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Famous People with Learning Disabilities

There are many famous people with learning disabilities. In fact, the list of people who have succeeded in life despite their learning struggles is quite extensive. Here’s a brief snapshot:   

Tommy Hilfiger         An internationally known fashion designer.

Terry Bradshaw      A former NFL quarterback (1970-1983) who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  In 1978 and 1982, he led the NFL in TD passes.  

Bruce Jenner             The 1976 gold medalist in the Olympic decathlon, he is described as the "world's greatest athlete."

Chris Kaman              American-German professional basketball player who currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA. 

Michael Phelps          2004 Olympic Games swimmer. Made history by breaking records and winning eight gold medals, six of which were gold!  He tied with Soviet gymnast, Aleksandr Dityatin (1980) for the most medals in a single Olympic Games.

Neil Smith                Former American football defensive end in the NFL, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1988 to 1996, the Denver Broncos from 1997-199, and the Sand Diego Chargers in 2000.  Smith finished his 13 NFL seasons with 105 sacks, 30 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries, 19 return yards, and 1 touchdown. He also intercepted 4 passes, returning them for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Jackie Stewart          A British form Formula One race car driver from Scotland, Mr. Steward was nicknamed the "Flying Scott."  He competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers' Championships.  He also competed in Can-Am.  2009 he was ranked fifth of the fifty greatest Formula One drivers of all time

Charles Schwab      The founder, chair, and CEO of the Charles Schwab Corporation, the largest brokerage firm in the United States.

Princess Beatrice of England, daughter of Prince Andrew and fifth in line to the throne.

Patrick Dempsey     An American actor, best known for his role as neurosurgeon, Dr. Derek Shepherd on the ABC medical Drama Grey's Anatomy.  His acting career includes leads in the films Sweet Home Alabama and Scream 3.

Danny Glover            An acclaimed American actor and film director. Glover is well known for his roles as Mr. Albert Johnson inThe Color Purple, as Michael Harrigan in Predator II, as corrupt cop James McFee in Witness, as Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh in the Lethan Weapon film series, and as George Knox in Angels in the Outfield.  He has also appeared in many other movies, television shows, and theatrical productions.

Whoopi Goldberg  An actress and comedienne who has used her stardom to raise money to eliminate homelessness.

Woody Harrelson   Actor. Rose to fame as Woody on the hit TV series Cheers. His movie career includes many starring roles and Academy Award nominations.

Jay Leno                        A popular comedian and late-night talk show host, Leno was the host of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 1992 to 2009.

Vince Vaughn             A movie actor who starred in The Break-Up, Wedding Crashers, and Thumbsucker.

Nate Davis              Drafted as QB in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49-ers.

Tom Cruise                 Tom Cruise is the world's most popular movie star, with films grossing nearly $3 billion.

  • Scientists: Galileo, Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham Bell.
  • Actors: George C. Scott, George Burns, Steve McQueen, and Sylvester Stallone.
  • Authors: Hans Christian Anderson, George Bernard Shaw, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Musicians: Mozart, Beethoven, John Lennon, and Cher.
  • Athletes: “Magic” Johnson, Bruce Jenner, Carl Lewis, and Nolan Ryan.
  • Politicians: John F. Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, Dwight Eisenhower, and Woodrow Wilson.
  • Military leaders: General Patton and General Westmoreland.