100 Famous Short Men Everyone Can Look Up To

100 Famous Short Men

Being a shorter man isn't easy. It's usually seen as a negative thing. You've probably heard about studies that supposedly prove short men make less money and are less attractive than their taller counterparts.

The crazy thing is, even though the media loves to spread these “facts”, many of them aren't even true. Even if some of this stuff is true, it's not worth dwelling on. After all, you can't change your height.

Here's the annoying thing – no one ever talks about short men in a positive way.

I think that's lame. I may be shorter than average, but I'm still successful, healthy and well-dressed. More importantly, I'm happy and surrounded by people who love me (and who I love).

I'm not saying you can just flip a switch to magically make your height (or lack thereof) stop bothering you. It's a huge source of insecurity for so many people, men and women included, and I still struggle with it.

But it doesn't have to hold you back in life. To drive this point home, here's a list of 100 amazing men who just happened to be shorter than average.

Some of the men on this list achieved amazing things before they died. Many are still doing awesome things with their lives.

From entertainers and artists to fighters and leaders, here are 100 remarkable short men everyone can look up to:

Martin Luther King, Jr.5'7"Leading the African American Civil Rights Movement using nonviolent civil disobedience
Bruce Lee5'7"Being one of the most influential martial artists of all time and creating Jeet Kune Do
Winston Churchill5'7"Becoming the greatest wartime leader of the 20th century AND winning the Nobel Prize for Literature
Napoleon Boneparte5'6"Winning hundreds of battles to seize control over most of Europe in less than 10 years
Urijah Faber5'6"Becoming one of the best pound-for-pound mixed martial arts fighters in the world
Mahatma Gandhi5'4"Igniting freedom across the world by leading India's Independence Movement using nonviolent civil disobedience
Josh Hutcherson5'7"Co-starring in one of the highest grossing film franchises of all time, The Hunger Games
James Madison5'4"Serving as the fourth President of the United States and helping draft the Constitution and Bill of Rights
Rivers Cuomo5'6"Founding Weezer, an American rock band that sold over 17 million albums worldwide
Prince5'2"Winning 7 Grammy Awards, selling over 100 million albums and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Andrew Carnegie5'2"Going from poor immigrant to wealthy businessman by leading the growth of the American steel industry, then giving away almost all of his money
Robin Williams5'7"Entertaining the world through his work in such films as Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire
Bob Marley5'8"Selling over 75 million albums while popularizing reggae music and Rastafarianism worldwide
Robert Downey, Jr.5'8"Playing Tony Stark in the blockbuster film series Iron Man and overcoming addiction
Martin Short5'7"Winning numerous awards for his role in plays and films like Three Amigos, Father of the Bride and SNL
Paul Simon5'3"Winning 12 Grammy Awards as a solo singer-songwriter and one half of Simon & Garfunkel
Yuri Gagarin5'2"Being the first human to enter into outer space
Charlie Chaplin5'5"Becoming one of the most famous people in the world during the silent film era by writing, directing, producing, scoring and starring in his own films
Frodo Baggins3'6"Returning the "One Ring" to Mount Doom
Bono5'7"Being the front man of rock band U2 and one of the most influential philanthropists in the world
Ulysses S. Grant5'8"Leading the Union Army to victory as Commanding General during the Civil War and serving as the 18th President of the United States
Tom Cruise5'7"Becoming one of the most famous actors in Hollywood and one of the most powerful celebrities in the world
Pablo Picasso5'4"Co-founding one of the most influential art movements of the 20th century, Cubism
Thom Yorke5'6"Writing and performing for the award-winning, best-selling alternative rock band Radiohead
Peter Dinklage4'5"Winning an Emmy and Golden Globe Award for his role as Tyrion Lannister in HBO's hit series Game of Thrones
Al Pacino5'7"Playing the two most famous Hollywood mobsters, Michael Corleone in The Godfather and Tony Montana in Scarface
Michael J. Fox5'4"Starring in the Back to the Future trilogy, helping find a cure for Parkinson's Disease
Roger Daltrey5'7"Singing for The Who, one of the greatest rock bands of all time
Voltaire5'3"Writing thousands of poems, plays, books and letters as one of the most influential thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment
Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues5'3"Being the shortest man to ever play professional basketball in the NBA
Ben Stiller5'8"Writing, starring in, directing and/or producing more than 50 films that have grossed billions of dollars worldwide
Woody Allen5'5"Becoming one of the most influential and successful actors, writers, comedians and directors of all time, and being nominated for 24 Academy Awards
Harry Houdini5'4"Becoming the most famous escape artist of all time
Daniel Radcliffe5'5"Starring in the Harry Potter series, the highest grossing film franchise of all time
Humphrey Bogart5'8"Appearing in over 75 films, including Casablanca and going down in history as one of the greatest American movie stars of all time
Dustin Hoffman5'6"Winning two Academy Awards and 13 Golden Globe Awards for movies like The Graduate, Rain Man and Hook
Bruno Mars5'6"Rising to fame incredibly quickly to become one of the best-selling musical performers of all time and a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter
Jack Black5'6"Starring in Hollywood hits like King Kong, Tropic Thunder and Kung Fu Panda, and co-founding the comedic rock band Tenacious D
Spud Webb5'7"Winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest as one of the shortest players in the league
Kevin Hart5'2"Being an award-winning actor, comedian, writer and producer
Ludwig van Beethoven5'3"Earning the status of one of the most famous and influential musical composers of all time
CeeLo Green5'6"Composing hit songs like "Forget You" and "Crazy", and appearing on NBC's reality show The Voice
Aziz Ansari5'6"Starring in NBC's Parks and Recreation
Danny DeVito5'0"Co-starring in Taxi, Batman Returns and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and co-producing movies such as Pulp Fiction and Garden State
Jason Schwartzman5'6"Acting in movies like Rushmore and The Grand Budapest Hotel, and playing drums in the rock band Phantom Planet
Mark Wahlberg5'8"Becoming the rapper Marky Mark, a Calvin Klein underwear model, and an award-winning actor and producer
John Stewart5'6"Hosting satirical news program The Daily Show and winning 19 Emmy Awards
Elton John5'7"Selling over 300 million records and co-writing more than 50 Top 40 hits over a 50 year musical career
James "Logan" Howlett5'3"Defeating his arch nemesis Sabertooth and holding his own against the Hulk in some of the most epic battles the Marvel Universe has ever seen
Jason Bryant Acuña4'1"Playing "Wee Man" in the MTV reality franchise Jackass and skateboarding professionally
Apolo Ohno5'8"Winning eight medals in the Winter Olympics
Mario Andretti5'7"Being the only racing driver to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and Formula One World Championship (plus over 100 other major wins)
Yogi Berra5'7"Becoming one of the best MLB catchers of all time and being named MVP three times
Henry Winkler5'6"Playing "The Fonz" on the classic American sitcom Happy Days
Beck5'7"Winning five Grammy Awards as one of the most influential and diverse multi-instrumentalists and composers of our time
Jason Alexander5'4"Playing George Costanza on one of the greatest TV series of all time, Seinfeld
Martin Scorsese5'3"Directing some of the most iconic films of all time, including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Gangs of New York
Manny Pacquiao5'7"Being the first and only boxer to win titles in eight different weight classes and being elected to the Philippine House of Representatives
Genghis Khan5'1"Using political and military tactics to unite disparate nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia to form the Mongol Empire
Flea5'6"Being the bassist and co-founder of the legendary rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers
T.E. Lawrence5'5"Serving as a liason officer for the British Army in Egypt during WWI, writing The Seven Pillars of Wisdom and becoming the subject of the film Lawrence of Arabia
Sean McColl5'7"Earning multiple professional climbing medals and winning American Ninja Warrior
Truman Capote5'4"Writing iconic literary classics like Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood
Jonah Hill5'7"Writing for and acting in critically-acclaimed films like Moneyball, The Wolf of Wall Street, Superbad and Knocked Up
Lionel Messi5'7"Garnering the reputation of one of the best soccer players of all time by the age of 27
Mel Brooks5'4"Creating ultra popular comic parodies like Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and being an EGOT winner
Salvador Dali5'7"Becoming one of the most prominent surrealist artists in the world through such works as The Persistence of Memory and The Elephants
Bob Dylan5'6"Winning 11 Grammy Awards as one of the most influential, successful and enduring singer-songwriters of all time
William Faulkner5'6"Winning two Pulitzer Prizes and the Nobel Prize for Literature
Alfred Hitchcock5'6"Earning the nickname of "The Master of Suspense" and being regarded as the greatest British filmmaker of all time
Spike Lee5'5"Producing and directing over 35 award-winning films, and examining racial relations and urban life in an honest, often controversial way
John Leguizamo5'8"Winning multiple awards for producing and acting in a wide variety of movies, plays and TV shows
Mike Myers5'7"Starring in comedies like SNL, Shrek, Austin Powers and Wayne's World (which was based on the character he created)
Aristotle5'5"Remaining one of the most influential thinkers of all time, thousands of years after his death
Steven Spielberg5'7"Directing and producing some of the most popular and amazing movies ever made, such as E.T., Jaws, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and Saving Private Ryan
F. Scott Fitzgerald5'7"Writing The Great Gatsby, which became one of the most popular books ever written after his death
J. R. R. Tolkien5'5"Writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Ralph Lauren5'6"Founding one of the most successful American clothing brands to date
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec4'11"Making a name for himself as the best-known painter of the Post-Impressionist period
Kanye West5'8"Winning 21 Grammy Awards, selling over 100 million albums and helping create the "alternative rap" genre
Bob Costas5'7"Hosting nine (and counting) Olympic games for NBC Sports, among countless other televised sporting events
Daymond John5'7"Founding the clothing company FUBU and appearing as an investor on ABC's Shark Tank
Sean Sherk5'6"Holding a 36-4 mixed martial arts record, including a win against Nick Diaz, while fighting in both the UFC and PRIDE
Danny Padilla5'2"Earning the nickname "The Giant Killer" after repeatedly beating much taller men in international bodybuilding competitions
Alexander the Great5'6"Creating the largest political empire in the ancient world through military conquest and spreading Greek culture across the East
Franco Columbu5'5"Achieving champion level status in professional bodybuilding, Olympic powerlifting and amateur boxing
Jet Li5'6"Becoming a national Wushu champion, action movie star and fight choreographer in China and America
Darren Sproles5'6"Setting records in college and professional sports as one of the shortest and most talented running backs in the NFL
Simon Cowell5'8"Serving as the first judge on American Idol before creating the show The X Factor and signing numerous major musical acts to his own record label
Seth Green5'4"Starring in movies like Austin Powers, creating the show Robot Chicken and being the voice of Chris Griffin on Family Guy
Marc Anthony5'7"Winning two Grammy Awards and five Latin Grammy Awards, and acting in major Hollywood productions like Man on Fire
David Sedaris5'5"Writing multiple New York Times bestsellers like Naked and Me Talk Pretty One Day that have sold over 10 million copies worldwide
Carlos Slim5'8"Becoming the wealthiest person in the world (the "Warren Buffett of Mexico") by building an investment and telecom empire
Jesse Eisenberg5'7"Playing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (who is 5'9") in the movie The Social Network
Gael Garcia Bernal5'6"Becoming an award-winning actor and director in both Mexico and the United States
Sergey Brin5'8"Co-inventing one of the world's most popular and profitable companies - Google
Giorgio Armani5'8"Founding the brand Armani and becoming one of the most successful fashion designers of all time
George Lucas5'7"Creating Star Wars and Indiana Jones
Isaac Newton5'6"Laying the groundwork for classical mechanics

Pretty impressive list, eh? And that's just a small sample (pun intended) of short men who have helped shape the world and touch our lives.

If this post made you smile, you should share it with another man of modest height.

Who would you add to this list? Leave a comment below!

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  1. Brandan says:

    Awesome read. Keep the post coming !

  2. Great post! How tall is Ryan Seacrest?

  3. Holy hell, I had no idea Prince was that short. Learn something new every day.

    Josh – The Kentucky Gent

    • wadewainio says:

      Not only that, but Charlie Murphy (Eddie Murphy’s brother) famously claimed that Prince is great at basketball. Sure, it was part of a comedy sketch, but it was supposed to be based on a “true Hollywood story.”

  4. Miriam T says:

    Kit Harington, 5’8″ starring in Game Of Thrones and famous for knowing nothing.

  5. Being a short man myself (5 foot 7 1/2 when I was in my 20s-30s-40s, but shrunk to 5 foot 5 due to age), I appreciated your list. Two points to consider: Men have been increasing in height throughout the 20th century (better nutrition?), so men such as Aristotle, Alexander the Great, and Isaac Newton, for instance were not short by the standards of their time. Also, before the age of world travel by air, some isolated populations tended toward short stature because of genetics (Genghis Khan?). I know that 5 foot 7 was the average height of U.S. servicemen during World War II which would make Winston Churchill about average in height. You have implied that the average height of men in America is now 5 foot 9, but your modern examples of 5 foot 8 men is really borderline short.

    Still, your list does put the lie to the false belief that you have to be a 6-footer to amount to anything.


  6. Alan Coogan says:

    Certainly, it is always good to list the short men who have been achievers. Here are some points to consider:

    1. If we were somehow able to come up with a list of all remarkable men, for example, by finding the factors that these short men have in common, then casting a wider net over the whole population, would short men be under or over represented?

    2. How many of the short men on this list who have been in the performing arts, for example, in music or on the screen, have manipulated their stage images in order to make it appear they are not short?

    They and their publicists might not tell, but an analysis of their work in contrast to that of men who are if average height or taller might reveal what staging sought to conceal.

  7. This list is testament to the fact that greatness and stature are unrelated. In fact, shorter guys may try harder and succeed more often as a result.

  8. Two great athletes to include on your list are thoroughbred horse racing jockey Gary Stevens at 5′ 4″ and distance runner Meb Keflezighi at 5′ 5″. Stevens has more than 5,000 wins in North America including three at the Kentucky Derby and lifetime earnings of nearly $240 million. Keflezighi is an Olympic silver medalist and the 2014 Boston Marathon winner (the first American winner since 1981). Both men, at ages 52 and 40, respectively, are still at the top of their sport. Age and height are just numbers.

  9. Assembling such a list does no good, because by stating that these guys did well in life despite being short reinforces the assumption that shorter guys really ARE at a disadvantage in life, but these guys made it nevertheless.

    Honenstly, on average, taller guys earn more, have more kids and son on. It’s true and data doesn’t lie. BUT SO WHAT? You aren’t average, so who cares. The less it is a problem for yourself, the less it is a problem for others. As alwas, mindset is key…If you consciously ignore the fact that your height is below average, it WILL become a non-issue, not only to yourself, but also to others.

    Nevertheless, dressing well and being in good shape helps yourself and others to become ignorant to the fact that you are short…that’s why I like this site.

    • The key word yo used is “despite”. I agree that it’s not good to praise a shorter man for succeeding DESPITE his short stature.

      I try to frame it as a list of men who changed the world who happened to be short. They’re successful AND short, not despite being short.

      Subtle, but it makes a difference.

      Thanks for your comment.

  10. Groucho Marx was 5’7 or 5’8, I believe. I didn’t notice him on the list.

  11. Its always awesome when short guy like me have sport or fighting ability..Bonaparte is the best.. 🙂

  12. Fun list. I’ve come to embrace my height (5’7″) and if someone calls me a shorty, I take it as a compliment. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being short. If anything, I’m hard as hell to trip.

  13. Thanks for posting this! My oldest son is one of the shortest in his class. Although he’s smart, athletic and well liked, his height really bothers him. I hope this list helps him see that his height doesn’t mean he can’t still be successful and a leader.

    • I feel for him… hopefully this helps. Feel free to put him in touch if he ever wants to chat!


      • I was very depressed about my height… From last 8 years i tried everything to increase my height but failed by the way i am 5 feet 4 inches. I am shortest among family and relatives. Everyone is tall in my family. My dad is taller than me. My Uncles are a lot taller 6 feet and more. I am the only who is shortest. I used to be very depress but when i found this website it changed my life. I am not sad or depress anymore. Actually i am quite happy from two days because i stopped worrying about my height. And focusing on the things which i can change, I can control. Like My Body shape. My diet, My daily routine. My business etc.

  14. Audie Murphy who earned every military metal available during WW2 for holding a German assault of almost singlehandedly was 5’5″.

  15. Jim legott says:

    I’m 5’1 and love being short-can’t wait to shrink as I get older

  16. Jim Amrine says:

    How about Admiral Hyman Rickover, father of the nuclear Navy? Also, Mickey Rooney and Admiral Nimitz? I have a grandson who will be barely 5 ft. I will share this site with him when he is older.I am 5′ 7″ and always appreciate my height in caves; feel sorry for the tall dudes hitting their heads on the rocky ceilings!

  17. Lemou Kalista says:

    5’8″ is not considered small. The men’s average height in the US is only 5’9″. A mere inch and you think that’s small. It’s even higher than the women’s. What are you guys complaining about? There are three definitions of small and 5’8″ is the HIGHEST of them. It means 5″ higher than the medical definition of small!

  18. Nice list… Dont forget Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One. He is 5’3.

  19. Brian Rice says:

    I am far from vertically challenged at 6’4″. But I’ve always said the measure of a person should never be from there feet to the top of there head, but there heart and mind and how they use them to change the world.

  20. They forgot to mention the actor James Dean, icon of rebellious youth of his day became a movie myth.

  21. Isn’t Rick Moranis 5 ft 1? I didn’t see him on the list.

  22. Angus Young is 5’2″ and his brother Malcom Young is 5’3″!

  23. Thank you Brock..

    Love from India

  24. Love it, have no hiccups about my height but I love knowing a person’s physical has bearing on what he can accomplish.

    I personally don’t care what people think.

  25. (Various Music)
    Skrillex: 5’4″
    Patrick Stump (of Fall Out Boy): 5’5″
    Lil Wayne: 5’6″
    Pitbull: 5’7″

    (The Big Bang Theory)
    Simon Helberg/Howard Wolowitz: 5’4″
    Johnny Galecki/Leonard Hofstadter: 5’5″
    Kunal Nayyar/Raj Koothrappali: 5’7″

    Those are ones I know off the top of my head.

  26. Einstein 67.5 inches or 171.5m (as stated in his swiss log book of 1901)

  27. How about Lionel Mess?

  28. Ishtiaque ahmed says:

    Shahrukh khan 5’8″ sachin tendulkar 5’5″ Dr.Apj kalam 5’5″

  29. Stevie Ray Vaughn was 5’5″

  30. Mac The Doulos 5″5

  31. Most of these guys I consider average. I’m only 5’4″. I agree with those stating historical heights were generally shorter statures. You’ve got to realize the advantages. Consider airplane seats, bed sizes, not caring about 9′ ceilings, some people’s basements and low door sills. Life is what you make it. Roll up your sleeves a bit and Enjoy. Great website

  32. Lorrie Graves says:

    It seems that in employment and within organizations height matters, though if course not relevant to performance. Promotions in the best tradition of the “Peter Principle” seem to favor taller men. Did you forget Richard Reich, former secretary of labor under Clinton, he is 4 ft, 11 in.

  33. I,m Mohsen from iran.I 5′.3”& 53 years old.I,m food technologist ,play drums & do martial art.I worried about my tall all of times, but now your web site change my mind.thanks a lot BROCK,

  34. I’m 5’7″ and have noticed there are more very old men my size than 6’+. I guess shorter men live longer. Unless of course you’re mauled by a bear. Right Leo?

    • If I was a bear. I’d pick a fight with the taller man. Looks like more of a threat. For example Leonardo DiCaprio is 6 ft tall and look what happened to him! 🙂

  35. Michael A Ratcliff says:

    Did you have Sammy Davis Jr? Fantastic entertainer! 5’3″ or so. Thanks for the list. (I’m 5’3″)

  36. David Feldheim says:

    Randy Schekman Nobel Prize in Medice 2013 5′ 6″

  37. William Holden was short and had a problem with leading ladies taller then himself.

  38. Mike Le Boat says:

    Mario Andretti was a fine driver, but not the only one to win the F1 World Championship and Indy 500. Scotsman Jim Clark (twice F1 champion) did it in 1965 and England’s Graham Hill (also twice F1 Champion) did it in 1966. And Le Mans and Monaco Grand Prix, too – a unique achievement! so far!

  39. Dappy, the rapper (Costadinos Contostavlos) is 5’2, like me

  40. Short people has a high perspective in Life

  41. peter luck says:

    Miles Davis was 5’6

  42. U missed a man from India #god of cricket #Sachin Tendulkar whos height is 5’5

  43. Richard Ashendale says:

    Seriously though. 5’8″ is not short. Even in the US, while 5’10” is the average, taking away 2 or 3 inches is not really short. Shouldn’t increase the size of your list of famous people by misdefining short.

  44. I don’t believe I saw Mickey Rooney (5’2″?) and Davy Jones from the Monkees (5’3″) ????

  45. Myself!!!

  46. Suzanne Reilman says:

    LOOOOVE the cmmenters’additions of Sammy Davis Jr.,Mickey Rooney,Davy Jones(Monkees),et al..besides the Young Bros. of AC/DC, there are Ringo Starr,Peter Frampton,comedian Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong..prob think of a dozen more in the next 2 minutes..!!!☮❤️⚜

  47. Loved the list! I was looking for a inspirational source for boys that are in the shorter side. They get bullied and tease at school for being small which damages their self-confidence. If anybody has other resources please share!

  48. Where is sachin tendulakar?

  49. The Duke of Windsor (170cm) should have been on the top of the list just for style.

    Glad someone put Sammy Davis Jr. up.

    Some modern men who maybe aren`t so famous but have style are Nick Wooster (168cm), Eugene Tong (170cm), Josh Peskowitz, Matthew Marden, Justin Berkowitz….just do a image search on any of them and you`ll see they aren`t terribly tall yet are respected in the fashion world.

    Bruce G. Boyer is another older gent on the short side that every man should look to for dressing well.

  50. Justin Bieber, No Introduction Please !

  51. Plz add name of Swami Vivekananda to the list. He was only 5’8″ tall.

  52. Two things.. 1) I wouldn’t consider myself shorter if taller people never mentioned it. 2) We’re all the same height lying down; )

  53. Alexander Hamilton says:

    Hello, The Modest Man. I have read your publication and I am shocked and dismayed by the distinct lack of my name upon your list of the famous short men. I may have been taller than James Madison, but I should think that other men might rather emulate myself than him. Some of these men are hardly imitable or worthy of praise – not despite OR in favor of their height. Some are simply deplorable, and some are simply… existing an underwhelming existence. I surpassed some of these men by the age of 14. I hope and expect that you will revise this immediately. Thank you, good sirs. I was five foot seven inches.

  54. We assume these measurements are correct. Bob Costas is 5’7″ and I’m Wilt Chamberlain.

  55. Hahahaha did no one notice they listed Frodo??? That’s amazing.

  56. Most women like the size of your wallet!

  57. What about julius Ceasar, king henry VIII, Robert Redford?

  58. Sachin Tendulkar only 5’5″, he is known as GOD of Cricket.

  59. What about Patrick Stump (5’5) and Pete Wentz (5’6)

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