Few people gain fame while they are still a kid, while some in teenage or adulthood. There are even people who became famous in their old age. However, there are also people who got the recognition they deserved only after their demise. Here is a list of some famous people who obtained prominence posthumously.
#1 Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)
One of America’s highly regarded poetess, she became famous posthumously by a sheer bit of luck. She was bit of a loner and probably enjoyed the company of her own self. Though she maintained her family relations well, she kept herself isolated from the world. While sick, she had instructed her sister Lavinia to burn all of her correspondences. And while doing so, her sister found all the 1,800 of her poems (which thankfully were not asked to be burned).
#2 Galileo Galilei (1564–1642)
This man has made remarkable contributions in the field of science – inventing the telescope, proving the Earth is round and revolves around the sun and what not. But his theories were not recognized until the late 19th century. Though he was largely criticized during his time, his calculations and theories were proven true without glitches later.
#3 Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890)
At the age of 37, Van Gogh shot himself with a revolver in a wheat field. Though his friend and physician, Dr. Gatchet dressed his wound, he couldn’t be saved and died two days later. He was considered a failure during his lifetime but his works were later recognized as masterpieces after his suicide. They were critically acclaimed and commercially successful. He became very popular over the years.
#4 John Keats (1795–1821)
He is certainly one of the most beloved poets but his works were underappreciated during his lifetime. Of course, later, after he died at a very young age, his poems came into limelight thanks to one of his best friends Percy Shelley, who supported him when everybody else failed to acknowledge his work. She memorialized him and gave his poems the honor they deserved.
#5 Vivian Maier (1926–2009)
Maier was a street photographer and had taken around 150,000 photographs during her lifetime. But, her talent remained hidden until her death. Most of her negatives remained unprinted and it was only when John Maloof acquired some of her photographs in 2007, and linked his blog to a selection of hers on Flickr, they became ‘viral’ and her work became critically acclaimed.
#6 Stieg Larsson (1954–2004)
A journalist by profession and a writer by passion, his books were published and adapted into movies posthumously. He used to write his books after returning from work for his pleasure’s sake and had made no efforts to publish them. But after his death, the manuscripts were discovered and found worthy enough to be published. He was the second best-selling author in 2008.
#7 Nick Drake (1948–1974)
Drake has never been aligned towards attaining fame because he refused interviews and performing live. He suffered from depression and his lyrics reflected that on a huge basis. He committed suicide at the age of 26 by overdosing on anti-depressants. Due to his shy nature, there is no live footage of him performing, just stills. His music and lyrics are widely appreciated.
#8 Gregor Mendel (1822–1884)
Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics, who discovered the principles of heredity, was way ahead of his time. His two very famous laws – Law of Segregation and Law of Independent Assortments were not accepted in his lifetime because they were believed to be incorrect. Of course, many years later his works were referred and it was proved that he was in fact right all along.
#9 Allan Poe (1809–1849)
Though the cause of the death of this famous writer remains a mystery, Poe’s poems and short stories are an amazing work of art. But his published work was given very little importance during his lifetime and he didn’t even make enough money to survive himself. Although the writer was brilliant at what he did, he gave into excessive drinking after his wife’s death. His works were mostly Gothic.
#10 Anne Frank (1929–1945)
A Jewish victim of the Holocaust during the World War II, Anne Frank became famous for her diary in which she poured out everything about the event. It was published as ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ with the efforts of Otto, Frank’s father, who was the only survivor of the family. The diary that began as a private expression of her thoughts contained a well-described series of events and how she dealt with it precisely. After her death, Miep Gies, who hid Frank and her family, gave Otto Frank her notes and diary that she had hoped to return to her.
#11 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
Sebastian Bach was highly regarded for his skills as an organist but his compositions were not recognized until after his death. Only in the late 19th century when his works became popular because of rising interest in performances and music, were his compositions considered ‘intellectually deep’ and with ‘artistic beauty’. He is now known as one of the best composers of all time.