America bid farewell to mustaches in the Oval Office 100 years ago this month with the departure of President William Howard Taft, the nation’s last leader to sport facial hair of any kind while in office. As a bellwether of national trends, presidential styles help establish what is acceptable, popular and admirable.
America has long held men of mustachioed magnificence in high regard, some of them celebrated to this day. Take Taft’s predecessor, President Theodore Roosevelt, the adventuring man’s man, legendary in his horseback-riding and gun-slinging, love of hunting and of wild lands. Once shot in the abdomen immediately before a scheduled campaign speech, Roosevelt famously opted to forgo hospitalization to deliver 90 minutes of oratory, bleeding through his shirt as he spoke. He clearly was a man who lived the philosophy, “with great mustache comes great responsibility.”
Albert Einstein, a man whose mind single-handedly advanced the course of civilization, too found might in a nose neighbor. Eccentric painter Salvador Dali, with his famed upside-down handlebar mustache, and Charlie Chaplain, renown silent-film comic star, both delighted the public in part through mustachery. Later on, “talkie” actor Tom Selleck wielded his own mustache against criminal scum in a T-top Ferrari.
Geraldo Rivera, a rare modern mustachioed professional, carries on the tradition of fashionable, high-profile mustaches with his broad, bold statement of shaving defiance. Each of these men deserves a plastic mustache in their honor. You’ll find them at WhiskerWorks.com. Geraldo’s and Dali’s will be easy to find — and Tom Selleck’s, well, that’s “The Captain.”
Think you can find the rest?