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15 Of The Best Mustaches In History

Charlotte Bond
Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali (1904 - 1989) in London with one of his paintings entitled 'The Madonna of Port Lligat', December 1951. (Photo Credit: George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

From subtle to eccentric, from the walrus to the toothbrush, mustaches have graced the faces of many iconic figures in history. Check out some of the best below!

Ambrose Burnside

Portrait of Ambrose Everett Burnside

Portrait of Ambrose Everett Burnside (1824-1881), Undated photograph by William Brady. (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Contributor)

In his lifetime, Ambrose Burnside was a Union soldier, a railroad executive, an inventor, and a politician. He was a U.S. Senator for Rhode Island from 1875 until he died in 1881.

With so many achievements to his name, he’s a notable figure from history – made even more notable by his distinctive facial hair. In fact, we get the word “sideburns” from this man.

Emiliano Zapata

Photographic reproduction of Emiliano Zapata Salazar

Emiliano Zapata Salazar (1879-1919) (Photo Credit: PHAS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A leading figure in the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920, Zapata’s most famous quote is: “I would rather die standing than live on my knees.”

Historians describe him as “a skilled guerrilla warrior, an excellent horseman, and a very humble person.” And, of course, he grew a mean mustache.

Clark Gable

Clark Gable portrait

A new way of determining the most handsome specimens of the world’s men has been announced by Gloria Bristol, who operates beauty salons for men and women. She asked 1000 men and 1000 women to name the five most handsome males of 1938. Clark Gable was chosen by the men, along with Anthony Eden, Gary Cooper, and Lou Gehrig. (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Contributor)

Often referred to as “The King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable was instantly recognizable not just because he had a 37-year-long career with many leading roles, but because that mustache really drew the eye.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1840-1900) (Photo Credit: Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

This philologist, critic, and philosopher spent much time questioning the basis of good and evil.

He is on record as one of the youngest tenured Classics professors ever at the University of Basel, and you have to wonder how his students heard him lecturing through this giant of a mustache.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Mark Twain, psuedonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835-1910. American writer and humorist. From the book “The Masterpiece Library of Short Stories, American, Volume 15′ (Photo Credit: Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

Claimed by some to be “the greatest humorist the United States has produced,” Samuel Langhorne Clemens (known by his pen name of Mark Twain) certainly sported one of the greatest mustaches the United States has produced.

Groucho Marx

Marx Brothers: At The Circus

Marx Brothers: At The Circus (Photo Credit: FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)

A master of quick wit, Groucho Marx has too many brilliant and amusing quotes to pick a favorite.

Originally, he had a greasepaint mustache, but he eventually grew a real one that was to stay with him for the rest of his life.

William Howard Taft

side image of William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft (1909-1913). (Photo Credit: Library of Congress / Corbis / VCG via Getty Images)

The successor to Theodore Roosevelt, Taft was the 27th president of the United States. He went on to become the tenth chief justice of the United States, the only person to hold both offices.

His well-groomed mustache no doubt added to his gravitas while he was in office.

Salvador Dali

Spanish Catalan surrealist painter Salvador Dali photographed in Barcelona Spain

Spanish Catalan surrealist painter Salvador Dali photographed in Barcelona Spain on May 24, 1966. (Photo Credit: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images).

Salvador Dali’s unique surrealist style is easy to spot in an art gallery – and his flamboyant mustache made the man himself easy to spot in any crowd.

Charlie Chaplin

Charles Spencer Chaplin

Vintage Charles Spencer Chaplin (1889 – 1977) the English film actor and director, in his best known role. (Photo Credit: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

This British star of Hollywood went on to receive a KBE, making him Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr.

Having been told by filmmakers that he looked too young, Chaplin explained: “I added a small moustache, which, I reasoned, would add age without hiding my expression.”

Wyatt Earp

Portrait of American lawman and gunfighter Wyatt Earp

Portrait of American lawman and gunfighter Wyatt Earp (1848 – 1929), late 1800s (Photo Credit: Pictorial Parade/Getty Images).

Perhaps the most famous lawman of the American West, there’d be no mistaking Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp with that monster of a mustache – and that’s saying something given the quality and quantity of facial hair at that time.

Ruggero Leoncavallo

Ruggero Leoncavallo

Ruggero Leoncavallo (Photo Credit: API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

This Italian composer is mainly remembered for his 1892 opera Pagliacci, but his finely-crafted mustache is pretty memorable too.

Rollie Fingers

Rollie Fingers #34 of the Oakland Athletics looks on prior to the start of a Major League Baseball spring training game circa 1970

Rollie Fingers #34 of the Oakland Athletics looks on prior to the start of a Major League Baseball spring training game circa 1970. Fingers played for the Athletics from 1968-76. (Photo Credit: Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

As well as being noted for his pitching ability, Rollie Fingers is fondly remembered as sporting a terrific handlebar mustache. In fact, Baseball Reference ranked it as the best in history, and Fingers originally grew it to get a $300 bonus from Charles O. Finley, owner of Oakland Athletics at the time.

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds in the car from Smokey and the Bandit

Burt Reynolds in the car from Smokey and the Bandit; circa 1970; New York. (Photo Credit: Art Zelin/Getty Images)

Once considered a sex symbol in American popular culture, Burt Reynolds didn’t always have a mustache. However, its appearance in the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit ensured it a place in movie mustache history.

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt – portrait, American president, 27 October 1858 (Photo Credit: Culture Club/Getty Images)

Having mentioned William Taft, we couldn’t leave the 26th president of the United States off this list. “Teddy” Roosevelt created a masculine, warrior-style persona, which involved cultivating this impressive mustache.

Tom Selleck

American actor Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum

American actor Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, making a mobile phone call from the beach, in the American TV series ‘Magnum PI’, circa 1985. (Photo Credit: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

More from us: These Tom Selleck Facts Are More Iconic Than His Mustache

Yes, we know Tom Selleck’s mustache isn’t strictly one “from history,” but no mustache list is complete without mentioning Magnum P.I. somewhere!

Charlotte Bond

Charlotte Bond is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News