Plenty of famous people in history are supposed to have been dyslexic. Even though it appears some of these assertions are conjecture, there is no doubt that you can find many successful dyslexic folks in all fields and disciplines. Even a shortlist of a few modern-day dyslexics includes some impressive names.

Steven Spielberg at Hollywood Walk of Fame Source: Wikicommons

Let´s go to Hollywood first. Director Steven Spielberg, who brought us Indiana Jones, Schindler´s ListJurassic Park, and Lincoln, spoke to the Friends of Quinn website about being dyslexic. Spielberg was only diagnosed with dyslexia as an adult. His words to young people with learning disabilities are as inspiring as any scene from one of his movies:

“You are not alone, and while you will have dyslexia for the rest of your life, you can dart between the raindrops to get where you want to go. It will not hold you back.”

Steven Spielberg

Another film luminary who was not diagnosed young but who went on to win an Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy Award is Whoopi Goldberg. Besides her phenomenal talent, Goldberg possesses plenty of grit and overcame struggles in school and drug use to become one of the most successful performers of all time.

Whoopi Goldberg Source: Wikicommons.

Moving to the world of business, we find many successful dyslexics among top entrepreneurs. The companies Cisco´s, Kinkos, and Virgin all were led by dyslexic CEOs. Another influential business figure and adviser to the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve Board, Diane Swonk, is also dyslexic and nearly failed English in college despite her high level of intelligence and abilities in math and economics.

Many people with dyslexia are creative. Take Scott Adams, creator of the popular comic strip Dilbert. Or writers Natasha Solomons and Jane Elson. Or micro-sculptor Willard Wigan. Not sure what a micro-sculpture is? These tiny but perfect creations need to be seen to be believed.

Explorer Ann Bancroft. Source: Wikicommons.

We end with a dyslexic who defines “boundary-pusher”: explorer Ann Bancroft. Bancroft has travelled by foot and dogsled to the North and South Poles and is a living example that there are no places dyslexics cannot go.

Other inspirational dyslexic people –

  • Octavia E. Butler – Science Fiction Author
  • Henry Winkler – Actor
  • Philippa Perry – Psychotherapist
  • Gwen Stefani – Singer-songwriter
  • Michael Phelps – Olympic Swimmer
  • Josh O’Connor – Actor
  • Tommy Hilfiger – Fashion Designer
  • Anthony Hopkins – Actor
  • Paul Smith – Fashion Designer
  • Keanu Reeves – Actor
  • Rohan Chhabra – Designer
  • Bella Thorne – Actor
  • Jim Rokos – Designer
  • Tom Holland – Actor


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