Famous Historical Figures with Tattoos

Oct 8, 2020 | Tattoo Blog

I have always been fascinated about the historical origins of tattoos, instead of bore you with a long history lesson – I thought it would be fun to talk about some historically well-known figures, who unlike their counterparts had ink!

Here is a rundown of some of my favourite historical figures who just happen to have tattoos!

Harold II. (c. 1020-1066) the last Anglo-Saxon King of England
Harold II tattoos art
Our dearest Harold was deadly wounded at the Battle of Hastings, by an arrow which struck
him in the eye. (Ouch!) Due to mutilation his counterparts had difficulty identifying him.. Luckily, Edith (his wife) recognised the distinctive tattoo over his heart that read “Edith And England” and was able to identify him.

Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919) the 26. president of the US

TEDDY ROOSEVELT WAS A PRESIDENT WITH TATTOOS? Let that sink in for a minute…At this point we are probably thinking the same thing, right? Tattoos are no longer just for jail birds and people serving a hefty prison sentence. Tattoos are now very much a part of mainstream culture.
So, the next time your grandparents or a stranger stops you and says something judgemental talk to them about fun fact number two. Teddy Roosevelt was the ONLY president who had a confirmed tattoo on his body. According to records he had a tattoo of the family crest on his chest.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Winston Churchill has Tattoo
Winston Churchill is a renowned quintessential part of British History. British statesman, army officer and writer.
Mr Churchill is best known for leading Britain through World War 2 and remains still a national hero. His tattoo however – was pretty corny, an anchor on his forearm? But still, it is a tattoo on Winston Churchill, how cool is that?

Thomas Edison (1847-1931) American Inventor
Thomas Edison tattoo

Mr Edison who holds the title “America’s Greatest Inventor” – coincidentally he also discovered that the technology that technology for an electric pen – could also be used for a tattoo machine. Thomas Edison is recorded to have had minimalist tattoo of five dots on his forearm. You can sense some connection, here can’t you?

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) Author, critic, poet and screenwriter
Dorothy Parker tattooed
And finally, saving the best till last; Dorothy Perkins an infamous author who had many short stories featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker.
One night in New York, back in the 1930s she had been at a party and had gotten so drunk that during her night out, she tattooed a little blue star, close to her elbow.

Written by: Lilla Pataki
Editor: Diane Karina Cunningham