Presidents, popes and prime ministers are not just public figures but ordinary humans too. They have had their fair share of struggles and challenges, and before they got to where they are now, many of them had odd and extraordinary jobs to make ends meet. From washing dishes to selling popcorn, here are the 14 wildest past jobs of prominent public figures.
1. Pope Francis
Before becoming a priest, Pope Francis worked as a bouncer at a local bar in Buenos Aires. He also worked as a chemical technician in a lab where he would practice his singing between experiments.
2. Theodor Roosevelt
The 26th U.S. president was a cowboy in his youth, and worked as a cattle rancher for years before embarking on his political career.
3. Justin Trudeau
The Canadian Prime Minister has worked as a teacher, bartender, and even a snowboard instructor.
4. Angela Merkel
The German Chancellor worked as a research scientist before entering politics.
5. Abraham Lincoln
The 16th U.S. president worked as a postman, shopkeeper, and even a bartender before starting his law career.
6. Vladimir Putin
Before starting his political career, the Russian President worked as a KGB agent for 16 years.
7. Winston Churchill
The former British Prime Minister was a painter and writer before entering politics.
8. John F. Kennedy
The 35th U.S. president was a journalist and war hero before becoming a politician.
9. Silvio Berlusconi
Before becoming the Prime Minister of Italy, Berlusconi was a cruise ship singer.
10. Tony Blair
The former British Prime Minister worked as a rock music promoter before his political career.
11. Margaret Thatcher
The Iron Lady trained as a chemist before becoming a politician.
12. Joe Biden
Before becoming the 46th U.S. President, Biden was a lawyer and even worked as a lifeguard when he was younger.
13. Ronald Reagan
Prior to becoming the 40th U.S. President, Reagan was an actor and even played the role of a chimpanzee’s owner in a movie titled ‘Bedtime for Bonzo’.
14. Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was a journalist before entering politics, writing for The Times and The Daily Telegraph.
And while these past jobs might seem strange to some, they are nothing compared to the early career of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is a former comedian and television producer. Zelenskyy’s job was to make people laugh, not lead a country, making it the strangest past job in this list.
It goes to show that before their rise to power, these public figures had their own unique paths and journeys that helped shape them into the leaders they are today. From bouncers to actors, and from cowboys to lifeguards, these past jobs prove that anyone can potentially become a leader if they have the drive and passion to succeed.