Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.
Tattoos. Nowadays, we see them everywhere we look. Movie stars, athletes, singers, and even (albeit rarely) the occasional politician proudly sports his or her special "tats."
In 1862, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), the son of Queen Victoria, became the first "famous" person to receive a tattoo. The prince's tattoo was a Jerusalem Cross he got when he visited Jerusalem. It is rumored that even Queen Victoria may have had one (heaven forbid!).
Even some of our US presidents have been tattooed. Although no president has been "officially verified," both Franklin Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt reputedly had tattoos of the Roosevelt family crest on their respective persons. Various sources say George W. Bush has a tattoo, either on his arm or his back.
Probably the most popular tattoo for Hollywood celebrities (especially women) is the "star" tattoo. Drew Barrymore, Lindsay Lohan, Kate Hudson, Pink, Kelly Osbourne, and Britney Spears all have stars (Bruce Willis has one, too). OK, let's take a look at 16 other people who had or have tattoos
Thomas Edison "The Wizard of Menlo Park" had three dots tattooed on his right hand, in the form of the dots on the face of a die. Edison also invented electric tattoo pens in 1876, under the official name "Stencil-Pens." It was the predecessor to the later "tattoo machine."
Winston Churchill Sir Winston proudly sported an anchor tattoo on his right arm. And why not? His mother, Jennie Churchill, had a snake tattoo encircling her wrist.
John Wilkes Booth When John Wilkes Booth was a young man, he gave himself a homemade tattoo. Young John drew his initials "J.W.B." on his right hand with a strong Indian ink. The initials remained on his hand for the rest of his life. When Booth was shot on April 26, 1865 after assassinating president Abraham Lincoln, his body was identified and verified by the tattooed initials.
Rowland Macy Ever wonder why your local Macy's department store's insignia is a star? When founder Rowland Macy was working on a whaling ship in Nantucket as a teenager, he got a star tattoo on his right hand.
Ringo Starr Which Beatle had a tattoo? A nice bar bet question. If you guessed Ringo, you would be correct. The Beatle drummer has a half-moon and shooting star tattoo.
Senator Barry Goldwater The "Father of Modern Conservatism" had a small tattoo on the underside of his left hand. It was a crescent moon with four dots, the sign of the Smoki people. The Smokis are an adult Boy Scout-type organization based in Arizona.
Josef Stalin Stalin (fittingly enough) had a "death's head" tattoo across his chest.
Oliver Hardy The "fat one" of the classic movie comedy team Laurel & Hardy had a tattoo of a leaf on his arm. You can actually spot it in the L&H movie One Good Turn. Hardy got the tattoo as a young boy and he always regretted it.
Charles Manson Serial murder Charles Manson has tattoos on both forearms. He also has a swastika carved into his forehead between his eyes.
Michael Phelps The world's greatest swimmer, winner of a record 8 gold medals at the Olympics, Michael has two tattoos just below his pelvis bones. One is the Olympic rings and one is the letter "M" which stands for Michigan, the state where he trains.
Michael Jordan Tattoos are almost too common on current NBA players. Michael Jordan, the greatest hoopster of all time, has a fraternity tattoo in the shape of the Greek letter omega on his chest.
Johnny Depp When he was dating Winona Ryder, Depp had "Winona Forever" tattooed on his upper right arm. After the two split, he had the "NA" lasered off so his tat reads "Wino Forever." Johnny has 13 verified tattoos on various parts of his body.
Charlie Sheen By a strange coincidence, Charlie too has 13 verified body tattoos. His latest? "Winning" on his left wrist (what else?).
Sideshow Bob Bart Simpson's arch-nemesis on The Simpsons, Bob has "Die Bart Die" and "Ouch, Man!" (Bart's head on a skateboard). He also has a skull and crossbones, plus "LUV" one one hand and "HAT" on the other.
David Spade David has a tattoo of "Calvin" of the popular comics strip Calvin and Hobbes (it was done by Sean Penn).
Barbie A Barbie doll a while back had a butterfly tattoo on her stomach. "Totally Stylin' Barbie" came with her own tattoo machine.
See also: The Hidden Meanings of Tattoos