Edward Teach (Black Beard)
Born: around 1678 in England
Died: 1718 in battle.
Black Beard started out as a crewmember for the pirate Benjamin Hornigold and in 1716 the two of them captured the French ship, "Concord". After putting more cannons on the ship, Black Beard renamed her "Queen Anneís Revenge" and made her his flagship.
Teach got the name Black Beard because of he always grew a long beard, at the end of which he would tie ribbons. It is even said that during fights he would set the end of his beard on fire. He was a large, scary looking man who was feared by everyone, including his crew.
At one time while he was sailing along the Atlantic Coast of America he met up with Major Stede Bonnett (also known as the Gentleman Pirate). At first the men got on well but when Black Beard realised that Bonnett was not very good at being a pirate he forced the man to stay on "Queen Anne's Revenge" and had one of his own sailors take over Bonnett's ship.
A while later, with Bonnett still aboard, Black Beard blocked off Charleston's harbour (in South Carolina, America), bargained for medical supplies and, at the same time, stole as much as he could from the ships. On leaving the port he and his ship headed north up the coast where he ran his ship aground and marooned many of his crew, including Bonnett, before taking a small sloop and sailing to Carolina for a Pardon.
Not that getting the Pardon stopped Black Beard from going back to piracy, so in 1718 the Governor of Virginia issued a reward for his capture. Two naval sloops, commanded by Captain Maynard and Captain Hyde, went out to find him. In November the two men and their crews found Black Beard near Orcacoke Inlet. Since sloops have no cannons or guns what followed was a fierce and bloody battle. Sadly Hyde died in the fight, but in the end Maynard killed Black Beard. It is said that when he died he had been wounded over 25 times.
The death of Black Beard and the capture of his crew was considered to be the beginning of the end of pirates.