10 Amazing Courageous People In History

Added by Fran on Nov 24, 2015
courageous people in history

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

When researching this list, I wanted to find stories that convey the inherent altruistic nature we're all capable of, but don't often hear about. Those unsung heroes that risked everything for a greater good and, for a moment, transcended their own immortality to make the right decision where most others would have hesitated.

Some heroes affect one life, while others can change the course of history. Today we'll be looking at 10 courageous people in history and their amazing acts of heroism.


Dr. Daniel Ellsberg leaks the Pentagon Papers to the press, and sticks around to face the music

Long before Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, and Julian Assange, there was Dr. Daniel Ellsberg. A strategic analyst employed at a global strategy think tank, he helped to contribute research to a study of classified documents regarding the conduct of the Vietnam War. It wasn’t until late 1969 that Ellsberg became disturbed by the course of the war, and he decided he should do something about it. Photocopying classified documents, he first approached members of the Senate, working throughout 1970 to try and persuade them to release these documents to the Senate. Unsuccessful, he shared the papers with Neil Sheehan of the New York Times, who then published them. After publication, Ellsberg then leaked the papers to other papers, including The Washington Post. Despite facing a number of charges that carried up to 115 years of sentences, Ellsberg stayed in the country instead of being a coward and running. He surrendered to authorities and faced the charges, and in 1973, all of the charges were dismissed.


Vasili Arkhipov risks his career and life to avert the eruption of the Cold War

Under Communist rule, to go against the party was to risk the lives of you and everyone you knew. It was a tense time, highlighted by the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the conflict to the point of near-nuclear conflict. If not for the actions of one primary officer on Russian submarine B-59, Vasili Arkhipov, one of the biggest man-made disasters would have erupted on October 27, 1962.

With no communication from Moscow, stranded halfway across the world and under constant barrage from the United States Navy, the captain of the submarine came to the conclusion that war had started. While his political officer concurred, they needed agreement from the third officer, Arkhipov, for launch. He would not budge, an action that if he was wrong, would be cause for the extermination of him and his family. After convincing the captain to surface, it became clear the Arkhipov was correct, and had narrowly averted turning the Cold War hot.

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