Across all forms of media, relationships between brothers are often portrayed as unruly, fiercely competitive or antagonistic.
On the other hand, the brotherly bond can be a strong and positive one. Older brothers often feel protective over their younger siblings, and younger siblings often hero-worship their older brothers.
Close male friends sometimes refer to each other as ‘brother’, while the military use the expression ‘brothers in arms’ to represent the comradeship and trust between servicemen. In these circumstances, brotherhood is an example of the closeness and loyalty between men without family ties.
On May 24th, countries around the world observe National Brothers Day. This annual day of recognition and appreciation encourages people to re-establish bonds with their male siblings, show gratitude towards the brother figures in their lives, and celebrate the role that brothers play within the family.
Throughout history, there are many examples of brothers collaborating together with huge success. In recognition of National Brothers Day, we look here at just a few of the more legendary partnerships between brothers.
1. The Brothers Grimm
19th century authors Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were born in Hesse-Cassel (now Germany). They are famous for their collection of more than 200 fairy tales, including Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty.
Inspired by German folk tales, the brothers preserved traditional stories handed down between generations by compiling and publishing them under the title ‘Children’s and Household Tales’.
As we know, Grimms’ fairy tales are still widely enjoyed today, and many have been adapted for film and TV.
2. The Wright Brothers
Wilbur and Orville Wright were the pioneers behind the world’s first ever motor-powered airplane.
With a keen interest in gliding and experience in mechanics, the brothers set about creating a machine capable of sustained flight. They experimented with all kinds of design techniques, taking inspiration from the shape and movement of birds’ wings in flight.
By 1903, the brothers had made their first series of successful flights – a historic breakthrough in the field of aviation.
3. The Marx Brothers
The Marx brothers are widely regarded as one of the greatest comedic acts of the 20th century. They began their career in theaters in the early 1900s, before moving onto the big screen in the 1920s.
Known almost exclusively by their stage names – Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Gummo and Zeppo – the brothers starred in 13 feature movies and appeared separately in many others.
With their unique blend of comedic styles, satire and music, many famous comedians have cited the Marx brothers as having influenced their own performances.
4. The Jacksons
Formed in 1965, The Jackson 5 (later known as The Jacksons) were a hit group consisting of brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael, with Randy replacing Jermaine in 1975.
In the 60s, 70s and early 80s, the group enjoyed huge success. They released 16 studio albums and 40 singles, amassing multiple musical accolades.
After the group’s success, Michael Jackson launched his own solo career and quickly became one of the biggest-selling musical artists of all time.
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