When someone is remembered as a genius, little else about them as a person is made public. Why would we care that Einstein cheated on his wife all the time? The guy invented gravity; he was awesome!

In a similar vein, there are other geniuses from a variety of respective fields that are straight-up awful people, despite how little attention people pay to that fact. People like…

5. BOBBY FISCHER

The name Bobby Fischer is synonymous with genius, mainly because he kicked so much ass at chess he brought it back into the mainstream. People who’d never played a game in their life were enthralled by this chess wizard as he stomped all over Russian grandmasters like they were cockroaches made of eggshells.

His influence on the world of chess was so great, that his match with Russian master, Boris Spassky was front page news. Following his victory, the entire US was taken in by what is now colloquially referred to as the “Fischer Boom,” which saw chess receive unprecedented amounts of media attention.

FIELD OF AWFULNESS: ANTI-AMERICA
Despite the fact that Fischer quickly became a media darling following his victory in 1972, and many thousands of Americans cheered his name, Fischer’s stance on America was anything but kind. Claiming that he hated the country he once called home, Fischer was quoted as saying about 9/11, “I applaud the act” and within the same breath, “Fuck the US. I want to see the US wiped out.”

4. ARISTOTLE

Aristotle is one of those names that is just dripping with good vibes. As one of the ancient world’s most famous philosophers, Aristotle’s life and work are still studied today, thousands of years after he kicked the bucket. Aristotle is credited with being the mind behind some of our most enduring philosophical concepts, including basic ethics. Though Socrates beat him to the punch, Aristotle expanded upon the concept, and encouraged people to be good to one another.

FIELD OF AWFULNESS: SEXISM
Unless that person was a woman. Aristotle’s views on the fairer sex are so expansive that they get their own Wikipedia page. He basically asserted that women should be subservient to men, to the point where they shouldn’t even be allowed to eat as much food. He also claimed that women were basically incomplete men, and thus, inferior.

But so what, right? This was 2000 years ago; surely everyone was like this back then. Except they weren’t. For example, Spartan women from the same time period were treated with a relative amount of respect. Queen Gorgo of Sparta famously responded to one person asking why Spartan women could rule men with the frankly badass line “because only Spartan women produce men.” Yes, she actually said that. It wasn’t just put into the film 300 for effect. Spartan women were that awesome, and Aristotle was that pig-headed.

3. JOHN LENNON

Peace, love, and goodwill to all men: that’s what John Lennon was all about. Well, that and taking enough drugs to cause sniffer dogs to go into early retirement. Lennon is effectively the face of the 60’s and, by extension, the hippie movement. And those guys were all about peace, so what could Lennon possibly have done wrong?

FIELD OF AWFULNESS: HITTING WOMEN
Lennon was the Chris Brown of his day. That’s not us making a cheap joke; that’s a direct comparison that has been made about him. Lennon openly admitted that he used to beat the living crap out of women, in an interview with Playboy magazine, a magazine literally dedicated to appreciating the awesomeness of womankind, albeit the naked variety. Woman beater or not, you have to admire his sense of irony.

The kicker of this is that very few people know this about Lennon. Whereas Chris Brown has become a walking joke, and has his domestic violence charges listed very clearly on his Wikipedia page, not a single mention is made of John Lennon’s similar abuse, despite him being massively more famous and influential than Chris Brown will ever be. 

2. JAMES CAMERON

If you’re about to complain that we’re putting James Cameron on the same list as Aristotle, just remember that this guy won 11 Oscars for a film everyone already knew the ending to, and convinced people to pay $15 to see “Dances With Blue Aliens.” If that’s not genius, we don’t know what is.

FIELD OF AWFULNESS: EGO
Cameron’s ego is legendary in the film industry, but the guy made “Titanic,” so surely he deserves to be a little proud of himself, right? Sure he does; we’d never begrudge him for being proud of his work. We will, however, begrudge him for yelling at actresses until they cry, and nailing people’s phones to a wall. Which are all things he has done in the past.

But to truly see how much of a douche Cameron is, you only have to read this quote he once said to Linda Hamilton, his wife at the time: “Anybody can be a father or a husband. There are only five people in the world who can do what I do, and I’m going for that.” Come on, Cameron. Yes, “Avatar” was good, but it wasn’t good enough to get away with saying that to your wife. It’s not like you wrote “Star Wars.”

1. HENRY FORD

Yeah, this guy made cars and revolutionized how they were manufactured. And yeah, you’ve probably heard that he was a raging anti-Semite. However, the extent he went to express this notion will likely surprise you.

FIELD OF AWFULNESS: INSPIRING HITLER
Yes, that Hitler. Though Ford’s anti-Semitic views are well known, few realize just how far they went. Hitler was quoted as saying he was directly inspired by Ford, even hanging a portrait of Ford in his office. Just re-read that last sentence again. One of the most evil, reviled men in history hung a picture of Henry Ford on his wall. He was also the only American Hitler referred to by name in Mein Kampf. Talk about an honor.

We could go on, but honestly, how the hell could we top inspiring Hitler? We don’t even think Satan has the files in his office to classify something that awful.
 



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