The Edmondson Blog

Famous Deformities

MOSES was a reluctant public speaker who described himself as heavy of mouth and as having uncircumcised lips. We know he had a major speech impediment and probably suffered from a cleft lip and palate.

JOSEPH STALIN had webbed toes on his left foot and his left arm was shorter than his right.

JOSEF GOEBBELS was born with a left leg three inches longer than his right. According to the official version it was the result of a childhood illness; the possibility that one of the architects of the Nazi movement had a genetic defect didn't sit well with the prevailing ideology.

ANNE BOLEYN had six fingers on her left hand and three nipples. If King Henry VIII's divorce petition had failed, he planned to use the extra digit and supernumerary nipple as evidence that she was a witch.

ADOLF HITLER did indeed have only one ball, according to Soviet medical reports. Eva Braun was of the opinion that Hitler's testicular damage was the result of a boyhood mishap with a wild alpine goat. On the other hand, Hitler's personal doctor, Johan Jambor, supposedly described the dictator's loss from an injury during military service during the Great War, to a priest who later wrote down what he had been told in a document which was uncovered in 2008, 23 years after the doctor's death.

MARSHAL CHARLES MAURICE DE TALLEYRAND, the French revolutionary and statesman had a deformed leg, the result of being dropped by his nurse.

KING RICHARD III was the subject of a number of colorful inventions. According to one, he was born with a full set of teeth and with hair down to his waist. His famous hunchback was also probably invented by his enemies; no portrait, suit of armour, or contemporary description attests to it.

LORD BYRON, the Romantic poet was born with a clubfoot, which he later attributed to his mother's tight corsets.

NAPOLEON had hemicryptorchidism - one undescended testicle.

KAISER WILHELM II's left arm was stunted and withered, the result of a complicated breech birth.

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