Famous People With Dyslexia

For Dyslexia Awareness Month (October), I wanted to write a series of posts that focus on dyslexia from multiple viewpoints. To start, here’s a list of Top 10 famous people who have dyslexia or dyslexia-like symptoms, and a quote from each about their struggles or successes:

  1. Vince Vaughn (actor) “When you have these setbacks, you develop a really good work ethic, because you have to try harder.”
  2. Avi (author) “I was reading and writing voraciously. I sort of just didn’t know any better, and kept going.”
  3. Steven Spielberg (director) “When I felt like an outsider, movies made me feel inside my own skill set”
  4. Jamie Oliver (chef) “It was with great regret that I didn’t do better at school. People just thought I was thick. It was a struggle. I never really understood dyslexia and who could bring out my strengths.” He also revealed that he didn’t read his first book until he was 38, but now he’s even written several books!
  5. Richard Branson (business person) “Being dyslexic can actually help in the outside world. I see some things clearer than other people do because I have to simplify things to help me and that has helped others.”
  6. Muhammad Ali (boxer, human rights activist) “As a high school student, many of my teachers labeled me DUMB… I knew who the real dummies were.” Ali later went on to found Go the Distancea series of books that builds comprehension and confidence
  7. Tim Tebow (NFL player) “It has to do with finding out how you learn…I just made flashcards, I take each one, and then boom, when I’m traveling, I just flip through it. That really helped me. Writing it down, flipping through and quizzing myself, that was a great way for me to do it.”
  8. Magic Johnson (former NBA player) “The looks, the stares, the giggles…I wanted to show everybody that I could do better and also that I could read.”
  9. Whoopi Goldberg (actor/comedian) “I knew I wasn’t stupid, and I knew I wasn’t dumb.  My mother told me that.”
  10.  Anderson Cooper (newscaster) “I had to go to a special reading instructor. One way she helped was to encourage me to find books that I was really passionate about.”

Sources used: BBC, NCLD, Telegraph, UMich, NJ, Oprah, Reading Rockets

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