Handedness is the preferred use of one’s hand and five types of handedness are generally recognized, including: right handed, left handed, mixed handed, ambidextrous and ambisinisterous. It is generally accepted that about 10% of the global population is left handed, with right handedness being the most dominant and ambidexterity being the least prevalent type. The ambidextrous people can use both of their hands with equal dexterity, while the ambisinisterous cannot skillfully use either of their hands. It has been scientifically concluded that if both the parents are left handed, there is a 26% chance of the offspring being left handed. Left handed people are usually known as lefties, but are sometimes called southpaws. Left handedness is considered to be on the rise, particularly when it comes to the U.S. Presidents. Left handedness is comparatively more prevalent in males.
1. Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th President of the United States, is the first African American President of America. He was born in Honolulu, on August 4, 1961. He graduated from Harvard Law School and Columbia University. For the first term, he was inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009, after defeating John McCain, and the same year he was awarded the Nobel Prize. He was reelected after defeating Mitt Romney, and took oath for the second term on January 20, 2013. He stopped U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia. He is the latest one of the many left handed U.S. Presidents, including Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Henry Truman, Herbert Hoover and James Garfield. Experts opine that lefties are more likely to win elections, by dint of their gifted capability of speech and rhetoric. Obama has been nominated as the leftie of the year.
2. Marie Curie
Maria Salomea SkÃ…’šodowska, better known as Marie Curie, was born on November 7, 1867 in Warsaw, Kingdom of Poland and died on July 4, 1934 at the age of 66 years in Passy, Haute-Savoie, France. She is best known for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in two different fields of science. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband, Pierre Curie, and was the sole winner of the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Like many other famous scientists, she was a leftie. Her Sister Irene, who was also a Nobel Laureate, was a leftie and her husband, too, was a leftie scientist.
3. Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram was born on June 3, 1947, in Lahore, the provincial capital of the Punjab province of Pakistan. He is one of the living legends in the history of cricket. He was an all-rounder cricketer, a left arm fast bowler and left handed batsman. He is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket and was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on September 30, 2009. He is best known for his double swing of Wasim Akram, a delivery in which the ball moved both ways in one delivery. No one else has yet developed this skill. He was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 30, yet he managed not only to lead a healthy life but also led it in excellence. He is a beacon light for the diabetics and is involved in diabetes awareness programs.
4. Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest left handed painters of all time. He was born on April 15, 1452 in Vinci, Republic of Florence and died on May 2, 1519 at the age of 67 years in Ambrose, France. His best known works include the mural The Last Supper and the paintings The Madonna of the Rocks and The Mona Lisa ,which is considered the most famous all-time painting in the world. He was a born genius and had a scientific mind. Leonardo received instruction in painting, sculpture and engineering from Andrea del Verrocchio, the renowned master of these skills in his times but he soon left him far behind, by dint of his natural capabilities.
5. Sir James Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney was born to Mary and James McCartney, on June 18, 1942. He attended Stockton Wood Road Primary School. Along with the other members of the band the Beatles, he is a world famous musician and composer. According to the Guinness Book of World Records he is the ‘most successful composer and recording artist of all time.’ He has sold over 100 million albums and 100 million solos. I Lost My Little Girl was the first song he wrote. Since he was left handed, it was difficult for him to play guitar right handed. After noting that Slim Whitman also played with his left hand, he reversed the order of the strings.
Marcus Aurelius Commodus was born to Marcus Aurelius and Faustina,in Lanuvium, Rome, on August 31, 161 AD and died on December 31, 192 AD. From 177 to 180 he co-ruled with his father Marcus Aurelius and ruled from 180 to 192 AD as Roman Emperor after the death of his father. He was a proud leftie and a skillful archer. The Augustan historians had mentioned that he could target the head of a running ostrich and could kill a panther in an arena. He considered himself to be the Hercules of his time and often appeared in the arena to fight the wild animals and show his skills and bravery.
7. Brian Charles Lara
Brian Charles Lara is a world famous former West Indian cricketer. He was born on May 2, 1969. He is a left handed batsman, considered one of the greatest cricket players. He is the record holder of the highest individual score of 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham. This match was played at Edgbaston in 1994 and it is the only individual score of more than five centuries in the history of cricket. He is the only cricket player to hold one, two, three, four and five individual centuries. He is one of the three recipients of the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year, the others being Garfield Sobers and Shane Warne. He was appointed honorary member of the Order of Australia and was inducted into ICC’s Hall of Fame on September 2012.
8. Greta Garbo
Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, better known as Greta Garbo, was born on September 18, 1905 in Stockholm, Sweden and died on April 15, 1990 at the age of 84 years, in New York city, New York, U.S. She was an iconic Swedish Hollywood film actress who had been nominated four times for the Academy Award. She received an honorary Academy Award in 1954 for ‘luminous and unforgettable screen performances.’ The American Film Institute ranked her the fifth greatest female star of all time. She was one of the most beautiful left handed actresses. She was a leftie like the other famous actresses, Drew Barrymore, Kim Basinger and Judy Garland.
9. Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan
Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan, better known as Amitabh Bachchan, was born to Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan on October 11, 1942 in Allahabad, U.P. British India. He is one of the greatest Indian film actors and is regarded as a living legend. During his 40-year career he appeared in more than 180 films. The Indian Government honored him with the prestigious civil awards, Padma Shri in 1984 and Padma Bhushan in 2001. Amitabh is ambidextrous and can write with both hands, but predominantly he is a leftie.
10. William Henry Gates III
William Henry Gates III, better known as Bill Gates, was born to Mary and William H. Gates, Sr., on October, 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington, U.S. He is best known for consistently ranking in Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people. He is the chairman of Microsoft, which is the most famous and the world’s largest personal computer software company. He is a leftie and some scholars think that the lefties have a tendency to explore new paths and new venues and this factor, among many others, plays a role in their brilliance. It is interesting that Bill Gates is in habit of keeping his left hand in the pocket of his trousers while shaking hands with someone. Media has at times projected it as his being discourteous.
An international left hander’s club was founded in 1990 and it observes the Lefthanders Day on August 13 each year. In many cultures right handedness is the preferred mode of using hands. Use of the right hand is given a special importance in Islam and it is at time very difficult for the left handed children to always eat or write with right hand. Left handed people excel in speech and its related functions. It is opined that they are good at logic and rhetoric; therefore, they are better debaters and constitute better candidates for U.S. Presidency.