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Famous Southpaws in Education

Sep 20, 2011

National Left Hander's Day is a great opportunity to recognize those who represent the minority in handedness. Though it may not seem like a big deal to righties, being left-handed presents certain challenges and inconveniences. Still, it's not impossible to succeed as a southpaw, and this list shows that some very important and influential people use their left instead of their right hand.

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By Sarah Wright

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Lefties Overcoming Obstacles

In education, left-handed students often find themselves feelings discouraged. Since the majority of people are right-handed, mass-produced products like school supplies aren't really designed to be used by lefties. Some of us may remember special products for left-handed kids, like lefty scissors. But products like 3-ring binders and spiral-bound notebooks aren't made for everyone, and can be difficult and uncomfortable to use if you're not a righty.

Despite some technical setbacks, it's absolutely possible for lefties to succeed in school. Here's a list of some of the world's most famous and successful southpaws.

President Barack Obama

President Obama is one the world's most high-profile lefties. He also has the virtue of being one of the most obvious lefties, since there are so many videos and photographs of him signing various documents. There have been several left-handed U.S. presidents over the years, but we would have had one whether President Obama had won or not, since his opponent in the 2008 race, John McCain, is also a southpaw.

Matt Groening

Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, is another verified lefty. The artist and animator can be seen using his favored hand in videos on YouTube and in still photographs of him drawing some of his beloved characters. Perhaps Groening's allegiance to his own led him to create a high-profile lefty character on The Simpsons. Devotees may remember the episode where Ned Flanders opens 'The Leftorium,' a store dedicated to products for his kindred.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

It's not easy to find pictures or video of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg signing a document, though she regularly signs her name to court findings. Internet search results about Justice Ginsburg's handedness tend to focus on her political leanings, so this one is difficult to verify. Still, rumor has it that the second woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States is a lefty.

Clarence Darrow

Clarence Darrow lived from 1857-1938, and represented John T. Scopes in one of the most important cases in the history of U.S. education. In successfully defending his client, Darrow ensured that the teaching of evolution could not be banned in public school classrooms. Though concrete evidence of Darrow's left-handedness is difficult to come by, if it exists at all, multiple sources on the Internet list him as a southpaw.

If you're feeling fame-ished, why not check out this list of famous college professors?

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