Originally, I had planned on recognizing a litany of people who have achieved excellence in facial hair and life*, but then realized it all boiled down to the yin and the yang of bearded awesomeness: Ernest Hemingway and Jim Henson.
One was tough, rugged, manly to the Nth degree, and a literary master. The other was funny, sensitive, good-hearted, and a master of puppets. Both are two of my favorite people that have ever walked the Earth.
I doff my beard and raise a glass to you, good chaps. Although you were two very different people, both you and your beards made this world a better, more bad ass place.
*Rick Rubin, the dude from Iron & Wine, Uncle Jesse, Moses, 2/3 of ZZ Top, Katie Holmes, Jasper from "The Simpsons," Santa Claus, Willie Nelson, Gandalf, Stonewall Jackson, etc.