His real name was Edward Teach, and he was by far the most infamous pirate who ever lived. Though little is known of his life before he began his career as a pirate, most historians agree that he was born in the English town of Bristol around the year 1680. In the early 18th century, he left Bristol for the Caribbean, where British privateers were inflicting heavy damage on Spanish shipping. It was the beginning of a career that was brutal, glorious, and short.

In Jamaica, Teach served as a privateer under Captain Benjamin Hornigold, who gave him command of his first vessel, a sloop. He later captured a French merchanman, renamed it Queen Anne's Revenge, and converted it into his 40-gun flagship. When Britain revoked all privateering licenses in the Caribbean, Teach took the Queen Anne's Revenge and turned to outright piracy, quickly becoming the most feared pirate in the hemisphere. He came to be known by his spectacular nom de guerre, Blackbeard, a title he cultivated to his advantage. Before going into battle, he would tie slow-burning fuses to the ends of his beard, then light them as he approached enemy vessels. In many instances the mere sight of him standing on the deck, his legendary jet-black beard glowing and smoking satanically, was enough to terrify merchant captains into immediate surrender. 

In 1718, Blackbeard left the Caribbean to raid the coastal towns and inlets of Virginia and the Carolinas. It was a relocation that would lead to his death, but not before he padded is bloodthirsty reputation with some of his most ambitious rampages. One of his most famous exploits was a week-long blockade of Charleston harbor, conducted order to obtain medical supplies. At one point, Blackbeard was in partnership with the governor of North Carolina, Charles Eden, who also gave him protection. The governor of Virginia eventually put a price on Blackbeard's head, however, and it was finally taken by Captain Robert Maynard on November 22, 1718, at Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina.


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