The Most Famous

PIRATES from United States

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This page contains a list of the greatest American Pirates. The pantheon dataset contains 25 Pirates, 2 of which were born in United States. This makes United States the birth place of the 3rd most number of Pirates behind United Kingdom and Ireland.

Top 2

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the most legendary American Pirates of all time. This list of famous American Pirates is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity.

Photo of D. B. Cooper

1. D. B. Cooper (1931 - 1971)

With an HPI of 74.58, D. B. Cooper is the most famous American Pirate.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages on wikipedia.

D. B. Cooper is a media epithet used to refer to an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in United States airspace between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, on the afternoon of November 24, 1971. He extorted $200,000 in ransom (equivalent to $1,278,000 in 2020) and parachuted to an uncertain fate over southwestern Washington. The man purchased his airline ticket using the alias Dan Cooper but, because of a news miscommunication, became known in popular lore as D. B. Cooper. The FBI maintained an active investigation for 45 years after the hijacking. Despite a case file that grew to over 60 volumes over that period, no definitive conclusions were reached regarding Cooper's true identity or fate. The crime remains the only unsolved air piracy in commercial aviation history.Numerous theories of widely varying plausibility have been proposed over the years by investigators, reporters, and amateur enthusiasts. $5,880 of the ransom was found along the banks of the Columbia River in 1980, which triggered renewed interest but ultimately only deepened the mystery. The great majority of the ransom remains unrecovered. The FBI officially suspended active investigation of the case in July 2016, but the agency continues to request that any physical evidence that might emerge related to the parachutes or the ransom money be submitted for analysis.

Photo of Thomas Tew

2. Thomas Tew (1649 - 1695)

With an HPI of 67.89, Thomas Tew is the 2nd most famous American Pirate.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Thomas Tew (died September 1695), also known as the Rhode Island Pirate, was a 17th-century English privateer-turned-pirate. He embarked on two major pirate voyages and met a bloody death on the second, and he pioneered the route which became known as the Pirate Round. Many other infamous pirates followed in his path, including Henry Every and William Kidd.

Pantheon has 2 people classified as pirates born between 1649 and 1931. Of these 2, none of them are still alive today. The most famous deceased pirates include D. B. Cooper and Thomas Tew. As of October 2020, 1 new pirates have been added to Pantheon including Thomas Tew.

Deceased Pirates

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Newly Added Pirates (2020)

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