Top #11 Historical Figures who Used Fake Names

Not everything you read in a History book is true, some historical figures don’t even use their real names. Slide down to see who they were! You’ll be surprised by #7, #5 and #2! Make sure you check them

#11. Ulysses S. Grant

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Hiram Grant used to use his middle name, Ulysses when he was young that’s why when he applied for West Point, the congressman nominating him assumed it was his first name. He also used Simpson, Grant’s mother maiden name as his middle name. After this event Grant started singing his name Ulysses S. Grant.

#10. Nelson Mandela

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Way back before Nelson Mandela won a Nobel Prize for helping to bring down the apartheid in South Africa, he was known as Rolihlahla Mandela. One of his teacher used to give all her students “Christian” names so he started using the name “Nelson” as a kid.

#9. Joseph Stalin

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The Soviet dictator’s real name was quite difficult to say : Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. In the early 1900’s during a series of arrest as the Russian Revolution was growing stronger, the name Iosif westernized to Joseph. Along with the name Joseph he started using the name “Stalin” which translates to “steel” in Russian.

#8. Leon Trotsky

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He was arrested in 1898 for his Marxist revolutionary endeavors but at that time his name was Lev Davidovich Bronshtein. After he was arrested, he was imprisoned and exiled to Siberia from where he escaped and made his way to London. Of course he needed a forged passport, on it he used the name Leon Trotsky and from then on he started using  this name.

#7. Yogi Berra

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The baseball Hall of Famer’s real name is Lawrence Peter Berra. But what we really want to know is if his nickname comes from Yogui Bear, this will be a bummer for you: It doesn’t! When he was a teenager a friend told him he looked like Hindu yogui and that’s why he got his nickname.

#6. George Orwell

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Way before he became a well-known author for books like Animal Farm and 1984, Eric Arthur Blair lived in the slums of London and Paris. When he wasn’t working as a dishwasher he would beg for money in the streets, his experience inspired many of his books. As he didn’t want to connect his family name with poverty he went by the name Orwell, allegedly inspired by England’s River Orwell. 

#5. Babe Ruth

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We wouldn’t surprise to know that “Babe” was not part of George Herman Ruth Jr‘s birth certificate don’t we? But hang on! There is a back story to his nickname. When he was offered a contract with the Baltimore Orioles, he was too young so this meant that he needed a legal guardian to sign for him. The team’s owner, Jack Dunn, became his guardian and the other players started calling  him “Jack’s newest babe” as a joke.

#4. Muhammad Ali

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Muhammad might be the world’s most popular name but it wasn’t the one on his birth certificate.The heavyweight champion was born under the name of Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.A Nation of Islam leader gave him the name Muhammad Ali.

#3. Che Guevara

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The guerrilla leader and communist Cuban Revolutionary given name was Ernesto Guevara de la Serna. He earned his nickname “Che Guevara” during his time in Guatemala in the 1950s because Argentineans like him sometimes use “che” as an interjection when they’re talking.

#2. Pablo Picasso

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The name that appears in the world-famous painter and Cubist creator’s birth certificate is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispín Crispiniano María Remedios de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso. He didn’t use a fake name but a shorter one, his real name might not fit on his exhibit’s flyers. Until 1901, he sometimes went by Pablo Ruiz or Pablo Ruiz Picasso, but he eventually dropped his father’s last name.

#1. Marilyn Monroe

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Norma Jeane Dougherty given stage name was Marilyn Monroe. It couldn’t be a real name as it was just too perfect! She changed her last name because a studio executive told the actress that Dougherty had too many possible pronunciations, so she chose to go by her mom’s maiden name Monroe. The same executive picked Marylin because she reminded him of Marilyn Miller. Now you know where the name Marylin Monroe comes from.