General U.S. Grant
Some observers saw greatness in Grant early on, but others called him unimpressive, small, quiet, nondescript, shy, and not worth noticing. Many of these skeptics later had to reevaluate their initial impressions.
"A more unpromising boy never entered the Military Academy."
"I’m a darned sight smarter than Grant; I know a great deal more about war, military histories, strategy and grand tactics than he does; I know more about organization, supply, and administration and about everything else than he does; but I’ll tell you where he beats me and where he beats the world. He don’t care a damn for what the enemy does out of his sight, but it scares me like hell."
~William Tecumseh Sherman, Grant’s fellow cadet at West Point and future partner in command.