Everyone loves an eccentric, so we are presenting here ten of the best. Most are British as they seem to be an endless source of eccentricity, but you will understand why when you read the list. Be sure to add your own favorite eccentrics to the comments.
“The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigour and moral courage it contained. [T]hat so few people now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of our time” — John Stuart Mill, 1859
1834 – 1916
Hetty Green was an eccentric miser who became known as the “Witch of Wall Street”. With her business acumen she accumulated such wealth that she was the richest woman in the world. In order to save money, Hetty would work out of trunks at her local bank so she wouldn’t have to pay rent. When her son fell ill, she disguised herself and took him to a charity hospital; when they realized who she was, she fled claiming she would cure her son herself. Unfortunately he contracted gangrene and had to have his leg amputated. She always wore the same black dress and never changed her underwear unless it wore out. She moved back and forth between New York and New Jersey in order to avoid the taxman.