Tinnitus, commonly known as "ringing in the ears," is the perception of a ringing noise or other sound within the head when none exists. It is a malady that affects millions, so its occurrence among the famous comes as no surprise. Beginning with Pliny the Elder, who coined the term, this essay describes the travails of a dozen well-known subjects afflicted with this disorder, through several centuries, principally in their own words. For some it was a burden to be endured; for others, it was unendurable. Suggested remedies were many and oft-times strange; cure, even now, is nonexistent.