List of left-handed people

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Definition and guide

  • A left-hander is a person who is more skillful with the left hand than with the right. A left-hander will probably (but is not required to) use the left hand for tasks such as personal care, cooking, and so on.
  • Writing with right hand alone does not necessarily indicate one's right-handedness. The world is right-handed-dominant, and many natural born left-handers were forced to write with their right hand. Consequently, a lot of born left-handers may write with their right hand but use the left for everything else. Further, some people write and draw left-handed, but have learned to use the right hand for other skilled tasks in order to accommodate tools designed for right-hand use.
  • However, if a person writes left-handed then s/he is most likely left-handed.
  • People who are forced to use their left hand because their right hand is not available for use (for example, due to injury or disease) should not be included on this list.
  • Contrary to popular belief, left-footers are not necessarily left-handed, which causes much confusion when it comes to famous soccer players. While many left-footed players like Arjen Robben are known to be left-handed, there is actually a high percentage of soccer players that are left-handed while being right-footed such as Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Royalty and nobility

Political and governmental leaders


Renee Fleming

Other nationalities




Musicians and composers

Left-handed people play guitar or electric bass in one of three ways: (1) play a right-handed guitar right-handed, (2) play a true left-handed instrument (or a right-handed instrument that has been altered to play left-handed, i.e. with the bass strings on top), or (3) turn a right-handed guitar upside down, pick with the left hand, but leave the strings as they were — which makes them reversed from the normal order for a left-handed player. Classical guitar is only played one way regardless of the handedness of the player, as is done throughout classical music. Orchestral instruments have uncommonly been played in a "left-handed" fashion by some entertainers, but this is virtually unheard of in the classical music world, and would be viewed as playing incorrectly if one were to attempt to undertake a classical audition playing an instrument with the hands reversed or the instrument altered.

Left-handed drummers also have a variety of methods to play a drum kit: (1) simply play the standard right-handed way (e.g. Ringo Starr, Travis Barker), (2) have the kit set up in the mirror image of a standard right handed kit, so the hi-hat is on the right, the ride cymbal is on the left, the snare drum is struck with the right stick, the tom-toms descend to the left, etc. (e.g. Rod Morgenstein, Phil Collins, or Ian Paice), or (3) open handed drumming method, which is to play a standard right-handed kit with a left-handed method, using the right stick for the snare and the left stick on the hi-hat and ride cymbals (typically, the ride cymbal's moved to the same side of the kit as the hi-hat) (e.g. Simon Phillips, Carter Beauford.) The third method has two distinct advantages: 1. Left-handedness does not inherently correlate with left-footedness, and the right-handed set up keeps the bass drum and hi-hat pedals on the correct sides; 2. Open handed drumming allows for a much higher, stronger and generally freer downstroke with both hands in the standard time-keeping arrangement (i.e., strong hand on the hi-hat and weak hand on the snare drum) than cross-sticking does.








Honorable mention: Right-handed actor Gary Cooper played left-handed athlete Lou Gehrig in the film The Pride of the Yankees. For scenes requiring him to bat left-handed, Cooper wore a Yankee uniform with Gehrig's number 4 mirror-reversed on his back. Cooper batted the ball right-handed, then ran to third base (not first). The film was then optically reversed, turning Cooper into a southpaw. This same technique was used in Billy Crystal's film "61" to make Anthony Michael Hall appear left handed in his portrayal of left handed Yankee's pitcher Whitey Ford.

In 1953, while starring in a live television drama, right-handed actor Jack Lemmon decided to play his character left-handed, purely as an actor's exercise. Two years later, when Lemmon met James Cagney for the first time, Cagney's first words to Lemmon were "Are you still pretending you're left-handed?"

Film directors


American Football


Left-handedness is found in all sports but is particularly highly prized in baseball, among both hitters and pitchers. For hitters, the natural motion of swinging at a pitch gives a left-handed batter momentum running down the line to first. Left-handed batters typically also have a better view of the pitch thrown by a right-handed pitcher. Also, left-handers may have more room to hit if the first baseman is watching a runner on first, and some ball parks have short right-field fences, making it easier for left-handers to hit home runs. A left-handed batter runs a shorter distance to first base than a rightie, because he takes his stance in the batting box on the right side of home plate. Due to these advantages, some right-handed players will learn to hit left handed (these players are not considered left-handed.) Likewise, left-handed pitchers are valuable, in part because many left-handed sluggers have severe trouble hitting against left-handed pitchers. See left-handed specialist.

Position players



Keith Johnson

Billiards and snooker

 Keith Johnson




In cricket, left-handed batsmen make bowlers bowl a completely different line (angle), which disrupts their accuracy. As batsmen in cricket work in pairs, teams traditionally like to have a mix of right and left handers to maximise this effect. This is particularly so for opening batsmen. The same arguments, in reverse, apply to left-handed bowlers. Top quality left-handed bowlers seem to be rarer than their batting equivalents.


Left handers hold a natural advantage at fencing as they effectively become mirror images of a right hander, allowing a left-handed fencer to use the normal en garde position whilst a right-hander often has to switch to the line of carte in order to close a basic line of attack for left-handers.


Football (soccer)


  • Jerry Barber - Converted to right-handedness in childhood.
  • Bonnie Bryant
  • Sir Bob Charles
  • Russ Cochran[3]
  • Ben Hogan - Played right-handed, but was actually left-handed. When Hogan began his career, he was told that he should golf right-handed, with his left hand leading the swing; supposedly, this would enable him to benefit from the greater strength in his leading hand. In his later years, Hogan remarked that his greatest regret about his career was that he had allowed himself to be talked into playing right-handed.
  • Bobby Jones- Played right handed, but was actually left handed.
  • Phil Mickelson - Plays left-handed, but is actually right-handed.[3]
  • Johnny Miller - Left-handed, but played right-handed.
  • Nick Price - Left-handed, but plays right-handed
  • Mike Weir - Plays left-handed, but is actually right-handed.[3]

Ice Hockey

Motor sport

Mixed Martial Arts

Rugby Union


Wrestling and professional wrestling

Team Handball

Other sports

adam hartley


webster chambukila- achitect and banker (zambia)

  • Gene Wood - Game show announcer for many Mark Goodson-produced game shows in 1970s and 1980s; when Gene appeared as a panelist on The Match Game, he could be seen writing his answers with his left hand

Disputed left-handed people / Ambidextrous

The following list includes famous persons whose handedness remains controversial/unknown and famous persons who are ambidextrous. (If you want to move the following people to other section in this list, please first consult the discussion page and provide appropriate source and reference. (e.g. biography, photograph, paintings, etc.))

  • Alexander the Great - Disputed.
  • Melissa Sue Anderson - Possibly ambidextrous.
  • Fatty Arbuckle - Ambidextrous; could throw two custard pies simultaneously, one with each hand, with unerring accuracy.
  • Lord Baden-Powell - Ambidextrous.
  • Michael Angelo Batio - Claims he isn't Ambidextrous but has trained himself to play double guitar, however he is equally proficient in this style. In the following picture, he can be seen writing left-handed. [121]
  • Ludwig van Beethoven - Experts regard Beethoven being left-handed as a myth.[122] Famous painting of Beethoven shows him right-handed.[123]
  • Billy the Kid - He is often cited as left-handed, and is identified as such in "The Left-Handed Gun", a teleplay (and later a screenplay) by Gore Vidal. The evidence usually invoked for this is a well-known photograph, in which Billy is holding his pistol in his left hand (the hand on the right, as seen by the viewer). However, the photograph is a "tintype", which mirror-reverses its image, thus Billy is actually holding the pistol in his right hand.
  • Julius Caesar - evidence from a biographic or photographic source is yet to be provided.
  • Bryan Callen - Ambidextrous.
  • Charlemagne Template:Fact Claimed by some individuals and websites[124] to be left-handed, but verifiable sources to support such a claim have yet to be found.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci - Claimed by some he could write with his right hand and draw with his left.
  • Albert Einstein – Claimed by some individuals and websites to be left-handed,(little proof; started speaking late as a child and attended Catholic elementary school; supposed left hand suppression) but photos show him writing on a blackboard with his right hand; and also, playing violin with his right hand. [125] [126] [127] [128] [129] [130] [131] (See discussion page.)
  • Benjamin Franklin - Claimed to be left-handed on various websites but the Franklin Institute says this is unproven.[132] Franklin was naturally right-handed but trained himself to use his left hand with nearly equal facility. He once wrote an essay from the first-person viewpoint of the left hand, protesting that "she" was not treated with the same courtesy as her "sister" (the right hand).
  • Jay-Z - Has seen using both. Ambidextrous
  • James A. Garfield - Was able to write Latin and Greek simultaneously, with one pen in each hand, but was left-handed by preference.
  • Barry Gibb - Ambidextrous.[133]
  • Jack the Ripper - Some doctors originally thought the wounds inflicted by this serial killer indicated a left-handed killer, though this theory assumed that he attacked from the front when he could have, as most authorities now believe, attacked from behind or from the side when the woman was already on the ground.
  • Gandhi - evidence from a biographic or photographic source is yet to be provided.
  • Joan of Arc – Has been described as left-handed on very slim evidence. The only known surviving image of her which dates from her lifetime depicts her raising a sword in her left hand. However, this portrait is a crude sketch, and it is virtually certain that the artist Clement de Fauquembergue had never seen her in person. We have no real evidence for Joan of Arc's left-handedness, and some circumstantial evidence against it. During the weeks of her imprisonment preceding her trial for heresy, she was watched intensively. If she had shown a preference for her left hand (the so-called "devil's hand"), this fact would almost certainly have been mentioned in the prosecution's testimony against her.
  • Helen Keller - Disputed. She has been included on lefthanded people list on websites such as this one [134], but evidence from a biographic or photographic source has yet to be found.
  • R. Kelly - Has been seen using both (probably ambidextrous).[135][136]
  • John Kerry - Ambidextrous.[137] Prefers to write with his right hand.[138]
  • King Louis XVI - He has been included on lists of left-handed people on some websites, but conclusive evidence (i.e. a biographic source or a painting) has not been provided.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto - Ambidextrous, but prefers his left hand for designing his game characters.
  • Shawn Michaels - Ambidextrous. He uses his right hand to draw and color and his left hand to write. However, he primarily uses his right foot when using Sweet Chin Music.
  • Marilyn Monroe - Evidence seems to suggest that she was right-handed, but what may be a myth still has strong believers [139]
  • Nas - Has been seen using both (probably ambidextrous).
  • Pablo PicassoSee discussion page.
  • Nikola Tesla - Ambidextrous, born lefthanded
  • Mark Twain – Disputed. One common exaggeration says the he wrote with his left when he was tired using his right hand. A photo shows Twain playing billiards left-handed. In one of Twain's essays, he claimed that another man once challenged him to a billiards match by offering to play left-handed, implying that this would give him a disadvantage against Twain: after the other man beat Twain, he revealed that he actually was left-handed. If Twain was himself left-handed, it is unlikely that he would have fallen for this trick. However, we only have Twain's word that the event ever occurred; he was never averse to claiming that a made-up incident was fact if it made a good story.
  • Dick Van Dyke - Ambidextrous, uses his left hand to draw caricatures and cartoons.
  • James Woods - Ambidextrous.


  1. ^ <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>CD Baby (2002). "Kevin Trainor". Retrieved 2007-02-18.
  2. ^ Pelé in BBC news item.
  3. ^ a b c "BBC - Get to grips with left-handed golf" — Famous left-handed golfers (retrieved June 8 2006)

See also

External links