Every so often, a leader emerges whose legacy seems larger-than-life. Some of them inspire us and invite us to envision a better future, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Others had tumultuous lives and careers that read like a cautionary tale, such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry VIII. Still others were tyrants, politicians on the wrong side of history, and various other leaders whose examples we’d do well not to follow, like Russia’s Ivan the Terrible and Andrew Johnson, the first US president to be impeached.
If you want to know more about the people who stood out from their contemporaries, for better or worse, you’ve come to the right place. Our research on historical leaders examines not just who they were and what they did, but the lasting impact they’ve had on the world.
The legendary performer carved a path of politics and persistence.
These eye-opening books will transport you to the darkest era of American history.
The Continental Army rose from winter devastation to become a force to be reckoned with.
In 1956, one man reminisced about his experience in the Ford's Theater at age five.
The famously sporty president's impact extends through college teams and Olympics to this day.
Any surprise it was under the beloved Rough Rider?
James Thomas Flexner examines how Benedict Arnold's defection shaped George Washington's future.
By Olivia Mason
From biographies to a collection of Lincoln’s writings, there’s much more to the 16th president than you might think.
George Washington relied on the secretive spy ring to win the American Revolution.
By Robert Walsh
Take a detailed look at the life of a ruler who inherited the throne when she was just six days old.
The bestselling author tells the story of a deadly plot that was hatched against George Washington.
Grant Moves South explores the legendary general’s pivotal successes and military strategies.
By Allison Wild
Celebrate the red, white, and blue by remembering the history of those who came before us.
Meet the man behind the legend.
In 1852, at age 103, Revolutionary War veteran Conrad Heyer sat down to have his picture taken.
Diseases, brutal weather, and enemy fire all failed to take him down.
Get an inside look at the family America will never stop talking about.
By Olivia Mason
Gerald Posner examines that fateful day and the man responsible for King's murder in Killing the Dream.
The leader of the Civil Rights Movement was 39.
Do you know which one ended up in jail?
By Orrin Grey