Some of them share small similarities with the characters that they're based on, such as having the same epithets, while others have a similar personality to their real-life counterparts as well. From pirates to explorers and more, here are some real-world figures who informed characters in the world of One Piece.
Updated on April 1, 2022, by Rei Penber: Eiichiro Oda's One Piece world seems ever-expanding and with time, Oda continues to add more characters into the mix, some of which derive inspiration from real-life historical figures. While this list already includes quite a few of them, there are several other characters in One Piece who are based on real historical figures. Whereas some characters have their names based on them, others have their personality and even plot relevance based on these figures.
Alvida was one of the first adversaries that Luffy faced on his journey as a pirate. As the leader of the Alvida Pirates, she was one of East Blue's most feared pirates. Alvida later joined forces with Buggy and continues to be by his side even today.
When it comes to the real-life inspiration for her, the great pirate Awlida comes to mind. Awlida was a woman who pretended to be a man just so she could lead her crew. Eventually, she is believed to have become the queen of Denmark. While she certainly does seem like a very impressive figure, there are several question marks around her existence.
Basil Hawkins is one of the members of the Worst Generation, and he has a bounty of 320 million berries on his head. Hawkins leads the Hawkins Pirates and later joined the Beasts Pirates.
Surprisingly, he is based on two important real-life figures. Hawkins' surname is derived from a real-life pirate named Basil Ringrose. His given name, Hawkins, comes from John Hawkins, who was a real life privateer.
Introduced in the Dressrosa arc, Bartolomeo is a capable pirate who leads the Barto Club and is also a member of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet. Just like all the other characters on the list, Bartolomeo is inspired by a real life figure as well.
It is believed that he shares his name with Bartolomeu Dias, a Portuguese explorer. Dias was known to be the first European to sail around the southernmost tip of Africa. At the same time, he might also derive inspiration from Bartholomew Roberts, a Welsh pirate who was famously known as "Black Bart."
Gol D. Roger, the King of the Pirates, is one of the most important characters in One Piece as he's the man who started it all. Roger was the king of the seas, and he acquired wealth, fame, and power, along with everything else out there.
Roger appears to be based on Olivier Levasseur, a real-life pirate who, just like Roger, used his last moments to hint at the existence of a great treasure. He threw a cryptogram into the crowd moments before his death and challenged people to find his treasure which, to this day, hasn't been found. It is believed that Levasseur's treasure is worth £160 million today.
Eustass Kid is a member of the Worst Generation and a rival to Monkey D. Luffy. As the captain of the Kid Pirates, he's known to be quite powerful and over the years, he's earned himself a bounty of 470 million berries.
Kid's character is based on the real-life pirate from Scotland, William Kidd. Just like William Kidd, Eustass Kid has the title of "Captain." Kid's first name, Eustass, is taken from an entirely different character called Eustace the Monk.
The swordsman of the Straw Hat Pirates, Roronoa Zoro is an incredibly skilled pirate who has made quite a name for himself over the years in the One Piece world. He aims to become the World's Strongest Swordsman by defeating the man who currently holds that title, Dracule Mihawk.
Although not a lot of fans know this, Zoro is also based on a real-life French pirate, François l'Olonnais, who was known to have been active during the late 1600s. In fact, Zoro's first name comes directly from him, although in Japanese, it is pronounced "Roronoa" instead, which is why they are spelled differently.
The captain of the Blackbeard Pirates, Marshall D. Teach, or Blackbeard, is one of the major antagonists of the One Piece story. Currently, he's one of the Yonko of the Sea, which just goes to show how powerful he's grown over the years.
Blackbeard is based on a real-life pirate named Edward Teach and most One Piece fans should already be aware of this. In fact, Edward Teach also carried the same epithet as him, as he was known as Blackbeard. To this day, he remains one of the most famous pirate in the history of the real world.
One of the members of the Worst Generation, Jewelry Bonney is the incredible captain of the Bonney Pirates. She hails from the South Blue and is known to be incredibly skilled, which is why she can stand alongside the likes of Luffy, Law, and Kid.
Bonney was also based on a famous real-life pirate named Anne Bonny, a noblewoman who decided to take up the life of piracy. Bonny became quite a successful pirate and is known to have been earned quite a reputation during the 18th century.
Just like Bonney, X Drake is another member of the Worst Generation who was introduced in the story during the Sabaody Archipelago arc. Drake, although posing as a pirate, is a member of the Navy unit called SWORD, whose identity is kept a secret.
Oda based Drake on a real-life buccaneer, Sir Francis Drake, an English Pirate who lived in the 16th century. Drake was known as the second person ever to complete the circumnavigation of the globe in a single voyage.
One of the Four Emperors of the Sea, Charlotte Linlin is an incredibly powerful pirate and one who holds great importance in the story. Linlin was the main antagonist of the Whole Cake Island arc, and she plays a massive role in the Wano Country arc as well.
Although not confirmed, it appears that Eiichiro Oda has taken inspiration for her character from Charlotte Badger and Charlotte de Berry, both of which are known to have been real-life pirates. This is hinted at in her name as well.
One of the Ten Titanic Captains of the Blackbeard Pirates, Laffitte is an antagonist in the story who is yet to play a big role. It is believed that Lafitte was a Sheriff in a town in West Blue long ago, however, due to his cruel nature, he ended up becoming a pirate and crossed Blackbeard's path.
Lafitte is based on a real-life pirate as well, named Jean Lafitte, who is known to have been quite famous in the 19th century. He was a French privateer who operated around the Gulf of Mexico.
The former right-hand man of the Pirate King, Silvers Rayleigh is one of the most legendary pirates in the One Piece world. Although no longer a pirate, he still has an active bounty that is known to be incredibly high. Rayleigh is quite powerful and, during his time as a pirate, he earned the title of "Dark King."
Interestingly, he's based on a real-life Englishman named Walter Raleigh. Raleigh was an incredibly impactful trader, as he is known to have brought potatoes and tobacco back to Britain in the 16th century.
Edward Newgate, also known as Whitebeard, was one of the Yonko of the Sea before the two-year timeskip and a legendary pirate known to be one of the very few ones capable of fighting the likes of Roger.
Just like Blackbeard, Whitebeard is based on Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard. His name "Edward" has directly been from the real-life Blackbeard, although their personalities aren't alike at all. It's a testament to just how impactful the real-life Blackbeard is, that he has not one but two One Piece characters based on him.
The son of Kaido, Yamato was introduced to the fans in the Wano Country arc of the story. Although he's Kaido's child, Yamato looks up to Kozuki Oden in legendary light, so much so that he assumes the identity of Oden at times.
Although not confirmed by Oda, it appears that Yamato has taken some inspiration from Prince Yamato Takeru of the Yamato dynasty, who was the son of Emperor Keiko. This draws comparisons to One Piece's Yamato, who is also the son of an Emperor — albeit a different kind of Emperor.