Great alcoholics: 10 geniuses who suffered from alcohol addiction

There is a widespread belief that weak people become alcoholics. But there is also a lot of research that confirms that the talented, strong and brilliant suffer from unhealthy cravings for alcohol more often than others. 

Clinical alcoholics are considered :

36% - famous poets and writers of the world ;

24% of great composers and musicians;

18% - artists;

16% of famous politicians and statesmen;

12% - inventors and famous chess players.


Alexander the Great



Alexander the Great was the greatest military leader of all time and the founder of one of the greatest empires in the history of mankind, but he was also an alcoholic and a psychopath. His love of heavy drinking was legendary. He could compete with his companions all evening to see who would drink more and then easily stab his drinking companion in a drunken brawl. His death is also associated with alcohol. The cause of Macedonian's death is thought to be ulcerative perforation of the stomach or acute pancreatitis.From the records of Plutarch: "Alexander felt a strong thirst and drank a lot of wine, after which he fell into a feverish delirium and died on the thirteenth day of the month".


William Shakespeare


The great writer loved to drink throughout his life, and died of a fever after drinking with two colleagues.


Ernest Hemingway


The great classic of American prose was famous for his love of alcohol, but he never considered himself an alcoholic. It is said that it was Hemingway who invented the famous Bloody Mary, naming the cocktail after his fourth wife. Vodka with tomato juice and spicy herbs is still sold in the legendary bar of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Paris. The writer liked to drink Mojitos or ice-cold Martini in the morning, a bottle of good Chianti at lunch, and ended the day with a glass of "evening" Daiquiri with double rum, but no sugar.


The "Death in the Afternoon" cocktail was invented by the writer himself, naming it like his book. Absinthe and ice were added to the champagne. The drink had to be drunk very slowly.


Vincent van Gogh



Van Gogh went down in art history as a crazy and brilliant alcoholic. The artist adored absinthe, the heaviest drink, which in the old days was capable of causing hallucinations. Van Gogh's diet consisted mainly of coffee, cigarettes and booze. Gradually he began to lose touch with reality, in a fit of alcohol he once cut off his ear, attempted the life of his friend Gauguin several times and ended his life by suicide.



Mikhail Lomonosov



Mikhail Vasilievich's penchant for immoderate drinking was widely known among his colleagues and was a cause for ridicule. This fact used to be carefully hidden from his biography, but Lomonosov returned from Germany as an alcoholic and remained so until the end of his life. Later, Lomonosov became insensitive to wine and liquors and drank only vodka, groggy came to the Office and often signed papers related to the Academy of Sciences. Often by his rude behavior and effervescence Lomonosov provoked a strongly negative attitude toward him, but it was said that the worst thing was his wife and children. The great academician died "from a disease developed as a result of immoderate use of hot drinks.


Lord Byron



George Gordon Byron represents one of the finest poets the world has ever seen and one of the leaders of the artistic movement of Romanticism in the 17th and 18th centuries. Lord Byron was known for his sexual adventures as well as his addiction to alcohol. He especially liked to drink hard liquor from his favorite cup made from a human skull.


Edgar Allan Poe




Edgar Allan Poe suffered from severe alcoholism and opium addiction. Because of a congenital heart defect, Poe would go into a state of enlightenment after a glass of rum and rage after a second.  Alcoholism was his chief vice and caused his death at the age of 40.


Modest Mussorgsky



Modest Petrovich learned about what white fever was for the first time at the age of 25. After another attack the doctors at Nikolaevsky hospital discovered the destruction of the liver, enlargement of the heart and inflammation of the spinal cord. At the age of 42 he looked like a complete old man. His deathbed portrait, which hangs in the Tretyakov Gallery, was painted by Ilya Repin a few weeks before the composer's death.


Stephen King



Stephen King, one of the most prolific authors of his time, turned into a quiet alcoholic by the time he was 30. He would go to his study in the morning with a six-pack of beer, so that most of his successful books were written while intoxicated. According to the writer, he feared he was incapable of creativity when he was sober. He began drinking cognac in the evenings and was also addicted to cocaine.


Days and weeks disappeared from his life, and this went on until his wife Tabitha gave him an ultimatum: either he immediately stopped drinking or he could get out of the house.


Two weeks later, Stephen quit drinking and has not touched alcohol or drugs since. He is now still America's best-selling writer.


Arkady Gaidar.



His books radiate the positive worldview of a childhood that never seems to end, but by the age of thirty Gaidar was drinking constantly, often in total solitude.


In the last years of his life Gaidar practically never came out of depression and was rarely sober more than three to five days a month. After the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, the writer gave up drinking and left for the army as a war correspondent. The writer died in battle under mysterious circumstances: his manuscripts and outer clothing were stolen.


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