25 Photos of Pelé Meeting Everybody Worth Meeting


Edson Arantes do Nascimento — better known as Pelé — knows a little something about the weight of expectations. He was 9 when Uruguay defeated Brazil in the final match of the 1950 World Cup before a reported crowd of 200,000 at the Estádio do Maracanã, an upset that defined a nation's identity for most of the next decade. Not until Pelé came of age, leading Brazil to World Cups in 1958, '62 and '70, was the ghost of the Maracanazo finally laid to rest.

Since then, the Pelé legend has only grown, and a look at the company he's kept over the past half-century traces a unique path through world culture over the past half-century.

1. Frank Sinatra


2. Gerald Ford

U.S. National Archives

3. Roger Federer


4. Muhammad Ali

5. Andy Warhol

6. Jackie Chan


7. Robert F. Kennedy

8. Pope Paul VI

9. Nelson Mandela

10. Bill Cosby and Ilie Nastase

11. Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone


12. Joe Namath

13. Richard Nixon

14. Elton John

15. Willie Mays

16. Jimmy Carter

17. Pope John Paul II

18. Anderson Silva


19. Ronald Reagan

20. David Beckham

21. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundschen


22. Bill Clinton

23. Pope Benedict XVI

24. Henry Kissinger

25. Shakira