Besides Joe Paterno, who are some people who were respected (if not revered) in their lifetimes but who, after their death, were regarded with shame and disgrace?
The Sandusky stuff and the fact that it was covered up had already came out before Paterno died though, he might not have had to live with it for long but it wasn’t posthumous.
OK, so almost posthumous will count just so we can get this thread going.
My vote is David Carradine. I liked him in Kill Bill. I’ve read his autobiography and he seemed to be a fairly interesting person. I just wish he would have croaked in a bit more dignified manner.
I’m not sure revered applies in the next two people, but:
Joan Crawford, she got smeared (no idea if it’s true or not) in Mommy Dearest.
John Phillips? Mackenzie claims there was an incestuous relationship. This didn’t come out until after his death. I suspect it didn’t make as much of a stir as Mackenzie had hoped.
Maybe it’s just all the lefties I go to school with, but apparently Winston Churchill was an evil bigot who enjoyed murdering colonials, only slightly more palatable an ally than Stalin?
ETA: Also, Stalin!
Hyperbole, of course, but I just can’t picture such a criticism of him in life.
Also, hasn’t JFK been retconned by the right as a mob sympathizing, philandering sleaze?
William Casey - died very conveniently just before testifying on the Iran-Contra affair. After he died, pretty much everyone else blamed it all on him.
J. Edgar Hoover. Notoriously homophobic and racist . . . until the whole “dressing up” thing came out.
Sigmund Freud; his reputation has taken a nosedive since his death.
J. Edgar Hoover’s legacy has certainly eroded since his death. The slow trickle of information on his abusive actions as FBI director and his hidden personal life have left him with very few defending voices from any political persuasion.
-panache beat me to it.
Has it? We study Freudian theories while doing cultural theory stuff; it’s dated, sure, but it laid the framework for a lot of the hard science psychology that came after it. I didn’t know that he was outright despised or reviled by anyone in or outside of psychology, unless I’m missing something…
I don’t know if he was greatly respected before he died, but Christopher Columbus is, in some circles, not highly thought of today.
President Warren G. Harding comes to mind.
Bruno Bettelheim. I vaguely remember him being always portrayed as an intellectual giant and a gentle, caring person during his lifetime.
Turned out he was actually a fraud and a real bastard.
Stephen Ambrose. It seems as though the great popular historian was also a great popular plagiarist.
Wasn’t JFK’s philandering treated with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge during his day?
He was a philandering sleaze. That has been well-documented and is beyond question. As for the mob connections, there have always been rumors that the Kennedy family fortune came from bootlegging during Prohibition.
If we’re count that, then Michael Hutchence from INXS to the list. Same thing.
Oliver Cromwell. They dug him up 12 years after he died, hung him from a gibbet, then removed his head and stuck it on a spike for years, throwing his body into a pit.