20 Famous People From History That Are Still Alive
We’ve recently lost a host of legends including but not limited to the longest reigning Queen of England, great singers such as Olivia Newton John and many more. People have flocked to posthumously appreciate their accolades and achievements but let’s take a moment to consider the legends we still have living amongst us.
While many people have impacted history and we learn about them through books etc., how often do we have the chance to appreciate a famous individual who is also historically a legendary figure that is still amongst us? Scroll below for a list of surprising living legends that are still around in 2023, according to responses received on a reddit thread dedicated to the topic.
More info: Reddit
#1 Ruby Bridges
Image source: mumwifealcoholic, Seattle Parks and Recreation
Ruby Bridges – she was one of the first black kids to go to an all-white school. There is a famous picture of that first day.
She wasn’t one of the first, she was the first.
[The girl was the first] in the USA.
Everyone seems to think that the civil rights movement and all events surrounding it were centuries ago because all the photos we’re shown are in b&w. Ruby is only 68.
Yeah, people really forget how recent that was. Same with slavery. On the scale of human history that just happened, and we still see the lingering effects today all over the US for sure.
Just to add, her teacher Mrs. Henry is still alive too! She’s 90 years old now.
#2 Yuri Oganessian
Image source: snowflake247, Creative Commons Media
Yuri Oganessian. He’s the only currently living man with an element on the periodic table named after him.
Element names are likely “forever” – his name will be in chemistry and physics books for as long as we have books (printed, digital or otherwise).
#3 Buzz Aldrin
Image source: mukaltin, John Mathew Smith & www.celebrity-photos.com
Buzz Aldrin, and I’m not even American
I ran sound for him during a speaking event he did back in the early 2000s. He gave me a set of wings. I was like 22. Coolest thing ever.
I was at an event for pilots a few years back and he came waltzing in with his son – sat down at the table right next to me. It was so surreal. Even more surreal was watching his son trying to make him behave, like he was a child. For example, Buzz wanted to throw a frisbee he had across the room and his son had to keep knocking his hand back. Seems he’s only still here physically speaking, not so much mentally anymore :(
#4 Valentina Tereshkova
Image source: HazelFrederick, Mikhail Klimentev
Speaking of space, Valentina Tereshkova is still alive. First woman in space, the youngest woman ever in space at 26 years old and, the only woman ever to do a solo mission.
Valentina Tereshkova: first woman in space, last Vostok cosmonaut, a fierce ally of Vladimir Putin.
She is responsible for a constitutional amendment that allows Putin to stand for election for 20 next years. It’s known as “Obnuleniye” (reset to zero)
#5 Jane Goodall
Image source: random_username_96, Jeekc
Jane Goodall and David Attenborough
Without these two, there are no nature documentaries
Sir David Attenborough. The man’s a knight. Call him what he is.
#6 Jimmy Carter
Image source: Back2Bach, Ansel Adams
Jimmy Carter – 98 years old
Yeah well Scooby doo can do-do, but Jimmy Carter is smarter
#7 Julie Andrews
Image source: aslrules, Eva Rinaldi
She’s a musical legend
#8 Keith Richards
Image source: anon, Jerzy Bednarski
Keith Richards cannot be killed with conventional weapons
There’s a funny article from the onion about Keith Richards’ maid being mentally prepared to find his body everyday since 1976.
#9 Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Image source: DirectionNew5328, Grey Geezer
Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Last human to hold the title of Tsar, as leader of the Kingdom of Bulgaria. He was exiled along with his family when the Soviets invaded Bulgaria in 1944. In 1990, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Simeon returned from exile to Bulgaria and July 2001, was democratically elected prime minister. The private citizen is now 85.
#10 Traute Lafrenz
Image source: ChrisTinnef, BILD
Traute Lafrenz, the last living member of the German anti-Nazi resistance group “White Rose” (most well-known members were the siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl, who were executed by the Nazis when they were identified).
She went on to have a long career in medicine and she’s now retired in South Carolina.
103 years old! That’s interesting.
On the flip side, I’ve been trying to find out if there are any Nazis still alive. Helmut Oberlander, Gerhard Sommer and Oskar Groening all died in the last 5 years and were probably the last surviving officers/military officials, but there’s at least 1 woman – Irmgard Furchner – who was a concentration camp secretary and just got found guilty a month ago.
#11 Paul and Ringo
Image source: HMKingHenryIX, pxhere
Paul and Ringo
Which is crazy to think about. Two pioneers of modern music are still alive. Two guys who influenced virtually every musician since, and by extension influenced all of popular culture. You can see them, talk to them, touch them, etc.
Only slightly germane to the topic at hand, but the Paul McCartney and Wings album “Band on the Run” contains a song called “Picasso’s Last Words.”
The lyrics are indeed what are thought to be Picasso’s last words, but that’s not the part that hit me.
What hit me was that it was a contemporary tribute. The song was recorded in the fall of 1973. Picasso died in April 1973.
When I saw that I was like “wow I was at least 100 years off,” lol … We tend to think of famous artists as coming from forever ago since their work is so timeless.
But, like, I remember the day Salvador Dali died (1989). He had a Pacemaker. That’s … Very Much Modern.
Image source: LucyVialli, David Shankbone
Tom Lehrer was spot on when he said that Kissinger receiving the Nobel peace prize made political satire obsolete.
#13 John Hemingway
Image source: Ashtar-the-Squid, Adam Jones, Ph.D.
John Hemingway: The last surviving airman of the battle of Britain. He is 103 years old.
Ivan Martynushkin: He helped with the liberation of Auschwitz. He is 99 years old.
Benjamin Ferencz: He was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials. He is 102 years old.
I hate that people who survived, helped, or fought against the Holocaust are now slowly almost gone from this planet. With all the denial out there, it legitimately worries me.
Along with enraging me. I was privileged to take care of many survivors as a CNA in a Jewish facility. Several of which suffered from dementia. Let me tell you, the days or nights when the disease forced them to relive that horror were the toughest I ever faced, just trying to help them through it. I wish there was a way to take that fear and pain and force any denier to experience it instead. They were, each in their own way, some of the kindest, sweetest and most patient people I’ve ever met. I know of one who’s still living and sharing her story and you couldn’t ask for a better human being.
Ben Ferencz was just given a congressional gold medal.
#14 Tim Berners-Lee
Image source: RandomlySet, Paul Clarke
Tim Berners-Lee… basically invented the tinterwebs, and most people would probably think it was Gates or Jobs
Well, not really the internet as that was formed in the 50s and 60s out of ARPANet. He invented the HTTP protocol that runs over the internet.
Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn are still around. They invented the TCP/IP protocol that is at the core of the Internet. Tim Berners-Lee invented HTML and HTTP, the foundations of the World Wide Web.
Saying one guy invented the internet is such a crazy oversimplification.
#15 Noam Chomsky
Image source: Fullhoneymoveon, Σ
#16 Clint Eastwood
Image source: Odd_Adhesiveness4804, Fanny Bouton
Clint Eastwood and Dick Van Dyke
The whole crew from Unforgiven is still alive: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, and Gene Hackman.
Dude works like a racehorse. He makes like two movies a year and he’s f*****g over 90 years old.
Apparently, his grandfather lived to the age of 92 so when Clint’s dad died in his 50s it shook him to the core and motivated him to just work his ass off
#17 Willie Nelson
Image source: anon, Larry Philpot
Willie Nelson, he’s pretty much the snoop dog of country music cause he is known to smoke a f**k ton of weed
Known to be the only person to make Snoop say, “Nah, man I’ve had enough”
In reference to smoking weed.
That is a little reductive as he is a legendary talent in his own right but you aren’t wrong about the weed thing.
#18 Ozzy Osbourne
Image source: CaptinDerpI, Kevin Burkett
How the hell is Ozzy Osbourne still alive
And still making music
He is going on a world tour soon. His new album is quite good and his most recent live performances were good. Not as good as in his prime time with Black Sabbath, but he definitely didn’t lose his creativity despite as he has gone through a lot.
#19 Lech Walesa
Image source: psontake, Jindřich Nosek (NoJin)
Gold medalist in geopolitics
#20 Robert Plant
Image source: charcuterie10108, Phil King
Robert Plant – Led Zeppelin lead singer
As are Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones. Thankfully.
He’s only 73. Still almost hits the high notes, too.
Got wisdom to pour?