Ever considered a career as a bodyguard? If so, this handy article on arguably history’s 5 greatest bodyguards (apart from Kevin Costner!) will surely help inspire you to muscle your way in to the industry.
History’s 5 Greatest Bodyguards (excluding Kevin Costner)
1. Walter H. Thompson
Walter H. Thomson travelled over 200,000 miles while protecting Winston Churchill and was said to have spent more time with him than Churchill’s own wife. Thompson didn’t always work in the security services, he was originally a policeman who moved his way into Special Branch, where he became an expert in terrorism threats, which positioned him perfectly to look after Westminster’s security. On top of the constant threat of assassination at the hands of the Nazis, Indian Nationalists and Communists, Churchill also had a habit of voluntarily putting himself in dangerous situation such as IRA attacks, blitz bombing sites and most famously the Siege of Sidney Street, where a bullet allegedly rocketed through his top hat, inches away from his head. Thompson was said to have single-handedly saved Mr Churchill’s life on nearly 20 separate occasions and it will come as little surprise that after over 14 years of protecting Britain’s most famous minister he eventually had a nervous breakdown.
2. Rostom Razmadze
Rostom Razmadze served as Napoleon’s bodyguard for 17 years through some of his fiercest and most gruelling campaigns. He is said to have slept across the doorway of Napoleon’s bedroom so that anyone entering would have had to cross him first. He was also probably the man closest to the famous emperor but unfortunately his stories have never been done justice as Napoleon wrote him out of his memoirs when Rostom refused to travel with him in exile to the lonely island of Elber. His own accounts, although eventually published, were poorly written, possibly due to the fact that Rostom was sold into slavery at the age of 13 before entering into Napoleon’s service.
3. Timothy J. McCarthy
Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy is most famous for being the man who took a bullet for Ronald Reagan, probably saving the then president’s life. Stepping in front of the president as John Hinckley Jr. opened fire, he took one of the spray of bullets straight into his abdomen but made a full recovery. McCarthy eventually became the Chief of Police in Orland Park, Illinois.
Although not technically a bodyguard, Leslie Coffelt of the White House Police force also deserves a mention here as he became the only Secret Service employee to be killed trying to protect a US president from an assassination attempt, when he was shot by two Puerto Rican nationalists on duty in 1950.
4. Harry Bennett
Harry Bennett was automobile business magnet Henry Ford’s personal bodyguard and eventually chief of his security services. An ex-boxer turned hired henchman, Bennet had some very peculiar habits which included firing guns in his office and keeping pet lions. But the ever security conscious Bennett was also famous for turning his own house into a fortress to fend off potential attacks; he had a moat built around his property and booby trapped the only crossing with dynamite. He also had secret passages that would lead him quickly off of the island in the event of a police raid, and even took the effort to have a special uneven staircase put in that only he could navigate at high speed. During 29 years in Ford’s service he is said to have orchestrated and enacted countless atrocities, one being the breaking of a union man’s spine during a peaceful leafleting campaign outside Ford’s main plant in Detroit.
5. Anna Loginova
Perhaps the most beautiful bodyguard of all time, Anna Loginova was a front-page model turned martial arts expert. She became the bodyguard of world boxing champion Kostya Tszyu and went on to run her own security services called Stilet (meaning dagger) that only employed female bodyguards to look after some of Moscow’s elite billionaires. With her great looks, impressive skills and a team of trained female killers behind her, she seemed destined for more great things until her untimely death in January 2008 at the hands of a group of car thieves.
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