Left-handed people, throw your (left) hands in the air – today is International Left Handers’ Day. The day was created in 1976 to raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a mainly right-handed world. No, really, it’s a thing – think about how often you really see a pair of left-handed scissors, or a notepad with ring binders on the right as opposed to the left. Rarely. Think about how often relatives make remarks about someone who uses their left hand to hold the chopsticks.
Don’t despair, though, lefties; you are in some seriously good company. In honour of today’s left-leaning celebrations, here are seven famous people that you may not have known were or are left-handed.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
The famous Italian artist created beautiful masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Many of da Vinci’s contemporaries left records calling him a “mancino”, which is Italian slang for a left-handed person. A recent study by researchers in Florence, Italy, however, has resulted in evidence that suggests the artist was actually ambidextrous – able to use both his left AND right hand. What an overachiever.
Jennifer Lawrence (1990-)
You wouldn’t know it from her character Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games series (the District 12 girl uses her right hand to fire arrows, not her left) but The Silver Linings Playbook actress is totally a left-handed gal in real life.
Barack Obama (1961-)
The 44th president of the United States isn’t the only left-handed politician to make it to the White House, but he is one of the coolest. When he signed his first executive order on January 21, 2009, Obama joked: “That’s right, I’m a lefty, get used to it.”
Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
The co-founder and CEO of Apple was left-handed and, at the time of this death, worth US $7 billion (according to American business magazine Forbes). We’re not saying there’s a link there, but we are saying that it’s pretty cool.
Lee Hsien Loong (1952-)
The current Singaporean leader assumed office in 2004 after the previous prime minister stepped down and led his party to victory in the 2006, 2011 and 2015 general elections. That’s a lot of success, any way you look at it.
Marie Curie (1867-1934)
Marie Curie was a Polish scientist whose work won her two Nobel Prizes. Curie looked at matter on an atomic level. She discovered the elements radium and polonium, and her research on radioactivity led to the development of using radiotherapy as a treatment for cancer.
Sadaharu Oh (1940-)
Also known as Wang Chen-chih, the half-Japanese, half-Chinese baseball star played for the Yomiuri Giants in Nippon Professional Baseball from 1959 to 1980 in Japan. He holds the world lifetime home run record, having hit 868 of them throughout his career. Oh is often called the “Japanese Babe Ruth”, after the famous American baseball player – and guess what? Ruth was left-handed, too.