We’ve been called every name in the book: Sinister. Clumsy. Not right (c’mon, people). But us left-handers have defied expectations time and time again.
With careers spanning across stages, studios and science labs throughout the world, and even out of this world (Neil Armstrong himself is one of us), we refuse to be left out of the history books.
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Left-handers have reputations of being creative, complex and good with language. It’s quite an eclectic party of people.
From actresses Judy Garland and Emma Thompson to Renaissance artists Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, there’s no shortage of left-handers to be dazzled by.
Below is a list of five famous people (present company excluded) you might not have known are left-handed in honor of International Lefthanders Day on Aug. 13:
1. Sir Paul McCartney
The former Beatle and knighted musician is famous for playing guitar left-handed. He reportedly learned the instrument “backwards” and restrung it as a boy when he had trouble playing it right-handed.
McCartney is part of an elite group of lefty guitarists, which include the late Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, who would famously flip over his Fender Stratocaster to play.
So, whenever you catch one of the world’s greatest musicians strumming on his frequently used Gibson Les Paul, just know he’s playing with his left hand.
2. Babe Ruth
For many, this baseball player went down in history as the best left-handed athlete of all time, his southpaw giving him an advantage on the diamond.
For most of his games, Ruth pitched and batted with his left hand. In his career, Ruth hit a whooping 714 home runs and slugged a .690.
3. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
When the late U.S. Supreme Court justice wrote opinions, she did it with her left hand.
Ginsburg made history as an architect of women’s rights, arguing key cases in the highest court in the land before dying at the age of 87 in September 2020.
4. Marie Curie
This Nobel Prize-winning scientist, renowned for her revolutionary research on radioactivity which led to treatments for cancers, was also left-handed.
Historians postulate her husband and daughter were also lefties.
5. Oprah Winfrey
The talk show legend has led the way for lefties in television.
This woman has it all: her own network, a book club and the legacy left by her show that spanned 25 seasons.
And she did it all left-handed.
You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below: