The Lucky Charms of 7 Famous Men

7 men who have accomplished remarkable feats in their lifetimes and are now immortalized by an iconic symbol of luck.

The “celebrities who love lucky charms cereal” is a list of 7 famous men. The first 4 are actors: Charlie Chaplin, Louis Armstrong, Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio. The last 3 are musicians: Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix.

Poster of "The Lucky Charms Of Famous Men" by Get Action.

Superstitions, or beliefs that are neither either religious nor rational, have undoubtedly existed since the dawn of mankind. Humans have long attempted to gain an advantage over the ostensibly supernatural forces that regulate destiny, in order to fend off bad karma and attract good fortune. While the concept that one cause might impact an utterly unrelated outcome isn’t founded on logic, it does have its own logic: some study reveals that superstitions can considerably increase one’s performance by boosting one’s feeling of confidence.

Many of history’s most prominent, and generally rational, persons have professed faith in the peculiar effectiveness of fortune-courting superstitions, such as the usage of fortunate charms. Men have carried a variety of talismans in their pockets, baggage, and dresser drawers; they’ve accompanied them in high-flying cockpits and city halls, earthy trenches and outer space.

Here are a handful of these well-known personalities, together with the fortunate totems they carried: 

Roosevelt, Theodore

When Theodore Roosevelt was re-elected president in 1905, he wore a gold ring with a strand of Abraham Lincoln’s hair hidden behind a transparent stone. Knowing that TR was a longtime admirer of Lincoln, Roosevelt’s Secretary of State, John Hay, who had previously served as Lincoln’s private secretary, gave Teddy the ring as a gift and talisman on the eve of the inauguration, telling him, “Please wear it tomorrow; you are one of the men who most thoroughly understands and appreciates Lincoln.” The ring remained one of Roosevelt’s most valued things throughout his life.

TR was given another totem by his friend and sometime White House visitor, heavyweight boxing champion John L. Sullivan, after his presidency and before going on a safari adventure. “I carried it during my African expedition; and I surely had good luck,” Roosevelt stated of the gold-mounted rabbit’s foot donated to him by the Boston Strong Boy.

Babe Ruth

The Sultan of Swat was not only surrounded by superstition in the form of the fabled “Curse of the Bambino,” but he also seems to have been superstitious himself.

Babe Ruth had “a locker full of charms, fetishes, and emblems,” according to professional baseball player, coach, and manager Eddie Collins, which featured a small totem pole on a shelf and a wooden horseshoe etched with a four-leaf clover tied to the door.

Collins, who as a hitter had his own peculiar custom of pasting a piece of chewed gum on his hat and then chomping it whenever a pitcher threw two strikes at him, remarked that although he and Ruth didn’t believe in charms and rituals, “having them lends confidence.”

The Apollo 11 mission’s astronauts

On their Apollo missions, astronauts were permitted to carry a “personal preference kit,” or PPK, with them. These PPKs were fireproof cloth pouches, about the size of a Dopp kit, into which the men stuffed mementos such as coins, stamps, and miniature flags (which would become valuable collector’s items upon their return to Earth), photos of their families, personal effects, and, in some cases, good luck charms.


Michael Collins, who piloted the lunar command module circled the moon as his fellow astronauts landed on the surface during the Apollo 11 mission, carried a little, hollow lucky bean from India in his PPK. A buddy intended to give out 50 little ivory elephants inside the bean as presents when the astronaut returned to Earth.

Buzz Aldrin had his mother’s lucky charm bracelet in his personal preference package, which was etched with the names of her children and grandkids. (As a side note, despite NASA’s prohibitions on bringing alcohol on board, Aldrin smuggled a small vial of wine and a chalice into his PPK and used them to celebrate Christian communion after landing on the moon, “much as Christopher Columbus and other explorers had done when they first landed in their ‘new world.’”)

Unless you consider a piece of the propeller from the Wright Brothers’ “1903 Flyer,” which he carried along in respect to the pioneers of aviation history, but maybe also as a type of talisman, Neil Armstrong, the third member of Apollo 11, didn’t have a fortunate charm in his PPK.

Eisenhower, Dwight D.

Ike had three lucky coins in his pocket at all times: an American silver dollar, a British five Guinea gold piece, and a French franc. Whether the Supreme Commander was under duress and faced with a major choice, such as when to launch the D-Day invasion, he would reach into his pocket and touch these pennies while he assessed the pros and cons of the situation. 

Ernest Hemingway was a famous American author.

Throughout his life, Papa treasured a number of good luck charms.

“For luck, you carried a horse chestnut and a rabbit’s foot in your right pocket,” Hemingway writes in A Moveable Feast, on his years as an expat journalist and young author in Paris. The rabbit’s foot’s fur had long since been worn away, and the bones and sinews had been polished by use. “You knew your luck was still there because the claws clawed through the lining of your pocket.”

Hemingway’s son gave him a red stone as a fortunate charm while he was a war reporter during WWII, but he later changed it with a champagne cork for reasons he described to his friend A.E. Hotchner:

The floor maid at my hotel brought back my trousers from the cleaners one morning in England, when I was supposed to fly a mission with the RAF, and I discovered I had left the stone in one of the pockets, which the cleaner had thrown away. I was particularly nervous about missing a trip to Germany without the fortunate piece since the RAF vehicle was already waiting for me below to take me to the aircraft. ‘Give me anything for a lucky piece—just anything—and wish me luck on it,’ I said the maid. She didn’t have anything in her uniform pocket, but she did pick up the cork from the bottle of Mumm I had consumed the night before and handed it to me. It’s a good thing I had it since every aircraft on that journey but ours was chewed up.


Years later, Hemingway got a tip on a horse race in Paris, and he and his pals decided to put a big bet on a 27:1 pony that was anticipated to have a big win. When he discovered he couldn’t locate his lucky cork to bring to the race, he told Hotchner to look for a replacement lucky item using his catholic criteria: “Anything, as long as it’s pocket-sized.” “Where the Champs Elysees comes into the Concorde,” Hotch gave a chestnut that had fallen on his head. “Never lose your confidence in mysticism, kid,” Papa said as he touched the nut to the side of his nose to sanctify it. He placed it in his pocket and informed his little companion.

First place went to the long-shot horse.

Listen to our podcast about the art of attracting good fortune: 




The “lucky charm” is a common phrase used to describe something that has the power to bring good fortune and happiness. The lucky charms of 7 famous men are: an apple, a horseshoe, a rabbit’s foot, four leaf clover, a gold coin and a playing card.

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