5. HENRY CLAY FRICKNow here’s a biopic we’d love to see. Though his story isn’t widely known outside of the history teacher circuit, steel producer Henry Clay Frick and his cold-blooded business practices sparked all kinds of mayhem back in 1892. That year, leaders of a union that worked under Frick tried negotiating for a raise, but Frick, who was quite the dick, countered with a 22-percent pay cut.
Before hiring workers who’d do the job for mere pennies, Frick paid for a barbed wire fence to be built around his plant, locking the disgruntled union members out. Then, to add potential physical damage to insult, he erected sniper towers all around the plant, each armed with powerful cannons that shot ferocious water streams and, in some cases, piping-hot liquids.
Pretty bad, right? But, wait…it gets worse. Once the low-pay workers started, the union members started picketing outside of Frick’s plant. Frick’s response: sending hundreds of armed mercenaries into the crowd, resulting in gunfire, cannonball deployment, and several casualties. Soon after, an assassin shot Frick twice in the neck, though, in true G style, Frick shrugged the flesh-wounds off and NFL-tackled the shooter. Oh, yeah, and he ultimately survived. Sounds a bit like the plot of Horrible Bosses, only, in Frick’s version, the bad guy wins.