Bubba Watson’s recent dramatic playoff win in the 2012 Masters prompted this 12 Most post. Originally, I intended to have 12 individuals on this list, but there were so many good lefties out there that I had to group them.
And I left a lot of worthy candidates off the list… so let me know in the comments who you think was short-changed by not being considered a lopsidedly gifted leftie!
1. Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson
Left-handed golfers are the ultimate shot-makers. Bubba Watson calls his style of play “Bubba Golf”, and his motto is “If I got a swing, I got a shot.” Here is avideo of some imaginative lefty Bubba Watson trick shots (uh, and other antics). And everybody has seen Phil’s backward shot, right?
2. Bill Gates
Bill gets his own line item! His company dominates the computer world, and he has answered the call in regards to philanthropic activities with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Not bad for a college dropout!
3. Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Monica Seles, Rafael Nadal
Martina may have been the first celebrity voted off on the recent Dancing with the Stars, but she was usually the last one standing at Grand Slam Tennis tournaments. She won her first Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 1978, and she won her last Grand Slam Mixed Doubles title in 2006! Meanwhile, here’s the Grand Slam Title count for these other gifted lefties: Connors – 8, McEnroe – 7, Seles – 9, Nadal – 10.
4. Tim Tebow, Steve Young, “Boomer” Esiason, Kenny Stabler
OK, my readers knew I had to get a Tim Tebow reference in here – c’mon, the guy is a leftie and a winner. He did win the Heisman and two National Championships. Meanwhile, Steve Young came out of Joe Montana’s shadow to win his own Super Bowl as he became one of the most efficient quarterbacks in his era. I loved Boomer’s style of play, and I really wish he would have won a Super Bowl (he did make it to one). And Kenny “the Snake” Stabler was as “lefty crafty” as they come! All four of these quarterbacks could be elusive to downright dangerous as runners when they started scrambling.
5. Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoléon Bonaparte
These three leaders simply ruled most of the civilized world during their tenures. Alexander the Great never lost a battle, and his battle strategies are still taught in military academies. Caesar was not only a confident and gifted general, he was even better known as a politician who was very successful in amassing power (ultimately leading to his assassination). Napoleon was known for introducing a mobile artillery as well as being excellent in the art of espionage.
6. Ronald Reagan
I give Ronald Reagan a line item to himself; however, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are all left-handed. That means that we’ve had a leftie in the White House for about 27 out of the last 31 years! It took George “Dubya” Bush to break the string. I agree with the general consensus that Reagan was probably the most beloved and influential president since Franklin Roosevelt. I would listen to his speeches while in high school, and he projected strength, sincerity, confidence and American pride. His contributions to help end the Cold War were something to behold. He won 49 out of 50 states during his re-election bid, so it is safe to say he restored faith in the American presidency.
7. Helen Keller, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein
I remember reading about Helen Keller (and Anne Sullivan) when I was a kid. In an understatement, she was incredibly inspirational and was listed in Gallup’s Most Admired People of the 20th Century. Meanwhile we’ve all read Mark Twain’s works, and I still love using his quotes (“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”). And we can all picture that famous Albert Einstein portrait with the wild hair, right? I graduated with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, so I can thank this Father of Modern Physics for all of those equations I had to solve based upon E=mc2!
8. David Letterman and Jay Leno
It seems like these two late night talk show hosts have been part of our culture forever (and yes, I loved Johnny Carson back in the day). I do not watch either of these shows now because I do not watch much TV, but both of these men have shown incredible longevity and impact to pop culture.
9. Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr
I was lucky enough to live in Seattle when these two lefties played for the Seattle Mariners. Randy Johnson was absolutely dominant, and Ken Griffey Jr just made the game look so easy. Junior’s home run swing was the sweetest and most effortless swing I’ve ever seen. I do not normally follow baseball, but those Seattle Mariners were special. They also had great marketing campaigns that granted insight into their quirky personalities.
10. Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Sting
Two of the four Beatles were lefties?!? Jimi Hendrix was a man before his time on the guitar, and he shaped guitar creativity for generations. Of course, I loved Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant, and Sting may be one of my favorite artists of all time. All of these men are creative musical icons.
I do not know what I appreciate more — a Beethoven sonata or a Mozart violin concerto. I agree with the assessment that Leonardo da Vinci may be the most talented man to ever live with his most famous painting being The Last Supper. He was also an astounding inventor and researcher of anatomy and biomechanics. Where da Vinci may have been the most talented man, most people consider Michelangelo the greatest artist in his lifetime. His greatest works include the Statue of David and the breathtaking Sistine Chapel ceiling.
12. Tim Allen, Bruce Willis and Tom Cruise
Lefties are known to be creative… and volatile. Is it any wonder that things tend to blow up when these three men are involved? We all enjoyed Tim Allen’s Home Improvement Tool Time Troubles, Bruce Willis refused to Die Hard, and with Tom Cruise no Mission was Impossible.
What lefties inspire you the most? Are they world leaders, athletes, musicians, or visionaries? Tweet
I love my wife and two daughters. I am blessed in that I also love my job as a principal and EVP of the Rocky Mountain Region for Mantis Technology Group. I am very excited about our Pulse Analytics SaaS social media monitoring solution for measuring consumer sentiment and supporting social engagement. I enjoy teaching and coaching. I graduated UT-Austin.
@Brandon Christian Well, I thought I ran the gambit with athletes, artists, etc. If I can include politicians, I guess I can include actors (and Reagan did both). And my wife and I got a kick out of Home Improvement ;)
@Martin D Redmond #11 was especially shocking to me. I actually left off one of da Vinci's and Michelangelo's contemporaries - Raphael - who was yet another master painter/architect who was left-handed! You can see why people assume your creativity and artistry when you are left-handed - disproportionate amount of the masters tended to be!
@janetcallaway Thought you would enjoy that clip on Phil, Janet. I'm definitely a rightie w/no ambidextrous working for me. I do not think I'm particularly creative - I'm just very efficiency minded, so I'm always looking to make something better.
I have a lot of interests, so maybe that shows up as creativity...or I just like lots of shiny objects. Too many things left in this world that I want to do, so that shows more curiosity than anything. I know I've enjoyed the storytelling that blogging allows me to do!