Emperor Norton is San Francisco's original oddball. In 1859 he proclaimed himself “Norton I, Emperor of the United States.” He later expanded his pretense by claiming to be “Protector of Mexico” as well.
But rather than get in trouble with authorities for sedition, he became a beloved celebrity. Newspapers printed his imperial edicts. Local police paid for his uniform. He became the basis for some of Mark Twain's characters. To this day locals have petitioned to name bridges in his honor.
Find out how a few delusions of grandeur can go a long way.
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