Famous Drunks in History

The great drunks of world history: Jeltsin, Picasso, Cleopatra, Churchill, Franklin, Peter the Great, Atatürk, Hemingway, Van Gogh, Botev and Aldrin (from left to right).

The great drunks of world history: Jeltsin, Picasso, Cleopatra, Churchill, Franklin, Peter the Great, Atatürk, Hemingway, Van Gogh, Botev and Aldrin (from left to right).

It’s often thought or said that heavy drinkers don’t contribute anything to society. Well, we believe the opposite is true. Some of the greatest men and women in world history also got smashed on a daily basis. These are the stories of the people who will be remembered forever. Brave warriors, wise politicians, creative artists, excellent sportsmen and many other distinguished historical figures made this list. Just think what the history and present existance of human kind would have looked like without these boozers…

Buzz Aldrin, astronaut and 2nd man on the moon
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey
Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer and pianist
Goran Bregovic, Yugoslavian singer
Lord Byron, English writer and poet
Winston Churchill, British prime minister in World War II
Cleopatra, last Egyptian pharaoh
William the Conqueror, first Norman king of England
Gerard Depardieu, French actor
Charles Dickens, English writer
Pat Eddery, Irish jockey
Elizabeth, Queen Mother of the U.K.
Benjamin Franklin, ‘Founding Father’ of the United States
Yuri Gagarin, Russian cosmonaut
André the Giant, French wrestler
Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter
Ulysses S. Grant, General in the American Civil War and US president
Alexander the Great, conqueror from ancient Greece
Peter the Great, the Russian tsar of partying
Václav Havel, Czech dissident and president
Ernest Hemingway, American writer
Billy Joel, American singer-songwriter
Junior Johnson, American NASCAR-legend
Martin Luther King Jr. American Civil Rights Icon
Stephen King, American writer
Shane MacGowan, Irish singer of the Pogues
Ferdinand Magellan, Portugese explorer
Mickey Mantle, American baseball player
Karl Marx, German founder of communism
Jim Morrison, American singer-songwriter and poet
Nero, Roman emperor
Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter
Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic and advisor to the imperial family
Babe Ruth, American baseball player
Selim II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer
Frank Sinatra, American singer and movie star
Jan van Speijk, captain of the Dutch fleet and national hero
Jozef Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union
Jan Steen, painter in the Dutch ‘Golden Age’
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovski, Russian composer
Nikola Tesla, Serbian inventor
Tiberius, Roman emperor
Mark Twain, American writer
Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first president

Stories yet to come:
Marcus Antonius (Marc Anthony), Roman general
Johan Sebastian Bach, German composer
Hristo Botev, Bulgarian revolutionair and national hero
Charles Bukowsi, American writer and poet
Graham Chapman, English actor
Bette Davis, American actress
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian writer
William Faulkner, American writer
Gao Yang, Chinese emperor
Paul Gauguin, French painter
Mel Gibson, Australian actor
Jimi Hendrix, American rockstar
Giorgos Karaiskakis, Greek general and national hero
Lemmy Kilmister, English singer-songwriter
Edgar Allen Poe, American writer and poet
Alexander Pushkin, Russian poet
Kimi Raikkonen, Finnish Formula 1 driver
Orson Welles, American movie director


You may also want to see:

The 11 greatest drunks in football

11 Drunken cult heroes in football

6 Stories on alcohol from the world of cycling

Our page with Historical Tales about Alcohol

41 thoughts on “Famous Drunks in History

  1. Nice list, Nice Collage. I know that painting is not ‘The Last Supper’, (so which painting is it). And have you pasted Peter The Great on top of Christ. That would be pretty ironic to paste a man of war over patron of peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You should really read the book “History of the World in 6 Glasses” if you haven’t already. It talks about how different drinks shaped the history of the world. I just finished beer and now I’m onto wine. I think it’d me right up your alley.


    • Oh he is on the list alright. Just haven’t written that post yet. But for sure he was a good drinker too!


  3. How in the world can you NOT have Charles Bukowski on this list??? He is my very favorite drunk poet/writer who ever lived. Far more notable than King or Joel. He had so many quotable poems. “Some people never go crazy, what truly horrible lives they must lead…” PLEASE add CB to your list!! He belongs on this website. ;o)


    • Not a good thing? I think it’s marvelous that many great drinkers achieved so much in this world. Take that anti-drinking lobby!


    • Ahhhh yeah… We could make a full list of only American presidents that were heavy drinkers. Don’t think there was a single alcoholic among them though. Even Ulysses S Grant only got piss drunk in the quiet times. He really knew when to pick his battles.


  4. To affirm that Picasso or Beethoven were alcoholics, is like affirming that Pinochet or Hitler were drug addicts.
    Alcoholism is a disease, but neither Picasso nor Beethoven suffered that condition, because they knew how to drink. Alcoholics are those who sign that article.


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