Woman Writes in Journal

International Lefthanders Day: Famous lefties and fascinating facts about left-handedness

For the past seventeen years on August 13, the world celebrates International Lefthanders Day

For the past seventeen years on August 13, the world celebrates International Lefthanders Day, and although there are a lot of myths surrounding people who write with their left hand, the fact is that lefties can be super fascinating.

The medical name of left-handedness is Sinistrality, which means the left side is more efficient than the right. However, this term also carries an interesting history. During the Classical Latin era, the word --which is derived from sinister, sinistra, and sinistrum-- started to be associated with something harmful, evil, impure, weak, or unlucky. For many years, this inherited genetic factor was “retrained” by educators and physicians with cruel methods, and even today we can have the opportunity of meeting naturally born left-handers that learned how to use their right hand due to these rough techniques.

Luckily, the massive witch-hunt against left-handed people is over, but it is believed that some cultures and remote areas still tie children‘s left hands down.

According to the biggest ever global study on left-handedness conducted by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, as of this writing, 10.6% of the world‘s population is left-handed, almost 827 million people. Another study conducted by the Harvard Medical School in 1996, revealed that attorneys and architects are “either the least right-handed or the most left-handed.” Researchers also concluded that lefties tend to be artists, musicians, or have careers in the creative field.

Indeed there are fewer lefties than righties in the world, and you might think you don‘t know who they are but if you look closer you will realize that you actually do. So who are they?

In Politics

President Ronald Reagan, President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, President George H.W. Bush, and President Gerald Ford, all favored their left hand, as well as late United States Senator for Arizona John McCain, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Attends Discussion At Georgetown Law©GettyImages
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Attends Discussion At Georgetown Law

In Music

 Paul McCartney  and the world’s greatest left-handed guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Singer and actress Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, and Eminem besides sharing a passion for the music industry they are also lefties.

US-MUSIC-MCCARTNEY©GettyImages

In the Big and Small Screen

Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Mary-Kate Olsen, Chef Gordon Ramsey, Judy Garland, Tina Fey, Keanu Reeves, Jay Leno, Jennifer Lawrence, Trey Parker, Jason Sudeikis, Ben Stiller, Seth Rogen, Tim Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Will Ferrel, Caitlyn Jenner, Jim Carrey, Charles Chaplin, Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, Nicole Kidman, Shirley MacLaine, Marilyn Monroe, Demi Moore, Brad Pitt and Sarah Jessica Parker are part of the left-handers club.

Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus Tour With Special Guest Jennifer Lopez©GettyImages
Oprah‘s 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus Tour With Special Guest Jennifer Lopez

In Sports

Lionel Messi, Vasyl Lomachenko, Tim Tebow, Manu Ginobili, Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor, Phil Mickelson, Rafael Nadal, James Harden, Manny Pacquiao, Martina Navratilova, and Wayne Gretzky.

Babe Ruth, Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Lefty Grove, Barry Bonds, Stan Musial, Warren Spahn are not only worldwide baseball treasures, but they all are also left-handers.

FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-TRAINING©$credits

In Technology

Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates are not only billionaires or geniuses in their field, but they are also proud southpaws.

Apple's Steve Job announced iOS 4.2 which will be available in November for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch Wednesday September 1, 2010 at the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco. (Maria J. Avila Lopez/Mercury News)©GettyImages

In Arts and Science

Painters Leonardo Da Vinci, Miguel Angel Buonarroti, M. C. Escher, Paul Klee, and Pablo Picasso and scientists and inventors Marie Curie, Benjamin Franklin, and Isaac Newton not only left their amazing contributions to the world -- pun intended -- they are also famous lefties.

Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, Italian artist and polymath, 1452 - 1519©GettyImages