Ben Carson Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Kelly Beaty

Kelly has taught fifth grade language arts and adult ESL. She has a master's degree in education and a graduate certificate in TESOL.

Ben Carson is now a member of the U.S. government, but he has spent most of his life as a medical doctor. In this lesson, you'll learn about his life and achievements.

Ben Carson

Have you ever heard the name Ben Carson? There's a good chance you have; he ran for president of the United States in 2016.

Ben Carson
Ben Carson

He didn't win the election; Donald Trump did. President Trump then chose Ben Carson to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 2017. This means he's in charge of the part of our government that helps all Americans have a decent place to live.


Before going to work for the U.S. government, Ben Carson had a very different job. He worked as a neurosurgeon. That's the kind of doctor you need if there's a problem with your brain or spinal cord.

Imagine what it would be like to have a tumor on your brain that makes it hard for you to speak, think, and walk or a spinal cord injury that keeps you from being able to walk. These kinds of things were Ben Carson's specialty.

A neurosurgeon performs brain surgery
brain surgery

It takes a lot of education and hard work to become a doctor, especially a neurosurgeon. As a student in elementary school, nobody would have picked this job for Ben! Ben Carson had big dreams, though. He wanted to be a doctor and help people, and he didn't let his skin color, being poor, or his struggles at school stop him.

Reaching his Goals

Ben Carson was born on September 18, 1951, in Detroit, Michigan. This was a time when African Americans didn't have many opportunities to get a good education. Our county's laws still kept white and black people separate much of the time.

The Carson family - Ben, his mother, and his older brother - were poor. His mother, Sonya, had to work more than one job just to pay the family's bills.

School wasn't easy for Ben and his brother. When Sonya Carson found out her kids were making bad grades, she started making them do a lot of extra reading and writing at home.

This might not have been fun at first, but Ben learned to love books. According to Ben, ''The doors of the world are opened to people who can read.''

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