime was to go to the zoo with his family every Sunday. He was so good at drawing animals, that his father bought him a sketchbook that he added to every weekend, and his mom allowed him to paint on the walls of his bedroom. His animals always looked like caricatures, and from a young age, they could tell that he had a whimsical imagination.  After prohibition in the 1920’s, his father could no longer run the brewery, and actually chose to become the head of the Springfield Zoo instead. Ted Geisel could now go to the zoo and sketch the animals as often as he wanted, and he continued to do so for the rest of his life.
September 17, 2019
106 - Grigori Rasputin - The Devil Incarnate
Grigori Rasputin was a Russian peasant who claimed to have mystic healing powers, and he even went so far as to say he was the second coming of Christ. He formed his own cult, and even manipulated the members of the royal Romanov family into believing he truly was a holy man.
September 16, 2019
105 - Shoko Asahara - The Cultist who Terrorized Japan
On March 20, 1995, five members of Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo cult boarded the Tokyo subway in the middle of rush hour. At 8am they punctured bags of sarin, releasing a deadly cloud of nerve gas into the crowded trains. Commuters were blinded, wracked with spasms. Some choked to death on their own blood. Trapped underground, with nowhere to run to, some six thousand people were gassed that bright spring day. Thirteen died.
September 13, 2019
104 - Edmund Kemper - The Coed Killer
In the 1970’s, one 6-foot, 9-inch tall man named Edmund Kemper towered over his peers, and most considered him to be a gentle giant. No one in his life could have imagined that he murdered six teenage girls hitchhiking through Santa Cruz, California, or that he would finally turn his rage on his own mother.
September 12, 2019
103 - Mark Zuckerberg - Tech Visionary or Supervillain
He’s the dentist’s son who grew up to become the world’s youngest billionaire. In the mid-2000s, Mark Zuckerberg created a website that defined a generation, a website you almost certainly use yourself. The behemoth that is Facebook today dominates the internet. It has more active users than the populations of China and India combined. At time of writing, it’s worth around half a trillion dollars. It’s also at the center of some massive controversies that have dominated headlines.
September 11, 2019
102 - Santa Claus - The True Story
“He sees when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad, or good. So be good, for goodness sake…” If you live in the western world, you already know this line from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Harry Connick Jr. We’ve all heard the songs and seen the movies, but you may not know the true story behind the legend of the man who can fly around the world in just a single night.
September 10, 2019
101 - John Rabe - The Good Nazi
What would you think of a man who supported the greatest mass-murder machine in human history? A man who was proud to stand by a genocidal dictator who nearly destroyed Europe; a man proud to call himself a Nazi? Would you find him sickening, evil? Maybe not if he was John Rabe. A high-ranking Nazi, Rabe was an ardent supporter of Adolf Hitler. But he was also something else. He was perhaps the greatest humanitarian you’ve never heard of.
September 9, 2019
100 - Butch Cassidy - The Gentleman Bandit
He is one of the most popular and enduring icons of the American West; the gentleman bandit who charmed his way through life, always keeping one step ahead of the law. With his fabled Wild Bunch, he terrorized the banks and railways companies during the closing decade of the Nineteenth century, then headed south of the border, only to meet his match at the hands of Bolivian troops.
September 6, 2019
99 - Hugh Hefner - The Most Envied Man In The World
As the founder of Playboy Magazine, Hugh Hefner was one of the icons of the sexual revolution in the 1960’s. Opinions about Hefner are very polarized- you either love and admire the man, or completely disapprove of the multi-million dollar empire he created. But no matter how you feel about Hugh Hefner, there is no arguing that he was truly a genius when it came to business, and a one-of-a-kind publisher, writer, and entrepreneur.
September 5, 2019
98 - Hermann Goering - The Head of the Luftwaffe
By the age of twenty-four Hermann Goering was a famous combat pilot ,a national hero, and leader of Germany’s most celebrated fighter squadron. By the time of his death, less than thirty years later, he was reviled as a monster with the blood of millions on his hands.
September 4, 2019
97 - Jeff Bezos - The Founder of
It’s no secret that is dominating multiple aspects of our daily lives. We can find just about everything we could possibly need on their site, and if you have Amazon Prime, you only wait two days for free delivery. For our digital media, we can read books on the Kindle, listen to music with Alexa, and watch on-demand movies and TV series.
September 3, 2019
96 - Khutulun - The Mongol Warrior Princess
The Mongolian empire is remembered for their barbaric conquests, and the power of their great leaders that managed to spread the empire across several continents. But one of the most fascinating people who has been forgotten from the empire is the warrior princess Khutulun. She was the great-great granddaughter of Genghis Khan, and she truly inherited his strength in battle. Unlike many other princesses and queens throughout the history of the world, Khutulun was remembered for her own glory, rather than the achievements of a husband or son. She just may have been the strongest Mongolian warrior of all time.
September 2, 2019
95 - Albert Fish - The Grey Man
When it comes to serial child killer Albert Fish, the adjectives to describe his inhumanity hardy seem strong enough - depraved, perverted, deviant, degenerate - he was all that and more. The crimes he committed fill the heart with rage, while the taunting letters he sent the victim’s families make you wonder how a human being could be so cruel. In this week’s Biographics, we venture in the sordid life of Albert Fish - and it ain’t pretty!
August 30, 2019
94 - Stan Lee - The Godfather of Marvel Comics
Stan Lee spend most of his career as the writer, director, editor, and producer of Marvel Comics. He created some of the world’s most popular comic book characters, like Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Hulk, and the rest of The Avengers. What started out as the creative ideas of a teenage boy evolved into one of the most profitable movie franchises in all of history. Today on Biographics, we’re going to talk about the legendary life of Stan Lee.
August 29, 2019
93 - Princess Diana - Her Life and Mysterious Death
In the collective memory of the people, Diana, Princess of Wales was everything a royal should be. She was beautiful, composed, and full of compassion for those in need. And when she died in 1997, it was a horrific tragedy that shook the world. She had been robbed of a future that was looking incredibly bright, and her sons would forever be without a mother. But the dark secrets of Diana’s life prove “all that glitters is not gold.” Some people believe that her death was no accident, and that it was actually an elaborate conspiracy designed by the royal family to silence her. 
August 28, 2019
92 - Ilse Koch - The Bitch of Buchenwald
During the Holocaust, Ilse Koch lived in the Buchenwald concentration camp with her husband. She would order the deaths of prisoners at-will, and even enjoyed watching people being tortured and killed. Her home was filled with momentos made from human skin. Ilse Koch just may have been responsible for more deaths than your average serial killer. She is considered to be one of the most evil women that ever lived.
August 27, 2019
91 - Tomas De Torquemada - The Grand Inquisitor
Tomas De Torquemada was the controlling force of the Spanish Inquisition. He presided over the systematic purging of so-called heretic Jews that has gone down in history as one of the worst religious persecutions of all time. But was he the monster that history has painted? In this week’s Biographics, we uncover the real story of Tomas De Torquemada.
August 26, 2019
90 - Anastasia Romanov - Finding The Lost Princess
During the Bolshevik revolution, the Romanov dynasty was killed after over a hundred-year reign in Russia. The bodies of the parents and all five children were laid on the ground. But when the corpses were later moved and given a proper burial, the bodies of the son, Alexei, and the princess Anastasia were missing. This gave the Russian people hope that at least two of these innocent children managed to play dead long enough to escape. 
August 23, 2019
89 - Muammar Gaddafi - The Mad Dog of the Middle East
Long before Kim Jong-Un became the go-to tyrant for five star absurdity, there was another dictator on the block. Muammar al-Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years with an iron fist wrapped in a sequined glove so garish it would’ve put Liberace to shame. His flamboyant reign was famous for its absurdity. For every headline relating to his terrorist activities, there were maybe a dozen more about his plastic surgery addiction or all-female bodyguard troupe. By the time Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011, he was less feared than he was simply mocked.
August 22, 2019
88 - Oliver Cromwell - The Man Who Killed a King
He’s the man who killed a king. Oliver Cromwell, the English Puritan turned military dictator, is today most famous for signing the death warrant that led to Charles I’s bloody execution in 1649. Over a hundred years before the American and French Revolutions shook the globe, this smalltime farmer from the British sticks proved with steel that the divine right of kings was not so holy after all. 
August 21, 2019
87 - Elizabeth Bathory - The Blood Countess
She is one of the earliest serial killers in recorded history – the original sado-masochistic femme fatal. She stands out as a shocking lesson in just how dangerous a sadistic, demented powerful woman can be. The passing of the centuries has left us with an incomplete picture of the true nature of her crimes.
August 20, 2019
86 - Toussaint LOuverture - The Black Napoleon who Freed Haitis Slaves
George Washington, Simon Bolivar, even Pancho Villa; the names of the great North and South American revolutionaries remain globally famous centuries on. But there’s one great New World rebel many have forgotten. He was a nobody who became a somebody only after fifty years’ obscurity. A freed slave who wound up leading the only successful large-scale slave revolt in history. The general who made Haiti the second free colony in the whole of the Americas. His name was Toussaint L’Ouverture, AKA The Black Napoleon. 
August 16, 2019
85 - Lizzie Borden - A Real-Life Axe Murderer
On August 4th, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Their heads had been split open in a fit of rage from nearly a dozen blows from a hatchet. There was no theft, and no sign of a break-in. Their 32-year old daughter, Lizzie Borden, was at home when her parents were killed.  
August 15, 2019
84 - Georgy Zhukov - General Of The Red Army And Hero Of The Soviet Union
Georgy Zhukov was born in 1896 to an incredibly poor peasant family in the Kaluga Province, roughly 80 miles from Moscow. His family had a small house in the relatively poor town of Strelkovka, which Zhukov was quoted once as saying “looked the worst in the village”. His family was rather tough when it came to discipline, and floggings with a belt by his father Konstantin, were quite common in order to whip his boy into the shape he wanted.  
August 14, 2019
83 - David Koresh - The Life that Lead to Waco
 He was the self-proclaimed messiah who looked like a rock star. A mesmerizing personality and passionate Bible knowledge combined to allow him to gain ascendancy over a small group of followers, to manipulate them, use them for his sexual desires and to prepare them for his own version of Armageddon.  
August 9, 2019
82 - Joseph James DeAngelo - The Golden State Killer
 In the 1970’s and 80’s, over one hundred families in California had their homes ransacked by the same man. Many of them woke up in the middle of the night to a flashlight blinding their eyes. A man was standing over their bed, wearing a black ski mask. He held knives to throats, and guns to heads, demanding that they do what he said, if they wanted to live. Within a matter of hours, he ruined and ended lives, slipping small mementos in his pocket as he ran into the darkness.  
August 8, 2019
81 - P.T. Barnum - Exploiter or Uplifter
For 146 years, the Barnum and Bailey Circus was known for being the greatest show on earth. None of it would have been possible if it were not for an ambitious entrepreneur named PT Barnum. While his life and career were sometimes the source of controversy, he truly was a brilliant businessman, and many of his ideas forever changed the entertainment industry as we know it today.
August 7, 2019
80 - Simon Bolivar - Today a Hero. Yesterday a Tyrant.
 His nickname is still known across the globe. Simon Bolivar, El Libertador (The Liberator), the man who almost single-handedly wrested South America from Spanish control. Without a doubt, he was one of the most important men who ever lived: a Latino George Washington, a general who could stand shoulder to shoulder with Napoleon. In his short life, he united all of modern Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador into a single superstate… and then lived long enough to see all his dreams turn to dust in the harsh daylight of independence.  Soldier, hero, exile, radical, general, dictator, man of the people, Simon Bolivar was many things. Yet outside Latin America, knowledge of his life is something most of us are sorely lacking. Today, we take you on a sweeping ride through the epic life of the man known to history as The Liberator.
August 6, 2019
79 - Che Guevara - Doctor, Revolutionary, Murderer
He is the worldwide symbol of rebellion and revolutionary struggle. His silhouette is familiar to billions, representing the epitome of cool anti-establishmentism. Yet, few people know the real story behind the legend of Che Guevara. In this week’s Biographix, we discover the man behind the myth to reveal an individual whose passion for social justice saw no bounds.
August 5, 2019
78 - Lance Armstrong - Winner, Survivor, Cheat..
He is the world’s most famous cyclist, dominating his sport like no one before or since. Yet his reputation has been forever tarnished by a scandal that tore at the very fabric of professional cycling, pitting the sports elite against each other.  
August 2, 2019
77 - Julius Caesar - A Roman Colossus
 Two thousand years after his assassination he is still revered as one of the greatest rulers in all history. Yet, his story reverberates as a tale of the dangers of power unbounded. His military genius and political skill saw him rise to the position of dictator for life. But it all came to a bloody end on the Ives of March. In this week’s Biographics, we discover the man who was Caesar.
July 31, 2019
76 - Emperor Hirohito - Bold Leader or War Criminal
Hirohito was the longest reigning monarch in Japan’s history, serving as Emperor for 63 years. Vested with supreme power and viewed as a deity by his people, he presided over a nation that unleashed a war savagery that shocked the world. His unprecedented radio address to his nation, announcing Japanese surrender in World War Two startled the people, only to be followed with the bombshell that he was not a God but a fallible human, just like them. In this week’s Biographics, we go beyond the pomp and ceremony to discover the man who was Emperor Hirohito. 
July 30, 2019
75 - Vlad the Impaler - The Real Life Dracula
To some he was the very embodiment of evil – the psychopathic incarnation of the Devil himself. To others, he was a god-fearing defender of the faith, courageously standing up to the feared Ottoman Empire. In his time, he was known as Vlad the Impaler, thanks to his favorite method of execution. Today we remember him as the real-life inspiration for Bram Stoker’s infamous prince of darkness. In this week’s Biographics, we discover the gruesome truth about the real Vlad Dracula. 
July 29, 2019
74 - Maximilien Robespierre - The Reign of Terror
 Maximilien Robespierre promised to usher a fairer, more representative form of government to the French people. What they got was a reign of terror that saw thousands facing the horror of the guillotine.  
July 25, 2019
73 - Adolf Eichmann - The Architect of the Holocaust
Adolf Eichmann was a thin little man with bow legs and a hook nose. In the civilian world he had been viewed as of no account, a socially awkward loser with little to redeem himself. Having joined the Nazi party, however, his unquestioning commitment to orders coupled with his need for ruthless efficiency allowed him to carve out a career that see him go down as one of the greatest mass murderers in all of human history. In this week’s Biographics, we trace the life, crimes and death of Adolf Eichmann.  
July 24, 2019
72 - Christopher Columbus - Bad Explorer, Great Conman
 Christopher Columbus (c. 1451 to May 20, 1506) was an Italian explorer and navigator. In 1492, he sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain in the Santa Maria, with the Pinta and the Niña ships alongside, hoping to find a new route to India.  
July 23, 2019
71 - Niccolo Machiavelli - It is Better to Be Feared Than Loved... If You Cannot be Both
Italian diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli lived over five centuries ago but his influence among unscrupulous politicians reaches into the modern age. He is mostly known for writing The Prince -- the handbook that established him as the "father of modern political theory." Through its teachings -- power is the ultimate goal through any means necessary.  
July 22, 2019
70 - Benito Mussolini - The Man Who Destroyed Democracy
He was the father of Fascism, the iron fisted dictator who ruled Italy for more than two decades. During that time, he plunged his country to disaster, forming an alliance with Adolf Hitler and bringing the wrath of the world – and his own people – upon him. In the end, his own citizens expressed their own ruthless verdict on the man who called himself Il Duce. In this weeks, Biographics we track the life and death of Benito Mussolini.
July 19, 2019
69 - Jeffrey Dahmer - The Trophy Collector
Undoubtedly one of modern history’s most notorious and abhorrent killers -- his crimes are the stuff of nightmares. Over the course of 13 years, he prowled for men and lured them back to his house before drugging and strangling them.  
July 18, 2019
68 - Fidel Castro - To the Brink of Nuclear Holocaust
He was the personification of the evil dictator - clad in his familiar khaki uniform and cap and chomping on his cigar, he ruled with an iron fist over his island nation.  
July 17, 2019
67 - Saddam Hussein - The Butcher of Baghdad
He was one of the world’s most notorious and ruthless leaders. Since coming to power in 1979, Saddam used any means necessary to hold onto Iraq including killing anyone who stood in his way. At a young age he was brutalized at home, ran away to his uncles, and quickly became a thug for an extremist political party.  
July 16, 2019
66 - Charles Manson - The Cult of the Manson Family
He is the epitome of pure, unadulterated evil; the mastermind guru with the swastika on his forehead and the wild, crazed look in his eyes. He was responsible for the one of the most heinous crimes of our time, controlling his minions like a puppeteer. In this week’s Biographics we discover the dark, disturbing story of Charles Manson. 
July 12, 2019
65 - The Buddha - The Spiritual Journey that Became a Religion
Twenty-five hundred years ago one’s man’s spiritual journey was the beginning of one of the world’s seven religions -- boasting 376 million followers today. He is simply called “The Buddha,” and he grew up the son of a king…sheltered from the realities of human suffering. When he finally learned the harsh truth, he left his family and set off on a path to understand life itself -- first as a monk and then as a teacher. 
July 11, 2019
64 - Josef Mengele - The Angel of Death
Just the mention of his name can still send a chill up the spine. In a place full of horror, he was the most feared monster of them all – the angel of death, Josef Mengele. Although trained as a doctor to preserve life, he brought a sadistic cruelty to the experiments that ended the lives of so many. His victims of choice? Children!
July 10, 2019
63 - Heinrich Himmler - The Greatest Betrayal in History
He was the quiet, efficient and oh so ruthless architect of the Holocaust; Hitler’s most loyal sycophant. He ruthlessly dispatched those who stood in his way as he rose to a position of power that was second only to the Fuhrer. In the end he spectacularly betrayed his master – only to be felled by his own hand.
July 9, 2019
62 - The Unabomber - The Devastating Use of a Brilliant Mind
In 1996, the FBI apprehended a man that alluded capture for nearly two decades. His homemade letter bombs struck fear across the country — mostly targeting airlines and universities — earning him the nickname, “Unabomber.” All told, he killed three people and injured 23 more. He took great care not to leave a trace of evidence and unlike other serial murderers, he didn’t seek glory and fame for his killings. If it wasn’t for his “Manifesto,” the publication that outlined his disdain of technology and modern society, he may have never been caught.
July 5, 2019
61 - Jim Jones - Progressive to Predator
 Jim Jones, leader of the People’s Temple, has come to symbolize the ultimate in sleazy, evil cult figures. Through a forceful personality, charm and genuine good works, he managed to draw a massive following and lead them, like a modern-day pied piper, to the jungles of Guyana. There he promised them a modern-day Garden of Eden. What they found was confinement, mental and physical control and enforced suicide. In this week’s Biographics, we discover the real Jim Jones. 
July 4, 2019
60 - George W. Bush - A Controversial Presidency
 Born in July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, George W. Bush was the 43rd president of the United States. He narrowly won the Electoral College vote in 2000, in one of the closest and most controversial elections in American history. Bush led the United States' response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and initiated the Iraq War. Before his presidency, Bush was a businessman and served as governor of Texas. 
July 3, 2019
59 - Pablo Escobar - Colombian Drug Lord and Narcoterrorist
Pablo Escobar was the world’s most successful drug trafficker. He was also its most deadly. During his 17- year reign at the top of the Colombian cocaine empire, he ordered the killings of thousands of people, including judges, ministers of parliament and Presidential candidates. 
July 2, 2019
58 - Cleopatra - Ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt
Cleopatra VII is one of the most famous women who has ever lived. Her story has inspired poets, dramatists, and artists for more than 2,000 years. Through cunning and guile, she survived to rule Egypt as all of her siblings perished by the wayside.    
July 1, 2019
57 - Michelangelo - The Story of a Sculptor
He is revered as one of the greatest artists of all time. For centuries he has typified the perfect artistic genius. His greatest legacy is the surviving works that we can see today - The Sistene Chapel, the Statue of david, the Pieta. Yet, behind the artworks lies a complex and stubborn man. In this week’s Biographics, we go beyond the facade to discover the real Michelangelo.  
June 28, 2019
56 - Amelia Earhart - A Record Setting Pilot
In 1937 Amelia Earhart was one of the most famous women on the planet. For the last decade she had been upending stereotypes, smashing records and establishing herself as an international role model. As she set off for her greatest adventure, a round the world excursion, the whole world was watching. Then, suddenly, she was gone – disappeared. In this week’s Biographics we delve into the marvellous and mysterious life and death of Amelia Earhart.  
June 27, 2019
55 - Leonidas of Sparta - Warrior king of the Greek city-state of Sparta
The real life exploits of Leonidas of Sparta and his 300 warriors at Thermoplyae have given rise to the myth of the Spartan superhero – the supremely disciplined man of few words who had a body of steel, could endure any hardship and would fight to his last breath. Such men really did exist and chief among them was Leonidas, the Spartan king who defied the might of Persia, saving Greece from annihilation. In this week’s Biographics we discover the real life Leonidas.  
June 26, 2019
54 - Charles Darwin - Evolution and Religion
Charles Darwin, the mild mannered son of a physician, was once described as the most dangerous man in England. In fact many people considered him to be the agent of the Devil himself, come to sow seeds of corruption among the faithful.  
June 25, 2019
53 - J.R.R. Tolkien - Author of Worlds
Known as ‘the father of modern fantasy’ his epic tales of legend and lore have been enjoyed by millions of people all over the world — devoured in popular books and adapted for Hollywood blockbuster films. Unbelievably bright, he was a distinguished university professor, poet, historian, and expert linguist. As a child, he even made up his own languages for pure fun.
June 24, 2019
52 - Ada Lovelace - The First Computer Programmer
Ada Lovelace was born Augusta Ada Byron in London on December 10, 1815 to the philandering Romantic poet Lord Byron and strictly religious Annabella Milbanke. Ada was Lord Byron’s only legitimate child.     
June 21, 2019
51 - Christopher Lee - An Unexpected Giant of Cinema
Christopher Lee is most familiar to the world as a consummate actor with a deep, rich voice and a towering presence. In ten hammer Studios films he became the embodiment of evil, inhabiting the character of Count von Dracula with a sinister charm.    
June 20, 2019
50 - Bob Ross - Only Happy Accidents
For eleven years he hosted one of the most popular art shows on television -- transforming a blank canvas to a finished painting in a remarkably short, 30 minutes. He captivated audiences with his mesmerizing voice and relaxed demeanor, and of course, his signature perm. Nearly twenty-five years after his death, the painter of “happy little trees” is immortalized through internet memes, inspirational quotes, a thriving business in his name, and reruns of his show The Joy of Painting. His fame as a pop-culture icon shows no sign of diminishing yet so little is known about his life. Today on Biographics, we piece together the world of Bob Ross -- beyond the canvas.  
June 19, 2019
49 - Fred Rogers - A Life of Service
Fred Rogers was a legitimate American national treasure. Over 31 seasons he proved to be the reliable, compassionate and all-wise friendly neighbor who guided millions of youngsters through their childhood. Fred single handedly introduced children’s educational television, in the process elevating a medium that was heading downhill fast. His radical kindness, typified by a gentle and personal manner, helped bring sanity to a world beset by problems. Having Mr. Rogers as our neighbor made the world a safer place.  
June 18, 2019
48 - Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) - A Life of Extraordinary Achievement
He is the most bankable star in Hollywood – an action hero with a massive, ripped physique who has impeccable comedic timing and a never ending supply of charm. He is also one of the greatest wrestling superstars to ever emerge from the stables of the WWE and the only third generation wrestling star in history. The story of Dwayne Johnson – the Rock – is a tale of dedication, grit and old fashioned hard work. In this week’s Biographics we chart the rise and rise of 2016’s Sexiest Man Alive – Dwayne Johnson.  
June 17, 2019
47 - Johann Adam Weishaupt - The Founder of the Illuminati
It’s the group at the center of major conspiracy theories. They’ve been accused of pulling the strings of major governments around the world, for inserting secret symbols in such prominent places as the U.S dollar bill. And conspiracy theorists have claimed that everyone from The Beatles to Tom Brady to Kanye West are more recent members of the centuries-old society…  
June 14, 2019
46 - Henrietta Lacks - The Immortal Woman
In 1951, doctors took a tissue sample from a poor, dying black woman that was given to researchers without her knowledge or permission. The HeLa cells, named for the patient’s first and last name, acted differently than other cells in the lab — they were hardier, and replicated at an amazing rate.    
June 13, 2019
45 - Jane Goodall - Living with Chimpanzees
Best known as the young, golden-haired woman living alongside humankind’s closest relatives, this scientist-turned-activist has devoted her life to understanding, and working to save chimpanzees from near extinction. Her unorthodox methods of observation revolutionized how scientists conduct animal research in the wild, debunked long-held assumptions about primate behavior, and showed the world how much we have in common with the animal kingdom.  
June 12, 2019
44 - Andre the Giant - The Gentle Giant
He was billed as the 8th wonder of the world - a legitimate giant of a man, 7 foot 4 inches tall and more than 500 pounds. Andre the Giant was the greatest attraction the world of professional wrestling has ever seen. Yet his appeal went far beyond the ring. With his humble manner and boundless charm, Andre became one of the most famous and recognizable athletes on the planet and a genuine cultural phenomenon. Yet, behind the celebrity, Andre was a man trapped inside a world he never created - one that would ultimately destroy him.  
June 11, 2019
43 - Steve Irwin - The Crocodile Hunter
He was a force of nature - the quintessential Aussie outdoorsmen. With his wicked sense of humor and his insatiable passion for wildlife, Steve Irwin - the crocodile hunter - became a worldwide celebrity. He shone a spotlight on man’s mismanagement of our natural resources and championed the plight of the planet’s most vulnerable inhabitants - the animals. But Steve was also a daredevil - constantly pushing the limits in his interactions with the wild. Then, in a tragic moment, he was gone, taken from us far too soon. In this Biographics we get to grips with the Crocodile Hunter from Down Under, Steve Irwin.
June 10, 2019
42 - Bruce Lee - A Life Taken Too Soon
He was the King of Kung Fu – the deadliest human fighting machine that the world had ever seen. Bringing a new level of excitement to the silver screen, he establishing himself as the first oriental super star. Billed as the fittest man on the planet, he had the world at his feet. Then, suddenly, he was gone – dead at the age of 32. In the almost 50 years since then, his legend has propelled Bruce Lee to mythical proportions. In this week’s Biographics we go beyond the legend to reveal the real Bruce Lee.  
June 7, 2019
41 - Joseph Stalin - The Red Terror
20 million Soviet Citizens died at his hand. For a quarter of  a century, he ruled his huge Empire with a ruthless iron fist. Terror was his modus operandi – while he was alive, no one, not even his closest family members, were safe. Yet, at his passing he was mourned as the savior of his people.
June 6, 2019
40 - Winston Churchill - In the Darkest Hour
We imagine Winston Churchill with his signature cane, drinking scotch whiskey, and puffing on a Cuban cigar. His mouth is downturned, and his voice is gruff and his words pointed. This is the image Hollywood portrays but it is a mere caricature of the flesh and blood version. Who was Winston Churchill? In Britain’s “darkest hour,” Churchill led his country from the brink of Nazi conquest by forging an alliance with the U.S. and Russia. He had many critics, and made mistakes on a grand scale. Yet, above it all, possessed an unwavering belief in his own power. To his beloved country he offered his “blood, toil, tears and sweat.”  
June 4, 2019
39 - Erwin Rommel - The General Who Defied Hitler
Born in Germany in 1891, Erwin Rommel didn’t have the military in his DNA…his father was a teacher, and he was the only member of his family to enter the military as a career. Of his three siblings that lived to adulthood, one brother became a dentist, another became an opera singer, and his sister became an art teacher.
June 3, 2019
38 - Robert E Lee - A Remarkable Military Career
Robert E. Lee  - today, the mere mention of his name is enough to arouse passionate debate. In his time, he was loved and respected by both the Confederate Army and the Southern people. Curiously, following the Civil War, this high admiration carried over to include the people of the North, and Lee become a cherished figure for all Americans. During the war, when Abraham Lincoln looked at a picture of Lee, he remarked that a man with such a compassionate countenance had to be a ‘good man.’ But the war to which he devoted his every fiber broke him, if not in spirit, certainly in body and he was only to outlive the conflict by five years.  
June 2, 2019
37 - Marie Antoinette - Her Own Undoing
Her hair was piled atop her head, often ornamented with jewels or trinkets. Her face was always made up, and she wore the finest gowns and jewelry. At only 19 years old, she was a Queen, and in the tumultuous times in which she lived,  she soon became a symbol of all that was wrong with French royalty.  
June 1, 2019
36 - Viktor Frankl - A Search for Meaning
Viktor Frankl was put through some of the most horrific struggles a human being could imagine. But he never lost hope, and used his experiences to continue his work helping other people find meaning in their lives. Frankl’s story is one of strength, of hope, and of a man who made an impact on the world. Let’s dive into it...
May 31, 2019
35 - Stephen King - The Man Who Almost Didn't Become a Writer
 The world outside of central Maine almost never got to know Stephen King. If not for his wife’s diligence and her confidence in her husband, the book that launched a million pages might never have come into being. When his wife Tabitha rescued the start of the manuscript of “Carrie” from the trash and insisted her husband finish it, King was working as an English teacher and writing on the side. Tabitha’s judgment was right, Carrie became a smash hit, and Stephen King is one of the world’s most famous and most prolific authors. So what’s the story behind the stories? Let’s delve into his life...  
May 30, 2019
34 - Elon Musk - Shaping All Our Futures
He is the 21st Century Howard Hughes, John D. Rockefeller and Steve Jobs - all rolled into one dynamic package. His hunger for global change mirrors the sense of adventure of the great explorers of the past. His ideas, considered crazy by everyone around him, have opened up new frontiers as he continues to improve the world with the aid of technological advancement. His goal to make the earth a better place to live on has expanded to encompass the entire universe - including the possibility of supporting human life on Mars.
May 28, 2019
33 - Oscar Wilde - His Wild Life
Even though it’s been going on two centuries since Robert Cornelius took both the first photographic portrait and first selfie in 1839, the practically obsolete art of capturing likenesses through other mediums has not died out. Plenty of people continue to have portraits painted of themselves even though it’s common for that to cost $15,000. Many even pay to make fun of themselves through a caricature artist.
May 27, 2019
32 - Neil deGrasse Tyson - Bringing Science to the People
 At the age of 9 he knew what he wanted to do with his life, and he never wavered from his goal. Now, he’s one of the world’s most famous scientists. He’s earned the title of “Most Powerful Nerd In The Universe” from National Public Radio and the title of “The World’s Sexiest Astrophysicist” from People Magazine. He was instrumental in cutting down the number of planets in our solar system, and in doing so upset entire generations who had come to love Pluto as the quirky, smallest planet. And who is this icon of science that’s recognizable by the general populace? … Neil deGrasse Tyson.  
May 25, 2019
31 - Osama Bin Laden - The World's Most Wanted Man
 He was the world’s most wanted international terrorist – the Svengali like leader at the helm of a violent political movement that brought havoc and destruction the world over. His name became instantly familiar – Osama bin Laden. We all recognized his image; the long, drawn face, the scraggly beard, the turban. Yet, discovering the man behind the image has never been easy, causing him to be referred to as a ‘fact-checker’s nightmare.’  
May 24, 2019
30 - Seabiscuit - The Hero America Needed
 Seabiscuit was born (or more accurately ‘foaled’) on May 23rd, 1933 in Lexington, Kentucky. He was the son of a nasty-tempered rogue named Hard Tack, and a gentle mare named Swing On. Seabiscuit’s father had great speed, no doubt owing to his own pedigree. His father, Man o’ War, was considered by most experts at the time to have been the greatest racehorse ever produced… although his grandson would certainly go on to challenge that claim. The problem with Hard Tack was that he was uncontrollable... Even hall of fame trainer ‘Sunny’ Jim Fitzsimmons couldn’t tame him.  
May 23, 2019
29 - Robin Williams - The Darkness Behind the Light
He was a comic genius who had only one speed - full throttle. From the moment he burst into our lives as an alien on Happy Days, he amazed us with a range of talent that left us breathless. Yet, behind the manic shtick of Robin Williams was a man who was deeply plagued by depression. He had other demons, such as alcohol and cocaine. Still he kept us entertained to the very end, which made it all the more unfathomable to his legion of fans and admirers when he took his life, at the age of 63.
May 22, 2019
28 - Piers Morgan - A Controversial, but Successful, Journalism Career
 At the age of seventeen he had a master plan for becoming the best known journalist in Britain. He’s been in the midst of media scandals, he’s interviewed some of the most famous celebrities and most powerful politicians in the world, and he’s judged the talents of hundreds of common folks. Arrogant,  ambitious, and shameless…. so who is this media man? None other than Piers Morgan, of course…  
May 20, 2019
27 - Muhammad Ali - The Greatest Ever
He is recognized as the greatest athlete of modern times. In the boxing ring, he was nothing short of superb, punishing his opponents at will. Yet, it was outside of the ring that he he would have his greatest battles – and show the world what it really meant to be a man.
May 17, 2019
26 - Richard Branson - Businessman, Adventurer & Icon
Is there anything Richard Branson doesn’t do? A high school drop-out at 16, he’s started companies, seen the world, and had more adventures than anyone could dream of in a lifetime. He’s a creative personality and a brilliant businessman... an energetic, charitable man who has built a brand recognizable around the world. And he’s worth nearly 5 billion dollars. So how did Branson get to where he is today? 
May 16, 2019
25 - Arnold Schwarzenegger - The Real Muscle is His Brain
 He created a body that was to become the gold standard for muscular development. He would use it achieve one goal after another, rising to the very pinnacle of, not one, but three careers. Yet, from the very start Arnold Schwarzenegger had the odds stacked against him... He was dismissed, ridiculed and parodied mercilessly. What people failed to realize was that Arnold’s strongest muscle was, not his bicep, but his brain. With it he orchestrated career moves that took him to the very top.  
May 15, 2019
24 - The Incredible Ups and Downs of Steve Jobs
In high school, a student interested in taking apart and rebuilding machines approached the CEO of Hewlett-Packard and asked for some parts to help him complete a class project. Duly impressed, the CEO made arrangements for the student to get the parts. And years later, he was probably thrilled to be able to say he took the time to do so. The confident, driven student who asked for the parts was Steve Jobs, a man who would go on to become the CEO of Apple Computers and a pre-eminent figure in the tech industry…
May 14, 2019
23 - Ernest Hemingway - A Life of Love and Loss
 During his early years the future macho man’s mother dressed and treated him as a girl and his own son Gregory, would become a transvestite. He was known as Papa Hemingway and yet he had a distant relationship with his three sons. In the midst of the glowing tributes that the world heaped upon him he sunk to terrible lows, causing turmoil as he racked up awards. And then finally, in an act of desperation, he took his own life.  
May 10, 2019
22 - George Patton - America's Most Famous General
The leading generals of World War Two carried a huge weight on their shoulders. Their decisions could mean the difference between life and death for thousands of men; their actions helped to shape the fate of nations. History has judged some of them as fools, others as butchers, and a handful as military geniuses...
May 9, 2019
21 - John Lennon - The Troubled Beatle
He had a boyish smile, a rebellious hairstyle, and a lilting Liverpudlian accent. His genius extended beyond music, to wordplay and visual arts. While he excited and inspired teens, he frightened parents and pastors, and was a target of the Nixon-era FBI. Who was this British phenom? Well, that would be the inimitable John Lennon.
May 8, 2019
20 - H. H. Holmes - America's First Serial Killer
 He was the first of a new breed of American celebrity – the handsome, debonair and super intelligent mass murderer. His legend, fueled by his own insatiable appetite for exaggeration, would turn him into a monster, ‘the arch-fiend of the age’ and the ‘greatest criminal of this expiring century’. His “Murder Castle”, situated at the heart of the world’s greatest exhibition, was reputedly the scene of unspeakable horrors.    
May 7, 2019
19 - The Madness of Howard Hughes
 He was the richest man in America, the world at his fingertips, and yet he was a prisoner to his own dark fears. His achievements were astounding – he created the fastest plane on the planet, was the driving force behind the largest aircraft ever built and was a pioneer in film making – and yet he is remembered for the eccentricities that drove him from hero to hermit. In his heyday, he was a romantic figure, with movie starlets flocking to be seen on his arm, and yet he spent the last 26 years of his life as a recluse, obsessed with cleanliness and controlling every aspect of his environment even as he sunk deeper and deeper into madness.  
May 6, 2019
18 - The Mob Mentality of Al Capone
 He was a man who was impossible to ignore – a huge flamboyant character with a cigar and a $50,000 pinkie ring. Although he weighed over 250 pounds, he could, when the occasion demanded it, move with lethal speed and force. His jowly smile contrasted with the two scars that streaked across his left cheek.
May 5, 2019
17 - Queen Elizabeth II - The World's Longest Reigning Monarch
Imagine traveling in a foreign country when you learn the news of your father’s death. Now, imagine that death means you are now at the helm of the British Empire. That is how Queen Elizabeth II discovered she would no longer be a Princess, but instead would be Queen of the most powerful empire in history. She was only 25 years old, and would soon become the head of one of the world’s most powerful monarchies; a post she would hold for much of the 20th Century… 
May 4, 2019
16 - Vladimir Putin - KGB to President... for Life?
Known for being photographed shirtless and alongside wild animals (perhaps at the same time), Vladimir Putin has cultivated an image as an intimidating and fearless figure on the world stage. He’s a martial arts expert, a fearless political actor, and a former spy... 
May 3, 2019
15 - Napoleon III: The Forgotten Bonaparte
 What comes to mind when you hear the words “Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France”? We’re guessing it’s a certain petit corporal in a bicorne hat, rearing up majestically on a horse as he conquers half of Europe. But what if we told you there was another Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte? A Bonaparte who not only managed to rule France for longer than his famous predecessor, but basically created modern Paris. 
May 2, 2019
14 - John F. Kennedy: The Life and Death of a President
 John F. Kennedy served as the 35th President of the United States, before he was killed in 1963. While we all know about JFK, chances are that you probably know more about the conspiracy theories surrounding his assassination that the actual details of his life.  This story goes far deeper than just the individual life of John F. Kennedy. In order to understand the man, you need to know the family- and he was far from being the only one whose life ended in tragedy. On today’s Biographics, we will discuss the real man behind the Presidency. 
April 24, 2019
13 – Grigori Rasputin – The Devil Incarnate
Grigori Rasputin was a Russian peasant who claimed to have mystic healing powers, and he even went so far as to say he was the second coming of Christ. He formed his own cult, and even manipulated the members of the royal Romanov family into believing he truly was a holy man.
February 21, 2019
12 – Joseph Goebbels – The Propaganda Maestro
In modern times, we look back at the Nazi’s Third Reich and wonder how on earth anyone could have followed Adolf Hitler when he was so clearly an evil dictator. This was all thanks to Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda. He knew exactly how to manipulate the minds of a nation with fake news, … Continue reading 12 – Joseph Goebbels – The Propaganda Maestro →
February 12, 2019
11 – John Wayne Gacy – The Killer Clown
John Wayne Gacy was a businessman and politician. To everyone around him, he was a sweet, charming man. No one in his life could have guessed that he dressed up like “Pogo the Clown”, and murdered teenage boys after dark. The Chicago police department found 27 bodies buried in his basement. They knew that his … Continue reading 11 – John Wayne Gacy – The Killer Clown →
February 8, 2019
10 – Vladimir Lenin – The Founder of the Soviet Union
He is the only person whose baby picture was flown into space, and whose body has been preserved for decades after his death. He pushed his version of Communism so far, and for so long, that he was able to overthrow the government of the largest country in the world. To some, he is a … Continue reading 10 – Vladimir Lenin – The Founder of the Soviet Union →
January 23, 2019
9 – Pancho Villa – Robin Hood or Ruthless Terrorist
Pancho Villa was one of the most divisive figures in history. To millions he was the Mexican Robin Hood, to others a ruthless terrorist who killed without conscience. What is without doubt is that he rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most famous Mexicans in history, playing a vital role in the … Continue reading 9 – Pancho Villa – Robin Hood or Ruthless Terrorist →
January 23, 2019
8 – Timothy McVeigh – America’s Deadliest Terrorist
09:02am, April 19, 1995. That’s the moment when 27-year old Timothy McVeigh exploded his way into the US history books, blowing up a gigantic truck bomb outside the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The blast annihilated the building. It ended 168 lives, including 19 children. It also sent a shockwave through the … Continue reading 8 – Timothy McVeigh – America’s Deadliest Terrorist →
January 23, 2019
7 – Mark Zuckerberg – Tech Visionary or Supervillain?
He’s the dentist’s son who grew up to become the world’s youngest billionaire. In the mid-2000s, Mark Zuckerberg created a website that defined a generation, a website you almost certainly use yourself. The behemoth that is Facebook today dominates the internet. It has more active users than the populations of China and India combined. At … Continue reading 7 – Mark Zuckerberg – Tech Visionary or Supervillain? →
January 23, 2019
6 – John McAfee – The Millionaire Madman
If the name McAfee sounds familiar, that’s because the McAfee anti-virus software has been installed in nearly every computer in the past 20 years. But few people know much about the company’s founder, John McAfee, or the fact that his millions have helped him to very literally get away with murder.
January 23, 2019
5 – Idi Amin – The Butcher of Uganda
There have been a lot of crazed leaders throughout history, but few have been as depraved as the man who brutalized Uganda throughout the 1970’s. With his penchant for torture, severed heads and, by his own admission, cannibalism, he thoroughly deserved the description given to him by the man he replaced as Ugandan president, Milton … Continue reading 5 – Idi Amin – The Butcher of Uganda →
January 23, 2019
4 – Hermann Goering – The Head of the Luftwaffe
By the age of twenty-four Hermann Goering was a famous combat pilot, a national hero, and leader of Germany’s most celebrated fighter squadron. By the time of his death, less than thirty years later, he was reviled as a monster with the blood of millions on his hands. Highly-decorated combat pilot, drug-addicted lunatic, international statesman, … Continue reading 4 – Hermann Goering – The Head of the Luftwaffe →
January 23, 2019
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