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40+ Rare Photos of Historical Figures in Their Youth

From Abraham Lincoln to Albert Einstein to Queen Elizabeth II, some of modern history’s most famous faces exist in our minds solely as they appeared in old age. Just try to picture Lincoln, or, say, Mahatma Gandhi as a young man and you’ll probably come up blank.

Whether it’s because these people didn’t truly make their mark on history until late in life or because they didn’t assume their now iconic appearance until at least middle age, they’ll live on in our minds, not to mention the history books, looking old.

But if you’ve ever been curious about what some of modern history’s most important leaders, thinkers, and artists looked like in their youth, take a look at the rarely-seen photos below.


Theodore Roosevelt

1880. Age 21-22.

Library of Congress

Bill Gates

1977. Age 22.

Public Domain

Bill Clinton

1963. Age 16. (Left, shaking hands with President John F. Kennedy.)

Arnold Sachs/Getty Images

Pope Francis

Date unspecified.

Jesuit General Curia via Getty Images

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