That jaw! Those eyes! That hair! If the $10 bill is anything to go by, Alexander Hamilton was one of our handsomest Founding Fathers. But Hamilton’s had a bit of help over the years from artists at the Bureau of Engraving & Printing – resulting in a “Hollywoodized” Hamilton, as biographer Ron Chernow labeled it. In 2010, Newsweek even asked a plastic surgeon to give his assessment of the rather substantial changes in Hamilton’s portrait from the 1914 version (at left), to the redesign in 2000 (center), and the updated 2005 $10 bill (at right). Hotness definitely INCREASING!
Is this a little institutional bias toward the first Secretary of the Treasury, perhaps? Just something we’re thinking about as we work on our history of money show!
In high school, I startled my AP U.S. History teacher by pulling out a $10 bill to prove to a friend that Alexander Hamilton was “so good-looking!”
"If this were any other class," said my teacher, "I would think there was a drug deal going on. But somehow I believe you when you say you’re just appreciating a handsome historical figure."