HISTORICALLY EPIC BEARDS
1) Frederick Douglass: Social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman, Douglass was also the possessor of an epic salt-and-pepper beard.
2) Karl Marx: Philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist, Marx was also proud to add "epic beard" to his list of accomplishments.
3) Santa Claus: He knows when you've been sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good, and he knows how to grow an epic beard. Whether you consider him to be "historical", "contemporary", or "fictitious" – Santa will forever be recognized as that jolly old elf with the flowing white beard.
4) Rutherford B. Hayes: The nineteenth president of the United States knew what it took to be elected in 1876: an epic beard. And he was up to the task. Long live long beards!
5) Ambrose Burnside: Soldier, railroad executive, inventory, industrialist, and politician, Burnside was a man of many talents. One of those talents was growing epic facial hair. Sure, he's clean-shaven below the lip, but look what's above and around it! Besides that, sideburns were named after the guy! You can't get much more epic than that!
MUSICALLY EPIC BEARDS
1) Jerry Garcia: One thing there will never be a shortage of is rock stars sporting epic beards. By this point, it's almost a tradition. Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead was one of the first to bear a beard of epic proportions, and his beard legacy is sure to continue long after his death.
2) Kenny Loggins: Singer, songwriter, and soft-rock connoisseur, Loggins also once sported an epic beard. He's since gone clean-shaven, or even worse, worn the thin, stubbly "wuss" beard. But it was once epic, and here's the proof:
3) Brian "Head" Welch: Once the hard-rocking guitarist for metal band Korn, Welch is now a solo artist who still plays hard rock music but that's heavily influenced by his newfound faith in Christ. One thing he didn't change when he turned his life around: that epic beard. In fact, I think it's actually become even more epic since then.
4) Michael McDonald: Highly-acclaimed singer McDonald keeps forgetting he's not in love anymore. But he'll never forget the time he decided to grow that epic beard – and liked it so much he kept it for, like, ever. Another salt-and-pepper classic, McDonald's epic beard is now almost all silvery-white.
5) Rick Ross: Rapper Rick Ross, the self-proclaimed "Boss" (of what, I'm not really sure), is definitely large and in charge when it comes to epic beards. Coupled with his often-shaved-bald head and bulky frame, Ross cuts quite an impressive figure, for what it's worth.
6) Jim Morrison: Poet and rocker Morrison was always known for his long locks, but in his later years he also sported a fairly epic beard of his own.
7) John Lennon: Former Beatle and all-around King of Oddity, Lennon was also known for growing long, epic beards and even sported an epic half-beard once (he shaved half of his face and left the other half bearded). I'll spare you the half-beard pic (you can Google it).
8) ZZ Top: Classic rock group ZZ Top is known for their blues-infused, guitar-heavy rock sound almost as much as they are known for their truly epic beards. Well, two of them at least. Dusty Hill (no relation) and Billy Gibbons have worn super-long reddish-gray beards for as long as anyone can remember. Ironically, the drummer Frank Beard (pictured in the middle below) is the only man in the group without an epic beard. Go figure!
OTHER NOTABLE EPIC BEARDS
1) Brian Wilson: The San Francisco Giants closer has, unquestionably, the most epic beard in baseball. Yes, it's real, though it doesn't look like it. The dark blackness of it is fake – he dyes it. The epicness of Wilson's beard has even spawned a slogan for when he comes into the game in the ninth inning: "Fear The Beard." I have to admit, if I was facing that thing from the batter's box, I'd probably fear it.
2) Johnny Damon: He doesn't sport the long hair or the beard anymore, but when outfielder Johnny Damon played for the Boston Red Sox, this is what he looked like. I envy a guy who can grow hair – on his head and his face – that epic. While this look is now a thing of the past for him, photographic evidence confirms Damon's former epicness.
3) Donald Sutherland: You might know him from one of the many movies he's acted in. You might know him as 24 actor Kiefer's dad. But this photo reveals him for who he truly is: the possessor of an epic beard. At one time, at least. This is a good look for Sutherland, very Santa-Claus-esque. He should have kept it, in my opinion.
4) Zach Galifianakis – His name is a mouthful, but his face is quite hairful (I know that's not a word, spell-check!). Actor and comedian Galifianakis is best known for his roles in movies such as The Hangover (Parts I and II) and Dinner For Schmucks. But he might be even more famous for his epic beard. Kudos to you, Zach, for not letting success force you into shaving your face to meet some arbitrary Hollywood standard for what a leading actor should look like! Carry on with your epic self!
5) Dan Haggerty: He played "Grizzly Adams" on the classic TV series The Life And Times Of Grizzly Adams, and he definitely looked the part. You can't even draw a beard that epic! Long live the Grizzly!
6) Robbie Coltrane as "Hagrid": Sure, it's probably a fake beard, or at least a makeup-enhanced one at best. But we, as moviegoers, got to experience the awesome epicness of that beard for eight – count them, eight! – Harry Potter movies. And for that, Robbie, we thank you!
7) "Macho Man" Randy Savage: Wrestling has had its share of characters over the years, but this guy was one of the best! Savage, who passed away last year, sported huge muscles and an epic beard throughout his career and long after. Rest in epic peace, Macho Man!
8) Elmar Weiser: The 2001 World Champion of Full Beard Freestyle (who knew there even was such a thing?), German-born Weiser is famous almost exclusively for his epic beard. I mean, just look at it! A windmill beard? Are you kidding me? Just...wow!
9) Will Chevalier: Another man who's famous only for his beard, Chevalier sports a curlicue beard of truly epic proportions here. Chevalier is also a competitive "bearder" (I don't think that's a word, either) who undoubtedly has won his share of awards as well, just judging by this cool pic.