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World Leader Family Photo Album
July 22, 2006 12:39 PM   Subscribe

World Leaders Were Kids Once Too
Photos of a whole bunch of world leaders as kids up through adulthood. Hey, Reagan was Teh Buff! And proof that Joe Stalin was NOT born with that mustache!
posted by fenriq (83 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's always kind of cool to see pictures of people before they went batshit insane. The young Arafat looks just like this one kid I went to kindergarten with (in the 80's).
posted by taschenrechner at 12:49 PM on July 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Putin was fine as hell.
posted by Monstrous Moonshine at 12:52 PM on July 22, 2006


Vladimir Putin needs a hug.
posted by cloeburner at 12:53 PM on July 22, 2006


Personally my favorite is Churchill as a petulant little boy who looks like he's unhappily waiting for his figgy pudding.
posted by fenriq at 12:55 PM on July 22, 2006


This image is hosted on ebaumsworld.com

O...kay?
posted by Gator at 12:56 PM on July 22, 2006


Chirac looks like the star of a 1960's French art house movie.

It's also good to see Kim Jong Il going down the "Kid'n'Play" route with his hair in that 2005 picture. Awesome.
posted by longbaugh at 1:03 PM on July 22, 2006


longbaugh - I was thinking that exact same thing about Chriac!

Some other notables :

* In one of his pictures, Tony Blair looks like he's in a 1960s British psychedelic rock band

* Bush's 1970s quasi-afro makes me embarrassed for my hairstyle

* Somehow, the ultra-blurry pictures of Stalin make him look even more like a murderer
posted by Afroblanco at 1:10 PM on July 22, 2006


Putin looks thrilled to be a father. Just beaming with joy.
posted by you just lost the game at 1:10 PM on July 22, 2006


So Hitler's moustache was the result of years of careful experimentation? And am I the only one weirded out by a baby Hitler without moustache?

Meanwhile, the younger Castro looks like the illegitimate love child of Liam Neeson and Eric Bana.
posted by Runkst at 1:11 PM on July 22, 2006


Putin was good looking, but I think he is best looking now, to he honest.
The picture of Churchill in his fancy uniform has a certain Dune-ish Kyle McLachlan quality to it.
posted by oflinkey at 1:12 PM on July 22, 2006


Putin wasis fine as hell.
And when he's wearing his judo jammies - GROWL!!!

Weird how most of the folks I hold in contempt today looked like they needed a good smacking as youths.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:15 PM on July 22, 2006


Baby Hitler was such a little cutie! What the hell happened?
posted by Scoo at 1:18 PM on July 22, 2006


Come on... Putin was butt-ugly as a child, and still is.

Chirac, on the other hand, was one suave mofo. My mom still thinks of Che as a gorgeous man. He sure had a great smile. But the way that beard ended up... yikes.
posted by the_savage_mind at 1:20 PM on July 22, 2006


Afroblanco: He was.
posted by you just lost the game at 1:24 PM on July 22, 2006


Clearly those early pictures of Hitler are fake - look closely enough and you can see that they are in fact Donald Sutherland.
posted by longbaugh at 1:38 PM on July 22, 2006


Amazing trivia about Putin's dad: He cooked for both Stalin and Lenin.
posted by bardic at 1:46 PM on July 22, 2006


Ronald Reagan was good looking... no wonder he was an actor.

Castro looks so innocent and hopeful as a child.

Bush looks like the top of his head is missing. It's a small head to begin with, but it seriously looks like part of it's missing.
posted by meringue at 1:51 PM on July 22, 2006


Who knew? Stalin was once Keanu Reeves.
posted by dgaicun at 1:52 PM on July 22, 2006


"It's a small head to begin with, but it seriously looks like part of it's missing."


I'm gonna go ahead and guess that the part missing is the part that provides ethics, judgement, and impulse control...
posted by stenseng at 1:55 PM on July 22, 2006


Also:


posted by dgaicun at 1:57 PM on July 22, 2006 [3 favorites]


These are an amazingly good-looking bunch of young men. It really does seem to be what, first and foremost, we ask of our politicians whether or not we vote them into office.
posted by jamjam at 1:57 PM on July 22, 2006


Is it just me, or is Blair looking a little, well - stoned?
posted by IndigoJones at 2:04 PM on July 22, 2006


You're all insane if you think any of these people are in any way hot. Putin looks like Mccauley Culkin for fuck's sake.
posted by longbaugh at 2:05 PM on July 22, 2006


George Bush II is Will Ferrell.
posted by bardic at 2:05 PM on July 22, 2006


Blair looks like Peter Duncan (fans of Blue Peter, Flash Gordon and Duncan Dares unite!)
posted by longbaugh at 2:06 PM on July 22, 2006


You're all insane if you think any of these people are in any way hot.

What? C'mon... Che, Reagan, Mandela... they were good looking.
posted by meringue at 2:11 PM on July 22, 2006


here's a pic of 'W' I scanned from Daniel Yergin's "The Prize".
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:22 PM on July 22, 2006


Mandela was really handsome and really slick.
There are pictures of him looking beefier and even better out there.
posted by Aghast. at 2:37 PM on July 22, 2006


Che Guevara with the puppy. Rowr.
posted by amro at 2:53 PM on July 22, 2006


It's probably me, but everytime I see this pic of George Bush, it makes me think of Ted Bundy.


And that creeps me out.
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:56 PM on July 22, 2006


Who knew? Stalin was once Keanu Reeves.

Makes you wonder when Keanu will start his pogroms.
posted by crunchland at 2:58 PM on July 22, 2006


Keanu comes across so dopey in his movies that he probably thinks pogrom is program spelled wrong.
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:00 PM on July 22, 2006


Chirac was fucking badass. I wish the old Putin pics would load, now that everyone's talking about them.

Good link.
posted by blacklite at 3:04 PM on July 22, 2006


Anyone else think of Private Pyle from Full Metal Jacket when they saw this one?
posted by DyRE at 3:14 PM on July 22, 2006


Chirac was fucking badass.

He's a normal-looking, thirtysomething man walking down the street. That makes him fucking badass? What am I missing?

Maybe I'm fucking badass and didn't even know it.
posted by jayder at 3:18 PM on July 22, 2006


jayder

Vidal Sassoon used to be a street tough.
posted by modernerd at 3:24 PM on July 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


The young Saddam could have easily passed for a Bollywood star.
posted by porpoise at 3:34 PM on July 22, 2006


Looking back, looking forward?

(high-school-age pics)
posted by rob511 at 3:36 PM on July 22, 2006


Funny, but all the pictures of Ernie "Che" Guevara I have ever seen make him look like kind of a ratty homeless dude or a hippie after a three day acid trip, and not the rakishly handsome figure that many of us conjure upon hearing his name.

Hitler looks pretty much like you would expect. How did that guy get anywhere politically? It boggles the mind.

Chirac looks like he stepped out of Jules et Jim.

Bush, well... Years of alcohol and blow appear to have taken their toll. He had potential to be a good looking older man, based on his start, but the partying has left us with the gnomish (simian?) creature we are all too familiar with.

And Reagan... well, Reagan. He was the antichrist, after all. To paraphrase Albert Brooks in Broadcast News, if the devil came back to earth, would you expect him to have horns and a tail? He'd probably be charismatic, good looking, helpful, etc.
posted by psmealey at 3:44 PM on July 22, 2006


I see this pic of George Bush, it makes me think of Ted Bundy

Yes. And now I've realized verbal comparisons are nothing without the bandwidth stealing side by side:


posted by dgaicun at 3:49 PM on July 22, 2006


Those pictures of Vladimir "Pootie" Putin, are awesome. He has EXACTLY the same facial expression in every shot, even though the photos were all taken decades apart. Sort of reminds me of those Lindsey Lohan montages.
posted by psmealey at 3:52 PM on July 22, 2006


jayder, it's the brow and the shape of his face with that little ciggy dangling from his poochy, supple lips.

Plus, that era's clothing was pretty flattering for men, IMO.

Bonus points for being too cool to walk on the sidewalk.

I may need a cold shower.
posted by whatnot at 3:55 PM on July 22, 2006


psmealey, that montage is awesome!
posted by fenriq at 4:12 PM on July 22, 2006


This one's even better, fenriq. Someone must have told Paris Hilton once that her right side is her good side, and she never forgot it.
posted by amro at 4:31 PM on July 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ah, the children!

They are our past!
posted by washburn at 4:40 PM on July 22, 2006


Anyone else look at that first picture of the young Stalin and think "now, there's no way a nice, friendly-looking young man like that is going to grow up to be a mass-murdering dictator"? I know I did.
posted by Decani at 4:53 PM on July 22, 2006


He's a normal-looking, thirtysomething man walking down the street. That makes him fucking badass? What am I missing?

Maybe I'm fucking badass and didn't even know it.


In addition to what whatnot already said, it's also the studiously effortless jaunt to his walk that comes through even in a photo. No offense, but it's seriously doubtful you were/are that bad-ass in that particular way. I know I wasn't/am not.
posted by the_savage_mind at 5:03 PM on July 22, 2006


Am I a bad person for laughing at the boobs on Nelson Mandela?
posted by alidarbac at 5:13 PM on July 22, 2006


Barbara Bush looked like an old woman even when she was a young woman.

Tony Blair looks like someone I would do monster bonghits with.

W looks like every dimwitted generic frat jock with a business degree. Oh wait.
posted by pieoverdone at 5:23 PM on July 22, 2006


amro, yeah with the difference being that I kind of like Lindsey Lohan and I loathe Paris Hilton. But both are pretty creepy. I would imagine this would work pretty well with any model though.
posted by fenriq at 5:32 PM on July 22, 2006


Tony Blair looks like someone I would do monster bonghits with.

Young Tony Blair looks like he'd be very angry to know what the old Tony Blair has been up to.

In fact, Tony Blair of five years ago, might be just as livid.

Yo, Blair: what happened to you, mate?
posted by psmealey at 5:51 PM on July 22, 2006


W looks like every dimwitted generic frat jock with a business degree. Oh wait.

Looking at that picture directly below the one hosted by ebaumsworld, the first thing I pictured was him arriving at my front door and me telling him, "No, you may not take my daughter out."
posted by kittyprecious at 5:54 PM on July 22, 2006


Yo, Blair: what happened to you, mate?

Among other things, he apparently became a pretty far-out, born-again religious loony. Not sure if it's his wife's influence or what, but it's supposedly the tie that binds him so closely to W.
posted by the_savage_mind at 5:59 PM on July 22, 2006


Brilliant post. Putin and Kim Jong Il have clearly been psychobastards from day one. Churchill's the hottest and Jacques Chirac's the coolest.

These are an amazingly good-looking bunch of young men. It really does seem to be what, first and foremost, we ask of our politicians whether or not we vote them into office.

Good looks correlate strongly with success in all fields, and it's not too hard to see why. Ugly people get the short end of every stick and end up scudding around the lower reaches of society. Except Hitler. What a greasy oik.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 6:07 PM on July 22, 2006


Could you take another look at those photos, amro? Some of them have mirror-image writing in the background, which I took to mean that they had been switched to emphasize the sameness of Hilton's pose. She has an asymmetry about her eyes which I judged to have switched sides along with the mirror writing, as well.
posted by jamjam at 6:19 PM on July 22, 2006


It's Hitler's mesmeric baby eyes that have always freaked me out.

Churchill was actually a respectably good looking young man. Who knew.
posted by orange swan at 6:20 PM on July 22, 2006


In the college picture of GWB, it looks as if he is carrying a bottle in a brown paper bag.
posted by jam_pony at 6:33 PM on July 22, 2006


Mandela was a bad motherfucker. Also, putin looks like a very depressed being.
posted by subaruwrx at 6:36 PM on July 22, 2006


Ugly people get the short end of every stick and end up scudding around the lower reaches of society.

Excepting if you have overwhelming talent or super-human drive, I suppose: Bill Gates, Richard Nixon, Lance Armstrong, LBJ and John Lennon are/were all exceptionally homely men (and Mick Jagger's visage is an all out assault on the eyes, even when he was young), but they all seemed to do pretty well.

Honestly, famous people aside, is this true? It seems to be conventional wisdom, but I think it's a basic fallacy. Even on a personal level, I have found that having some charisma, a modicum charm (even if it's forced), going that extra mile to be nice or interesting is always an edge over guys that have nothing else and look like Rob Lowe or George Clooney.
posted by psmealey at 6:47 PM on July 22, 2006


Kohmeni vs. Connery:

posted by Jimbob at 7:02 PM on July 22, 2006


Is there a picture on record of Putin smiling? I'm begining to doubt so.
posted by piratebowling at 7:05 PM on July 22, 2006


Also, Chirac looks like a French James Dean.

AND! All picture of Kennedy are coming up as a question mark. CONSPIACY?!?!
posted by piratebowling at 7:08 PM on July 22, 2006


Could you take another look at those photos, amro? Some of them have mirror-image writing in the background, which I took to mean that they had been switched to emphasize the sameness of Hilton's pose.

Yeah, I noticed that after posting the link. Some sly trickery, that.
posted by amro at 7:09 PM on July 22, 2006


Great link (and an interesting site, too.)

To fill in a few 20th Century stateside gaps, here are boyhood photos of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton.

The White House has thumbnails to small versions U.S. presidential portraits. Note that smiles don't generally appear until Truman; only Kennedy's eyes are hidden; and the only photographs (and the only ones with a visible U.S. flag in the background) are Clinton and Bush.
posted by cenoxo at 7:17 PM on July 22, 2006


The first photographic record of Che and Castro together (well, as far as my knowledge says so) kind of looks like they had enjoyed a night together, but Papa Castro has gotta get to work real early. He promises Che he'll call.

I gotta say, when they were young, they were quite the good looking duo.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 7:20 PM on July 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


cenoxo: official presidential portraits are not painted until the president is out of office. here's clinton:


posted by keswick at 7:28 PM on July 22, 2006


Aw...would someone please tickle Putin? Or give him a raspberry on the stomach or something?
posted by jrossi4r at 7:28 PM on July 22, 2006


The spookiest royal morph is still the King [of Pop].
posted by cenoxo at 7:28 PM on July 22, 2006


On what planet are John Lennon and Lance Armstrong "homely looking?"
posted by stenseng at 7:30 PM on July 22, 2006


Except Hitler. What a greasy oik.

Oh, I don't know. He's not that bad looking with a shave. Still a bit too intense, perhaps, but moderately handsome. That iconic moustache may have been the source of his power...





posted by Scoo at 7:36 PM on July 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Keswick said: ...official presidential portraits are not painted until the president is out of office.

True, but Clinton's portrait unveiling occurred at the White House two years ago. Perhaps somebody needs to update the Presidents' bio page (and the Portraits of the Presidents page at the National Portrait Gallery, which has an interesting historical essay about official portraiture.)
posted by cenoxo at 8:10 PM on July 22, 2006


If all these guys were cast together in a crazy teen comedy, King Fahd would be the guy with no lines who communicated solely through kooky sound effects.
posted by maryh at 11:01 PM on July 22, 2006


Amusing post.

A lot of them were good looking kids and young men, but Putin? I don't get it. I guess it's true what they say about chicks liking guys who brood.
posted by Devils Slide at 11:56 PM on July 22, 2006


I guess it's true what they say about chicks liking guys who brood.

See also.
posted by dgaicun at 12:36 AM on July 23, 2006


Wow, Churchill is so British.
posted by CeruleanZero at 3:35 AM on July 23, 2006


Someone must have told Paris Hilton once that her right side is her good side, and she never forgot it.

I think that's actually because she has a lazy eye.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:32 AM on July 23, 2006


That 2004 photo of Arafat can't really be 2004, can it?
posted by substrate at 5:38 AM on July 23, 2006


Putin laughing with all the gang [via Getty Images].
posted by cenoxo at 6:40 AM on July 23, 2006


Stalin: "So, pointwise convergence almost everywhere actually implies uniform convergence on all but an arbitrarily-small set?"
posted by Wolfdog at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2006


Excepting if you have overwhelming talent or super-human drive, I suppose: Bill Gates, Richard Nixon, Lance Armstrong, LBJ and John Lennon are/were all exceptionally homely men (and Mick Jagger's visage is an all out assault on the eyes, even when he was young), but they all seemed to do pretty well.

I will grant you Mick Jagger as an outlier, but would question the rest of the list, especially John Lennon.

Honestly, famous people aside, is this true?

Yeah, pretty much:

"Pretty people earn more"

and

"We find that unattractive individuals commit more crime in comparison to average-looking ones"

I've also heard it as an explanation for why so few women make it into top jobs: if top jobs require (a) decades of experience, and (b) physical attractiveness, then very few women will be able to satisfy both those criteria since our current society's current yardstick of female beauty treats women over 35 as somehow worn out and faded, whereas our standards of male beauty mean that a very large number of men look better at 45 than at 18.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 10:29 AM on July 23, 2006


Thanks, dgaicun. I find biological/evolutionary explanations of human and animal behavior very interesting. I'd never heard of that particular analysis, and it certainly makes sense.
posted by Devils Slide at 8:23 PM on July 23, 2006


Putin laughing with all the gang [via Getty Images].
posted by cenoxo


/shudder
posted by Lizc at 11:30 AM on July 24, 2006


Clinton presidential portrait? mrrrrrow!

Meeting him at a booksigning is the only time in my life I can recall being absolutely dumbstruck and unable to speak... he looked at me and shook my hand and POW! My boyfriend, standing right behind me (who's known me since I was 15) nearly died laughing at the sight of me so speechless.

I don't know what it is, but damn, that man's got presence.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:35 PM on July 24, 2006


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