The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is arguably the world’s most (in)famous motorcycle club. With a presence in over 5 continents and 56 countries, the club boasts of over 2500 members across its 463 charters.
Founded in 1948, the Hells Angels have become an epitome of “badass bikers”.
The club’s strong presence across the world makes them one of the “Big 4” one-percenter clubs. Many believe that the club started out as a group of outcast and disenfranchised airmen of the US Airforce who fought in the Second World War as part of the Hell’s Angels Bomber B-17 group.
However, that’s just urban legend. The Hells Angels MC has made it clear that they have no association with the bomber group, and that the club wasn’t started by military men.
However, later, during the 1950s, a lot of militarymen did join the club.
Even to this day, hundreds of angels are men who’ve served in the military at some point in their life. The club is undoubtedly the most well-recognized “brand” of all motorcycle clubs.
They, in fact, have their logo, name, and a bunch of other stuff protected by copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property laws in the U.S., as well as internationally.
They’ve been a fancy of the pop culture since decades.
Sonny Barger founded the Oakland Chapter in 1957, and would later become the face of the club. He’s been featured in several movies made about the club or with reference to it.
Barger’s autobiography, “Hell’s Angel”, released to wide acclaim in 2001. Shows like Sons of Anarchy have loosely based the characters of outlaw bikers and outlaw clubs on the Hells Angels.