Dyslexia, a learning disability that primarily manifests itself as a difficulty with written language, is often discovered in a person based on their reading and spelling skills. Based on information from the International Dyslexia Association, it is highly possible that anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of the world’s population have or experience symptoms of dyslexia. Dyslexia should not hold you back from your goals, though. Here you will find a list of famous people with dyslexia and what their significant contributions to the world are.
Tom Cruise had a rough childhood with an abusive father who often came down on him when something went wrong or his grades were poor. He had a difficult time in school because of his dyslexia and went through fifteen school in twelve years. He was often bullied for his dyslexia and other things, but, Cruise has gone on to become a great actor. He has been nominated for 3 Academy Awards and has won 3 Golden Globes for his acting and film producing.
Cher grew up in without a father and much of her childhood was spent in poverty. Her mother tried to make a living as a singer and actress, which is what brought Cher into that world. Cher had horrible struggles in school because she was dyslexic, so she decided to quit school in order to take some acting classes in Los Angeles. One day, she was at the renowned Aldo’s Coffee Shop and met Sonny Bono. At the time he had success in show business and the two became one of the most famous singing and acting couples of all time.
Even with dyslexia, Agatha Christie was one of the best selling book authors of all time. The only other book to surpass her sales was the Bible, and her work and notoriety equalled that of William Shakespeare. Over time her books have sold approximately 4 billion copies worldwide. Her dyslexia never stopped her from tapping into her creative side and learning to write so that she could cultivate her captivating and world-renowned mystery novels. She truly honed an ability to captivate readers with her amazing stories despite her struggles with the written word due to dyslexia. “And Then There Was None” is touted as her all-time bestselling novel, and has served a true source of inspiration for many other novelists and movie makers alike.
Albert Einstein was one of the greatest minds in history. However, Einstein’s horrible memory and inability to memorize and remember the smallest things were keen indications of his struggle with dyslexia. This didn’t stop him, though. He may have forgotten the months in the year, but he successfully solved some of the most complicated mathematical formulas and equations in existence. He may never have learned to tie his shoes, but what does that matter when his scientific and mathematical theories and contributions are such a large part of today’s current knowledge?
Thomas Edison was the creator and developer of many devices that have greatly influenced life in the world such as the phonograph and the light bulb. Edison was a problem child and trouble maker who also suffered from dyslexia. He had difficulties in mathematics as well as with words and speech. He applied himself immensely to whatever caught his attentions, but those attentions were easily diverted. Still, whenever you flip a light switch in your house and the bulb goes on, you have Edison to thank!
Alexander Graham Bell
When Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone, his initial goal had been to create a device that could help deaf people to hear. His mother became deaf when he was 12, so this invention was important to him. Bell struggled in school because he was dyslexic, but he maintained a passion and interest for the sciences and biology. His grades in other subjects were sub par as was his interest in those areas, but that did not keep him from moving on to invent the telephone. He is also well known today as one of the founders of the National Geographic society.
Walt Disney is noted as one of the most creative, innovative and influential entertainment figures of the twentieth century. His films and animations are a huge, worldwide franchise today. Disney had dyslexia and struggled through his schoolwork, but he also attended the Academy of Fine Arts while he was in high school where he excelled in drawing and animation. Even though he had double the school work, his capabilities in art spurred him on to become the great film producer, director, voice actor, animator, and philanthropist that he was.
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci excelled in many areas such as science, math, engineering, painting, sculpting, inventing, botany, music, writing, and anatomic study. Da Vinci came up with creative ideas that were vastly ahead of his time, sketching plans and making models of things like helicopters, tanks and calculators as well as conceptualizing solar power, the double hull and creating a rudimentary outline of the theory of plate tectonics. Da Vinci was a dyslexic and his notes were often written backwards or out of order. Many dyslexics who are left handed share this same trait and are not usually conscious of it.
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen suffered from dyslexia, but still went on to write amazing fantasy stories such as “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Princess and the Pea”, “Thumbelina”, and “The Snow Queen”. He is a Danish author, but was never able to master his mother tongue, a true sign of dyslexia. Despite this his books have sold millions of copies and are still in print today in a wide range of languages. He showed that nothing can stop you if you want something bad enough.