1. President of Mexico 11 Times: Antonio López de Santa Anna thought he was Mexico, a conceit that prompted multiple subsequent abuses of power.
2. War Criminal: At Goliad, over the protest of General José Urrea, he ordered the execution of 342 prisoners of war. To Santa Anna the Texians (Anglo Texans) were little more than pirates, while the Tejanos (Hispanic Texans) were traitors.
3. Had Davy Crockett Executed: First-person accounts from the Alamo suggest Santa Anna ordered the execution of a handful of prisoners after the battle. Crockett, according to the memoir of Mexican Lieutenant José Enrique de la Peña, was among those prisoners.
4. Coward: At San Jacinto he fled the field while General Manuel Fernández Castrillón sought to hold the faltering Mexican line. The entire Mexican force was either killed (including Castrillón) or captured (as was Santa Anna, the next day).
5. Gadsden Purchase Seller: In 1854 he agreed to the Gadsden Purchase (nearly 30,000 square miles of Mexican territory going to the United States) for $10 million and personally squandered much of the money.
6. Chewing Gum Connection: While in exile in New York City in the late 1860s he had a habit of chewing chicle gum from the sapodilla tree. His secretary, Thomas Adams, took notice, experimented with the gum, added flavoring and launched the pioneering Adams Chewing Gum Co.
7. Notorious Womanizer: Despite having a wife back in Mexico, he reportedly staged a bogus wedding with a winsome San Antonio woman during the Alamo siege.
8. Out on a Limb: In 1842 he held a grand state funeral for his amputated leg. An anti–Santa Anna mob later dug it up and dragged it through the streets of Mexico City.