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Famous People: Learning Disabilities Don’t Discriminate

Celebrities are people just like the rest of us, even if they’re really not, and learning disabilities affect even the rich and famous. If you’re dealing with a learning disability, you’re not alone, even if you’re in Hollywood or wherever else the famous might tread. Learning disabilities can often go undetected when taken out of the context of the classroom, but the fact is there are famous people with learning disabilities just as there are ordinary people with learning disabilities—learning disabilities don’t discriminate and they don’t have to stop people from living fulfilling lives.

Famous people with learning disabilities exist in every place and every career.

  • Tommy Hilfiger struggled with dyslexia as a child, and he grew up to be a world-renowned fashion designer.
  • Chris Kaman has ADHD and currently plays center for the Los Angeles Clippers.
  • Gavin Newsome has dyslexia and he’s the dynamic mayor of San Francisco.
  • Charles Schwab has dyslexia and you see commercials for his brokerage firm everywhere.
  • Erin Brockovich has dyslexia and challenged PG&E, inspiring a movie in her name.

There are many entertainers with learning disabilities:

  • Daniel Bedingfield, Orlando Bloom, Cher, Danny Glover, Jewel, Woody Harrelson, Ty Pennington, Patrick Dempsey, Whoopi Goldberg, Joe Pantoliano, Salma Hayek, Keira Knightley, Jay Leno, Vince Vaughn to name a few

The field of science and technology has its share of people with learning disabilities: William Hewlett of Hewlett Packard and John Roberts, the CEO of SugarCRM are a couple of examples.

There are writers and media professionals with learning disabilities: Avi, the children’s author, Anderson Cooper, a CNN anchor and Richard Moore, a poet. Even intellectuals like Albert Einstein and Thomas Jefferson were thought to have learning disabilities. This hardly exhaustive list shows that there’s no shortage of famous people with learning disabilities and no shortage to what they can achieve.

Fortunately, these days celebrities are more forthcoming about their disabilities, and the visibility provided by famous people with learning disabilities helps de-stigmatize conditions like ADHD or dyslexia and dispel myths about their prognosis.

There’s no shame in dealing with a learning disability. Having a learning disability doesn’t reflect on a person’s intelligence or ability, which is made evident by the number of individuals who, in fact, exhibit above-average talent. Famous people with learning disabilities don’t necessarily overcome their disabilities, but they’ve been able to adapt to their disabilities and overcome their percieved limitations. If they can do it, so can anyone willing to try.