11 incredibly famous physically challenged people, who proved that disability is only a myth
The world is blessed with some of the greatest persons who have shown exemplary acts in different fields. Notable point here is, there are people who are physically challenged; yet they marked their names in the pages of history. Here are a few such people who defied their physical constraints and let their abilities shine bright.
Demosthenes – Stammer
Demosthenes was a Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. He was one of the most robust and influential speakers of all time. But, he was a stammer. For which, he tried to commit suicide at the age of 11. He overcame by speaking with pebbles in his mouth and by reciting verses when running or out of breath. He used to sit by the beach for hours, with pebbles in his mouth. He also practiced speaking before a large mirror. Eventually, he became of the most admired orators in history. His speeches provide valuable information on the political, social, and economic life of 4th-century Athens.
Helen Adam Keller – Blind and Deaf
The famous American author, political activist and lecturer, Helen Adams Keller was blind and deaf. Helen Adams Keller was born a healthy child on June 27, 1880, to Captain Arthur H. and Kate Adams Keller of Tuscumbia. At the tender age of 19 months, she was stricken with a severe illness which left her blind and deaf. She mastered Braille as well as the manual alphabet and even learned to use the typewriter, by the age of 10. When she was 16 years of age, she could speak well enough to go to preparatory school and to college. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Keller wrote a total of 12 published books and several articles.
Helen Keller became one of the most remarkable women in history. Helen had travelled to more than 40 countries to improve the conditions of blind and the deaf-blind around the world. Through her speeches, she brought new hope and courage to the millions of blind people.
Albert Einstein – Dyslexic and Autistic
The most famous and successful scientist of all time, Albert Einstein was dyslexic and autistic. He did not speak until the age of three. He had difficulties in doing maths and it was hard for him to express himself through writing.
But Einstein had overcome his physical barriers and changed the face of Physics and science forever. His theory of relativity is said to be the most revolutionary theory of physics. He won a Nobel Prize for his photoelectric effect theory in 1921.
Robin Williams – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Robin Williams was born on July 21, 1951. He was an American actor and comedian. Robin Williams suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a child. His continuous speaking without thinking indicates some signs of ADHD in his behavior. But he creatively used his ADHD behavior in his films and comic acts and that is the main reason behind his successful career with films like ‘Good Will Hunting’, ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ and ‘Jumanji’ etc. Robin Williams won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as therapist Dr. Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting. He received 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Golden Globe Awards, 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards and 5 Grammy Awards.
Frida Kahlo – Polio and lifetime injury
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter known for her self-portraits. She contracted polio at the age of 6, which caused her to be bedridden for nine months. She suffered a near-fatal bus crash at the age of 18 that left her with a lifetime of pain. Considered as one of Mexico’s greatest artists, Frida Kahlo began painting after she was severely injured in that bus accident. Despite her physical disability, she was one of the most celebrated painters in all of Mexico. Her painting mostly includes self-portraits, landscaped and figment of imagination.
John Nash – Schizophrenia
John Nash was a renowned American Mathematician. He suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Nash started developing signs of schizophrenia a few years after being out of college. But his illness never affected his love for mathematics. His work on geometry and partial differential equations is still considered as outstanding and are used in economics, computing, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, computer science, games of skill, politics and military theory. John Nash shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with game theorists Reinhard Selten and John Harsanyi in 1994.
Christy Brown – Cerebral Palsy
Christy Brown was an Irish writer, poet and painter. Brown was challenged with cerebral palsy. Till the age of 5, he wasn’t able to respond to his own will. Only after that, his left foot was responsive as opposed to the whole body and was able to write or type only with the toes of one foot. He is a celebrity author of his autobiography ‘My Left Foot’. The movie based on his book received the Academy Award in 1989.
Vincent van Gough – Mental illness
Vincent Van Gough was one of the most admired and influential painters to have born on earth. Vincent Van Gough suffered from depression and was hospitalized. Although he killed himself, his paintings remained as one of the marvelous crafts of all time.
Ralph Braun – Muscular Dystrophy
Ralph Braun was born and raised in Winamac, Indiana. When he was 6 years old, doctors diagnosed him with muscular dystrophy. At the age of 14, he started using a wheelchair. In 1963, Braun started ‘Save-A-Step’ manufacturing to build the first motorized scooter. In 1966 Braun created the first wheelchair accessible vehicle, by creating a wheelchair platform lift and hand controls that were added to an old postal van. In 1970, Ralph added wheelchair platform lifts to full-sized vans. ‘Save-A-Step’ was incorporated under a new name, The Braun Corporation, in 1972. Braun was named a ‘champion of change’ by U.S. President Barack Obama.
John Hockenberry – Spinal Cord Injury
John Hockenberry is a journalist, author, 4 times Emmy Award Winner and three-time Peabody Award winner. At the age of 19, Hockenberry sustained a spinal cord injury in a car crash, which left him paralyzed from the chest down. John Hockenberry has reported from all over the world on a wide variety of stories, for more than three decades.
Tom Cruise – Dyslexic
One of the most dashing and incredibly talented actors, Tom Cruise was dyslexic, which made academic success difficult for him. He showed signs of dyslexia (learning disorder) beginning in grade school. This Hollywood heartthrob star, who was severely dyslexic, has been nominated for 3 Academy Awards and has won 3 Golden Globe Awards.