History’s 50 Most Awesome Badasses You Should Know About – Part 4

If you haven’t checked out our previous parts, check them out here.

For part 1 click here.

For part 2 click here.

For part 3 click here.

21Gene Roddenberry

Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, was once involved in a plane crash in the desert in Syria. With two broken ribs, he repeatedly went back into the burning plane to evacuate passengers. He then organized search teams to look for civilization.


22John L. Sullivan

John L. Sullivan a.k.a. ‘Overly manly man’ was a champion bare-knuckle boxer and known for his trademark phrase upon entering a saloon, “I can lick (beat) any son-of-a-bitch in the house.” He always did – and he brought the house a round. He won the world Bareknuckle Championship title in 1889 despite arriving at the fight after a long night of drinking, partying and scoring with the chicks. Sullivan showed up looking like he’d gone 36 hours without sleep (which he might have), drank whiskey and tea in the corner between the rounds. He barfed over the side of the ring in the middle of the 44th round, but kept in there, pushed it to the limit and won the fight in the 75th round when his opponent was too exhausted and pummeled to continue fighting.


23James Ward

New Zealand Victoria Cross recipient James Ward won it for actions during a raid over Germany in July 1941. When his aircraft caught on fire, his copilot told him to try to put out the fire. Ward crawled out onto the wing, several thousand feet in the air, tore holes in the aircraft’s fabric with a fire ax to give himself hand and foot-holes, and smothered the flames out with a canvas cover. The bomber made it back to the United Kingdom.


24Franz Von Werra

Franz Von Werra was a Nazi POW who was transferred to Canada to deter his multiple escapes and recaptures. He escaped again in less than a month from Canada, traveled through the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, and Italy to become the only Western held POW to return to combat.


25Henry Johnson

During World War 1 Henry Johnson saved his friend from over 20 German soldiers all by himself using his rifle as a club until its butt splintered and then proceeded to charge at them with his only remaining weapon a bolo knife. He was still fighting when more French and American troops arrived on the scene, causing the retreat.


26Vasili Arkhipov

Russian navy officer, Vasili Arkhipov, opposed his commanding officer’s decision to launch a nuclear torpedo in response to US practice depth charges during the Cuban Missile Crisis, thus averting a nuclear war and saving the world.


27Valiant Ladies of Potosi

Known as “The Valiant Ladies of Potosi”, Ana Lezama de Urinza and Dona Eustaquia de Sona were two aristocratic 17th century lesbian lovers, who disguised themselves as cowboys and fought to clean up Potosi in Peru, one of the toughest towns in all of South America.


28Miki Endo

A girl named Miki Endo sacrificed her life in the2011 Tohono tsunami in Japan to warn people of the oncoming tsunami on the Emergency Broadcast System and saved thousands of lives. She did not leave her spot and kept broadcasting until she was swept away.


29Oliver Sipple

In 1975, a decorated Marine named Oliver Sipple saved President Gerald Ford from assassination when he noticed as a bystander that a woman next to him had drawn and leveled a pistol at Ford. His life was then ruined when the media outed him as gay.


30Robert Cook

In 2006, a 22-year-old Skydiver named Robert Cook saved his student’s life by acting as a human shield. Knowing that the plane was in free fall, he calmed the girl by talking to her, wrapped his arms around her and supported her head, before twisting his body mid-crash so that he took the force of the impact. She survived, but everyone else on the plane died.

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