10 Famous People Who Overcame Their Disabilities

Famous people were not spared from various diseases and disorders which may have left them incapacitated, in the impossibility of doing their jobs or enjoying what they liked most. However, what sets apart the celebrities listed below is the determination to overcome their disabilities and to lead a normal life. These famous people who overcame their disabilities represent a inspiration for all of us:

1. Jim Carrey

jim carrey

Jim Carrey is well known for the funny faces he make in front of the camera and for his talent as a comedian. Thus, it is hard to imagine that he was seriously depressed when he was young: Talking about that period in his life, Jim Carrey mentioned the fact that he had a sick mother, in bed, and that he used to make those faces in order to see her laughing. He was also very poor, and sickness, added to poverty, was the two main reasons for his depression.

2. Ludwig van Beethoven

ludwig van beethoven

The famous composer who kept creating and playing his extraordinary works even after being completely deaf is a lesson of ambition and strength for all of us.He is one of the  famous people who did not let his disability to stop him doing what he loved. Also, Beethoven was very depressed, having faced a hard childhood and a life full of disappointments. He did not let his depression transpire in his music though, and left us with a treasure of musical compositions of an inestimable value.

3. Claudius

3. emperor claudius

Claudius was a Roman emperor with a very beautiful life story which may inspire us all: Born to a very noble family, who had high expectations of him, the life of Claudius turned 360° when it became clear that he had a type of disability that made his own mother see him as a “monster”. Thus, he was removed from public life and grew up as a flower in the dark, his many qualities and his outstanding intelligence remaining unknown for many years. This fact proved to be a good one, actually, because it gave him the possibility of becoming the last standing male in his family- all the rest were killed- because he was not seen as a threat but rather as a harmless fool. Thus, at the death of Caligula, he became emperor himself and what a great emperor he was!

4. F.D Roosevelt

4. franklin_roosevelt

Roosevelt, the only American president who served more than two terms (from  1933 to 1945), became seriously sick, of what that time was considered to be polio. This resulted in a permanent paralysis which he struggled to overcame for the rest of his life. Very careful with his public image, he refused to be seen in a wheelchair and made great efforts o stand upright while giving speeches and to give the impression that he made great improvements and he was recovering.

5. Tiger Woods

tiger woods

The most famous golfer of all time, Tiger Woods was stuttering in his childhood and he only overcame this disability by means of hard work and practicing every single day. With the help of his mother (and of his dog, that patiently listened to him talking for hours) Tiger Woods corrected his stuttering problem and now, one cannot find any sign that he ever had it.

6. Agatha Christie


Agatha Christie was one of my favorite writers, as a teenager. I love her books, and so do millions of people around the world. How many of you know, however, that she used to be dyslexic in her childhood? This disorder might have stopped Agatha from writing her books, but her strength and ambition helped her to overcome this problem and to become one of the most famous people in the world.

7. Albert Einstein


It may come as a surprise for you that one of the famous people who overcame their disabilities was also Albert Einstein. It is true though: according to the sorce, he had an awful memory which stopped him to remember even the simplest things, as the months of a year. Yet, he was a genius, as you know, and this disability (probably a form of dyslexia) did not affect his work of which we are taking advantage to this day.

8. Robert Bruce, King of Scots

robert bruce

Robert I lived between 1306 and 1329. He is a national hero, having fought in many battles and having led his men in the wars for the independence of Scotland. He is known for having suffered from a disease which was, according to the classical view, leprosy. However, modern science does not agree with this supposition and name syphilis or psoriasis as a more likely cause of his sufferance.

9. Aron Lee Ralston

9 aron ralston

Aron Lee Ralston became famous after having suffered a horrible accident. An experienced mountain climber, he was hiking in Utah when a boulder crushed his right hand, and pinned it against the canyon’s wall. Her remained there for 5 days, trying to free himself and recording what he thought to be his last days on Earth, before amputating his arm with a knife that was not made for such an operation. He then managed to climb back and was found by rescuers in time to save his life. His experience inspired the movie 127 hours, which received great feedback. Ralston is still a passionate climber and his disability or the unfortunate accident did not stop him from doing what he likes best.

10. Alan Shepard

alan sheppard

Alan Sheppard is known as the first American in space and the second worldwide. Shepard had a fulfilling career which was at its peak when he was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear which also affected the famous painter Vincent Van Gogh. Meniere’s disease causes nausea as well as dizziness and disorientation, so Shepard could not go into space anymore and was assign a ground position. However, as the other famous people in this list, he did not let his disability to ruin his life: some years later, after having suffered an operation, he was able to resume his career and get back in the space, being the oldest astronaut in the program (at 47 ) when he was named commander of Apollo 14.



Disabled World

photo credits:

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