Famous Dyslexics from Hans Christian Andersen to Anderson Cooper and Their Achievements
It is often thought that those diagnosed with dyslexia are held back by their disability. The reality, however, is that there are many notoriously famous people both in the past and the world today who have overcome this disability in order to accomplish great things in their lives. From Hans Christian Andersen to Anderson Cooper, the list is endless. Just take a look at a few of these famous dyslexics and what they have accomplished.
Billy Bob Thornton is an American actor, screenwriter, director and musician. He has struggles with ADD and dyslexia.
Keira Knightley The film star was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was just six years old. Though some may see dyslexia as being detrimental for an aspiring actress, Knightley used it as a springboard for her career.
Vince Vaughn had trouble both reading and paying attention. The school insisted that he be given on medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but Vince’s father refused to even consider it as an option. Not only was Vince suffering from ADHD, but he also had dyslexia and found it difficult to keep up. He was put into special classes for kids with learning disabilities.
Steven Spielberg When people think of successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Steven Spielberg is typically at the top of the list. Most people, even his loyal fans, would never guess that the famous director has struggled with dyslexia throughout his entire life. What is even more amazing is the fact that his learning disorder went undiagnosed for years.
Jay Leno With Jay Leno.” His face is universally recognized, and his controversial private life is constantly appearing in supermarket tabloids and on entertainment news. Yet unbeknownst by most, Leno has struggled with the learning disorder, dyslexia, since childhood.
Hans Christian Andersen was Danish author, best known for his children’s stories such as “The Little Mermaid”, “Thumbalina”, and “The Ugly Duckling”.
Michael “Atters” Attree is an English satirist writer and comedian and had a hand in authoring quite a few books, British television shows, and theatre.
Abhishek Bachchan is Bollywood actor and producer, and is married to actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai.
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German pianist and composer and is one of the most influential composers of all time. He continued to compose, perform, and conduct even after becoming completely deaf.
Michael Bennet is a lawyer, business man, and politician. He is currently serving as the junior United States Senator for Colorado and is a member of the Democratic party.
Louise Arnold is an English author who was discovered in BBC’s “Find the Next J.K. Rowling” contest. She has since authored three books in the “Golden and Grey” children’s stories series.
Orlando Bloom is an English actor best known for his role as Legolas in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and then as Will Turner in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy. He was also named the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in October of 2009.
Roberto Bolaño was a Chilean novelist and poet, best known for his work “The Savage Detectives”. He was post humously awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for his fiction work, “2666″.
Jeremy Bonderman debuted in major league baseball for the Oakland Tigers. He was then traded from Oakland to Detroit and is now a free agent.
Richard Branson is one of the most well known entreprenuers of his time. As the founder of the Virgin Group, he has had his hand in the music industry, transportation, and telecommunications. He has also set a goal to break as many world records as possible.
Erin Brockovich is the president of Brockovich Research and Consulting. She was instrumental and the head of an investigation and construction of the case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company in California and is the feature player in a movie written about her own life.
Octavia Butler was a famous American science fiction writer and is one of the most well known African-American writers in the field. She has won the Hugo and Nebula awards and was the first science fiction author to win the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.
Thomas Edison is an American inventor and scientist who has created innovations that have revolutionized the way things are done today. He invented the light bulb, phonograph, motion picture camera, and is credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.
Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr. was a naval officer for the American Navy, an engineer, an astronaut, and the third person to walk on the moon. He was the 20th person and the 10th American to fly in space and flew on the Gemini 5, Gemini 11, Apollo 12, and Skylab 2 space missions for NASA.
Carl XVI Gustaf is the king of Sweden and is formally known as “His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden”. Due to a new law establishing equal primogeniture, his heir apparent is his oldest child, Crown Princess Victoria.
Dave Chalk is a Canadian broadcaster and technology journalist and is known as a unique entrepreneur. At a young age, he was written off by the school system due to dyslexia, but has since become one of the most successful serial entrepreneurs of his time. He has invested in and sold over 20 businesses and made his first million from nothing by the age of 23.
Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian inventor, is truly one of the original Renaissance men. He is best known for his art work. He is the creator of such masterpieces as “The Mona Lisa”, “The Last Supper”, and his drawing of the “Vitruvian Man”. He is also known for his technological conceptualisation of the helicopter, the tank, the calculator, and many other modern day inventions.
Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian) is an American singer, actress, director, and record producer but is best known as “The Goddess of Pop”. She got her start as half of the duo Sonny and Cher and has since won an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes, an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, and a People’s Choice Award for her success in television, music, and film.
Stephen J. Cannell was the founder of Stephen J. Cannell Productions and was an American writer, novelist, producer and occasional actor. He was the creator or co-creator of many shows, most notably “The A-Team”, “The Rockford Files”, and “21 Jump Street”.
Chaz Bono, formerly Chastity Bono, is the only child of Cher and Sonny Bono. He is an author, musician, actor, and one of the biggest advocates and supporters of the LGBT Rights movement. He is also one of the most famous figures to publicly go through female to male gender transition.
Anderson Cooper is a well known television personality as well as an American journalist and author. He spent many years filming journalism pieces in war-torn regions of Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and is currently a commentator for CNN.
Tom Cruise is an American actor and producer who has had many leading roles in popular films throughout the past two decades. He has been proclaimed to be one of the few producers who can guarantee the success of of a billion dollar film franchise and is well known for his controversial support of the Church of Scientology.
Keira Knightley is an English model and actress who received her first break in international fame in the films “Bend it Like Beckham” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy. “Forbes” magazine has listed her as the second highest paid actress in Hollywood, and is the only non-American actress to make this list. She has been nominated for several awards such as the Academy Award for Best Actress, two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her acting in the film “Atonement”.
Patrick Dempsey is a well known American actor and race car driver. He is best known for his role as “McDreamy”, Dr. Derek Shepherd, in the dramatic television series “Grey’s Anatomy”. He has also had a roles in many films such as “Enchanted”, “Made of Honor”, and “Sweet Home Alabama”.
Albert Einstein was a German theoretical physicist, author, and is one of the most influential scientists and intellectuals of all time. He has published over 300 scientific and over 150 non-scientific works and has received several honorary doctrate degrees from numerous American and European colleges. His name “Einstein” has in modern day, become synonymous with the word “genius”.
Alexander Faludy became the youngest undergraduate at Cambridge in over 200 years at the age of 15. Although he could barely write his own name, he has become an English student and is known as a former child prodigy.
Whoopi Goldberg is an American actress, comedienne, political activist, singer, song writer, and talk show host. Her first film role was as Celie in “The Color Purple” in 1985, and her career has only blossomed since. She has been nominated and won several awards and has done numerous films in her career. She can currently be seen as a co-host on the popular television show, “The View”.
Steve Jobs is best known as the co-founder and CEO of Apple, a computer and telecommunications company. Along with Mike Markkula, Steve Wozniak, and many others, he helped design, develop, and market one of the first successful personal computer line called the Apple II series. He is listed as the primary inventor or co-inventor of over 230 awarded patents or patent applications related to technologies from computer and portable devices to user interfaces, speakers, keyboards, power adapters, staircases, clasps, sleeves, lanyards and packages.
Ingvar Kamprad is the Swedish founder of IKEA and is the eleventh wealthiest person in the world according to “Forbes” magazine. He started dabbling in business at a young age selling matches from his bicycle and eventually expanded his ventures into other areas. At the age of 17, his father gave him a cash reward for his success in his studies. He used this cash to establish IKEA and has been building the IKEA empire ever since.
Lindsay Wagner is best known as an actress for her role as Jaime Sommers in the series “The Bionic Woman for which she was nominated and won an Emmy Award. However, she originally got her start as a model in Los Angeles and as the host of “Playboy After Dark”. She has had many other roles in both film and television, however she is most famous for “The Bionic Woman”.
Marcus Brigstocke is an English comedian and satirist who has had his hand in stand up comedy, radio, television, and musical theatre. He also played a cameo role in “Love Actually” as Mike, the radio personality who interviews Billy Mack.
John Lennon was an English singer and song writer who gained his international notariety as one of the founders and member of The Beatles. After the break up of the popular singing group, he went on to a career as a solo artist and as a song writer for many other popular singers and groups. He was a leader in the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War era, and his songs were adopted as the anthem for the anti-war movement. In 1980, he was shot four times in the back at the entrance to his New York apartment building by Mark David Chapman.
Henry Winkler is best known as an actor for his role as Arthur Fonzerelli in the television show “Happy Days”. He has had his hand in everything from acting, writing, producing, and has even become the spokesman for the Dyslexia Foundation. He has shown his support of the Dyslexia Foundation through the writing and reading/book tours of his children’s book series about Hank Zipzer, the fourth grade dyslexic boy who became “the worlds greatest underachiever”.
As you can see, there are a variety of famous dyslexics who have become famous in a variety of genres. There are so many more that could not be listed, however the list is almost endless. None of these famous names let their disability hold them back. Instead, they rose above their insecurities and became some of the most notable names in literary, musical, and film history.