What Did George Washington Look Like?

ByABC News via via logo

Feb. 19, 2006 — -- George Washington is known as the father of our country, but he might also have been the original American hunk.

Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate, decided to try to figure out what the first president looked like. A team of artists, anthropologists and forensic scientists used cutting-edge technology to reconstruct Washington's looks and the result was a whole new look for a familiar figure.

"The most difficult part of the challenge in a way was morphing backward when there are no images of the 19-year-old," said re-creation team member Ivan Schwartz. "Our 19-year-old mystery man -- the man who would become leader of the country."

The team re-created Washington at age 57 when he was president; at age 45 when he commanded troops in the Revolutionary War and as a teenage surveyor.

The three life-size figures will be displayed at Mount Vernon in a new $95 million museum and education center in Washington's home, Mount Vernon, which is scheduled to open in October.

"When we ask people they say, 'Well Washington was great, but he's stiff, he's formal, he wears that white wig, he's got bad teeth,' " said James Rees, the executive director of Mount Vernon, which is located outside the nation's capital. "He's a darn good-looking guy. And you're going to be shocked, I think, to see Washington looking like a movie star."

Rees said the re-created Washingtons are so life-like that spectators can actually see the "agony and concern, and really the determination" on the 45-year-old Washington's face.

He thinks that the representations will give people a new idea about who Washington really was.

"When they see these three authentic-looking men, they'll say, 'For the first time, I think I kind of feel I know what George Washington looked like as a real living breathing human being,' " he said.

For more information on Mount Vernon, click here.

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