Last Updated on 16 September 2023

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Here are some of the most famous historical pirates

Real Name: Edward Teach
Known as: Blackbeard
Most Famous Ship: Queen Anne’s Revenge
Years active: 1716–1718
Born: c. 1680 – Bristol, England
Died: 22 Nov 1718 – Ocracoke, North Carolina
Base of Operations: Atlantic, West Indies
Known for: Tying lit fuses under his hat to frighten enemies

Real Name: Henry Morgan
Known as: Sir Henry Morgan
Most Famous Ship: The Satisfaction
Years active: 1663–1671
Born: 24 January 1635 – Monmouthshire, England
Died: 25 August 1688 – Minster, England
Base of Operations: West Indies
Known for: Appointed Knight Bachelor and later Lt. Governor of Jamaica

Real Name: William Kidd
Known as: Captain Kidd
Most Famous Ship: Adventure Galley
Years active: 1695–1699
Born: c. 1655 – Dundee, Scotland
Died: 23 May 1701 – Wapping, England
Base of Operations: East coast of North America, Madagascar
Known for: Hunting pirates and privateering as much as pirating

Real Name: Jean-David Nau
Known as: François l’Olonnais, “Flail of the Spanish”
Most Famous Ship:
Years active: 1660–1668
Born: 1630 – Les Sables-d’Olonne, France
Died: 1669 – Darién Province, Panama
Base of Operations: Caribbean
Known for: Being merciless and vicious

Real Name: Anne Bonny
Known as: Anne Bonny
Years active: 1718–1720
Born: 8 March 1697 – Cork, Ireland
Disappeared: April 1721 – Port Royal, Jamaica
Died: possibly December 1733
Base of Operations: Caribbean
Known for: Married to “Calico Jack” Rackham; One of the two most famous female pirates

Real Name: Mary Read
Known as: Mary Read
Years active: 1708–1721
Born: 1685 – England
Died: 28 April 1721 – Port Royal, Jamaica
Base of Operations: Caribbean
Known for: One of the two most famous female pirates

Real Name: Samuel Bellamy
Known as: “Black Sam” Bellamy, “Prince of Pirates”; “Robin Hood of the Sea”
Most Famous Ship: Whydah Gally
Years active: 1716–1717
Born: 23 February 1689 – Hittisleigh, Devonshire, England
Died: 26 April 1717 – Wellfleet, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Base of Operations: Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Known for: Being the wealthiest pirate in recorded history; mercy & generosity to those he captured

Real Name: Jack Rackham
Known as: Calico Jack
Most Famous Ship: Whydah Gally
Years active: 1718–1720
Born: 26 December 1682 – England
Died: 18 November 1720 – Port Royal, Jamaica
Base of Operations: West Indies
Known for: Having two female crew members

Real Name: Bartholomew Roberts
Known as: Bartholomew Roberts, Black Bart, “The Great Pyrate”
Most Famous Ship: Royal Fortune
Years active: 1719–1722
Born: 17 May 1682 – Pembrokeshire, Wales
Died: 10 February 1722 – Cape Lopez, Gabon
Base of Operations: The coast of the Americas and West Africa
Known for: Creating a Pirate Code; Capturing over 400 ships

Real Name: Roc Brasiliano
Known as: Roche Brasiliano
Most Famous Ship: Unknown
Years active: 1654–1671
Born: 27 February 1630 – Groningen, Netherlands
Died: Possibly 1671 – At sea, body never found
Base of Operations: Port Royal, Jamaica
Known for: Cruelty to the Spanish; Being one of the pirates who actually buried his treasure; Being angry and violent when drunk

Real Name: Stede Bonnet
Known as: Stede Bonnet, “The Gentleman Pirate”
Most Famous Ship: Revenge, later renamed Royal James
Years active: 1717–1718
Born: 1688 – Bridgetown, Barbados
Died: 10 December 1718 – Charles Town, South Carolina
Base of Operations: Caribbean, East Coast of North America
Known for: Being wealthy and buying his own ship to start pirating

Real Name: Charles Vane
Known as: Charles Vane
Most Famous Ship: Ranger
Years active: 1716–1721
Born: c. 1680 – England
Died: 29 March 1721 – Port Royal, Jamaica
Base of Operations: West Indies
Known for: His navigation and combat skills, and also his cruelty

Real Name: Benjamin Hornigold
Known as: Benjamin Hornigold
Most Famous Ship: Ranger
Years active: 1713–1718
Born: 1680 – England
Died: 1719 – At sea between Bahamas and New Spain
Base of Operations: West Indies
Known for: Having Blackbeard as 2nd-in-command; Turning into a pirate hunter

Real Name: Jean Lafitte
Known as: Jean Lafitte
Most Famous Ship: Petit Milan
Years active: 1810–1823
Born: 25 September 1780 – prob. Saint-Domingue, Hispaniola
Died: 5 February 1823 – Honduras
Base of Operations: Gulf of Mexico
Known for: Helping Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orelans; founding a Spanish colony in Galveston; one of the last famous pirates in the Caribbean

Real Name: Edward Low
Known as: Edward “Ned” Low
Most Famous Ship: Fancy
Years active: 1721–1724
Born: 1690 – Westminster, London, England
Died: 1724 – prob. Martinique
Base of Operations: Atlantic, Caribbean
Known for: Coming from a family of thieves; capturing over 100 ships; a reputation for violently torturing his victims before killing them.

Real Name: Thomas Tew
Known as: Thomas Tew, the Rhode Island Pirate
Most Famous Ship: Amity
Years active: 1692–1695
Born: c. 1649 – Unknown
Died: September 1695 – Arabian Sea
Base of Operations: Rhode Island, Indian Ocean
Known for: Pioneering the “Pirate Round,” a sailing route from the Caribbean or east coast of the Americas southeast around the Cape of Good Hope to northern Madagascar

Real Name: Henry Every
Known as: Henry Every, “Long Ben”
Most Famous Ship: Fancy
Years active: 1694–1696
Born: 20 August 1659 – Devon, England
Died: Vanished from all records in 1696
Base of Operations: Atlantic, Pirate Round, Indian Ocean
Known for: Being one of the few pirates to retire with his loot without being caught

Real Name: Gráinne O’Malley
Known as: Grace O’Malley, “The Pirate Queen”
Most Famous Ship: White Seahorse
Years active: 1554–1584
Born: c. 1530 – Umhaill, Connacht, Ireland
Died: c. 1603 – Rockfleet Castle, Ireland
Base of Operations: British Isles
Known for: Considering herself an equal of Queen Elizabeth I

Real Name: Edward Seegar
Known as: Edward England
Most Famous Ship: Royal James
Years active: 1715–1720
Born: c. 1685 – Ireland
Died: c. 1721 – St. Augustine’s Bay, Madagascar
Base of Operations: Southern Africa
Known for: His kindness and compassion as a leader

Real Name: Peter Easton
Known as: Peter Easton, the Pirate Admiral
Most Famous Ship: Happy Adventure
Years active: 1611–1614
Born: c. 1570 – England
Died: c. 1620 – Duchy of Savoy
Base of Operations: Newfoundland, Mediterranean, West Indies
Known for: Very successful, never captured by any fleet sent to hunt him down

Real Name: William Moody
Known as: William Moody
Most Famous Ship: Rising Sun
Years active: 1718–1719
Born: c. 1685 – London, England
Died: 1719 – St. Augustine’s Bay, Madagascar
Base of Operations: Caribbean, West Africa
Known for: Being a “gentleman commander”

Real Name: Richard Worley
Known as: Richard Worley
Most Famous Ship: New York’s Revenge
Years active: 1718–1719
Born: c. 1686 – England
Died: 17 February 1719 – Jamestown, Virginia
Base of Operations: East coast of the Americas
Known for: Only being active as a pirate for 6 months before being killed

Real Name: Emanuel Wynn
Known as: Emanuel Wynn
Most Famous Ship: Unknown
Years active: around 1700
Born: Unknown – France
Died: Unknown – Caribbean
Base of Operations: East coast of the Americas, Caribbean
Known for: Being one of the first to use a Jolly Roger flag

Real Name: Christopher Condent
Known as: Billy One-Hand
Most Famous Ship: Unknown
Years active: 1717-1721
Born: 1690s – Plymouth, Devon, England
Died: 1770 – Saint-Malo, France
Base of Operations: Atlantic and Madagascar
Known for: Retiring wealthy and living the rest of his life as a free man

Non-Western Pirates

Real Name: Cheung Po
Known as: Cheung Po Tsai (“Cheung Po the Kid”)
Most Famous Ship: Red Flag Fleet
Years active: 1798-1810
Born: 1783 – Xinhui, Jiangmen, China
Died: 1822 – Penghu, Fujian, China
Base of Operations: South China Sea
Known for: Being married to Ching Shih; Becoming naval colonel after pirating

Real Name: Ching Shih
Known as: Ching Shih
Most Famous Ship: Red Flag Fleet
Years active: 1801-1810
Born: 1775 – Guangzhou, Guangdong, Qing China
Died: 1844 – Portuguese Macau
Base of Operations: South China Sea
Known for: Issuing her own code of laws; Being married to Zheng Yi & Cheung Po Tsai

Real Name: Zheng Yi
Known as: Zheng Yi
Most Famous Ship: Red Flag Fleet
Years active: c. 1795-1807
Born: 1765 – Xin’an County, Guangdong, Qing China
Died: 16 November 1807 – Nguyen, Vietnam
Base of Operations: South China Sea
Known for: Creating a fleet of 400 ships and over 70,000 sailors

Real Name: Lalla Aicha bint Ali ibn Rashid al-Alami
Known as: Sayyida al Hurra
Years active: c. 1515-1541
Born: 1485 – Granada, Andalusia, Spain
Died: 14 July 1561 – Chefchaouen, Morocco
Base of Operations: Western Mediterranean
Known for: Queen of Tétouan & Morocco