50 Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Left-Handed
Left-handed people make up only about 10 percent of the population. But that 10 percent has made quite an impact.
Prince George (and maybe Princess Charlotte)
Now six years old, it has become clear that Prince George prefers his left hand, just like his father, Prince William. Although it has not yet been confirmed, it appears that George’s little sister, Princess Charlotte, may be a lefty as well. Pictured here at the age of two, she points with her left hand, which can be seen as a sign of hand choice.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex
One daughter-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II is known to be left-handed and has been photographed numerous times signing with her left hand—Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Born Sophie Rhys Jones, the Countess is the wife of Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth’s youngest child. Find out more things you didn’t know about the British royal family.
King George VI
The father of Queen Elizabeth II, King George VI preferred his left hand to his right but was forced to use his right hand, as was standard for left-handed children in the 20th century. As an adult, however, he was often seen playing tennis using his left hand as dominant.
President James Garfield
Courtesy Everett Collection/Shutterstock
President Garfield was the last U.S. president to be born in a log cabin (in 1831) but the first who was known to write with his left hand. That said, Garfield wrote with both hands and could speak and write in several different languages and was considered “ambidextrous” rather than left-handed during his lifetime. This can be attributed both to his ambidexterity and the fact that being left-handed was considered a negative, if not altogether sinister, characteristic until as recently as the mid-20th century.
President Herbert Hoover
The 31st U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, who was born in 1874, is believed to have been left-handed, according to History.com, but it’s difficult to confirm because he may have hidden it. Many photos of Hoover depict him as a righty, like the one here, but it’s entirely possible he was just “posing” and not really comfortable holding a pen in his right hand.
President Harry S. Truman
Another left-handed president born in the 19th century was Harry S. Truman. Truman is known to have been forced by his schoolteachers and parents to use his right hand despite a preference for using his left, according to David McCullough, author of Truman.
President Ronald Reagan
President Reagan may have been born a natural lefty but may have been retrained to use his right hand. As a result, Reagan became equally facile at using his left and his right hands and was known for being ambidextrous. Check out even more presidential trivia.
President Gerald Ford
Born in 1913 and never actually elected as president or even vice-president (he was appointed vice president by President Richard Nixon after the resignation of elected-Vice President Spiro Agnew, and he became president after Nixon resigned), President Ford may have been the first openly left-handed president. He’s shown here signing a document with his left hand.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Universal History Archive/UIG/Shutterstock
Being left-handed can be an advantage for pianists. Mozart was known to be ambidextrous (which would be even better for pianists than just being left-handed), but he may well have been born with a preference for his left hand and forced to learn to use his right hand.
While some right-handed guitarists play left-handed guitar, Jimi Hendrix was a lefty who played his guitar left-handed too. Although there is some evidence he may have been “mixed-right-handed,” according to one University of Toledo professor who wrote on the subject.