10 Famous Men in History Who Never Married


Despite marriage being the oldest and most universal form of romantic relationship between two adults, it is not enough to meet all the emotional, sexual and spiritual needs of an infidel. A few famous figures from past realized this all along which is why they never got hitched during their lifetimes – here are ten famous men in history who never married.

  1. Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ludwig van Beethoven is not only the best known composer of western classical music but was arguably the greatest composer who ever lived. Beetle-browed and with flowing white hair, he composed music of breathtaking passion and depth. Even after he became deaf, he astonished the by composing, performing and conducting music. Though of German parentage, Beethoven lived in the courts of Vienna where he was besieged by female attention and was the toast of aristocratic circles. Yet Beethoven never married though he had relationships, the most famous being with one “immortal beloved” to whom he wrote several passionate letters.
  2. Henry David Thoreau

    Author of such groundbreaking transcendentalist books as Walden and Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau  was one of the giants of nineteenth century western philosophy. Though widely read and referred to today, in his own lifetime Thoreau was something of a contrarian and took an opposing  stance on everything from paying taxes to the very notion of an all-powerful civil government. Little wonder then that he would be opposed to an institution as traditional as marriage which formed part of his often-stated antipathy to the idea of submission to any outward will. Interestingly, though, Thoreau seemed to suffer little from loneliness as a result of his solitude but instead found almost unending inspiration in the communities  of naturalists and abolitionists, he lived in and explored.
  3. The Wright brothers

    The Wright brothers famous for developing the first functional air-plane have come to be popularly referred to as a single entity. Though separated by four years, Wilbur and Orville Wright – the former older by four years – spent vast amounts of time in each others company and  many who knew them said they were essentially twins. Little wonder then that neither felt the need to get married since anyway they occupied themselves for more than 20 years with designing and building the world’s first heavier-than-air aircraft, an endeavor that culminated in the Wright flyer’s first flight in 1906.

  4. Alvin Ailey

    Alvin Ailey was a famous African - American modern dancer and choreographer of the 1950s and ‘60s who founded of the Alvin Ailey American dance theater. His company popularized modern dance throughout the world with its international tours. In his honor, west 61st street between Amsterdam and Columbus in New York City was renamed as "Alvin Ailey way.
  5. Nikola Tesla

    Of Serbian ancestry, Nicola Tesla was an American inventor, engineer, physicist, and futurist. Today he is best remembered  for helping design the modern ac electrical supply system. All his life, Tesla remained celibate and never married, claiming that his chastity was very helpful to his scientific abilities. However, when he did engage in a social life, Tesla could be very charming and no doubt many women of his acquaintance would have been happy to have him as a husband. Indeed his social circle included many prominent figures of the time like Robert Underwood Johnson, Francis Marion Crawford, Stanford White and Mark Twain but Tesla always remained free of any romantic relationships.
  6. Isaac Newton

    Isaac Newton was an English physicist and mathematician most known for his work, Mathematical Principles Of Natural Philosophy. In this work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. By demonstrating the consistency between keeper’s laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation he removed the last doubts about heliocentrism and ushered in a new wave of the scientific thought.

    Newton never married and till date there is no evidence that he had any romantic relationship. He served as a Member Of Parliament at Cambridge University, Warden Of The Royal Mint, President Of The Royal Society and for all his contribution to scientific and mathematic research of the time, Newton was knighted in 1705.
  7. Edvard munch

    Edward munch was a painter and printmaker who largely influenced late 19th-century symbolism as well as the German expressionism art movement in the early 20th century. His works became famous for intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes, which is also evident in his best-known painting the scream that is he made in 1893 and is also one of the most recognizable paintings in the history of art. Other paintings which show a similar engagement are Madonna, Death In The Sickroom, Ashes and the color woodcut, titled Two people. The lonely which set a new record for his prints when it was sold at an auction in Oslo for US $ 1.27 million.

    In 1899, at the age of thirty-four, Munch began an intimate relationship with Tulla Larsen, a "liberated" upper-class woman. They traveled to Italy together and upon returning, munch began a fertile period in his art, which included landscapes and his final painting in "the frieze of life" series, though Larsen was eager for marriage, munch was never able to commit himself owe to long-standing fears of the institution as well as deteriorating health.
  8. Jean Paul Sartre

    The most famous existentialist philosopher perhaps of the western world, Jean Paul Sartre remained unmarried all this life despite being in a relationship with fellow philosopher and feminist, Simone de Beauvoir for about fifty years. The two met in 1929 at the Ecole Normale became inseparable and lifelong companions, initiating a romantic relationship, though they were not monogamous.  Together, Sartre and de Beauvoir challenged the cultural and social assumptions and expectations of their upbringings, which they considered bourgeois, in both lifestyle and thought.
  9. James Buchanan jr.

    James Buchanan, Jr. was the 15th president of the United States  and served in office from 1857 to1861. He is the only president of United States who never married  and yet there was a time in his life when he was engaged. In 1819, Buchanan proposed to and was accepted by Ann Caroline Coleman, the daughter of wealthy iron manufacturing businessman Robert Coleman and sister-in-law of Philadelphia judge Joseph Hemphill, one of Buchanan’s colleagues from the House of Representatives. The two got engaged but Buchanan could spent little time with his fiancĂ©e her during the courtship. He was extremely busy with his law firm and political projects during the panic of 1819, which took him away from Ann for weeks at a time. The relationship felt prey to rumors of various kinds; after Buchanan paid a visit to the wife of a friend, Ann broke off the engagement. She died soon afterward, on December 9, 1819. Buchanan was overwhelmed by Ann’s death and decided to stay a lifelong bachelor.  During his tenure as president, Buchanan turned to Harriet lane, an orphaned niece, whom he had earlier adopted, to act as his official hostess of the white house.
  10. William Lyon Mackenzie King

    Yet another famous male head of state who never married was William Lyon Mackenzie King. More commonly known as Mackenzie King, he was the tenth and longest serving prime minister of Canada. As a liberal, he came to office on December 29, 1921 and held it till November 15, 1948, thus having served twenty-two years as prime minister of the country. Trained in law and social work, he played a major role in laying the foundations of the Canadian welfare state. Even though he was cautious as a politician, King was highly individualist in his private life. He is believed to have a lifelong interest in the occult which was kept secret during his years in office, and only became publicized later. King never married, but had several close women friends, including Joan Patteson, a married woman with whom he spent some of his leisure time.