The 17 Most Influential Mustaches of All Time

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This Movember—the annual November-long happening in which men grow mustaches and raise money for men’s health causes—we celebrate mustaches throughout history. Why you ask? For thousands of years, mustaches have been present at pivotal historical moments. Lanny McDonald’s mustache became a hockey icon. Tom Selleck’s mustache defined sexy for a generation. The mustache’s influence on our culture, our history and thus our future is irrefutable.

It’s a bold claim to be sure but one from which we do not shy. These, gentle readers, are the most influential mustaches of all time.

Tom Selleck
When a baby-faced Justin Timberlake declared he was bringing sexy back, people in the know worldwide scoffed in unison, secure in the knowledge that sexy never left. It was there the whole time quietly residing in Tom Selleck’s mustache. Kypros/Getty Images
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt's mustache added manly gravitas the man needed as he started the National Parks Service and jumpstarted the modern conservation movement. Could a mustache have a greater legacy?Culture Club/Getty Images
Professional Wrestler
Hulk Hogan's blond horseshoe: striking fear for decades into the hearts of enemy wrestlers and the spouses of men with blond beards. Russell Turiak—Getty Images
Art, Personalities, pic: circa 1930's, Frida Kahlo, Mexican born artist/painter (c1907-1954)
Holding it down for mustached women everywhere, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s mustache was so bold as to make an appearance on many of Kahlo’s own self portraits.Frida Kahlo
The actor Boris Karloff as Dr. Fu Manchu in a scene of the film The Mask of Fu Manchu. Photograph. 1932. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) Der Schauspieler Boris Karloff als Dr. Fu Manchu in einer Szene für den Film The Mask of Fu Manchu. Photographie. 1932
Dr. Fu Manchu. The super villain so defined this mustache style it was named for him. Doesn’t get much more influential than that. Imagno/Getty Images
Adolf Hitler, Charlie Chaplin
Funnyman Charlie Chaplin (right) made the toothbrush mustache famous. It took the man whose name would become shorthand for pure evil, Adolf Hitler (left), to make it infamous. Getty Images (2)
Joseph Stali, Goucho
Another one of history’s boogeymen, Joseph Stalin (left), shared a mustache style with a contemporary comedy great, Groucho Marx (right)—even if Groucho’s was technically fake. Getty Images (2)
Michael Phelps Drinks on a Milk Mustache
Milk. Among the most easily recognizable marketing campaigns ever, Got Milk? retired in 2014 after two solid decades of faithful service dressing celebrities in milk mustaches, such as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. Business Wire/Getty Images
Lanny McDonald Portrait
Lanny McDonald’s red mustache is one of the greatest hockey players of all time. The extraordinary facial adornment body checked and high-scored itself and its owner all the way into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. Bruce Bennett—Getty Images
Proctor & Gamble Sells Pringles Brand To Diamond Foods For $1.5 Billion
One of the most iconic mustaches in all the world is literally an icon: the guy from Pringles chip cans.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Salvador Dali
This is how you know someone is crazy: they say things like “Salvador Dalí is NOT crazy!” Which Salvador Dalí once did. Because he is crazy. Just look at that 'stache. Jack Mitchell—Getty Images
Staunch abolitionist Joshua Chamberlain’s mustache held the line for the Union in the Battle of Gettysburg, a key moment in the Civil War leading to the defeat of the Confederacy and the abolition of slavery in the United States. AP
Hasbro Posts 62% Profit Rise In Third Quarter
Rich Uncle Pennybags. Also known as Mr. Monopoly, the Parker Brothers game mascot was based on the real-life monopolist and financier James Pierpont Morgan, according to Philip E. Orbanes, author of the book Monopoly: The World’s Most Famous Game—and How It Got That Way. Scott Olson—Getty Images
Robert Goulet gestures as he arrives to be honoured at Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto
Talk about influence. This crooner's ‘stache wields so much that the American Mustache Institute named it’s annual mustache prize after it: The Robert Goulet Mustached American of the Year Award. Mark Blinch—Reuters
USA - Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Installation Luncheon in Beverly Hills
Is that some kinda Eastern thing? Far from it, Dude. That is actor Sam Elliot’s extremely chill mustache, which has dropped Western wisdom pearls over the years through the voices of many different characters, from Virgil Earp to the Dude's cowboy sage in The Big Lebowski.Fred Prouser—Reuters/Corbis
Pazyrik Horseman
Mustache Zero. Likely the earliest mustache depiction ever dates from 300 B.C.E. and features a Scythian man on horseback with some kind of mohawk, proving once and for all the mustache’s timeless countercultural bona fides. Wikimedia Commons
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche. The mustache that declared God is dead. Pretty bold. Print Collector/Getty Images

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