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The Cult of the Counterculture: 17 Figures Who Were Unpopular in Their Lifetime But Are Now Revered

Sometimes, we fail to see the value of a person when they are alive. Some of the most celebrated people are hated when they are active. 

A user asked the forum, “Who is someone that’s beloved now but was surprisingly unpopular when they were alive?” Here are the top responses. 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

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“While visiting the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield, IL, I was shocked at how virulent the political cartoons and articles of that time were.”

ALAN TURING

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“Alan Turing.

You know, kinda saved the world from Nazis.”

EMILY DIKINSON

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“Emily Dikinson. She was rejected as a poet while alive, and now she’s in every American Literature textbook.”

VINCENT VAN GOGH

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“Vincent Van Gogh. He wasn’t popular until his death.”

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

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“JS Bach, towards the end of his life.”

JOHN KENNEDY TOOLE 

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“John Kennedy Toole. He couldn’t find anyone to print his novel and ended up taking his own life. Years later, his novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, published after his death, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981 and is still about as universally praised as a novel ever gets.”

IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS 

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“A little niche, but Ignaz Semmelweis is regarded as the father of hand washing in health fields. In his time, he was harshly ridiculed for suggesting the absurd notion that healthcare workers should clean their hands before delivering babies.”

SOCRATES 

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“Socrates.

In the end, the sentence of death was passed by a more significant majority of the jury than that by which he had been convicted.

More people wanted him dead than thought he was guilty! That is a hilarious level of ancient trolling.”

ISSAC NEWTON

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“Isaac Newton. he was a preppy d-bag.”

JOHN KEATS 

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“John Keats. Called a failed poet in his day.”

CEZANNE 

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“Cézanne. The locals thought his art was bad and banished him to the edge of town. They’d post abusive notes through his door.”

MARTIN LUTHER KING 

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“Martin Luther King Jr. White people *hated* him when he was still alive and said he was “hurting the civil rights cause.”

FRANZ KAFKA

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“Franz Kafka. All of his work became popular posthumously. He lived his entire life believing he was a failure as a man/son, because of his dad, and as an author.”

OSCAR WILDE 

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“Oscar Wilde. Dude died poor and alone because he was gay; now he is a celebrated author.”

LOUIS RIEL

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“Louis Riel, if anyone from Canada is reading this. He would fit the ‘unpopular’ description rather than ‘unknown’. They led a rebellion in the 1880s and were executed for treason. Now revered and seen as a national founder.”

BRAD NOWELL

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“Brad Nowell, lead singer for the band Sublime, which only ever released three albums but only became popular and acclaimed after their last album was released, and that was just a couple months after Nowell had a fatal OD.”

JAMES DEAN

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“James Dean.

Some hated working with him because he was moody and would go off script (method acting). He passed away shortly before Rebel Without a Cause was released, and his popularity instantly grew.”

12 Cities in the U.S. That Are a Total Nightmare to Live In (or Visit)

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Looking to relocate? Here are 12 cities in the US where you might want to avoid setting up roots. These cities are plagued by problems like high crime rates, poor infrastructure, and a lack of affordable housing. Read here.

15 Things We All Need to Stop Buying. It’s Total Waste Of Money

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To save money, reduce clutter, and help the environment, here are 15 things we can all stop buying

15 “Non-Religious” Cults That Almost Feel Religious. Are You Guilty Of Being A Part Of Any?

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So many fads are turning into some “divine” stuff people follow with an “almost religious” devotion. Here are 15 non-religious cults that feel like religious ones.

15 Physical Traits That Might Make You Less Dateable

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Physical attraction is an essential factor in many romantic relationships. However, it’s important to remember that everyone has different preferences. Read here. 

The Exodus: Why People Are Leaving Religion in Droves

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Religion is a personal and complex topic, and there are many reasons why someone might turn their back on it. Read why people are leaving religion.

This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.