Famous Dyslexics

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In this lesson, you'll learn about the definition of dyslexia, as well as the many famous people throughout history who have had it or are suspected of having it, and the many things they accomplished despite this.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder. It involves the poor and inadequate processing of words. This is most characteristically reflected in people who have difficulty learning to read. The word dyslexia comes from dys- which means difficult, disordered, poor, or inadequate and the word lexis, which implies speech, words, or language.

And while people with dyslexia struggle with reading, that doesn't mean they don't overcome it in order to achieve amazing things. Let's meet some of the people who have either confirmed they have dyslexia or are suspected to have had dyslexia and the cool things they achieved.

Inventors, Businessmen, & Authors

If you ever use the telephone, and I bet you do, then you can thank the person traditionally credited with inventing the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, for giving you the ability to talk to someone in real time over long distances. While you probably don't use Bell's original invention, you may be a user of a wireless communications brand called Virgin Mobile for your smartphone. Famous entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson founded Virgin Group, the parent company in charge of Virgin Mobile.

Another famous entrepreneur is Charles Schwab, the man who founded the brokerage firm that bears his name. He claimed that he has had great difficulty with language and reading. He prefers oral vs. written communication. Maybe that's why one of his company's long-time ad slogans was 'Talk to Chuck'.

While Schwab had great difficulty reading, that doesn't mean dyslexics cannot overcome their difficulties with reading. In fact, many famous authors have had or are suspected to have had dyslexia. John Irving, the author of Cider House Rules, is one such author. Mathematician and author Lewis Carroll, who wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is another example.

Entertainers, Public Officials, and Scientists

Famous entertainers like Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, and Henry Winkler have dyslexia. Yet despite this, they have entertained countless people for years with their jokes and performances. Carol Moseley Braun, the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Senate, has dyslexia. Not only did she serve in the Senate, she was also an ambassador, and now runs her own company!

Of course, you might be thinking that it's one thing to crack jokes and be dyslexic, it's another thing to be a scientist and be dyslexic. Don't those guys have to read a ton of really difficult books filled with strange sounding words? Well, even if they do, dyslexia has not stopped some of the world's top scientists. Jack Horner, who is actually a non-degree holding paleontologist, is one of the world's best-known scientists. He was an adviser to the Jurassic Park movies and proved to the world that dinosaurs cared for their young.

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