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Famous People with Learning Disabilities* 

Many successful individuals have learning disabilities and their accomplishments serve as examples of the tremendous potential that can be realized by individuals despite this type of disability. The following is a list of a few of the many famous people who have learning disabilities: For a more extensive list of individuals with learning disabilities go to the Great Schools website .


Artists, Artisans and Musicians

·          Harry Belafonte , famous African American  entertainer and political activist

·          Stephan Jenkins , singer-songwriter for Third Eye Blind.

·          Jewel , pop-music sensation.

·          Tommy Hilfiger , well-known fashion designer.

·          Robert Rauschenberg ,  famous artist.

·          Bob Weir , guitarist and vocalist, formerly with The Grateful Dead.



·          Billy Blanks , world class martial artist and television and movie actor.

·          Terry Bradshaw , former NFL quarterback and host of Fox’s NFL pre-game show.

·          Scott Eyre , San Francisco Giants pitcher.

·          Cammi Granato , two-time Olympian in ice hockey.

·          Bruce Jenner , 1976 gold medalist in the Olympic decathlon.

·          Chris Kaman , center for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.

·          Mike Lorenz ,  lineman for the New England Patriots.

·          Greg Louganis , Olympic gold medalist in diving in the 1984 and 1988 games.

·          John E. Morgan , PGA champion, was bullied as a kid because of his learning disabilities.


Business Leaders

·          Richard Branson , successful entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Airlines.

·          John T. Chambers , CEO of Cisco Systems.

·          Barbara Corcoran ,  founder of one of New York City’s largest residential real estate agencies, recently authored Use What You’ ve Got & Other Business Lessons I Learned from my Mom.

·          Ingvar Kamprad , Swedish founder and chairman of IKEA stores, claims he adapted the inner workings of his business to compensate for his dyslexia.

·          Paul Orfalea , Kinko’s founder.

·          Charles Schwab , founder, chairperson, and CEO of the Charles Schwab Corporation.


Community Advocates & Activists

·          Erin Brockovich , inspiration for the movie of the same name.

·          Dexter Scott King , President and CEO of The King Center in Atlanta, GA. 

Entertainers & Celebrities

·          Orlando Bloom , English actor Lord of the Rings.

·          Che r , an Academy Award-winning actress.

·          Patrick Dempsey , Actor Grey’s Anatomy.

·          Danny Glover , actor of theatre and film.

·          Whoopi Goldberg ,actress and comedian.

·          Brian Grazer , producer of movies such as A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13.)

·          Woody Harrelson , Actor.

·          Salma Hayek , Mexican-born actress.

·          Keira Knightley , starred in Bend It Like Beckham and Pirates of the Caribbean.

·          Jay Leno , popular comedian and late-night talk show host.

·          Vince Vaughn , actor who was featured in The Break-Up, Wedding Crashers, Thumbsucker.


Legal & Political Figures

·          David Boies , prestigious lawyer involved in high-profile cases.

·          James Carville , famous political consultants.

·          Gavin Newsom , youngest mayor of San Francisco in 100 Years.

·          Nelson Rockefeller , governor of New York for 12 years and  Vice President of the United States under Gerald Ford.


Medical Professionals

·          Harvey Cushing, M.D. (1869-1939), world renowned neurosurgeon.

·          Helen Taussig, M.D. (1898-1986), successful cardiologist.

·            Delos Cosgrove, M.D. is a cardiothoracic surgeon and inventor of several medical devices.


Writers & Media Professionals

·            Anderson Cooper, CNN news anchor.

·            John Dunning, Denver mystery writer.

·          Fannie Flagg , writer and actor who is most famous for her novel Fried Green Tomatoe.

·          Richard Ford , author Independence Day.

·            John Irving , novelist and screenplay writer of World According to Garp, Hotel New Hampshire, and Cider House Rules.

·          Victor Villaseñor , Mexican-American author who has written 9 novels & 65 short stories.

·          Art Rodriguez , California author who documents his challenging childhood in children’s and young adult books.



*Adapted from schwablearning.com.


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