6 Politicians You Never Knew Had Tattoos

The perception of tattoos in society has changed dramatically since tattoos came into existence. At first they were considered dirty and only to be had by the poor or by prisoners, but times changed and they were favored by the rich and prosperous before finally becoming commonplace for any person from any walk of life.

But how do our perceptions of tattoos change when they show up on our civil leaders? Here are six politicians you might not have known had tattoos.

1. and 2. President Theodore Roosevelt and President Franklin D. Roosevelt


Both were reported to have tattoos of their family crests on their somewhere on their bodies. Most often the tattoos are speculated to be on their chests. These tattoos pretty much never saw the light of day, obviously. Back in their day, it was a lot easier to hide things of that nature.

3. Caroline Kennedy


Kennedy has a small butterfly tattoo near the inside crook of her elbow. The story goes that the tattoo was a dare from John F. Kennedy Jr. and Ted F. Kennedy Jr. while on a trip to Hong Kong in the eighties. Caroline Kennedy seems to be removing (or have removed) the tattoo from the look of the artwork at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

4. Barry Goldwater


Sporting the symbol of the Smoki people (a group in Arizona which has been described as "Boy Scouts for grown-ups"), Goldwater was the 1964 Republican nominee for President. Tattoos weren't socially acceptable at the time, but Goldwater did not seem deterred by this. He was known as the father of U.S. conservatism.

5. Jesse Jackson Jr.


Former Congressman Jackson almost has two full sleeves done, and apparently gets a new tat every year. He's got some "Bruce Lee art" and a tattoo that honors his fraternity Omega Psi Phi. Many have made the joke that his tattoo collection will be easy to maintain in prison.

6. Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack


Mack is the only known female Congresswoman to have a tattoo. She has a cross on her ankle. She says the cross was in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, "a reflection on her strong faith," her spokesman says.

As long as a tattoo has a nice, unoffensive meaning and is not in a place that is seen while wearing a suit, it wouldn't negatively effect my perception of a politician. How do you feel about politicians with tattoos?

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Eboni Boykin

Eboni Boykin is an undergraduate at Columbia University, studying Religion and Gender Studies. She is interested in race and gender in the media.

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