1) Baba Oruc:
Born to the Greek island of Lesbos, then under Ottoman rule, to a father that had captured the island from the Genoese and settled down to making pottery; he was the eldest of six children. He began his career of marine affairs and trade in his early years alongside his youngest brother Ilyas to counteract the privateering done by the Knights Hospitaller of the island of Rhodes on the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean. He was proficient in learning languages and operated on the Levant, yet once when he was returning from a trading expedition in Tripoli, their ship was attacked by a galley by the Knights Hospitaller. Sustaining heavy injuries and losing his brother Ilyas in the battle, he was imprisoned in Bodrum Castle, where he spent three years before being rescued by his brother Hizir. He began his career as a corsair and managed to amass a large private army and ended up commandeering galleys that ravaged North Africa and Italy, where he earned his nickname Barbarossa or red beard. He became a sultan after liberating Algiers from the Spaniards, yet relinquished his title seeking protection from the Ottomans. He was rewarded with the tittle bey or governor, thus ushering in an era of Ottoman control of North Africa that lasted for four centuries. He earned his title Baba which meant father, after he helped with transport of Muslim Moors that were forcibly Christianized in Spain to much safer lands. He died fighting a siege by the Spanish in the city of Oran.
2) Hayreddin Barbarossa:
Khizr was one of six children to a father sipahi of Albanian origin and a Greek mother. His father had liberated Lesbos from the Genoese dynasty and as a reward was given a local village as a fief. Settling down as a potter, Khizr would help him with his trade until he as well would join his other three brothers, becoming a seaman himself. Under his brother Oruc he would raid and pillage the coast of Italy, the Levant and North Africa to a degree where all brothers would gain fame in Europe and earn respect from the Ottoman Empire. They would secure Algiers from the Spanish, and effectively establish Ottoman control of North Africa for four centuries. The inglorious death of his brother Oruc by the hands of the Spanish had left him as the inheritor of the title Barbarossa. He would subsequently surpass his brother with reconquering Algiers back, effectively raiding and pillaging the Mediterranean Sea, avoiding capture by the Knights Hospitaller and securing dominance for the Ottoman Empire. By his exploits he had earned the title of the Grand Admiral of the Ottoman navy and chief governor of North Africa. He was the plague of the Spanish and Italians, more so when he had allied with the French and seized a lot of cities in Italy and even had threatened Rome itself. That was however, before the French requested of him to cease. He returned to Istanbul where he retired and died peacefully writing down memoirs of his and his brothers exploits.
Edward Teach is a notoriously famous pirate in history. After his privateering days under the English was finished, he had found himself on the island of New Providence. The island itself its nicknamed the city of pirates, for it harbored nothing more than pirates, traders and followers or campers of said pirates, enjoying a life of debauchery and frivolity. He pillaged smaller trade boats off the coast of Florida under a captain for a time, before acquiring his fame as a frightful sight of a man leading his amassed following of pirates, plundering the coastal trade routes of South Carolina, particularly those carrying wine. Although history portrays him as a nightmarish creature carrying two sabers into the fray, lighting fusils on his large thick beard and carrying so many guns as the belts laden all over his body could hold, he preferred not to use force in his plundering and raiding, rather allow his notoriety and the use of fear to strip the hope of his victims. He was captured by a surprise attack set up by the British navy that had pursued him for a while, having his head cut off and displayed on the bowsprit of Lieutenant Maynard, who had orchestrated the attack.
4) Henry Morgan:
Sir Henry Morgan was a privateer, landowner and later governor of Jamaica. As the satiation between Britain and Spain worsened, he was ordered to start gathering all privateers in the Caribbean that despised the Spanish and start plundering the trade routes and pillaging the coastal cities. He gained notoriety for his brutality. Anyone captured by him was toyed with before being executed in gruesome ways. He had managed to destroy the city of Panama, allowing for the British to gain more dominance in the New World, yet banging the drums of war with Spain. Very effective in his trade, he started to prey upon the British as well, as the booty the ships carried, was too much to pass off. To appease the Spanish, and cease the thoughts of war, he was awarded with a wanted poster with a hefty sum for his capture. Yet it was a mere disguise to the public, because he was returned to London where he was knighted and given governorship over Jamaica. There he died of dropsy, his grave being swallowed by the sea after an earthquake and was never found again.
5) Francois l’Olannais:
His early life is a mystery, as the first documents of his existence mention Jean-David Nau working as an indentured servant. As his contract had ended, he wandered the islands of the Caribbean Sea, before becoming a buccaneer and preying upon the Spanish trade routes in the West Indies. His crew was shipwrecked in Campeche, Mexico where their encampment was assaulted by the Spanish, and all spare Francois were killed as he hid himself covered in the blood of his fallen comrades. With the help of some escaped slaves he found himself in the island of Tortuga. After a while he again found people that heeded his call for piracy, and held an entire town hostage before the governor of Havana ordered his party to be killed. This had angered Francois to the point where he made a vow that he will henceforth give no quarter to a Spaniard before butchering his way in a warpath that quaked the Caribbean Sea. He would butcher, torture, rape and pillage anything in his path. His death was as gruesome as his legacy, he had mounted an expedition to Honduras and raiding the coast before narrowly escaping death by the Spanish, he would be known for cutting open one of the Spanish and eating his heart. He escaped by the skin of his teeth and had run aground on a shoal on a coast in Panama. Interestingly enough, he was unable to dislodge his boat. That is the reason why he landed on the coast with his crew in search for food, but ended up being one to the local native tribe.
6) Black Bart:
Bartholomew Roberts, born John Roberts in Wales, was the most successful pirate as he had acquired the highest number of vessels under his command. He was a mate aboard a slave ship that sailed the coasts of west Africa before being captured by pirates. Reluctant at first, he quickly became in love with his new lifestyle, after the death of his captain who had tried his luck at fooling a governor of the island Principe. Mere six weeks after his capture he was elected captain because of his navigational abilities and personality. His first act as captain was to avenge his captain’s death, and successfully did so by murdering most of the male population on the island Principe and carrying almost all of the valuable loot they could find. Capturing a Dutch Guineaman and a British ship called Experiment, they had taken water and provisions in the town of Anamboe before giving vote to voyage toward Brazil. His exploits contribute to him capturing ships and using surprise attacks even though his men would usually end up being outnumbered 10:1 in most cases. His demise was somewhat lacking in grandeur as his exploits were, as he was grapeshot by a surprise attack by the British Navy near Calabar River, Nigeria where he and his crew drank themselves to a stupor. His death had shaken the pirate world and the Royal Navy who had considered him invulnerable; he is credited for the invention of the Pirate Code as well.
Amaro Rodriguez Filipe was a Spanish corsair that had earned his Hidalgo, which is right to nobility. He officially was certified and given a coat of arms for his exploits in aiding the Spanish crown. Born to a wealthy family on the island of Tenerife, he began his career after having received his own ship by his captain who he advised to feign surrender before attacking the enemy vessel by surprise and achieving victory. Noted for being sly and elusive as the fish (after which he was given the nickname Pargo), he avoided capture and confrontations with ease. He was noted for his business ventures in African slave trade and in doing so, was awarded the letter of marque by the Spanish king, which gave him a license to freely attack any ship that was a rival to the crown. Because of this he controlled the trade route between Cadiz and the Caribbean, effectively nullifying all trade for the English and of the Dutch empires. Although very successful in his career, he begun doubting his ways of piracy and with the friendship he had forged with Sister Mary of Jesus, had begun giving away his profits to the needy and the poor, earning himself the tittle of a hero in Spain and her controlled colonies. He perished peacefully, and his passing is remembered to be a very solemn one as his body was transferred back to the tomb of his family. People would made stops along their way to pay their respects to the man they considered close to a saint.
8) Calico Jack:
John Rackman became a famous English pirate for two things in his lifetime; his first mate for designing the Jolly Roger flag well known in the world as the pirate flag, and for having two female crew members Mary Read and his lover Anne Bonny. He successfully deposed his previous captain Charles Vane and brought him to justice, who was found guilty of piracy by hanging in Jamaica. He had prayed upon the French and Spanish in the Caribbean, sailing from Nassau and plundering the trade routes of the West Indies. He began his romance with Anne Bonny who was married to James Bonny, a sailor under governance by governor Rogers, Anne became pregnant and ran away to Cuba to give birth to the child. He was pursued by pirate hunter Jonathan Barnet and previous pirate Jean Bonadvis for preying upon the fishing boats belonging to the English around the Jamaican coast. He was captured after he ported and drank himself to a stupor. He was hanged and gibbeted for his crimes and put on display near the entrance of Port Royal or what is now known as Rackham Cay.
9) John Avery:
A man of many alliances and surnames attributed to him, Henry Avery was regarded as the King of Pirates during the golden age of piracy. He had joined service in the Royal Navy and accounts tell that he was aboard the ships when the Grand Alliance had waged war against France, and had even bombarded Algiers. Ranging from illicit slave trade, to trading with the Spanish, to successfully mutinying against his captain and assuming leadership, Avery has seen his fair share of adventure, yet that is not what he was widely renowned for. Beginning his piracy career in the Indian Ocean, he came to be known for preying upon any and all ships that got in his way. He plundered numerous ships of their wealth, but this caught the attention of the East India Company that started to pursue him. He set his sights to plunder the Indian fleet that made way for pilgrimage to Mecca. Most notable was the ship named Ganj-I Sawai, a gigantic 1600-ton ship carrying 80 cannons and a crew of 400 musket carrying men with 600 more guests aboard not counting the slave women below the deck. With a stroke of luck and beating the odds against them, they plundered the ship and ran away, successfully doing the most profitable pirate heist in history. He had shared the profits with his crew, became extremely rich and retired peacefully for the rest of his life.
10) Captain Kidd:
William Kidd was born to a father captain lost at sea in Dundee, Scotland. In his youth he had settled in the newly anglicized New York city where he became friends with prominent people of the town including two governors. He took part in piracy with a crew of French and English people plundering the Caribbean. His crew mutinied and returned to the English colony of the island Nevis. There he was made captain by the governor and given order to wage piracy on the French who had been at war with the British. Tasked with a voyage of hunting down pirates, he was given a letter of marque personally signed by the king of England; his voyage was paid by wealthy nobles including the king himself who demanded 10% of the spoils they would plunder while hunting down notorious pirate captains. The voyage came to an inglorious end, as most of his crew was forced into navy service before they left the Thames for not saluting a navy vessel. What was left of his crew died of cholera and his new ship started leaking. Desperate to pay his due, he resorted back to piracy and plundered a ship called Quedagh Merchant, an Armenian ship given French protection by the French East India Company with an Englishman as a captain. Realizing his mistake in attacking his protectors, he tried to persuade his crew to give back the loot but fell on deaf ears, and led to him being hunted by the Royal Navy. He evaded capture and had buried and sold off his fortunes made on sea, deciding to hide in the hopes of evading capture, yet it was not enough. He was betrayed and taken to London where he was hanged twice and gibbeted over the Thames for three years as a sign of warning to all.