Whether they’re shielding a pop star, powerful political figure or Hollywood A-lister, a bodyguard’s job is to protect their clients. While most bodyguards remain mysterious behind dark shades, a handful achieves fame. From alleged affairs, to homicide and bullet dodging, we’ve tracked down 10 famous body guards who’ve made a name for themselves.
1. Bodyguard: Captain David Derickson
Who He Guarded: President Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is today!
What He is Famous For: From the fall of 1862 until the spring of 1863, Captain David Derickson served as Lincoln’s bodyguard and personal friend, even becoming bed-mates. It’s well established that the two men shared a bed together in a rural cottage and at the White House during Mary Todd Lincoln’s absence. Some historians even claim that two were lovers, but that’s still up for debate.
2. Bodyguard: Laurence Tureaud, aka Mr. T
Who He Guarded: Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee
What He is Famous For: Growing up asthe youngest of 12 children in a small apartment, it’s no surprise that Laurence Tureaud, better known as Mr. T, turned out to be a tough-guy. Before he hit it big-time as an actor in the TV series “The A-Team,” Mr. T was a bouncer. Eventually he left the night club scene and worked as a bodyguard for a diverse collection of clients including prostitutes, preachers and eventually the rich and famous. It’s a little known fact that in 1983, Mt. T dressed as Santa Claus and visited the White House. And First Lady Nancy Reagan sat on his lap!
3. Bodyguard: Rostom Razmadze
Who He Guarded: Napoleon Bonaparte
What He is Famous For: Kidnapped at the tender age of 13, Rostom Razmadze was sold as a slave and given the name Idzhahia. At about age 15, he was given to Napoleon Bonaparte and is said to have slept across the threshold of Bonaparte’s room so that anyone wishing to enter would have to cross over his body. Razmadze served as Bonaparte’s bodyguard until 1814, at which time he married and refused to follow Bonaparte into exile. From that point forward, Bonaparte spoke of him as a coward.
4. Bodyguard: Timothy J. McCarthy
Who He Guarded: President Ronald Reagan
What He is Famous For: U.S. Secret Service Agent Timothy J. McCarthynearly made the ultimate sacrifice on March 30, 1981 when he took a bullet for Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States. It was on that day that John Hinckley Jr. fired half of a dozen bullets from a .22 caliber pistol, one of which hit President Reagan. McCarthy instinctively jumped to protect Reagan and took a bullet for his bravery. McCarthy recovered and continued to serve the Secret Service until he retired. Not ready for life as a retiree, McCarthy became the Chief of Police in Orland Park, Illinois.
5. Bodyguard: Anna Loginova
Who She Guarded: Notable Russians
What She is Famous For: Anna Loginova was a Russian fashion model who became a famous female bodyguard. She also ran a respectable all female bodyguard company that employed women trained by ex-KGB members. Sadly, the last time her name was in the headlines was to announce her death. Loginova died at 29 from head injuries sustained during the carjacking of her Porsche.
6. Bodyguard: Clint Hill
Who He Guarded: Jacqueline Kennedy
What He is Famous For: No one could have guessed that this boy fromNorth Dakota would one day be responsible for protecting the country’s most popular First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy. U.S. Secret Service Agent Clint Hill became famous around the world as the man who leapt into the car carrying President Kennedy and his wife the moment President Kennedy was assassinated. In 2012, Hill released a memoir about his time guarding the First Lady, titled “Mrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir,” where he shared gory details of the President’s death as well as touching moments with the First Lady.
7. Bodyguard: Moshe Benabou
Who He Guarded: Justin Bieber
What He is Famous For: This ex-Israeli military powerhouse is famous for suing his boss, Justin Bieber. The brawny bodyguard claims Bieber had a teenage tirade berating him and punching him several times in the chest during a disagreement. Benabou is going after unspecified damages for assault and battery, and asking for more than $420,000 in unpaid overtime.
8. Bodyguard: Leslie W. Coffelt
Who He Guarded: President Harry Truman
What He is Famous For: On November 1, 1950, Leslie W. Coffelt thwarted a presidential assassination, but lost his life while doing so. Coffelt was manning the guard booth at the Blair House, where President Truman was staying because of renovations at the White House. Would-be assassin Griselio Torresola approached the guard booth and shot Coffelt at close range. Remarkably, even though Coffelt suffered direct shots to his chest and abdomen, he remained conscious of his duty to protect the President. He fired at Torresola from over 30 feet away, struck Torresola behind the ear, and killed him instantly.
9. Bodyguard: Elijah Shaw
Who He Guarded: Usher Raymond, Naomi Campbell and Chaka Khan
What He is Famous For: This bodyguard turned successful businessman is the CEO of Icon Services Corporation, an executive protection and private investigation company. He’s made a name for himself by protecting VIPs, but also due to an innovative program named ISC Safety Net, which is designed to provide pro bono security services for victims of domestic violence.
10. Bodyguard: Mark “Hammer” Dixon
Who He Guarded: Mark “Chopper” Read
What He is Famous For: It’s hard to believe that brave and burly bodyguard Mark Dixon was picked on as a school boy. Mark “Chopper” Read, a well known Australian underworld personality, took part in a show at a location where Dixon was in charge of security. After the show, while Read walked to his car, an unhappy patron charged at him with a claw hammer. Dixon threw himself in the path of the hammer and despite being hit in the chest, managed to subdue the attacker. This gave Dixon celebrity status and the nickname “Hammer.”
Which famous bodyguard intrigues you the most?