There are many famous dyslexics including entrepreneurs, politicians and sports people.
Steve Redgrave – Rower & CBE
At the age of 38, and watched by nearly 7 million British TV viewers, Steve Redgrave entered the record books as the only person every to have won five consecutive Olympic gold medals. His success ensured his status as Britain’s most successful athlete of all time and saw the triumphant conclusion of a 24 year-long career during which he fought against the odds to achieve worldwide admiration.
Richard Brans – Entrepreneur
“At the age of eight I still couldn’t read. I was soon being beaten once or twice a week for doing poor classwork or confusing the date of the Battle of Hastings”.
Jamie Oliver – TV chef
Jamie Oliver”Reading bores me to death as I’m dyslexic; I’ve honestly never read a book from cover to cover in my life. At school textbooks did my head in. I preferred art and geology because messing around with paint and rocks was fun. I like things to be touch-feely.”
Duncan Goodhew – Swimmer
“Being dyslexic does not make life easy, although there are one or two advantages. Dyslexics tend to think laterally because the creative side of the brain is more dominant than the logistical side, which is good for problem-solving”. He was called ‘illiterate moron’ when at school.
Orlando Bloom – Actor
He says, “I’m dyslexic so school was always a bit tricky. But I got all my exams and degrees – I just had to work harder.
“Dyslexia is not due to lack of intelligence, it’s a lack of access. It’s like, if you’re dyslexic, you have all the information you need, but find it harder to process.”
Tom Cruise – Actor
Cruise says he was diagnosed as dyslexic at seven, and tried to hide his learning disability from the other children at school. He has described his younger self as “a functional illiterate”, through high school and his first several films. Explaining how such a functionally illiterate man can possibly make a good impression at auditions, Cruise says, “I’d get the director and producer to talk about the characters and the film. I’d glean information from them and I’d use that… I got pretty good at ad-libbing”.
Michael Heseltine – Politician
He was late learning to read, used to muddle up the order of letters and spelling was very inaccurate. He was thought of as unacademic. To cope with the mountains of paperwork as a Minister, he asked others to do the summarising and to prepare proposals to be submitted on half a sheet of paper.
Mike Norris – Head of Computacenter
CC is the largest business PC supplier in the UK and the fastest growing private company with a turnover of £1.9 billion. “I did really well at the sciences but always failed English, geography and history. Today, I would never write a business letter that was not later read by somebody else. I read incredibly slowly and I can’t do without my personal assistant. I’ll miss words out and misspell everything.”
Lynda La Plante – Writer
TV Series writer “Prime Suspect”, “Widows”, “She’s Out”, “The Governor”. “I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 12. In those days they thought that I was backward. I didn’t really feel at home with the written word until somebody gave me a typewriter. But, even today, I never send things out without having them checked by an assistant.”
Anita Roddick – Founder of the Body Shop
This information and much more can be found at the British Dyslexia Association: www.bdadyslexia.org