Literature is full of larger-than-life characters. From Glinda the Good Witch to Sherlock Holmes, they don't exactly seem like people you'd encounter just walking around town — but many writers over the years have drawn their inspiration from the some very real people (this is also, incidentally, why no one should ever be friends with a writer, because they will steal your life story and put it in a book.) Authors' friends, family, and least favorite teachers have all found their way into classic works of fiction. Here are a few literary characters you never realized were based on real people.
I don't just mean characters who are thinly-veiled versions of the author, either (although there are plenty of those). Some of the most significant, memorable characters in the literary world started out as real people. Details like names, occupations, or ability to do magic might have been tweaked, but it's clear where the inspiration came from. Truth is often stranger than fiction, after all, and stealing your friends' personalities is a time honored writing tradition.
Of course, there are many characters based on real people out there: this list barely scratches the surface. Here are just a few of the beloved book characters who had real world counterparts: