The Story Behind the Viral ‘Hot Grandpa’ Photograph

The first photograph surfaced a surprising 186 years ago. Since then, more than 3.5 trillion photos have been snapped, and much has changed in the world of photography. For one, many have stashed their dusty film cameras and have swapped them for handheld smartphone cameras.

Polaroid photo frame isolated on white background

But still, there’s nothing quite like a vintage photograph — especially one of a jaw-droppingly handsome veteran.

Not so long ago, Derek Schwendeman took to Reddit to share a black-and-white photograph of his Grandfather in 1950, right before being deployed to Korea.

Since posting the photograph, it has received more than three million views. To boot, the internet has been very candidly swooning over the soldier, who has been lovingly nicknamed the “handsome grandpa.”

“In 1950, Korea witnessed the most sparkly white teeth to be ever seen by mankind,” one Reddit user quipped.

“Holy sh** your grandfather was hot,” another gushed.

His grandson, Schwendeman, was taken aback by his grandfather’s viral status.

“It was very unexpected, but it’s been a fun surprise,” Schwendeman said in an interview with KYW-TV.

But according to reports from The Huffington Post, fans of “handsome grandpa” received a letdown when they learned that the veteran, named Thomas, is “happily married” to his 86-year-old wife Fleecie for more than 60 years.

“My grandmother says since they married young, he didn’t have much of a chance to ‘sow his wild oats,’” Schwendeman told People magazine. “She told me that he has ‘women fussing over him all of the time,’ but she got him first.”

The couple married in October of 1951. Only a year after, Thomas was deployed to Korea.

And while time has long-past, the photo stands as a testament of sorts to Schwedeman’s grandparents’ long-lasting love. The couple continues to bowl together, an activity they first did together upon meeting.

As for Thomas, “the hot grandpa”? Schwendeman tells press that his grandfather is “genuinely amazed over this single picture.”

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