Unforgettable Legends: Part 3 of History’s 40 Most Epic Figures

11Edward Loder

Edward Loder

Edward Loder is the most decorated man in the Boston Fire Department's history. After his first decade of service, he was assigned to Rescue One because of his reputation for being tough. In 1990, he saved a mentally unstable woman from jumping from her 16th-floor hotel room by rappelling down from the roof of the hotel by a guideline and tackling her away from the ledge right when she was about to jump. In 1993, he caught a mental patient with one hand right after he jumped and had to hang on to the rescue ladder with the other hand. He had to hold on to the jumper until the ladder was lowered down.

12Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco

Joseph D. Pistone a.k.a “Donnie Brasco” was an FBI agent who worked undercover infiltrating a mob family for 6 years to the point that he was going to be “made” (becoming a fully initiated member of the mafia family) but he was pulled out because his superiors decided that the operation was becoming too dangerous.

13Samuel Whittemore

Samuel Whittemore

Samuel Whittemore was a true American patriot, and he gladly fought for his freedom against the British during the Revolutionary War at the age of 78. Prior to this, Whittemore served as a private in King George's War and aided in the capture of the Fort Louisburg in 1745. Some believe he also fought in the French and Indian War when he was 64. By the time most of us will be retired, he was fighting in the Battle of Lexington and Concord. He also single-handedly killed three British soldiers in his fields with a rifle and his dueling pistols. For his efforts he was shot in the face, bayonetted, and left for dead. He refused to die, and in fact, fully recovered and lived until the ripe age of 98.

14Frank Devereaux

Frank Devereaux

In 1883, the body of a bear and Frank Devereaux were found dead beside each other with the ground around them thrashed for 20 square feet. It is that the man and bear fought to death.

15John Fairfax

John Fairfax

When he was 9 years old John Fairfax settled a dispute with a pistol. He was kicked out of the Boy Scouts for firing on another group with a firearm. At 13 he ran away to live like Tarzan in the Amazon jungle. When he was 20 he decided to commit suicide - by Jaguar! He did bring a pistol with him in case he changed his mind, which he did, and he subsequently shot and skinned the animal. He spent three years as a pirate after trying to bike and hitchhike across South America. Then when it was all said and done he rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and later the Pacific in tandem with another.

16Agustina of Aragon

Agustina of Aragon

Agustina of Aragon was en route to a fort to deliver apples to the Spanish soldiers during the Spanish War of Independence when she found them fleeing in the face of a French attack. She ran ahead and manned the cannons, shaming the soldiers so badly that they felt compelled to return to the fight. With her assistance, they drove off the French. She was eventually captured, but escaped and became a leader of a band of guerilla fighters. She even served as a battery commander in the Battle of Victoria. They called her the Spanish Joan of Arc.

17Zhuge Liang

Zhuge Liang

When Chinese general Zhuge Liang had to defend a town against 150,000 troops with just 100 men, he told his men to hide, flung open the gates and sat on the walls playing the lute. The opposing general, certain it was a trap, ordered a retreat.

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18Saburo Sakai

Saburo Sakai

Saburo Sakai was a Japanese air ace who was shot in the face during a dogfight in World War 2. Blind in one eye and partially paralyzed, “he flew upside down to prevent blood from blinding his other eye.” He flew for five hours to get back to the base, made his report and then had surgery without anesthesia.

19Jesús García Corona

Jesús García Corona

In 1907, a Mexican railroad brakeman named Jesus Garcia saved the entire town of Nacozari in Sonora by singlehandedly driving a damaged and burning train containing dynamite. He drove the train 6 kilometers away from the town before it finally exploded, killing him.

20Matthew Croucher

Matthew Croucher

In 2008, British Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher flung himself back-first onto a grenade to save his comrades. Though the explosion threw him in the air, his rucksack absorbed the blast and he walked away with just a nosebleed and a headache.

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