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27-Mar-2018 12:16

If there’s one group of people who have raised the collective eyebrow of society more than any other, it’s those iconoclasts who have chosen to buck social conventions and never marry — not even once.

In this feature, exclusively for magazine, we take a look at the few, the proud, the never-married, and how they illustrate throughout history, a life without marriage can bring singular satisfaction.

She was 6 years old before she had her first pair of shoes.

As a child, she wore potato sacks fashioned into dresses.

Henry David Thoreau Considering the almost uninterrupted praise that this author of such groundbreaking transcendentalist books as has received over the last century, it is easy to forget that Henry David Thoreau took a contrarian stance on everything from paying taxes to confining himself to a traditional marriage.

Though Thoreau wrote sparingly about his precise viewpoints regarding marriage and committed relationships, his often-stated antipathy to the idea of submission to any outward will made his life as a singular a virtual inevitability.

When the Duke of Westminster asked Chanel to marry him, she declined and later commented, “I never wanted to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” Chanel died in 1971 at 87; her unrepentant and stylish modernism lives on.

Wilt Chamberlain Wilt the Stilt, the Big Dipper, the Chairman of the Boards — no matter what you called him, Wilt Chamberlain was a Goliath of a basketball player.

Oprah Winfrey Oprah was born to a teen mother and raised in indigence.Diane Keaton Actor, director, producer, writer, photographer, singer, real estate developer, mother and muse: What hasn’t Diane Keaton done?Keaton turned 70 in January, and in those years, she has made more than 50 movies, winning an Oscar for her iconic role of Annie Hall in 1977 and inhabiting a breathtaking span of roles that range from comedic to the dramatic.She has lived a life of Garboesque seclusion, yet her love affairs with Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino garnered attention as much for their combined star power as for Keaton’s ability to inspire her on-, and off-, screen partners. In an interview, she said, “I wouldn’t rule [marriage] out, but at the same time, I do not see that in my future.I mean, there’s a certain point in your life where you can’t help it, you’re biologically charged and driven towards the opposite sex.

Oprah Winfrey Oprah was born to a teen mother and raised in indigence.Diane Keaton Actor, director, producer, writer, photographer, singer, real estate developer, mother and muse: What hasn’t Diane Keaton done?Keaton turned 70 in January, and in those years, she has made more than 50 movies, winning an Oscar for her iconic role of Annie Hall in 1977 and inhabiting a breathtaking span of roles that range from comedic to the dramatic.She has lived a life of Garboesque seclusion, yet her love affairs with Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino garnered attention as much for their combined star power as for Keaton’s ability to inspire her on-, and off-, screen partners. In an interview, she said, “I wouldn’t rule [marriage] out, but at the same time, I do not see that in my future.I mean, there’s a certain point in your life where you can’t help it, you’re biologically charged and driven towards the opposite sex.She was raised by her stern but supportive grandma and honed her interview skills by using corncob dolls as subjects.