The Pope’s Path from Bouncer to Time’s 'Person of the Year'
Policy + Politics

The Pope’s Path from Bouncer to Time’s 'Person of the Year'

REUTERS/Tony Gentile

The extraordinary life journey of Pope Francis reached another milestone of sorts this month. The man born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 1936, who recently told parishioners at a church outside of Rome that he used to work as a bouncer at Buenos Aires nightclub, was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.” 

As a young man, Bergoglio also ran tests in a chemical lab and swept floors as a janitor before entering the priesthood. Decades later, at age 76, he became the first pope ever to be elected from the Americas and the first non-European on St. Peter’s throne in 1,200 years.

The pope is far from the only public figure who has taken a winding path to prominence with some interesting stops along the way. Many of today’s global leaders and political influencers have resumé entries that run from the remarkably pedestrian to the spectacularly bizarre. 

Which radio hothead worked as a shoeshine boy? Which diplomat sold bras in a department store? Which president scooped ice cream? The answers may surprise you.

Slideshow: 10 Astoundingly Weird First Jobs of Famous People 

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