Archives For Hot dead guys

Thanks to all who voted in the preliminary round of the Hot Dead Guy Sweet 16 Tournament. The results are in!

Some of the races were closer than I expected, with only two real landslides. Please click here to see the final tallies. (NOTE: PollDaddy is misbehaving so my apologies if the results aren’t readily visible.)

I’m sorry to have to say farewell to Lord Nelson and Messrs. Mallory, Donne, Mitchell, de Valera, Lister, and Throckmorton. It especially pains me to see the Duke of Wellington go because I was really rooting for him. But obviously Gary Cooper is an even more formidable opponent than Napoleon. And the games must go on.

Polls will be open until 11:59 tomorrow night. This is sure to be one of the most exciting Hot Dead Guy Quarterfinals EVER!

We’ve seen 16 historical hunks so far. So let’s make things more interesting, shall we?

I was never interested in March Madness but these are the kind of brackets I can get excited about:

There are eight choices below. Photos of all 16 gentlemen can be found just under the poll. Select which historical hotties you’d like to see advance to the next round. Voting is open until 11:59pm Eastern time on Sunday, May 13th, and results will be posted as soon as possible.

And to refresh your memory about our contestants, here are their photos again for your convenience and consideration:

Rupert Brooke

Submitted for your approval is Mr. Rupert Brooke, an English poet who died all too young, at the age of 27. He enlisted in the Royal Navy at the start of the First World War and died of sepsis while en route to Gallipoli in 1915.

Some of Brooke’s poetry was similar to that of English war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfrid Owen, but much of his earlier work was more along the lines of Romantic poets like Keats. Today Brooke is not very well known but at the time he had a cult following. Winston Churchill was a great admirer of Brooke’s work, and after Brooke’s death he eulogized him thusly: “The voice has been swiftly stilled. Only the echoes and the memory remain; but they will linger.”

But my favorite observation about Brooke comes from one of our other favorite hot dead guys, William Butler Yeats, who described him as “the handsomest young man in England.”

I really need to get that time machine up and running.

Because for starters, I need to go to the Automat. I’ve been hearing about this place since I was a kid. The last Automat in NYC was open until 1991 but by then it was a heartbreaking shadow of its former self. So even though I’ve been to that one, it doesn’t count as a true Automat experience. I want an authentic Automat experience like this:

According to my parents, and everyone else I’ve ever spoken to who was lucky enough to eat there during its better days, the Automat was great. Everything was freshly prepared and all you had to do was put a nickel in the slot, open the door of the compartment containing the dish of your choice, and enjoy. It sounds like so much fun! Plus, they were reputed to have the best baked beans, the best rice pudding, the best macaroni & cheese, the best mashed potatoes, the best creamed spinach, the best chicken pot pie, the best honey buns, the best pies, the best cakes . . . the best everything, really. And most importantly, they had the best coffee, always freshly brewed. The coffee was dispensed from spouts shaped like dolphin heads—and let’s face it, anything dispensed from a spout shaped like a dolphin head is going to taste pretty fantastic.

So I need to go back in time so that I can have a delicious lunch at the Automat. I would have such a good time looking in all the little cubbyhole windows and choosing my meal. And I want to have a cup of that world-famous coffee poured from the dolphin spout, and maybe a piece of cheesecake or coconut custard pie (for which the Automat was also noted).

But it would be a shame to eat and run, so I would probably also take in a movie matinee. That’s why I’ve chosen April 1936—because that’s when Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, starring Gary Cooper, premiered. And if you haven’t seen what Gary Cooper looked like in those days, check it out:

See what I mean? Yeah, I know, he’s smoking in this photo, but Good Lord, he’s also smokin’. Talk about a hot dead guy. I’d have me a fine time watching him on the big screen, and besides, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town happens to be a fun little movie. Of course, they could have filmed him just sitting there reading aloud from the phone book and I’d pay money to see it.

On the other hand, maybe I’d skip the movie and get back in the time machine to hunt down Gary in person. That would make for a nice afternoon too.

I have to admit that this is my favorite feature in my blog. Sure, plenty of other people have whole blogs devoted to historical hotties, but they don’t provide little blurbs about each person. I offer that little extra because usually their stories make them even hotter. Today’s gentleman is an exception.

Victorian Mystery Man

I stumbled across this picture while doing an Internet photo search but there’s no information on who he is and I haven’t been able to find any. But it’s a shame to just leave it at that. So I’ll just make up a biography for him. Here goes:

Bartholomew J. Throckmorton
A mild-mannered apothecary from Newcastle, Mr. Throckmorton was renowned for his unique preparations. Wealthy customers came from all over England and abroad to purchase his tinctures, elixirs, tonics, salves, potions, lotions, balsams, balms, and his specialty, strawberry lemonade. In 1844 he concocted a special blend of tea in honor of Queen Victoria’s 25th birthday that he called RoyalTea. The queen liked it so much that she knighted him. Sir Bartholomew enjoyed a prosperous and happy life, and died in his sleep at the age of 87.

There. I think that’s a nice fake bio for such a nice-looking sir.

It’s been a rotten week so far, so I thought I would cheer myself up with another hot dead guy.

William Butler Yeats

As I’ve said before, I have a thing for Irish men. I also have a thing for men who wear glasses. If I ever find a photo of a hot Irishman wearing glasses and some sort of military uniform, I’m pretty sure my head will explode.

Yeats was one of the most prolific and versatile poets of his time, and was the first Irish poet to win the Nobel Prize. He was also one of the driving forces behind the Irish Literary Revival at the turn of the 20th century—his poetry helped shape a new national identity and inspired the Irish people to take a greater interest in their heritage and culture. Later in his life Yeats immersed himself in politics, serving for six years as a senator in the newly formed Irish Free State. But he continued his writing throughout his time in office—he created some of his best-known works during this period. He died in 1939 at the age of 73.

It’s too bad he isn’t alive right now, otherwise I’d ask this fine-looking gentleman to be my special guest at our next Weebles Poetry Slam. I’d have the best arm candy of anyone in the room.

I really don’t feel like working. So instead I’m going to write about another hot dead guy.

Lord Horatio Nelson

First, a disclaimer: Lord Nelson is on my personal shit list. He took up with another man’s wife, and when his own wife issued an ultimatum that he leave the other woman or else, Nelson declined. So his wife left.

The woman in question is Emma Hamilton. Like I said, she was a hot piece—so I can see what drew Lord Nelson to her. But she doesn’t sound like someone I’d want to invite to tea.

Anyway, his personal foibles aside, Lord Nelson really was a hell of a naval tactician. Under his command, the Royal Navy opened a can of whoopass on the Spanish and French navies during the Napoleonic Wars. And in 1805, the British ships of the line engaged with a combined Spanish and French fleet at Trafalgar, off the southwest coast of Spain. The British fleet sank 22 out of a total of 33 French and Spanish ships without losing a single ship of their own. But during the battle Nelson was killed by sniper fire from a French ship. The sailors aboard his ship, the HMS Victory, stored his body in a cask of alcohol to preserve him until they could get him back to London. He was buried at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

So maybe he wasn’t the best husband, but he’s one of Britain’s greatest war heroes. And he looked mighty fine in uniform.

Pierce McKennon

My goodness, is it hot in here, or is it just him???

Major Pierce McKennon was an American fighter pilot during World War II. Being a pilot confers automatic hotness, but this fella gets extra hotness points…he didn’t just serve in the American forces—our hero helped our Allies as well. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in early 1941, before the United States entered the war. After flying with the RCAF he became a member of the famous Eagle Squadron—a group of American pilots that flew with the Royal Air Force. Having served with both British and American air forces, he flew some of the best fighter planes of the era: the British Hurricane and Spitfire, and the American P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang. Sexy!

McKennon joined the US Army Air Force in late 1942, and within two years he was one of his squadron’s aces, racking up five enemy kills over Europe. For his valiant efforts, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, and the French Croix de Guerre. Sadly, he was killed in 1947, in a training accident with a student pilot. Fortunately we can still appreciate his contributions to the war effort, as well as his ruggedly handsome face.

First, Happy Easter/Happy & Kosher Passover to all who celebrate!

And now for the good stuff. This here is Robert Cornelius.

Isn’t he just the DREAMIEST??? You may have seen him before because many a blogger has displayed his handsome visage. Google him, you’ll see.

There are only a few facts that are commonly known about our friend Mr. Cornelius. For starters, this self-portrait of him is considered to be the earliest existing photographic image (called a daguerreotype) of a human being, taken in 1839 at his house in Philadelphia. His daguerreotypes were a lot nicer than a lot of the others out there—and I’m not saying this because I’m biased—people at the time said so too. He had a portrait studio for a few years, and he also taught his techniques to others daguerreotypists. But his main work was at his father’s company, Cornelius & Co., manufacturing light fixtures. His father had been fairly successful but it was Robert who transformed the business into the internationally known firm that it became. Cornelius chandeliers and lamps were (and still are) at the White House, the U.S. Capitol, various state capital buildings, various concert halls, and lots of fancy houses. By the 1840s, Robert Cornelius was a household name in Philly, and by the 1850s he was known throughout the United States and beyond.

I could go on, but I’m not gonna. See, I’m writing a biographical piece on him. The research has taken me to all kinds of interesting archives in Philadelphia and elsewhere. So the rest of the juicy details on our Victorian dreamboat will be a secret until my work is published.

But I will provide this one teaser: he did magic tricks!

Billy Mitchell

Some people know his name only from the movie, The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell, starring Gary Cooper (an EXTREMELY hot dead guy). But Billy Mitchell is arguably the father of modern air power. As a member of the newly formed U.S. Air Service during World War I, he saw the stalemates caused by trench warfare and believed that air power could break those stalemates. He advocated the use of bombers to weaken enemy forces by destroying their positions and supply lines.

His superiors didn’t quite share his enthusiasm for strategic air power. He criticized the top military brass for being short-sighted, which didn’t exactly endear him to people. Then, after two Navy accidents involving naval aircraft, he took his rants public. Newspaper reporters quoted him as saying, “Those accidents are the result of the incompetency, the criminal negligence, and the almost treasonable administration of our national defense by the Navy and War Departments.” He was served with court-martial papers and was ultimately found guilty of insubordination.

Mitchell resigned in 1926 and died ten years later. But his ideas about the superiority of air power—and the limits of sea power—would prove to be eerily prophetic fifteen years later with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. The man wasn’t just handsome, he was also ahead of his time.