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Che Guevara: Coolest Photos of a Rebel Icon

Images from a life of revolution.

It's no wonder that to this day, his iconic visage — the beard, the beret, the cigar, the intense gaze — is emblazoned on protest posters, on T-shirts, and in the hearts of would-be revolutionaries of every stripe and nationality: In his time, Ernesto "Che" Guevara was truly a man of the world. Born to a middle-class family in Argentina 90 years ago today (June 14) and educated in medicine, Guevara as a young man expanded his horizons through travels in Latin America and elsewhere, dedicating his life to liberating the poor and powerless he met along the way. Here, photos of the familiar Che (the Marxist, general, and economic adviser), plus the Che you might not know (as a husband, father, and clean-cut physician).

CHE AND REBEL COMRADES -/AFP/Getty Images CHE AND REBEL COMRADES Photographed in Havana in 1959, near the end of the hard-fought Cuban Revolution to depose the dictatorial regime of Fulgencio Batista and establish socialist rule, 1959. (Also pictured at top left: Raul Castro, Fidel's brother and the recently retired leader of Cuba.)

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WHERE THERE'S SMOKE... Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori via Getty Images WHERE THERE'S SMOKE... Classic Che Guevara, 1960s. PORTRAIT OF THE REVOLUTIONARY AS A YOUNG MAN Apic/RETIRED/Getty Images PORTRAIT OF THE REVOLUTIONARY AS A YOUNG MAN Before the beard, before the beret, before his own personal revolution: a portrait of Che Guevara circa 1950, when he was about 20 years old. That year, with his training as a doctor, he would embark on motorcycle journeys throughout poor and rural areas of Latin America that would forever alter his perspective and purpose. LOCKED UP IN MEXICO Apic/RETIRED/Getty Images LOCKED UP IN MEXICO Argentinean-born Guevara spent a few of his early professional years in Mexico City, working as a doctor. While there, he'd meet student rebels who would inspire him to join their planned revolution in Cuba, including the Castro brothers. Pictured: Fidel (left) and Che at the Miguel Schultz jail, after their arrests following a raid on a guerrilla training camp. RIDING A MULE, CIRCA 1960 adoc-photos/Corbis via Getty Images RIDING A MULE, CIRCA 1960 A MAN OF LETTERS... API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images A MAN OF LETTERS... Reading a biography of the German writer and statesman Goethe, 1957. ...AND OF THE PEOPLE Alan Oxley/Getty Images ...AND OF THE PEOPLE Guevara helps to build housing for the poor in Havana, 1962. SWEAT EQUITY, 1962 Alan Oxley/Getty Images SWEAT EQUITY, 1962 POWERFUL SPEAKER Bettmann/Bettmann Archive POWERFUL SPEAKER Representing Cuba at the Inter-American Economic and Social Conference, 1961. BROTHERS IN ARMS Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images BROTHERS IN ARMS Parading with Fidel Castro (far left) and then-Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado, 1960. BAG MAN Bettmann/Bettmann Archive BAG MAN Playing first base at a game between army teams, 1964. THE BEAUTIFUL GAME Imagno/Getty Images THE BEAUTIFUL GAME Che with footballers, circa 1960. WORLD TRAVELS Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images WORLD TRAVELS A warm welcome after landing in Beijing, 1960. CUBA'S MINISTER OF INDUSTRY Hulton Archive/Getty Images CUBA'S MINISTER OF INDUSTRY At his desk, circa 1959. WITH HIS DAUGHTER Imagno/Getty Images WITH HIS DAUGHTER Guevara was a father of five, including Aleida (in Fidel Castro's arms, circa 1963). "My father knew how to love, and that was the most beautiful feature of him – his capacity to love," Aleida Guevara, who grew up to be a doctor and Marxist like her father, told The Guardian in 2009. "To be a proper revolutionary, you have to be a romantic." ON AMERICAN TELEVISION CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images ON AMERICAN TELEVISION Wearing his military fatigues and smoking his ubiquitous cigar on "Face the Nation," 1964. IN BOLIVIA Bettmann/Bettmann Archive IN BOLIVIA A revolutionary until the end, Guevara studies a map with the help of local men shortly before his capture and execution in 1967. AT SEA AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images AT SEA Crossing from Belgian Congo to Tanzania, 1965. RIGHT-HAND MAN Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images RIGHT-HAND MAN Guevara and other members of the rebel army after capturing the Cuban town of Fomento, 1958. A SEAT AT THE TABLE PhotoQuest/Getty Images A SEAT AT THE TABLE In Uruguay at 1961's Inter-American Economic and Social Conference, where most of the delegates promoted democracy as the way toward progress. ON HONEYMOON Bettmann/Bettmann Archive ON HONEYMOON Guevara and his second wife Aleida March, a member of Castro's army during the revolution and later a secretary to Che after the rebels' victory. BODYGUARD IN THE BACK SEAT Bettmann/Bettmann Archive BODYGUARD IN THE BACK SEAT MAN + MULE, CIRCA 1967 ullstein bild Dtl./ullstein bild via Getty Images MAN + MULE, CIRCA 1967 UBIQUITOUS CIGAR, 1959 Hulton Archive/Getty Images UBIQUITOUS CIGAR, 1959 PRESS CONFERENCE, 1955 Imagno/Getty Images PRESS CONFERENCE, 1955 A MAN OF INTEREST Hulton Archive/Getty Images A MAN OF INTEREST With ABC News correspondent Lisa Howard, circa 1960. HIS PHILOSOPHY Photo 12/UIG via Getty Images HIS PHILOSOPHY "I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. It exists when people liberate themselves." —Che Guevara, 1958



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