1. Sir Francis Drake (1542 - 1596)
Drake was a swashbuckling, treasure hunting, Spanish Armada sinking madman. Aboard his ship, The Golden Hinde, he was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, even claiming portions of California for Queen Elizabeth. The Spanish nicknamed him 'El Draque,' The Dragon! Upon his death, he was placed in a lead casket off the coast of Panama and dropped into the sea. How awesome is that!
What a life! Kid was originally hired by the King of England to capture French ships off Madagascar. So... instead he hires a bunch of cutthroats and starts plundering ships off the Indian coast amassing a staggering amount of ... 'What's another word for pirate treasure?' Oh right.... booty! His wealth and infamy became so profound, and the British East India Company was so furious, that he was arrested in New York, returned to England, and there, his body was dipped in tar and hung by chains along the Thames River to serve as a reminder to pirates everywhere.
Edward 'Blackbeard' Teach was born into pirating... darting in and out of islands around the Caribbean raping and pillaging. He eventually captured a 26 gun French Vessel and re-named her, 'The Queen Anne's Revenge.' A year later, Blackbird amassed four pirate ships and over 300 men when he was captured by the British Royal Nay and decapitated. His head may have been hung on the ship's rigging, but his reputation outlines him to this day.
Morgan was a Welsh buccaneer who fought Spain in the Caribbean colonies and captured Cuba and Panama raiding Spanish treasures and burning their cities. Despite being arrested and known as a bloodthirsty pirate, he was knighted by King Charles II and lived as deputy governor of Jamaica until his death.