Emperor Marcus Salvius Otho (32-69)
I’ve always found him a bit of mystery man. As a youngster he was emperor Nero’s friend and lived a depraved and lecherous life (as was “expected” from the members of this core group). Yet when exiled to Lusitania Otto surprised all and turned out to be a competent and prudent administrator. After the Nero’s and Galba’s deaths he became also an emperor for a brief moment. Defeat at the battle of Bedriacum agains Vitellius though cut his reign short. Otho’s suborditates urged him to fight on because he still had a lot of soldiers at his disposal. Emperor however decided to take his own life in order to end the civil war. Otho’s desicion was respected by his compatriots and panegyrical text of his behaviour have been written by for example Martial and Suetonius. Btw, Latter’s father was at present then Otho committed suicide and historian’s description of emperor’s last moments can be read in web portal Livius
Alltogether an extraordinary career path and a fine example that people can change.