Your Yearly Reminder That Napoleon Bonaparte Wasn’t Short

Napoleon wasn't short infographic discussing his height

Napoleon wasn’t short. Napoleon WAS NOT short.

Keep repeating it to yourself like I am. Because this perception is so deeply ingrained in our American culture that you’re bound to start thinking he was short the second you leave this blog. I remember countless Napoleon characters in cartoons as a kid and they were also tiny and tubby. And any time a particularly short person is acting aggressive and combative, the resident tall guy is almost always good for a snarky “Napoleon complex” reference.

So what led to this enduring misconception that France’s most famous general was but a wee man? It was two things, chiefly, that cemented his fate.

Napoleon was measured at 5’2″ at death. But this was in French units. Using the more recognized units of measure American’s will recognize, he would have been 5’7″. I know what you’re saying – hey, that’s still sort-of short. Well, maybe that’s true today. But back then, the average Frenchman was 5’5″ tall. So, relatively speaking, Napoleon was on the tall side of the ledger.

The famous Frenchman also made one tactical mistake, at least from a legacy perspective: He surrounded himself with unusually tall people. His first wife Josephine was known as being unusually tall for a woman. And his personal guard, often surrounding him in public, had a size requirement that meant he was often the shortest tall guy in the room. Maybe this helped protect him in life, but it sentenced Bonaparte to a legacy of perpetual misconception.

Napoleon Bonaparte “I’m Not Short” Wristband

napoleon wristband that declares he is not short

This wristband design was made using the world’s most advanced custom wristband designer, which will be coming to the world very soon.