20 Mustaches That Changed History


When in the course of human events a mustache comes along that truly changes things, Aaron Perlut is there to celebrate.

As chairman of the American Mustache Institute, he's high in the running for leading mustache expert in the country, and his deep involvement with the American Mustache knows few limits.

"As a young man I grew up surrounded by mustaches in my family, but I was always intimidated to grow them, even though I could from a very young age, because of the public pressures against it, because they weren't cool, they weren't hip," Perlut, 39, told The Atlantic.

Minchili_Daylesford_9-17_post.jpg

American Mustache Institute Chairman Aaron Perlut


"There was a certain stigma attached to people with mustaches--that you weren't professional or intelligent, and I commited myself to working for an organization that battled against that."

He has pursued that goal since forming the American Mustache Institute in 2006, advocating for discriminated and downtrodden Mustached Americans everywhere, preventing a few firings and school expulsions, and promoting the obvious physical, stylistic, and sexual advantages of the Mustached American lifestyle, as he puts it, along the way. He also became, by his own bestowal, Dr. Perlut, Ph.D. in nuclear mustachology.

"There is a pattern of discrimination against people who are different from whatever the norm might be at the time in this country, and facial hair is no exception," Perlut says. 

This week the AMI announced it is accepting nominations for the third annual "Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year" award, to be doled out at the annual 'Stache Bash in St. Louis, where Perlut resides and works as a public relations and social media consultant, and where the AMI is based.

The winner will follow in the footsteps of Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Clay Zavada, the 2009 winner, and first-ever winner Tim Galvin, an NYPD officer who was shot in the face and leg and was forced by his injuries to take medical disability and retire.

In honor of the 2010 contest, we present Perlut's list of 20 Mustaches That Changed History, along with his commentary. They are, all of them, mustaches of great import, having ushered sweeping changes in politics, art, sports, and global mustache trends.

Click here to see The Atlantic's full interview with Perlut regarding trends, possibilities, and the State of the American Mustache.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

The Man Who Owns 40,000 Video Games

A short documentary about an Austrian gamer with an uncommon obsession

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Entertainment

Just In