A man of contradictions, Pancho Villa was a prominent military leader in the Mexican Revolution who lived his life as a criminal, a hero...and a Hollywood star. Join Carter and Vanessa as they explore the successes and failures that defined Villa’s life and legacy, which is still prominent today.
With Carter Roy & Vanessa Richardson
About Historical Figures
Big Lives. Little-known Facts. Great, unknown stories hide inside history—every Wednesday, we dig up what you don't know about the icons you do know. Hosts Carter and Vanessa bring history to life, telling unexpected anecdotes, describing the real personalities behind big names, and examining each individual’s lasting impact on the world. A reboot of Remarkable Lives. Tragic Deaths. (iTunes “Best Debuts of 2016”) Historical Figures is part of the Parcast Network and is a Cutler Media Production.
Confucius was an ancient Chinese philosopher, teacher and politician whose wisdom and teachings are still followed to this day. Despite chaos and war during his life more than 2500 years ago, Confucius promoted harmonious ideals that resonated with people for centuries to come. China’s leaders did not always welcome his teachings, but today, he is often regarded as a hero.
Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize--and she didn’t only win one, she won two. Carter and Vanessa discuss Marie’s inspirations in naming the elements she discovered: polonium and radium, and how she fought sexism throughout her life, paving the way for women in science today.
The first Vice-President of the United States and second President, John Adams struggled to measure up to the mythic George Washington. Not that he wasn’t qualified- as a successful lawyer who helped pen the Declaration of Independence and served as an early ambassador for the fledgling nation, John Adams was instrumental to the birth of America. Carter and Vanessa explore Adams’ presidency, love affair with his wife Abigail, and his “frenemy” relationship with fellow founding father and presidential successor, Thomas Jefferson.
Nikola Tesla was a power-player in the current war, where General Electric and Westinghouse fought over how America would get electricity. Tesla contributed to the development of the alternating-current electrical system that’s widely used today and discovered the rotating magnetic field. Carter and Vanessa talk about Tesla’s mysterious visions of inventions, the strange illness he suffered, and how the kind soul gave up millions of dollars and died penniless.
She was crowned at only eighteen years old, but Queen Victoria made a name for herself as one of Great Britain’s most remembered monarchs, redefining the British crown for modern times. She reigned over her global empire for over 60 years. Carter and Vanessa explore Victoria’s isolated childhood, her great love affair, and the personality of the woman who defined an era.
The “Father of Europe”, Charlemagne’s rule as King of the Franks changed the face of Europe, unifying regions that had been at war and spreading Christianity across the continent. As Holy Roman Emperor, crowned by the Pope himself, he founded the Carolingian dynasty. His reign sparked an intellectual and cultural revival, the effects of which are still evident across Europe today.
A radical writer and philosopher, Karl Marx found himself exiled from multiple countries thanks to his communist writings in the 1800's. However, in the following century, this same writing stirred revolution across the world, as communist governments rose to power. What influenced the famous father of communism, and why did he believe it was the best system? Carter and Vanessa explore the life of the author of The Communist Manifesto and Das Capital, and how his revolutionary ideas resonated worldwide.
“The Mona Lisa”. “The Last Supper”. “The Vitruvian Man”. Leonardo Da Vinci’s work still inspires over five hundred years later. But what about the man behind the paintings? He was an illegitimate child, a graverobber, and briefly lived at the Vatican. Carter and Vanessa explore the complex life of the true renaissance man.
Much more than just a pool game, this Venetian merchant traveler adventured through China and the Mongolian Empire. Though his memoirs may have been heavily embellished, the book gave those who came after Marco Polo a broad picture of 13th century culture, led to advances in cartography and inspired explorers throughout history.
Lewis and Clark--two names that are always heard in tandem. But who were these two young men before they became an inseparable duo? Lewis and Clark’s unique talents and interests made for a perfect partnership, and together they overcame myriad challenges, including hostile tribes, charging bears, poisonous snakes, and endless hoards of mosquitos until they achieved their hard-won goal of reaching the Pacific Ocean.
It wasn’t always obvious that Albert Einstein was destined for greatness. Long before he won the Nobel Prize, he was a rebellious, lovesick young man and a music lover who infuriated his professors and struggled to find a job. It would take years of struggle, but eventually Einstein’s writings would revolutionize theoretical physics and usher in the atomic age.
We’re coming back! With a new look, a new name, and an entertaining take on history, we are now called Historical Figures - formerly known as Remarkable Lives. Tragic Deaths (iTunes’ Best Debuts of 2016)- brings people who shaped history to life! New episodes will drop every Wednesday starting October 11th, so don’t forget to subscribe! Listen to this trailer to learn more!
A speechwriter, US Attorney General, and Senator, JFK’s little brother, Robert F. Kennedy, was one of the most remarkable underdog politicians in American history. In a time of fear and radical change, this rich man from an influential family, was still able to connect with a diverse group of voters by giving them hope. Kennedy was assassinated while running for President in 1968. Bobby Kennedy left behind the legacy of a man who would fight passionately for human rights, social justice and a peaceful world.
Thank you to all of our listeners! We truly appreciate your enthusiastic reviews, feedback, and support. Without you, Remarkable Lives. Tragic Deaths. would never have come this far. We are taking a summer hiatus, but will be back with new episodes October 11th!
“Here’s looking at you, kid.” This week, Carter and Vanessa look at silver screen icon Humphrey Bogart, from his early days typecast as a gangster and villain to his turns as the romantic lead in films like Casablanca and To Have and Have Not. Just as charming off-screen, Bogart married four times, but is best known for his on-camera and off-camera romance with Lauren Bacall. One of America’s most famous and acclaimed actors, Bogart died at only 57 years old, having acted in over 70 films, including The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and The African Queen.
A major figure in shaping Greek philosophy, the messages Chrysippus taught about accepting the things one cannot change and finding joy beyond our daily troubles are still applicable today. Chrysippus was a defining teacher of Stoicism who shaped philosophy in his time and beyond. This 200’s BC philosopher’s influence reaches all the way to major religions and modern cognitive behavioral therapy. Chrysippus died in 206 BC, either from laughing or drinking bad wine.
One of the last Grand Duchesses of Russia, Anastasia Romanov was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Yet rumors persisted that Anastasia survived the massacre of the royal family. For the better part of the century, her potential survival captivated the hearts of an international audience, and many women came forward claiming to be the lost princess. Were any of them telling the truth? Carter and Vanessa dive into Anastasias remarkable life, before and after her death.
Bob Marley is responsible for great songs like “One Love,” “No Woman No Cry,” and “Get Up, Stand Up”—songs that brought joy, but also encourage radical social change. Though he’s the poster child for easygoing reggae music and the peaceful Rasta life, Bob Marley was dirt poor for most of his life, and lived in Jamaica during some of its most tumultuous years. He died of cancer at 36, just a few years after he became an international superstar.
“Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.” Not familiar? How about this one: “Stella! Stella! Hey STELLA!” Tennessee Williams is one of America’s greatest playwrights, known for penning works including A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Glass Menagerie. However, his tragic works were inspired by a difficult life; Tennessee struggled with family problems and alcoholism. He peaked commercially in the 1950’s, and tragically died after over twenty years of attempting to make a career comeback.
One of history’s most controversial Presidents, Andrew Jackson was a war hero who was a driving force behind the end of the War of 1812, the acquisition of Florida, and the Trail of Tears. Beloved and hated by many, Jackson’s face graced the US $20 bill for years. Jackson died on his plantation in 1845.