Joshua Abraham Norton (1819-1880) Emperor Norton - Live Like Him Joshua Norton, or as he preferred to be called, Norton I, proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico in 1859.
Althought a pauper, he was fed free in San Francisco's best restaurants.
Although a madman, he had all his state proclamations published in San Francisco's newspapers.
While rational reformers elsewhere failed to crack the national bank monopoly with alternate currency plans, Norton I had own private currency accepted throughout San Francisco.
When the Vigilantes decide to have a pogrom against the Chinese, and sane men would have tried to stop them, Norton I did nothing but stand in the street, head bowed, praying. The Vigilantes dispersed.
"When the proper man does nothing (wu-wei), his thought is felt ten thousand miles." - Lao Tse
Although a fool, Norton I wrote letters which were seriously considered by Abraham Lincoln and Queen Victoria.
"You must take the bull by the tail and look the facts in the face." - W.C. Fields
Although a charlatan, Norton I was so beloved that 30,000 people turned out for his funeral in 1880.