A Few Famous Dyslexics

Monday, March 07, 2005

A few of the many famous dyslexics

From Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco, to Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Enterprises, countless successful people have spoken about their dyslexia, recalling the struggle to learn to read in school.

“The looks, the stares, the giggles” I wanted to show everybody that I could do better and also that I could read.” – Magic Johnson, basketball legend

“I had to train myself to focus my attention. I became very visual and learned how to create mental images in order to comprehend what I read.” – Tom Cruise, actor

“I never read in school. I got really bad grades – D’s and F’s and C’s in some classes, and A’s and B’s in other classes. In the second week of the 11th grade, I just quit. When I was in school, it was really difficult. Almost everything I learned, I had to learn by listening. My report cards always said that I was not living up to my potential.” – Cher, singer

“I couldn’t read. I just scraped by. My solution back then was to read classic comic books because I could figure them out from the context of the pictures. Now I listen to books on tape.” – Charles Schwab, founder of stock brokerage

“When I had dyslexia, they didn’t diagnose it as that. It was frustrating and embarrassing. I could tell you a lot of horror stories about what you feel like on the inside.” – Nolan Ryan, baseball legend

“I, myself, was always recognized as the ‘slow one’ in the family. It was quite true, and I knew it and accepted it. Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me. My letters were without originality. I was an extraordinarily bad speller and have remained so until this day.” – Agatha Christie, novelist

“Kids made fun of me because I was dark skinned, had a wide nose, and was dyslexic. Even as an actor, it took me a long time to realize why words and letters got jumbled in my mind and came out differently. – Danny Glover, actor

“As a child, I was called stupid and lazy. On the SAT I got 159 out of 800 in math. My parents had no idea that I had a learning disability.” – Henry Winkler, actor

“I was one of the ‘puzzle children’ myself – a dyslexic And I still have a hard time reading today. Accept the fact that you have a problem. Refuse to feel sorry for yourself. You have a challenge; never quit!” – Nelson Rockefeller, former vice president

Source: Dyslexia Awareness and Resource Center