100+ Portraits of Iconic People of All Time

Today we bring you a great collection of portraits of the most iconic people throughout history.

Portraits explore the relationship between the subject and the photographer or artist and usually continue to impress the viewer years after they have been created.

The common thread running through all of these portraits is superlative design. Each is a masterpiece in its own right, from the medieval painted portraits right up to the most current photographs.

This collection is arranged in alphabetical order and is by no means complete. We encourage you to post comments as to which portraits we’ve missed, that you feel should be part of this collection.

We hope that this collection inspires you, makes you gasp and even smile. We want you to come away with a sense of what made each portrait unique and memorable, and incorporate these concepts into your own portraits.


Afghan Girl

This photo was taken as part of the National Geographic “Green Eyes” project, tracking the genetic trait of green eyes passed down through the Mongols of Genghis Khan’s time. The subject was Sharbat Gula and a retrospective on her life done by National Geographic can be found here. Date: 1985. Photographer: Steve McCurry, National Geographic.


Buzz Aldrin

This image was captured in 1969, the day that the Eagle lunar lander made the first touchdown on the moon, by Neil Armstrong of fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Date: 1969. Photographer: Neil Armstrong.


Muhammad Ali

Ali was a three-time heavyweight World Champion in boxing. Born Cassius Clay, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali after joining the Nation of Islam. Date: 1967. Photographer: Ira Rosenberg.


Woody Allen

Allen is a celebrated movie director, playwright, and comedy writer who was responsible for such great movies as “Annie Hall”. Equally infamous for having a relationship with his stepdaughter, Soon-Yi Previn, who he is still with as of 2009. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Marie Antoinette

Antoinette was the last Queen of France and one of the more famous victims of the guillotine during the French Revolution. Antoinette was famous for her excess in a time of extreme economic hardship for her country. Date: 1769. Artist: Joseph Ducreux


Joan of Arc

Jeanne d’Arc, her name in the original French, was responsible for both repelling English invaders from her homeland and assisting Charles VII in succeeding to the throne of France. She is a Catholic saint. The only known portrait that she sat for was destroyed, so all we have are renditions. Date: 1876. Artist: Eugene Thirion.


Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong overcame testicular cancer to win the Tour De France for seven consecutive years. Another Leibovitz triumph, this photo illustrates exactly what the Tour De France champion’s muscles are doing when he is at work. Housed at the Oswald Gallery in Austin. Date: 1999. Photographer: Annie Leibovitz.


Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong was a jazz musician that sang vocals and played various instruments, including the trumpet as pictured. He performed solo and with other performers right up until his accidental death in 1971. Satchmo’s image was immortalized in this photo. Date: 1953. Photographer: World-Telegram staff photographer.


Neil Armstrong

An American aviator and a former astronaut, test pilot, university professor, and United States Naval Aviator. He was the first person to set foot on the Moon. Date: 1969. Photographer: NASA/Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.


Fred Astaire

Astaire starred in many musical films, ten of which were with Ginger Rogers. Astaire acted until 1981, amazing considering that he got his start in vaudeville. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most acclaimed and influential of all composers. Date: 1820. Painter: Joseph Karl Stiele.


Alexander Graham Bell

An eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone. Date: 1904. Photographer: Unknown – Print from Library of Congress.


Marlon Brando

Brando starred in a host of movies including “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “The Wild One”. Date: 1954. Photographer: Publicity Photo for “The Wild One”, used on the poster for the movie.


Humphrey Bogart

Best known for “The Maltese Falcon” and “Casablanca”, Bogart was a mega-star in the golden age of Hollywood. The photographer who took this shot, George Hurrell, was responsible for many of the “glamour shots” in Hollywood in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Only in later years would his work be recognized as art. Date: 1938-1939. Photographer: George Hurrell.


Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon arranged a coup d’etat which brought him to power in 1799. Five years after that he crowned himself as Emperor of France. He led successful military campaigns in Italy and Egypt that bolstered his reputation. His Napoleonic Code is still being used as a basis for law in many countries. Date: 1802. Painter: Antoine-Jean Gros.



Bono’s real name is Paul Hewson. He acquired the now-famous nickname from his friend Gavin Friday, who dubbed him “Bono Vox”. Bono didn’t like the name until he found out it translated loosely to “good voice”. Bono is not only known for being the front man for the rock band U2, but as a tireless and effective political activist for causes such as world hunger, apartheid, and AIDS. Date: 2006. Photographer: Ricardo Stuckert


Al Capone

The gangster was one of the the most famous people in the US. Loved for running booze during the Prohibition and hated for his murderous tactics to maintain a stranglehold on his business. Pictured here with his omnipresent cigar. Date: Unknown
Photographer: Unknown.


Fidel Castro

The former head of government of Cuba, a position that he held for 50 years. Castro overthrew the US-backed dictator Batista to seize power, and only let go of it by passing it on to his brother. Castro has been alternately reviled and praised for measures that he took with the country as dictator. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Charlie Chaplin

This powerful actor not only helped to found United Artists, but set the stage for what most of us consider “comedy” to be today. Date: 1915. Photographer: Studio Photographer, Chaplin as “The Tramp”.


Jesus Christ

This 1940 painting has been reproduced over 500 million times, making it one of the most popular works of art in history. Date: 1940. Artist: Warner Sallman.


Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was the British Prime Minister during World War II. He was widely credited with being one of the strategic masterminds that made the Allied victory possible. Churchill was also a prolific writer and won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

This shot was snapped in the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Canada after the photographer had annoyed Churchill by taking away his cigar. Widely considered one of the most famous portrait photos ever taken. Date: 1941. Photographer: Yousuf Karsh.


Kurt Cobain

An American musician, best known as the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of grunge band Nirvana. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. The circumstances of his death have become a topic of fascination and debate. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Mark Seliger.


Christopher Columbus

A Genoese navigator, colonizer and explorer whose voyages across the Atlantic Ocean—funded by Queen Isabella of Spain—led to general European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere.


Marie Curie

Curie was a physicist and chemist, and the first person to receive two Nobel prizes. She coined the term “radioactivity”, pioneered radiation therapy for cancer, and discovered two new elements. This shot is often cropped to remove Pierre Curie, the famous chemist’s husband. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Unknown.


His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

The current Dalai Lama was exiled from his seat of power, Tibet by Chinese forces. He is an incarnate god on earth for Tibetan Buddhists. Date: 2007. Photographer: Luca Galuzzi.


Salvador Dali

Dali was a Surrealist artist that produced a huge volume of works that spanned film, sculpture and paintings. He also worked with Hitchcock on a dream sequence for his film “Spellbound”, which both the artist and the director hated. The artist’s famous mustache is captured perfectly in this 1942 photo. Date: 1942. Photographer: Philippe Halsman.


Leonardo Da Vinci

Da Vinci defined the “Renaissance Man” with his inventions, art and scientific theories. This self-portrait of the famous artist and inventor was composed in red chalk. Date: 1512-1515. Artist: Leonardo da Vinci.


Charles Darwin

Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” set off a powderkeg when it appeared to scientifically establish that humans evolved from apes. Years later, Darwin is still celebrated in the scientific and broader community as a visionary that held out against religious interests in order to advance the cause of science. Date: 1883 copy of 1881 original. Artist: John Collier


Bette Davis

Bette Davis was not only a famous screen actress, but the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Miles Davis

Davis played tirelessly from his teenage years right on up until his death in 1991. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 1991. Davis was not just a pioneer of jazz, but one of the major influencers in the jazz fusion movement. President Obama describes listening to the music of Miles Davis as a spiritual experience in this interview. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Anton Corbijn


Charles De Gaulle

De Gaulle led the Free French Forces, or French Resistance, during the Nazi occupation of France. He founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President for 10 years. Date: 1942. Photographer: Office of War Information, Overseas Picture Division.


James Dean

James Dean is considered to be one of the greatest actors of all time. His handsome good looks were only enhanced by an unmistakable screen presence in such films as “Giant” and “A Rebel Without a Cause”. Date: 1955. Photographer: Publicity shot for Schlitz Playhouse of Stars.


Princess Diana

Princess Diana married Prince Charles and found herself divorced from him just a few years afterwards due to his persistent philandering with his current wife, Camilla Parker Bowles. Tireless in her humanitarian efforts, Diana continued to win the hearts of the British people and indeed people all over the world up until her death. Patrick Demarchelier was Princess Diana’s favourite photographer. This image he took of her was featured on the cover of People magazine after her death in 1997 and it instantly became iconic. Date: 1990. Photographer: Patrick Dermarchelier.


Charles Dickens

The most popular English novelist of the Victorian era. He was a vigorous social campaigner, both in his own personal endeavours as well as through the recurrent themes of his literary enterprise. Date: 1858. Artist: Charles Baugniet.


Marlene Dietrich

Dietrich rose from German cabaret acts to film stardom in the pre-war US. She left her native Germany for the US even after being invited back by the Nazi party prior to the outbreak of World War II due to her distaste for their policies. Date: 1951
Photographer: Publicity Shot for “No Highway in the Sky”.


Walt Disney

Walt Disney founded Walt Disney Corp. from humble beginnings as an animator. His studio produced some of the most timeless children’s movies ever and still continues to do so. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Bob Dylan

Dylan wrote the soundtrack to the American civil unrest of the 1960’s. Winning a number of awards for his music including an honourary Pulitzer, Dylan created some controversy for his fans when he switched from acoustic guitar to electric midway through his career. One of his most famous songs, “All Along The Watchtower”, was used as a key plot device in the 2003 incarnation of the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Amelia Earhart

Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo over the Atlantic. Earhart disappeared in a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. Date: 1932. Photographer: Unknown.


Thomas Edison

This photo of a young Edison was taken with the phonograph that he invented. He was most famous for inventing a long-lasting, practical lightbulb. Date: 1877-1878. Photographer: Levin C. Handy.


Albert Einstein

Einstein is another father of modern science. While his most famous theory is his theory of relativity, he put forward a number of new theories that formed the foundation of modern physics and paved the way for the Atomic Age. Date: 1947. Photographer: Oren Jack Turner. Second photo: Date: 1951. Photographer: Arthur Sasse.


General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower was the chief general in charge of the US forces during World War II, and later went on to be President. This photo was taken a year after victory over Axis forces in WWII. Karsh would go on to photograph Eisenhower as President and in his retirement, where he delighted in showing Karsh the oil painting that he was working on of Churchill for which he used Karsh’s portrait as a source. Date: 1946. Photographer: Yousuf Karsh.


Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth’s reign is famous for a number of historical events, including a Spanish invasion of England that was foiled by bad weather. After a couple of potentially politically disastrous marriage alliances were put forward to her, Elizabeth dubbed herself “The Virgin Queen”, and stated that “If I follow the inclination of my nature, it is this: beggar-woman and single, far rather than queen and married”.

Date: 1575. Artist: Unknown, perhaps Federico Zuccaro (see Sir Roy Strong, The English Icon, 1969). This entry is known as the “Darnley Portrait.


HRM Queen Elizabeth II

There have been many iconic photos of the Queen, but this one taken by famous photographer Annie Leibovitz conveys her regality while presenting her in a state of contemplation accented by the eternally inclement English weather. Taken in Buckingham Palace, the shot caused a furor in the British tabloid press when Leibovitz asked the Queen to remove her crown. Date: 2007. Photographer: Annie Leibovitz.


Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett became famous through a combination of the hit 70’s series “Charlie’s Angels” and this photograph which was popularized as a poster. Date: 1976. Photographer: Bruce McBroom.


Federico Fellini

Fellini was one of the most iconic filmmakers of the 20th century, with an enigmatic style that blended fantasy with Baroque art. Date: 1965. Photographer: Walter Albertin.


Anne Frank

Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who hid from the Nazis with her family in Amsterdam and wrote an account of it in her diary. “The Diary of Anne Frank” is universally read by schoolchildren all over the world as an account of the Holocaust. This portrait was taken just a few months after Frank and her family went into hiding on October 10, 1942. Date: 1942. Photographer: Unknown.


Benjamin Franklin

One of the founding fathers of the United States, Franklin served in many positions to further the independence of the United States, including a few posts as foreign ambassador in order to raise funds for the formation of the new country. This portrait of Ben Franklin by Duplessis was immortalized on the American one hundred dollar bill. Date: Unknown. Artist: Joseph Siffred Duplessis.


Sigmund Freud

Freud is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind and the defense mechanism of repression and for creating the clinical practice of psychoanalysis for curing psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Date: 1920. Photographer: Unknown.


Clark Gable

The “King of Hollywood” in his day, most remember Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind. Date: 1938. Photographer: Publicity Shot for “It Happened One Night”.


Yuri Gagarin

Gagarin was the first human in outer space and the first to orbit the earth. He died in a training flight in 1968 and was buried within the walls of the Kremlin in Moscow. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Unknown.


Galileo Galilei

The father of modern observational astronomy, Galileo invented improvements to the telescope and supported the theory put forward by Copernicus that the Earth orbited the Sun, and not the other way around. He was also a pioneer in the field of physics. Galileo spent the latter part of his life under house arrest for heresy against the Catholic Church. Date:1605. Artist: Domenico Robusti.


Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi was responsible for getting the British to allow India to form its own government through his technique of satyagraha, or non-violence. Date: 1930’s. Photographer: Unknown.


Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo was a Swedish-American actress that starred in a number of movies from the silent film era to the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. Best known for “Camille” and “Ninotchka”. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Jerry Garcia

The lead singer of the Grateful Dead, Garcia was an icon to the counterculture movement of the 1970’s. They toured into the 1990’s, until Garcia succumbed to a heart attack in 1995. Date: 1998. Photographer: Unknown.


Judy Garland

While Garland had a successful film career, no appearance of hers could even come close to “The Wizard of Oz”. Before the days of instant content access, kids would camp out in front of the TV for this feature film extravaganza, which still felt modern right on up until the 1980’s, mostly due to Garland’s masterful acting of what would have otherwise been a very two-dimensional character. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Publicity shot for “The Wizard of Oz”


Bill Gates

The founder of Microsoft and a primary benefactor of the largest charitable foundation in the world, Bill Gates was one of the first tech visionaries. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Betty Grable

Queen of the pin-ups, mostly due to this 1942 portrait. Grable’s legs were insured by her studio for a million dollars with Lloyd’s of London. Date: 1942. Photographer: 20th Century Fox.


Cary Grant

Grant, born Archibald Alec Leach, starred in a number of movies spanning from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. He was one of Hitchock’s favourite actors. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Che Guevara

Ernesto “Che” Guevara Havannassa at the La Coubre Memorial Service in 1960. Che traveled around Latin America as a young medical student and came to the conclusion that the only solution for the poverty that he saw was world revolution. He was instrumental in Castro’s takeover of Cuba and was later assassinated by Bolivian forces who were assisted by the CIA. Date: 1960. Photographer: Alberto Korda.


Dr. Stephen Hawking

Dr. Hawking achieved fame in academic circles as a theoretical physicist, and introduced his theories to mainstream society through his book “The Brief History of Time”. There are many images of the distinguished physicist, but it is telling that this one is featured on the front page of his website. Date: April 26, 2007. Photographer: Zero Gravity Corp.


Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway wrote many memorable novels, including “The Old Man and the Sea”, “The Sun Also Rises”, and “A Farewell to Arms”. His life is almost more colourful than one of his novels, full of trips all over the world and the popularization of the daiquiri. Date: 1957. Photographer: Yousuf Karsh.


Jimi Hendrix

Widely considered to be the best electric guitarist in history, Hendrix is known for “Are You Experienced”, his rendition of “All Along the Watchtower” by Dylan, and his version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”, along with many others. Hendrix was also one of the first artists to add effects to his music in the studio. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Unknown.


Henry VIII

Henry VIII was one of the most infamous kings in English history. He formed what is now known as the Anglican church in order to divorce his first wife when the Pope would not grant him a dispensation to do so. He also fostered humanist learning and was key in getting the Royal Navy off to a good start with great investments in shipbuilding. Hans Holbein The Younger was a court painter to Henry VIII and was not only responsible for portraits of Henry VIII, but most of his wives as well. Many portraits were painted of Henry VIII based on Holbein’s portraits, and some are mistakenly attributed to him. Date: 1536. Artist: Hans Holbein The Younger.


Audrey Hepburn

This press shot from Breakfast at Tiffany’s is probably the most famous photo of Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn was plucked from a ballet lineup to play the leading role in Gigi on Broadway in 1951. She became only the third actor to be paid $1 million for her role in My Fair Lady. Date: 1961. Photographer: John Kobal.


Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock was a director responsible for practically inventing the thriller. Classics such as “Rear Window” and “Vertigo” used advanced cinematography techniques to shock and scare his audiences. This image was taken on the set of Psycho, widely considered to be the greatest horror movie of all time. Date: Jan 29, 1960. Photographer: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.


Adolf Hitler

Hitler gained absolute political power in Germany through an election and subsequent political and military manoeuvres that established him as the Fuhrer of Germany. His vision of a unified Germany appealed to the wider German electorate, but the darker side of Hitler’s views and the subsequent World War II brought about a decimated Germany and his own downfall. Date: Around 1932. Photographer: Unknown.


Buddy Holly

A pioneer of rock and roll and an inspiration to the legends who came after him such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly’s death was even turned into a hit song; “American Pie” by Don McLean. Date: 1950’s. Photographer: Associated Press.



A Hungarian-American magician and escapologist, stunt performer, actor and film producer, as well as a skeptic and investigator of spiritualists. He became world-renowned for his stunts and feats of escapology even more than for his magical illusions. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Rock Hudson

Rock Hudson was in over 70 movies, including a number of comedies with Doris Day. He was one of the first celebrities to die from an AIDS-related illness. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Michael Hutchence

Hutchence was the lead singer of INXS, who produced a string of musical hits throughout the 90’s. Hutchence committed suicide in 1997. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Michael Jackson

Micheal Jackson is just as famous for his many commercial musical successes as he is for his odd and outlandish lifestyle. Date: 1992. Photographer: Unknown.


Mick Jagger

A Golden Globe and Grammy Award winning English singer, songwriter and occasional actor, best known for his work as lead vocalist of The Rolling Stones. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs founded Apple, left it to start NEXT, and returned to catapult Apple into superstardom with the iMac, iBook, iPod and iPhone. Jobs will always be best remembered visually for making his historic announcements about the next Apple milestone at Macworld conferences. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Janis Joplin

An American singer, songwriter, and music arranger, from Port Arthur, Texas. She rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company, and later as a solo artist. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Joplin number 46 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.


Michael Jordan

Jordan is known as one of the best defensive players in basketball. He helped to popularize the NBA through the 1980’s and 1990’s through his participation in various marketing campaigns both for the NBA and for various corporations. Date: 2006. Photographer: Joshua Massel.


Andy Kaufman

Kaufman was an eccentric entertainer best known for his work on Saturday Night Live in the 1970’s. He was famous for his off-centre comedic style. Date: 1983. Photographer: David McGough.


Helen Keller

Helen Keller was not born blind and deaf; it was not until she was nineteen months old that she contracted an illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain,” which could possibly have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her deaf and blind. She was a prolific author and tireless advocate for humanitarian causes. Also the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor’s degree. This image depicts a young Helen Keller. Date: 1904. Photographer: Unknown.


Grace Kelly

Kelly was one of the most prolific actresses of her day. A favourite of Hitchock, she appeared in a few of his films including “To Catch a Thief” and “Rear Window”. She became Princess Grace upon her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco, and retired from professional acting after her marriage. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Loomis Dean.


John F. Kennedy

The 35th President of the United States. JFK presided over the Cuban Missile Crisis and established NASA to put America on the moon. His assassination was controversial and untimely. Date: 1961. Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt.


Martin Luther King

King was famous for his civil rights actions to bring about equality for African-Americans, including his famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered at the March on Washington in 1963. Date: 1960. Photographer: Howard Sochure.


Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick was one of the greatest directors of the 20th Century. A perfectionist when it came to lighting, sound, acting and all other aspects of his movies, his triumphs included movies on diverse subject matter such as “Spartacus”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, and “A Clockwork Orange”. Date: Late 1940’s for LOOK Magazine. Photographer: Stanley Kubrick.


Heath Ledger

Ledger was a film actor that died of a deadly combination of drugs prescribed by his doctors in 2008, shortly after completing his iconic role as The Joker in “The Dark Knight”. His works included 19 films, including many awards for some of his roles. This insightful painted portrait of Heath Ledger won the People’s Choice Archibald Prize for 2008. The artist and Ledger were friends for a number of years. Date: 2008. Artist: Vincent Fantauzzo.


Bruce Lee

Scenes involving Bruce Lee’s fists and legs actually had to be slowed down through the process of shooting the film at a higher framerate in order for audiences to be able to watch him fight in some of his movies. Lee was an icon of the Chinese martial arts, particularly Kung Fu and Wing Chun. Date: Unknown. Artist: Columbia Pictures.


Vladimir Lenin

Lenin was instrumental in the Russian Revolution of 1917 and was elected Chairman of the Soviet Union in that same year. His particular brand of Marxist theory was branded “Leninism”. Date: 1920. Photographer: L. Léonido.


John Lennon

The lead singer for the Beatles enjoyed a successful solo career after the Beatles disbanded before his untimely assassination. He campaigned for the end of the Vietnam War and for peace between the US and Russia during the Cold War. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Andy Warhol


Yoko Ono and John Lennon

This photo graced one of the most famous Rolling Stone covers of all time, celebrating the famous love of John Lennon for his lover, Yoko Ono, which had been recently popularized in a “love-in” staged at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Date: 1980. Photographer: Annie Leibovitz.


Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and was responsible for abolishing slavery in the United States through the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. He also held the dubious honour of being the first president to be assassinated.

This photo was taken by one of Lincoln’s best-known photographers, Alexander Gardner. Date: Nov. 8 1863. Photographer: Alexander Gardner.


Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was elected the first African President of South Africa in 1994, officially ending a long tradition of apartheid in South Africa. Mandela had been jailed for speaking out against apartheid until it was abolished in 1990. Date: 1994
Photographer: African National Congress.


Bob Marley

Bob Marley and the Wailers are the best known performers of reggae music. Marley was also a key proponent of the Rastafarian movement, bringing it into popular culture. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Mona Lisa

No collection of portraits would be complete without this one. There is little to be said about this painting that hasn’t been said already, so we’ll direct you to Wikipedia if you want to know more. Date: 1503-1506. Artist: Leonardo da Vinci.


Sophia Loren

Loren’s career has spanned film, television, and even music. One of the most successful Italian actresses of all time. Date: 1986. Photographer: Anne Clifford.


Freddie Mercury

Born Farrokh Bulsara, this icon fronted one of the great “supergroups” of the 1970’s, Queen. Date and photographer: Unknown.



An Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci. Date: 16th Century
Artist: Jacopo del Conte.


Migrant Mother

This photo of Florence Owens Thompson and her children was taken in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California. In addition to being an iconic photo of the Great Depression, it influenced Steinbeck in his writing of The Grapes of Wrath. Date: 1936. Photographer: Dorothea Lange.


Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was a screen actress who died under mysterious circumstances that were officially ruled as a suicide. Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful actresses ever, Monroe was married to a few husbands, including baseball player Joe DiMaggio, and is widely rumoured to have had an affair with JFK during his presidency.

This was a scene from the movie “The Seven Year Itch”. The location shot in front of the Trans-Lux theatre in New York City had to be redone in the studio due to excessive crowd noise, but it yielded this picture. Date: 1954. Photographer: Matty Zimmerman.

This photo is another iconic photo of Monroe, this time taken by photographer Milton H. Greene, who was also her good friend. Date: 1954. Photographer: Milton H. Greene.


Demi Moore

Demi Moore was the first actress to command a $10 million salary. She has been married to actor Bruce Willis and is currently married to Ashton Kutcher, who some of you may know as aplusk on Twitter. This Vanity Fair cover was pulled from some shelves and only sold off others in a brown paper bag. Moore intended to show an “anti-glitz” attitude in shooting the cover. Date: 1991. Photographer: Annie Leibovitz.


Jim Morrison

Morrison was the frontman for the Doors and is collectively responsible with his bandmates for godfathering the alternative rock movement. Iggy Pop used one of Morrison’s poems as the basis for his successful song “The Passenger”. Date: 1967.
Photographer: Joel Brodsky.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart composed over 600 works of music, including “The Magic Flute”. He began composing at the age of five. Date: 1819. Artist: Barbara Krafft.


Paul Newman

Before he put his name on salad dressing, Newman was an Academy Award-winning actor that appeared in dozens of movies. His food company, Newman’s Own, is famous for donating all of their profits to charity. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Sir Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton is considered, amongst other things, to be one of the fathers of modern science. Universal gravitation and the three laws of motion are just two of his many theories. He also invented the first reflecting telescope. Date: 15th/16th Century. Artist: Sir Godfrey Kneller.


Jack Nicholson

Nicholson is best known for portraying psychopathic characters in various movies throughout his career, including “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “The Shining”. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Arthur Schatz.


Robert De Niro

De Niro has been a critically acclaimed actor since the 1970’s, appearing in a wide range of movies. Known principally for his method acting. DeNiro has also tried his hand at directing successfully with such films as “The Good Shepherd”. Date: 2008. Photographer: Petr Novák, Wikipedia.


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Jacqueline Kennedy was America’s best-loved first lady, wife of John F. Kennedy. After JFK’s death, she married shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis to the shock of the entire nation. While many photos were taken of Jacqueline Kennedy, this was her first official portrait as First Lady and the one most will remember. Date: 1961. Photographer: Mark Shaw.


Louis Pasteur

He is best known for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of disease. He created the first vaccine for rabies. He was best known to the general public for inventing a method to stop milk and wine from causing sickness, a process came to be called Pasteurization. Date: Prior to 1895. Photographer: Felix Nadar.


Pope John Paul II

John Paul II was known not only as a religious leader but as a proponent of world peace during the delicate days of the Cold War. He is credited with having a heavy hand in ending communism in his native Poland and throughout Eastern Europe. He was Pope for 27 years, the second longest papacy in history. Date: Unknown. Photographer: Unknown.


Evita Peron

Eva Peron, or Evita as she was known to the people of Argentina, was a supporter of women’s and workers rights. She died of cancer at the age of 33. Date: 1950. Photographer: Unknown.


Pablo Picasso

Picasso was one of the pre-eminent artists of the 20th century and a major proponent of the Cubist movement. While being shot for this portrait, Picasso could view himself in the wide angle lens of the camera and instinctively moved to place himself where he needed to be for the shot. Date: 1954. Photographer: Yousuf Karsh.


Plato & Artistotle

This commonly cropped part of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio features the two famous philosophers, presumably arguing about philosophy. Aristotle was Plato’s student. Date: 1509. Artist: Raffaello Sanzio.


Edgar Allan Poe

Poe was an eccentric and prolific author that published some of the best horror fiction ever known. He also coined “Poe’s Law”, which was that poems should be short enough to read in a single sitting. Date: 1848. Photographer: W.S. Hartshorn.


Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley popularized a more sexually charged style of music called “Rock and Roll” that was the delight of younger people of his generation and the bane of parents who credited his style of music with demoralizing a generation.


Grigorij Rasputin

This photo of Russia’s “Mad Monk” showcases his piercing eyes. Rasputin was an unstable monk that the Russian royal family took in to heal their son, believing that he had a supernatural ability to heal the boy. Russian nobles decided to oust him through a legendary execution. Date: 1914-1916. Photographer: Unknown.


Ronald Reagan

Reagan’s administration is credited with helping to bring about the end of the Cold War. While he got his start as a famous film actor, Reagan always had anti-communist political leanings. Date: 1981. Photographer: Official White House Photograph.



Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, more commonly known as Rembrandt, is considered to be the most important painter in Dutch history and one of the most important painters in European art history. Date: 1661. Artist: Rembrandt.


Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was an advocate for civil and woman’s rights. She also founded the UN Association of the United States in order to foster American support for the United Nations. Date: July 20 1933. Photographer: Unknown


The Scream

Portrait or not? Many interpretations of this work by Edvard Munch see the central figure as the artist trying to block out the outside world, or the “Scream” of nature, as the artist entitled the work in German (Der Schrei der Natur). One thing is for sure – it had insurance companies screaming after it was stolen twice. Date: 1893. Artist: Edvard Munch.


William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare produced a huge folio of work as both a playwright and a poet. There are ongoing debates as to which portraits of Shakespeare are “real”, if any. The Chandos Portrait, pictured below, is the most famous of them all. See Wikipedia for more details on the controversy. Date: Early 1600’s. Artist: John Taylor.


Frank Sinatra

Sinatra was a popular musician and film actor that was the recipient of 11 Grammy awards. During the latter part of his career he once again made a name for himself as one of the foremost acts in Las Vegas. Date: Unknown. Photographer: John Domini.


Josef Stalin

Stalin seized power in Communist Russia following Lenin’s death in 1924 and held onto it until his death in 1953. Stalin frequently had Soviet censors edit images of himself, cropping out political enemies. Date: 1922-1940. Photographer: Office of War Information.


Dame Elizabeth Taylor

Taylor’s famous violet eyes are hard to miss in this photo. She was the first actress to be paid $1 Million for her title role in the movie “Cleopatra”. Since retiring from her film career, Taylor has worked to further humanitarian causes, most notably being an AIDS advocate at a time when many other celebrities shied away from the cause. Date: 1951. Photographer: Unknown.


Mother Teresa

At the time of her death in 1997, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity organization was running 610 missions in 123 countries. Date: 1986. Photographer: Túrelio.


Nicola Tesla

Tesla was best known for his inventions which formed the basis for alternating current power, which is the kind of electric current that powers homes today. He also invented wireless radio and was known for countless other inventions. After making numerous improvements at the Edison company, he was denied a promised bonus and raise, at which point he left to focus on his own work. Date: Unknown but prior to 1896. Artist/Photographer: Photographed by Napoleon Sarony and engraved by T. Johnson.


Harriet Tubman

Tubman was a powerhouse; she helped over seventy slaves escape through the Underground Railroad, she acted as a Union spy, and she was an activist for women’s suffrage. Date: 1850-1900. Photographer: H. B. Lindsley


Mark Twain

An American author and humorist. Twain is most noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has since been called the Great American Novel and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He is extensively quoted. Date: 1907. Photographer: Unknown.


Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh is responsible for creating some of the most famous works of art, including “Starry Night”. Van Gogh also created many self-portraits throughout his lifetime. One of his other self-portraits, Self-portrait without beard, sold for $71.5 million. Date: September 1889. Artist: Vincent Van Gogh.


Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken is a great example of a celebrity that was made even more popular through the internet in the 21st Century. While he has been in a string of movies, he is more famous throughout the Intertubes for his Saturday Night Live skit in which he demands “more cowbell”. Date: April 2003. Photographer: Mark Seliger.


Andy Warhol

Warhol was a prolific photographer and artist who produced many works of art, photos, and films. Warhol took many self-portraits throughout his life, as well as creating pop-culture portraits of famous people. This one is housed in the Tate in London. Date: 1986. Photographer: Andy Warhol.


George Washington

Washington was the first President of the United States. Prior to that, he led key battles as a general for the rebellion that ousted the British from American soil. Date: Unknown. Artists: Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828), Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860).


John Wayne

Wayne’s rugged masculinity landed him a number of lead film roles in westerns. 142 of his roles were as the lead actor. Date: 1957. Photographer: Loomis Dean.


Orson Welles

Welles worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio. His best known feat is his radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” that was so realistic that audiences actually believed it was happening. Date: 1937. Photographer: Carl Van Vechten.


Mae West

An American actress, playwright, screenwriter, and sex symbol. Known for her bawdy double entendres, West made a name for herself in Vaudeville and on the stage in New York before moving to Hollywood to become a comedienne, actress and writer in the motion picture industry. One of the more controversial stars of her day, West encountered many problems including censorship. Date and photographer: Unknown.


Whistler’s Mother

This painting, Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter’s Mother, was the pinnacle of James Whistler’s career. It was purchased by France and is now in the Musee D’Orsay in Paris. Date: 1871. Artist: James Whistler.


Malcolm X

Born as Malcolm Little, he changed his surname to “X” when he joined the Nation of Islam, a common practice among members. He fought for civil rights, sometimes using violent methods to do so. He denounced leaders of the civil rights movement as being “stooges” for the establishment. Date: 1964. Photographer: Marion S. Trikosko.

Think we’ve missed any that you would have included in such a collection? Please feel free to post links to your suggested photos in our comments and they may be included in this article.

  • Don

    Why is Jim Morrison in this bunch? Anybody could’ve done with he did. All you have to be is drunk as a skunk and open your mouth.

    • Airile, say danke.

      Jim Morrison is in here because (a) of that. he didn’t care about most of it, he just wanted to have a hell of a time, play music, and maybe make some money in the process (not to mention score some once in a while). And (b) it didn’t matter anyway. Even if you don’t consider him a Great, he is still a rock icon. And this is titled “100+ Portraits of Iconic People of All Time.”

    • Nihujax

      obviously an expert!

    • Juri

      so do it then Don and may be one day your face will be in such list of famous people

      • anonymous

        actually, its known that Jim Morrison had an I.Q. of 154, classifying him as a genius, and if you’ve read anything he wrote, he was a philosopher and a poet besides being a groundbreaking musician and a gigantic influence on music. I’m a ling time fan and have read most of his work. Its not his fault his drunken antics were more popularized.

        And Hemingway also was a “drunken skunk”. Substance abuse is often a malady of the painfully intelligent and artistic.

    • Rob

      You, good sir, are a complete idiot!!! Jim Morrison was an incredibly talented man, who just so happened to be “drunk as a skunk” most of the time. If you honestly think that anybody could have done what Morrison did, then maybe you, good sir, should give it a go. Then when you fail, miserably I might add, you will think twice before making downright retarded-ass comments on the internet!

    • nigel

      Aw c’mon… Yeah, he turned into a bloated fool. But he did break some new ground – a giant splash of black paint in the face of flower power. Isn’t that something?

    • sagar

      How can you say ? Can anybody write poems as expressive and influential as his …. His music memorised millions of people and definetly was one of the most influential people of all times.

    • James

      If it so easy, why dont you do exactly the same thing? The Doors, with Jim in the front are a legend!

    • valkreye

      just because you didn’t like his music doesn’t mean other people didn’t appreciate it. also if your going to comment on the particular artist/figure, you might wanna be more specific than just there work ethic…

      Napolean: destroyed or maimed some of histories oldest artifacts

      Castro: used the Che Guevara’s policies and the Cuban Revolution to gain power then appointed himself dictator

      Columbus: raped and pillaged the native nations he came across, spreading disease through out there society

      Edison: stole the ideas of his worker -Tesla- then bastardized his ideas and sold the “profitable” version to large corporations and ignored the free, better way of using electricity

      Ann Frank: jewish during the holocaust, wrote a diary… that’s just unfortunate circumstances

      …I think that’s enough, unless you want me to keep going.
      try to respect other peoples opinions.

      Mona Lisa: ummm, thats a painting

    • http://www.bladewarrior.blogspot.com Shane

      Jim Morrison was more than you are ever capable of being even before he opened his mouth. Great blog, thanks.

    • Christophe

      Jim Morrison doesn’t deserve to be here?! Get a grip. Awesome lyricist, outspoken spokesperson for a generation, and a guy that only did what he wanted to do. Sounds like an icon to me. And yet you have no qualms with an artists mother being here? What did she ever do? And the green-eyed Afghan girl? I think you’ve missed the point.

    • Dave

      Morison didn’t start out a drunk. That came care of fame and fortune.

  • http://www.nineliondesign.com Chikezie Ejiasi

    absolutely excellent!

  • Bella Mae

    Pretty cool. it bugged me though that it said Helen Keller was born without sight or hearing, She lost both after an illness when she was very young.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      This has been corrected, thanks.

    • Khana

      It clearly says that Helen Keller was born with her sight and hearing but lost it from an illness that was believed to be either scarlet fever or meningitis.

      • quarkdoll

        It clearly says right above you that the author corrected it after Bella Mae’s feedback. See how assholic it sounds to use ‘clearly’ like that?

    • Helmethedd

      read it again, in fact it does say that she got sick as an infant. clearly.

  • kip

    Nikola Tesla, Hitler, Mao, Kim Il-Sung, Haile Selassie I, Walt Whitman, OJ Simpson, John Wayne, Louis XIV, John Steinbeck, Albert Hoffman, Timothy Leary, Patrick Henry, Andrew Jackson, Jon Stewart, Langston Hughes, Jack London, Jack Kerouac, Karl Marx, Arnold Shwartzennegger, Ronald Reagan, Augusto Pinochet, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Aldous Huxley, Isaac Asimov, Osama Bin Laden, Julius Caesar, Socrates, Alexander the Great, Stephen Hawking…um… as far as photographed icons there’s the starving Ethiopian child being followed by the vulture and the little girl running naked through Vietnam or something. As far as fictional icons there’s Ronald McDonald, Barnie and Mickey Mouse

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Thanks for the suggestions, however, not all of the ones suggested are portraits as you said. As for the other ones, we may add them to the article.

      Thanks again.

      • Lunyka

        I’m sure you can easily find pictures of the people if you google them. Hell Hitler did some nice paintings in his time.

    • Wim

      Vladimir Lenin, right?

    • http://anubisscales.deviantart.com Jack Tyr


  • Keith

    Not to be “that” guy, but I believe the Brando picture shown above is from “The Wild One” not Street Car. I’m also open to the idea of being completely wrong.

    • Emily

      Yep, it’s from the Wild Ones (1953) – that doesn’t detract from the fact that, man, Brando just takes your breath away in that shot!

  • http://twitter.com/raymondroman Ray Roman


  • http://www.SelectCeremony.com/barmitzvah Bar Mitzvah Photographer

    That’s a lot of portraits, but the first 20 minutes of perusing them was entertaining.

  • Jen

    Where’s Sinatra?!

    • leox

      who is sinatra? ;)

      • carmasue00

        oh the shame…

  • http://www.whatsleet.com Staggs

    Great list, while a few choices are debatable, it is inspiring.

    • Ashley

      ^I agree.
      It was fun looking at these photos.

  • http://www.thisholdsmyattention.com ThisHoldsMyAttention.com

    My favorites, Christopher Walken and Andy Warhol. A great collection of images!


  • digitalhenry

    Excellent Post!! Haven’t had an interesting read in some time now thanks for some ‘history’!

  • http://www.wrccdesign.com.br Wagner Rosati

    Where am I ???

  • http://www.orphicpixel.com orphicpixel

    armstrong are really strong :) when will be the time that our photos will be added or to be replacement with them?

  • jiggybean

    Please internet, get over Heath Ledger. There was nothing iconic about that man, he made a few good movies, not cure cancer or anything to the extent. There are a million other pictures I could think of to replace his, but Kip already said about half of them, lol. Other then that, fantastic list.

    • Jonn

      totally agree.. if he wasn’t dead he wouldn’t be in this list

    • quarkdoll

      The voice of reason – thank you.

    • Donnellbastard

      I think it was his role in That last Batman movie that really did it in for most people. To me it really proved his acting abilities and made me really respect him, then he died. A lot of people just happen to idolize people for being great at something then dying. I think losing such a great artist makes people go nuts ‘cuz what else have we got to help make us feel sane? besides crack.

  • talisa

    awsome lis t althought you intally spellled kurt cobains named wrong you used a k ,in ,cobain insyead of a c

  • http://twitter.com/b_allenstein designiac

    Jimi Hendrix,
    Karl Marx,
    Robert de Niro,
    Juri Gagarin,
    Sean Connery,
    Rene Magritte,
    Stephen Hawking,
    Stanley Kubrick,
    Robert Capa,
    MC Escher,
    Reymond Lowey,
    Trent Reznor,
    Bruce Lee,
    Johnny Depp,
    Bill Clinton,

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    Thanks for all the comments guys, I’ll be adding several more soon.

    • Needtoknowbasis

      How about George Burns, Gracie Allen, Jackie Gleason, Lucille Ball…..and I can think of quite a few others

    • jared

      Let’s see a part 2! :)

  • http://blog.callumchapman.com/ Callum Chapman

    Superb list, I was expecting to see Hitler in there somewhere!

  • G. Od

    Damn nice collections. Actually it’s not only pictures, they are historical, knowledge pictures. Still I only heard most of their names, but didn’t know about their faces.

  • EdBoyWW

    I miss Steve McQueen (Paul Newman is here :)

  • sean

    You often talk of the name he/she was born with. What about Mark Twain?

  • Omar Uribe

    King Tut, the Beatle’s Abbey Road picture, Caesar, Bruce Lee, Statue of Liberty,

  • http://www.saschaschworm.de Sascha

    What an awesome article. I really enjoyed it. It is some kind of a historical breakdown. You did a great job.

  • Katie

    Sorry, to be obnoxious but Brando wasn’t in the Rat Pack. Sinatra hated him for getting the role Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls.

  • Abulafio

    Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II!

    [From WIKIPEDIA : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_II%5D
    John Paul II has been widely acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the twentieth century. It is widely agreed that he was instrumental in ending communism in his native Poland and eventually all of Central Europe, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe, as well as significantly improving the Catholic Church’s relations with Judaism, the Eastern Orthodox Church,and the Anglican Communion.

    Photo : http://jp2friends.org/images/JP2%20Scan%201.png

    • http://codematrix.pl Mark

      definitely – puting here Dalai Lama & ignoring JP2 is at least rude :))

  • Sam

    I would want Jack Nicholson in here. x:

  • Fay

    Kate Sheppard, She was a big part in helping New Zealand become the first country to allow women to vote.

  • http://www.msnifadeleri.com Roger Ormeto

    this is the great iconic people list with hq photos, thanks webdesignerdepot….

  • http://gordonsoflondon.com Gordon Mays Baird

    No John Logie Baird? must be American

  • http://www.ree-she.com Rishi Luchun

    Malcolm X?

  • Sérgio Soares

    Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal lol
    i’m kidding!!!

    great list, thanks for that

  • http://www.femtomedia.com lain

    Quite interesting, but a bit focus on american icon… what a pity…

  • http://www.artnlight.blogspot.com Vineeta

    What a brilliant compilation of the portraits of the most famous people in the world. Thanx a TON for this!!!!

  • http://www.rukey.cn/ rukey67

    good post

  • http://www.stuarttraynor.com Stuart

    Odd choice of portrait for Henry VIII, I would have thought the face on portrait where he stands rather large would have been a more obvious choice. I loved the inclusion of Dali’s though. One I’d have loved to have seen included would have been John Stuart Mill.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      We chose this as more of a portrait shot because it included more of the face than the standing shot, even though that one is more famous. That may be one for a future post though!

  • Jonn

    Great list but why no Jimmy Hendrix?? I dont think you can get much more iconic.

  • David

    I was going to say very US-centric but 56 out of 100 thereabouts isn’t too bad (there were a few I wasn’t sure about). Overall, as it is called Iconic, I agree with most of the selections and suggestions – even the infamous ones.
    Good list, it could go on into the 1000s

  • Jônatan Fróes

    What about Pelé?

    I’m just kidding…

    Grat list

  • Phil

    Where is Nikola Tesla a genius and world leader in his field. Wise enough to save us from the miss use of his knowledge. That has changed.

  • Suzanna

    Amazing. Hard to think, just impressive!

  • http://naraosga.deviantart.com Nara OSga

    Dont care about don, I think Jim morrison must be the in the top of this list. =D

  • umiin

    there’s like no women, only a few actresses….disappointing

  • http://www.DrinksAreOnMe.net Dale Cruse

    Good list. In addition to the people suggested in the comments, I’d like to add Grace Kelly – http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_s15pQl9M1xM/SUKXnEzQCRI/AAAAAAAACXI/P4K6Nt1qXww/s400/GraceKelly2.jpg

  • http://www.funpianolessons.com Ligia

    Thank you for this post! It’s true that you can add more VIP’s but my opinion is that you did a great job!

  • Zlig

    what about Charles Darwin?

  • Horton

    Brando picture is from The Wild One.
    Dylan picture hardly the most famous.

  • seminole

    tesla, tito, hendrix, gorbatchev, stallone, yul brinner…

  • http://www.jetlike.com snooch

    Really a great list. I especially liked the Ernest Hemingway shot.

  • http://www.fred-art.dk Frederik

    Nice list!
    Steve Jobs is also the founder of Pixar (animation studio). I think it’s worth mentioning

  • Luke

    You included Thomas Edison but neglected Nicola Tesla?

  • http://www.ricardinho.com Ricardinho

    Jimi Hendrix….

    Are we human?

    • space tiger

      Or are we dancers?

  • http://www.twitter.com/airpoint Airpoint

    how could you?!
    ohhh how could you not put Bruce Lee here???

  • Brad Jensen

    Some you’re missing:

    Jiddu Krishnamurti
    Jacque Fresco
    Ron Paul
    George Carlin

  • http://blog.hdragomir.com Horia

    I just love the portrait of Ernest Hemingway!

    Great, great list!

  • Paul

    Nice series of portraits! One little citicism, though:
    Queen was super in a lot of ways, but it was no supergroup.
    In the late 1960s, the term supergroup was coined to describe “a rock music group whose performers are already famous from having performed individually or in other groups.”

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/noa Noa

    incredible post!
    And great illustration references :)

  • brince

    Where’s Jerry Garcia?

  • http://- John

    The ratio between male and female icons should be around 50/50 if you ask me. But it is not.

  • http://www.doublejdesign.co.uk/ Jack

    Actually, Dalai Lama who is a big lier is completely not comparable to all others.

  • http://dario2994.wordpress.com/ dario2994

    I love this list… good work ;)

  • bob

    yeah. you might wanna do a couple of fact checks on a few of these.

  • k

    Keith, you are correct…the photo of Marlon Brando is from “Wild One”

  • Charles

    Not a sports fan are you? What about Michael Jordan, Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Eddy Merckx, Gebresellasie, Daily Thompson, Michael Phelps, Carl Lewis, Ben Johnson, Mark Spitz, Bjorn Borg, etc…

    • http://fruitcakex.blogspot.com bp

      awesome list, ..
      yes i agree, you could do with Pele/Maradona(with the seven defenders) and Bjorn Borg.

  • http://elfinpoet.blogspot.com/ Heidi Alfonzo

    Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette, King David, King Solomon, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie…I could go on…This is a great list, though! But it’s missing quite a few that should have been there from the start! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1631672528 Ralf Neuhäuser

    Why aren’t all of the artists/photographers mentioned?
    Some People are not the icons to be worth mentioned here. On the other hand a lot much more iconic people are missing.
    If you list Josef Stalin, you have to list Adolf Hitler too, even though both were most negative icons.

  • Matt

    I only saw one real problem, we do not know what Columbus looks like and the painting of Columbus is one of at least 5 distinctly different people. The Smithsonian has a t-shirt with 5 different portraits of Columbus; none are the same guy.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      This is a common controversy with historical portraits, including the one of Shakespeare that we included. If we didn’t include historical portraits that had controversial identities, we would be seriously lacking in historical portrait content. 

  • http://berniekeating.blogspot.com Bernie Keating

    Great collection. It was fascinating to see them arranged in alphabetical order rather than chronological order. It kept it surprising and interesting.

  • Tits McGee

    thats not actually Leonardo Da Vinci. Well, it’s not proven that it’s him.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      This is a common controversy with historical portraits, including the one of Shakespeare that we included. If we didn’t include historical portraits that had controversial identities, we would be seriously lacking in historical portrait content…

  • http://particlesofstone.wordpress.com Stonedragonfly

    Where the heck is Eleanor Roosevelt?? I’d take out Michael Hutchence and put her in.

  • fidgety_sam

    The only way to please all these commenters will be to print the Who’s Who. But, wait! That’s already been done!

    • tapas

      George Bush – who cares?

  • Klappstuhl


  • Prince of Pickiness

    Actually the Dalai Lama was exiled NOT exhiled.

  • unknown

    michael jordan is said to be the most iconic and popular man on our planet right now yet somehow he didnt make the list? heath ledger did though? suicide jordan, suicide!

  • TB

    Interesting nobody has mentioned Ronald Reagan, yet. (Though it’s not hard to guess why, reading some of the other suggestions.) He most definitely fits just about any definition of “icon” you may have. Unlike some others on this list.

    For that matter, Obama fits “icon” status, too.

    Entertainer-wise, I’m surprised no Gene Kelly – should use the lightpost picture from Singing in the Rain for that.

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk Adam

    What an inspiring list of individuals, great list. I predicted Elvis & Marliyn Monroe were going to make an appearance when I first saw the title.

  • peter Mathijssen

    compare the work from janis joplin f.i.to the work from rembrandt van rijn and ask yourself; who has more cultural importance…

  • Frizzlebane

    Arthur Schopenhauer. Also, is somehow seems fitting the Edison would steal the spot that should have gone to Tesla.

  • joel k.

    good work

    Albert Einstein
    is most likely #1

  • http://www.jetlike.com snooch

    Jeez, instead of whining who should be on that list and who should not why cant some of you just appreciate the work of Walter?

    Make your own list if you think you can it that much better…

  • http://valign.wordpress.com zohaib

    Robert De Niro
    Al Pacino

  • postal


  • George Lopez

    Lucille Ball
    Mother Theresa
    Desi Arnaz
    John Wayne

  • Pope John Paul II

    Where is he!?

  • Spiderman

    I would definitely add : Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla).

  • barte9

    Lech Walesa

    • http://alpinemagnum.co.uk Marten

      Seconded – I was just checking b4 posting him myself. Perhaps I still will.

  • Megh Suthar

    kidding me !

    Don’t say anything when webdesigner depot will be hacked by Nazis –
    joking !

  • john

    Pope John Paul II
    Vasco Da Gama
    Julius Cezar
    Louis XVII of France

  • Ainsley

    Audrey Hepburn wasn’t in Gigi, it was Leslie Caron. I’m a youngin’ and it’s one of my favorite movies of all time.

  • http://www.tehnosolar.ro gogonel

    a small lesson of history
    good ideea and a gr8 post … keep it up :)

  • http://blog.grep.pl Artur

    Pope John Paul II !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! without any comments

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    All suggestions duly noted. I’ll add a few more soon, especially the ones being recommended over and over again by everyone here.

    I omitted featuring people that will be too offensive for our audience.



  • TTT

    Oh Come on! Marie Curie?! Marie Skłodowska or Skłodowska-Curie!

  • Phylomon

    John Paul II

  • http://www.szudi.hu/ Yokko

    Albrecht Dürer’s self portrait:

    Louis Daguerre:

    The very famous TutAnkhAmon:

    Any portraits by Henri Cartier Bresson or Brassai or any portraits of historical persons from Alexander the Great to Barack Obama. There’s definitely a lots of portraits you’ve missed. :)

  • John

    Why there isn’t John Poul II??

  • Polacco

    I think that you missed some important people:
    – John Paul II
    – Adolf Hitler
    – Michael Jordan
    – Pele
    – Diego Maradona
    – Ray Charles
    – Bruce Lee
    – Muhammad
    – Charlemagne
    – Julius Caesar
    – Vladimir Lenin
    – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    – Mao Ze Dong
    – Tiger Woods
    – Toshiro Mifune
    – Jimi Hendrix
    – Christopher Columbus

    There was so many famous people in our history. I know hundreds of them, but it is impossible to name everybody. I selected people who’s photos are easy to find.

    Sorry for mistakes. I started learn english 2 years ago.

  • Big Al

    Charles Darwin
    Adolf Hitler
    Ronald Reagan

  • Broaden

    100 hundred photos of iconic people of all time and you chose a portrait of Jesus Christ as a white man with blonde hair and blue eyes… disgraceful.

  • Boris

    Not surprised theres a load of uniconic americans thrown in.

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    @Boris – this is by no means a complete collection, and it’s very subjective what’s iconic and what’s not.

    @Broaden: it’s a very popular portrait and that’s why it was featured. No offense of any kind implied in any shape or form.

    Some pictures and info were updated. We’ll add more portraits tomorrow.

    Thanks for the continued feedback, it’s greatly appreciated!

  • Olivia

    The Russian royal family only had 1 son, and his name was Alexi.

  • Vos

    Kurt Vonnegut jr. would be a good addition.

  • Jake

    Fred Rogers should definitely be on this list…Please include him next time

  • antek

    Pope John Paul II!! definitely!!!

  • batta_vcp

    Conocen a Maradone, si lo conocen es por quedeberia estar en esta lista

  • Hold on

    The most iconic picture of Ali is him standing over Sonny Liston … not some random head shot.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Agree, but it’s not an article about iconic photos, rather portraits of iconic people.

  • Talkii
  • Rob

    This really puts my life in perspective…..who the f am i

  • David Koresh

    I hope you add my name to this list.

  • The Kidd

    Prince wearing the purple coat on Rolling Stone mag.

  • Alex_k
  • http://none nate

    YOU HAVE DEMI MOORE BUT NOT TESLA. WHAT THE F*****. Seriously. btw Edison stole most of his inventions.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      The picture of Demi Moore was included because it was the first nude photo of a pregnant woman featured on the cover of a prominent magazine, not so much because of who Moore is.

  • Aboynamedkim

    Tim Burton
    The Coen Brothers
    Clint Eastwood!!!
    Stanley Kubrick
    George Lucas
    Steven Spielberg
    Penn and Teller
    Martin Scorsese
    Orson Welles
    George Ramero
    Tex Avery

    Some Directors

    Now Where is Mel Blanc or
    Jim Henson

    Micky Mouse
    Bugs Bunny

  • Mijo

    Martin Luther (German social, educational and religious reformer)

    Martin Luther King Jr. (social reformer)

  • d2d2

    You blow off the hundred or so movies walken has been in with “none commercially successful.” How about The Deer Hunter, Pulp fiction, or Batman Returns? He didn’t really get much more famous after the cowbell thing. Unless you’re a fourteen year old. I’m just sayin’.

  • BlueJ

    You stated that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is an “incarnate god on earth”, yet buddhists do not believe in gods.

  • az81

    Miles Davis

  • http://www.subcorpus.net/blog/ subcorpus

    awesome collection …
    thanks for sharing …
    some brings back memories … :)

  • http://www.korculiar.sk Vlado

    Find two differences: Plato & Artistotle / Plato & Aristotle
    Which one is the right? Google knows…

    Anyway, Great collection!

    • Donnellbastard

      Thanks for letting everyone know how much of a genius you are, we couldn’t have enjoyed these photos without your wealth of knowledge, douche.

  • http://www.brushthis.com Liora

    Completely inspiring! I can see a lot of hard work that went into this, and the result is brilliant.

  • Anna

    elenor roosevelt
    malcom x
    grace kelly
    michael jordan
    harriet tubman
    the virgin mary
    Rosa Parks
    Amelia Earhart
    Frederick Douglass
    Jackie Robinson
    Maya Angelou
    Susan B. Anthony
    Wright Brothers
    Hitler (he was still influencial regardless of how he used it)

  • Too long

    I would love LINDA LOVELACE in the gallery.

    Include TERA PATRICK to complete the list.

  • http://lol lolo

    where is Hitler!!??

  • posith

    few are missing:
    John Paul II,
    Lech Walesa,
    Margareth Tatcher,
    S. Hawkings,

  • http://stumble seafable

    engrossing, this took time to get through, but you missed santa.

  • Wicked

    Just one here. Will Rogers. I don’t think any of you ,etioned him.

  • James

    Good list and very thoughtful comments, however what about Alister Crowley, Anton Levey, and Marilyn Manson.

  • Alex

    Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Sir Arthur C. Clarke

  • Simon

    -John Paul II ??
    -Nicolaus Copernicus ??
    -Lech Wałesa ??

    anyway, great collection

  • James

    I think William Randolph Hearst I deserves a mention, his life is iconic. Son of George Hearst, he was owner of The San Francisco Examiner. He built a castle on the site he used to go camping with his parents every year. And without him Warner Bros. Studios wouldn’t be what it is.


  • Charlene

    love the images. so beautiful.

  • Yves Lalonde

    Maria Callas

  • T.U.M.

    Lovely pictures, but the writer needs a refresher course on when to use “who” and when to use “that.”

  • Gabrioch

    Great Job!!!

  • wheelnut53

    Ho Chi Minh,
    Sophia Loren,
    Bridget Bardot,
    Gina Lollibrigida
    Barack and Michelle Obama
    Bill and Hillery Clinton
    the Google guys
    Oprah Winfrey
    Robert Deniro
    Al Pacino
    Dustin Hoffman
    Sam L. Jackson
    Danny Glover
    Micheal Jordan
    Earvin Johnson
    Larry Bird
    Red Aurbach
    Shenelle English

  • Ricot

    Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla)

  • http://blog.hattirigottiri.com/ yesim

    Great post as always. I love jim morrison’s picture.

  • http://telefony.vgm.pl Symbian

    @Frederik: Steve Jobs is also the founder of Pixar (animation studio). I think it’s worth mentioning

    Steve Jobs is only owner of Pixar. He bought pixar in 1986 for 10 million $.

  • http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~chuck/lennapg/ Lena Soderberg

    Lena Soderberg

    The most popular photo used in image processing: http://www.ii.uni.wroc.pl/~anl/dyd/PO/examples1/lena.jpg

  • Bree

    Audrey Hepburn wasn’t in Gigi- it was Leslie Caron

  • http://cheesygoodness.psiraptor.com BustyMcLeod

    Judy Garland is most notably missing from your list.

  • Oliver

    well, even though this list certainly lacks a lot of people and some of those included were/are not essentially so important for humanity, they shouldn’t be removed at all.

    My personal requests are:

    George Orwell
    Joe Satriani :)
    Jimi Hendrix
    … and so many others

    I’m writing from Venezuela

  • Bea

    Stephen Hawking is missing!!!

    What a shame…

  • http://js-php.ru Alex

    Fantastic images…
    The are 2 russians:tyrant and charlatan

  • ESM

    Soon-Yi Previn was not Woody Allen’s step-daughter. She was adopted by Mia Farrow and Andre Previn. Woody Allen never married Mia Farrow. They had a 12-year relationship, and what he did was inappropriate, but they are not related.

  • air

    Ignaz Semmelweis

  • ESM

    Louis Armstrong’s death wasn’t accidental. He died of a heart attack.

  • Graham

    Great collection.
    I can’t believe how much Bob Dylan looked like Leonard Cohen.

  • el rondoo

    Lil Bow Wow ;)

  • Where’s Duke Wayne?

  • Kristy

    No Bettie Page?

  • http://www.newyorkworkwear.com Jordan

    This must have taken you a very long time to do. The list is nice.

  • Lloyd

    The title is “Portriats of Iconic People…” Jim Morrison may not be an icon to some, but is to others. He was a great musician despite everything else he did. But Jimi Hendrix should be added and be prepared to make room for Johnny Depp!

    Now Christopher Columbus as an iconic figure is negotiable. He was responsible for millions of deaths throughout both Americas because of his religous intolerance. If kept as an icon, I think that bit of info should be included.

  • Brian

    I agree with all the Bruce Lee suggestions.

    Evel Knievel
    Vlad The Impaler
    Jesse Owens
    Lou Gherig
    George S. Patton

  • crystal

    great list, but Demi Moore?? on the same list as Albert Einstein?? c’mon now.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      The picture of Demi Moore was included because it was the first nude photo of a pregnant woman featured on the cover of a prominent magazine, not so much because of who Moore is…

  • JB

    Sad 21 pictures of women most of them movie stars. Didn’t even include Elizabeth I.

  • Alfons Nieuwkland van Zwol

    It’s always difficult to choose…………..
    But, way to many americans without any real importance to the rest of the world ( I’m from Europe, Netherlands. So ..)

  • spaceface

    Great list, I enjoyed it much.. but was shocked to not see Nikola Tesla in there, I guess humanity has yet to fully realize his contributions.

  • sroka22

    Where is Chuck Norris?

  • Heather

    Hmm. I should be on this list.

  • allie

    I was hoping for a better picture of Dylan.

  • Erin

    I loved seeing Freddie Mercury, although I wouldn’t call that picture his most iconic. I would think the one from Wembley would be.

  • Leah

    great list, but where is Claude Monet? c’mon now

  • Ben A

    I love the fact that on this page, Jesus is nowhere to be seen. i love the guy who made this page. really. lmao many laughs

  • Jay

    While the article is titled “100+ Portraits of Iconic People of All Time,” I really should be “100+ Iconic Portraits of All Time.” There certainly are some iconic people missing, but perhaps there isn’t an “iconic” picture of them. I mean Afghan Girl herself isn’t iconic, but that picture is AMAZING. Michael Hutchence, Farah Fawcett, Demi Moore, again not so iconic, but iconic pictures none the less.

  • bb
  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    @Jay: the original title was the one that you mentioned, however, I then realized that not all portraits were iconic, yet the subjects were. Truly iconic pieces are recognized by most people, however, this is not the case with this article, so the title was changed.

    @everyone: It’s impossible to cover everyone on this post, more will be added tomorrow, however, this list can never be a truly complete list of all portraits of all people of all time.

    The list is subjective in many ways, and many will agree and many will disagree. We won’t be able to fulfill everyone’s expectations as this is a very subjective matter, so please take this into consideration while viewing this article and above all, enjoy it for what it is, and not for what it ‘could’ or ‘should’ be.

    Thanks again for the ongoing feedback :)

  • Aldo

    Anybody knows Michael Jordan?


    David Bowie
    Ozzy Osbourne
    Willie Nelson
    Bonn Scott

  • Jessica

    Really enjoyed the post!

  • http://www.myspace.com/bemsbugeyedmonsters moreno

    Trent Reznor
    David Bowie
    David Linch
    Frank Zappa
    Sid Barret

  • David H

    Great work. Useful reference for all sort of work, play etc. Keep adding, please. A suggestion (if it’s possible) – links to other sources of more information on individuals? Thanks.

  • http://codematrix.pl Mark

    dangerous & infinite list – there will be always someone to add… “if you included X than Y should be here too” ;))

  • http://www.empfehlenswert-wien.at erk

    nice list
    but no marie curie

  • http://www.illuminz.com Sanchit Thakur

    Amazing portraits.. You missed mine ;)

  • Zuza

    Where is Adolf Hitler?!

  • me

    add : Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla).

  • Marta

    I think Jan Pawel II, Pope. He was the last Pope and he spoke much about peace in the world.

  • seba

    you forgot ME!

  • hamid

    i suggested to people stick such this portraits on wall of the their room because it will affec our thoughts and mental very well

  • http://www.myspace.com/patty_genial Patty Genial

    I think Madonna, Hittler, Frank Sinatra Michael Jordan and Jhon Paul II should have a place in this list

  • http://www.myspace.com/patty_genial Patty Genial

    Also Marilyn Mansson, Alejandro Magno and Cleopatra

  • Hal

    Perhaps the most iconic image in the history of Sports is that of Babe Ruth, his back to the camera, on his last day at Yankee Field. The portrait will break your heart.


  • swiss


  • Swifkin

    Excellent work.
    There are a lot many people that are worth mentioning.
    I would request author to add as many people possible.
    Took me 45 mins to come here to write :)

  • Dom

    While you’re at it with some changes, since John Lennon was assassinated December 8th, 1980, I don’t think his Annie Leibovitz portrait is from 1981. It was actually taken the morning of the day he died. Oh, and the first portrait was taken by Andy Warhol.

    Can I make a suggestion? Right now you’re leaning both ways: you have some non-iconic people in some iconic shots (Afghan Girl, Migrant Mother) and some iconic people in very average shots (Rock Hudson, Freddie Mercury). If you’re going for people, as your title suggests, you have to include Hitler. There are no two ways about it. I don’t know if “I omitted featuring people that will be too offensive for our audience” was directed at him, but I can’t imagine anyone assuming that calling someone iconic is an endorsement.

    One more thing (I’m sorry!) Several times you write something like, “Poe was an eccentric and prolific author that published,” when it should be “who published”. You wouldn’t respond to someone saying, “someone published a book,” by asking, “That published a book?” I’m sorry, I come off as incredibly anal. If this wasn’t already a great and informative article I wouldn’t bother.


  • DG

    Old actors en masse. Nice to see Heath included. Would’ve liked to see Madonna on the list.

  • Charles

    @ Hal: About Babe Ruth: most iconic image in the history of baseball, or US Sports maybe, not Sports. No disrespect and the image is fantastic from a photographic perspective, but very few peeps outside North America have ever heard of him.

  • Lisa

    Grace kelly.

  • John Perry

    I believe Nelson MAndella went to prison for killing a number of policemen.

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    Hey guys,

    A bunch of photos were added. I repeat that this will be not be a complete collection as I believe that this will be virtually impossible.

    That being said, this is a great collection with these new additions thanks to your feedback, but we will stop adding photos at this point.

    Thanks again! ;)

    • BlueJ

      The Dalai Lama is not an incarnate God. Buddhists do not believe in a god, or gods for that matter.

  • kh

    Charlton Heston, Rafael Nadal, Rafael Trujillo, Thomas Jefferson, Danny Kaye, Debbie Reynolds, Sandra Dee

  • kh

    sorry, several more that came to mind: Ivan the Terrible, Attila the Hun, Cortes (the Spanish conquistador), Amerigo Vespucci, Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley, Archimedes

  • http://twitter.com/SarahSturtevant Sarah Sturtevant

    Fantastic, evocative images. Loved the historical figures in particular. How does one select only a few?

  • nontas
  • wika

    I cannot believe. Pope John Paul II’s picture – (Jan Paweł II in polish) certainly has not been taken by Karol Wojtyla. Why? becouse that’s the same person. the name of the pope was Karol, the surname- Wojtyla. that’s all.

  • zoe

    so many of these photos were taken by Annie Leibovitz. Shouldn’t she be in here, being one of the most famous photographers of our time?

  • http://www.myspace.com/bemsbugeyedmonsters moreno


  • Tornillo

    Led Zeppellin, i think they was the best band in 70’s, even Beatles

  • Ash

    So… is Miles Davis under the influence of LSD in that portrait?
    Check out those pupils, man.
    I love that guy and his beautiful music. :]

  • arralbatros

    Nobody remember Alf?

  • http://www.northstar-website-design.com/ Fred Campbell

    At last, a list of the great and the good (well most of them) – rather than the usual celebrity junk that washes around the web like a tsunami. Great to see Beckham, JLo and Jamie Oliver are missing.

  • http://foxinni.com Foxinni

    Excellent Post! 10/10. :D

  • Andrew

    Pablo Escobar…..has got to be in that list!

  • Wondering

    You forgot Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. http://www.josephsmith.net/Static%20Images/lindsley-portrait-kirtland_MD.jpg

    Or how about Martin Luther or John Calvin, both who paved the way for people to worship God without being under the rule of Rome.

    Or how about William Tyndale, the leading translator of the Bible into English.

    Just some suggestions to add!

  • Me

    I’m surprised by the lack of sports figures in general (I think there were only 2 listed currently) and of those, I would personally choose Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth. I’m sure there are others worth mentioning, but I’m not actually very into sports. I just kept thinking those two would appear and they didn’t!


    BRILLIANT PICS ! Good , Bad , Sexy , Rich , Poor , nice variety to CAUSE GREAT DEBATE !! I only hope my Vidgaming skills will 1 day get me on a list like this .

  • fer

    it’s very interesting, maybe a “little” ethnocentrist.. and demi moore???? michael hutchence??? pleasee!

  • Sportsfan

    Not too many iconic atheletes on here

    Wayne Gretzky (i’m canadian)
    Bobby Orr
    Don Cherry
    Joe Montana
    Brett Favre
    Wilt Chamberlain
    Magic Johnson
    Babe Ruth
    Joe Dimaggio
    Barry Bonds
    Mary Lou Retton
    Kerri Strugg
    David Beckham
    Billy Jean King
    Arthur Ashe
    Martina Navartalova

    Just to name a few…I could go on but…

  • mp

    This seems less a collection of inspiring portraits and more a list of random famous people you could thing of, with a few good photos thrown in. Half of the images are actually pretty terrible, and the good ones don’t seem to have any cohesion other than that they are pictures of people…

    Try harder.

  • polishgirl

    John Paul II. Photographer: Karol Wojtyla.
    John Paul II IS Karol Wojtyla!
    Hope u’ll get it right next time!
    Anyways, nice collection.

  • john

    “Date: Unknown. Photographer: Karol Wojtyla.”

    Hehe, Karol Wojtyła was the name of Pope JPII so that he wasn’t a photographer :D

  • http://www.ratemyrapeclown.com flyincognito

    Demi Moore? Are you on crack?

  • http://www.neontrust.com Evan

    Hey, great list, I think I sprained my scrolling finger. What is the deal on photo rights on a piece like this? I noticed all the file names are similar, so I assume you’re uploading them all. Just asking because I’m always looking to include photos, but I don’t know the fineries of photo inclusion!

    Cheers. :)

  • sam

    “Jerry Garcia

    The lead singer of the Grateful Dead, Garcia was an icon to the counterculture movement of the 1970’s. They toured into the 1990’s, until Garcia succumbed to a heart attack in 1995. Date: 1998. Photographer: Unknown.”

    so the photo was taken 3 years after he died??

  • som

    I think some of them weren’t necessery… and so you said maybe you have forgotten some…

    I would be more excited if Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was in the list.

    ps: and as i see form the comments made there are some mistakes :)

  • KillrB

    Great list! But why stop now?

    How’s about:

    -Henry Fonda
    -Jane Fonda
    -Isaac Asimov
    -Capt Kangaroo
    -Sly Stalone
    -Robert E. Lee
    -Lucille Ball
    -Ayatollah Kumani
    -Paris Hilton
    -Florence Nightingale
    -Ron Jeremy Hyatt
    -B. B. King
    -Richard Petty
    -Richard Nixon
    -Shirley Temple

    Come on, you know you want to!


  • Kristina
  • http://only-more-so.blogspot.com Rebecca

    Sojourner Truth


    A movie needs to be made about this woman.

  • farkoosh

    Mr. Clean
    Mr .Peanut
    felix the cat
    Bugs Bunny
    Ed Sullivan
    Sammy Davis Jr.
    Howard Cossell
    John Muir

    Demi Moore? you might as well have put Julia Roberts.

    You could never just have 100.

  • http://www.alexwisephotography.net/ Alex Wise

    Very interesting list.

    I think I was scrolling the whole time expecting Karl Marx to come up eventually but he didn’t.

  • aussiedoglover

    These are great! It’s so nice to see these photos large and in good resolution! It would even be better if it were in slideshow format but in good resolution for full screen play. I would love to see one of the black and white photos of Jim Henson and Kermit posted. I especially am fond of this one where you can really see the joy that puppetry brought to Henson: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/File:Jimkermittmm.jpg

  • Sam

    I was thinking Veronica Lake should be up there. She didn’t really do anything AMAZING but her hair is a HUGE icon, even today. Her hair is as big as the whole “Rachel” haircut from friends, if not bigger. Jessica Rabbit was modeled after her and Veronica Lodge from the Archie comics was partly named after her. During the war she even changed her hairstyle so women working in factories could sport a more “work-safe” look.

  • Ivan

    Ayrton Senna, Zinedine Zidane and of course Josip Broz TITO

  • LULA61

    That´s funny. Congratulations! I hope you repeat it, with another photos.

  • Debbie


  • Debbie

    Plus, I totally agree about Heath Ledger. He died young tragically after making a few movies. He was a good actor and a pretty average person. He is hardly iconic.

  • Nikky

    I’m gonna go ahead and say Orson Welles was best known for Citizen Kane. Since he wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it, and it’s consistently on the top of lists of the best films of all time…

  • Toopei

    Great pics, but not a very ‘iconic’ list considering you have Demi Moore, what about Patrick Moore the astronomer?

    Farrah Fawcett? Get real!

  • fynn

    Why are there Bill Gates and Steve Jobbs – but not Linux Torvalds?!

  • Eskimo

    You should probably include that Jesus Christ probably looked nothing at all like the 1940’s popular painting…

  • http://www.ciberplazadeplaya.blogspot.com Nacho

    Muy buena Coleccion, La fotografia del Che Guevara es una de mis favoritas, no debe faltar en ninguna coleccion..


  • globetrotter

    Great work. Wonderful collection.

    1 suggestion: I feel this to be a collection of portraits of iconic people from an American perspective… get out see the world! There are other stuff going on around the world other than Hollywood for god’s sake!
    I guess this post should be renamed as ‘Iconic portraits or most popular people’ or something.
    Walter buddy, how about Mao Zedong, Yasser Arafat, Mikhail Gorbachev, Idi Amin, Bismark, Karl Marx, Milošević…….. There many ‘iconic’ people who have inspired the world (both positively & negatively), who have affected modern history…. This is the Internet buddy…worldwide phenomenon…

    Thank you Stumble upon!

  • http://richardmclaughlin.biz Richard McLaughlin

    just an FYI, you can update the tweetmeme widget so it shows you as the person being RT’d.

    (BTW, great post)


  • easterner

    nonsense, all these people are great and popular from western point of view. what about Ataturk, Omar Khayyam, . De Gaul was a colonialist anti-american leader who hid in Algeria during the Nazi occupation. This is so ” people magazine”. thumbs down for the list.

  • ElGor

    What about Pancho Villa, Simón Bolivar, Francisco Franco, Augusto Pinochet, Salvador Allende, Dolores del Río, Cuauhtémoc, Hernán Cortez, Hugo Chávez…?

  • sassiebrat

    che was not assassinated. he was executed.

  • Bren

    This is an awesome collection of photos of well known icons in history.
    I highly suggest it to anyone.

  • Mattudisca

    I like the list, although I believe that Clint Eastwood would have to be on the list. The man has been popular for over 3 decades. He was also a Mayor and owns a private golf course

  • Virginia

    Uh, a bit unfair (not to mention disrespectful) to imply that Ledger was a drug addict. He died from an unfortunate combination of prescription drugs. A bit of a difference there.

  • Dan

    Thanks for including Saint Joan :)

  • kermit

    please take down that bono picture and anything regarding his existence.

  • ridiculous

    ridiculous. where’s pelé in this list?

  • http://www.ilovethislink.com Bid Web Directory

    Very nice collection

  • http://colorscreen.blogspot.com/ Paulo – http://colorscreen.blogspot.com/

    where is obama?


    ayrton senna?


  • http://www.kamikazedeesarrollo.net Sergio Robles
  • http://naytahlee.blogspot.com Natalie

    Amazing collection… great tolerance for the negative comments, too. Three suggestions… Johnny Cash, George Carlin and Dale Earnhardt Sr.

  • Larry Behrens

    Nice list…would also like to see Charles Lindbergh on this list…no small feat, his solo non-stop flight from Roosevelt Field on Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris.

  • Your Mom

    Jane Austen
    Louis XIV (Rigaud painting)

  • http://www.mitchellmarketinginc.com April Mitchell

    Nice collection. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://ksrahman.wordpress.com/ shaon

    great collection…but i want our father of the nation(Bangladesh) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    Thanks for all the comments, I truly appreciate them.

    Although, this article has been well received, many of our readers feel we weren’t fair by not posting every person that some of you feel ‘should’ be here.

    This is a partial list, and a full list would be impossible to compile due to the extent of the list as well as the fact that many of the people are famous regionally but not so much on an international level.

    Even then, we cannot list every person here, and in every possible field, it’s just not possible.

    I’d like to clarify that we didn’t intend to neglect anyone on purpose. There is no political agenda being promoted here, or American oriented like some suggested.

    This list was never meant to be objective or complete, it’s more of a subjective compilation based on other lists as well as our own input.

    That being said, the comments here are starting to become abusive to other members and a lot of negativity is now being exchanged and this is not my intention with this article or with any article on the blog.

    Because of this, I’ve decided to disable comments on this article from now on, in an attempt to keep the blog and this section as a positive environment for healthy interaction, and not as a means for political exchange or abusive behavior.

    Thanks to all of you for your understanding.