All Success Stories

  • Luz Rello
    Luz Rello is a Spanish researcher who has dedicated her PhD research and fellowship to studying and understanding dyslexia.
  • Aakash Odedra
    Odedra, despite his weaknesses with written language, found his strength in the communicative power of dance.
  • Abhishek Bachchan
    Bollywood producer and actor Abhishek Bachchan has struggled with dyslexia since he was a child.
  • Adam Norris
    In order to offer assistance to dyslexic entrepreneurs, Norris set up his own company, Horatio Investments, which has $172 million to invest in start-up companies run by those with dyslexia.
  • This story was submitted to us by a dyslexic teacher/tutor of dyslexic children.
  • Agatha Christie
    It’s been 100 years since author Agatha Christie created the famous private detective Hercule Poirot and launched her career as one of the most successful authors of her time.
  • Alex Green
    This Green Bay Packers player discovered he was dyslexic through exploring his talents on the football field.
  • Alex Malchow
    This father-son duo have written a bestselling story about having the courage to overcome hardship -- and it was all inspired by a learning disability.
  • Alexander Faludy is known as being a child prodigy because of his vast intelligence From England, he truly has defied all odds to get where he is today.
  • Alice Beard
    A now successful author from Kalamazoo, Michigan reflects on her struggles in school and how she overcame them.
  • Alyssa Milano
    Alyssa Milano has had her share of success, despite being dyslexic.
  • Anderson Cooper
    Anderson Cooper is a well-known journalist and TV personality on CNN, but he struggled with dyslexia at a young age.
  • Andrae Crouch
    7 time Grammy winner, Andrae Crouch and his lyrics have reached people for over 50 years.
  • Andrew Dornenburg’s path to success in the culinary world has been anything but linear.
  • Anna Brown
    The following story was submitted to us via email by Joshua Brown and was written by Anna's mother, Sarah J. Brown.
  • Ansel Adams
    Imagine you were 12 and were asked to leave schools because you were dyslexic. That’s what Ansel Adams went through when he was young.
  • Anthony Andrews
    British actor and Golden Globes winner Anthony Andrews was introduced to the stage by his English teacher. As a student, Andrews had been fiercely struggling in school with reading and writing because of his dyslexia, and he lacked confidence with reading out loud in class.
  • Anthony Hopkins
    How was Anthony Hopkins able to win an Oscar, two Emmys, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement? He credits his dyslexia for his interest in acting.
  • Ari Emanuel
  • Avi (Edward Wortis)
    Edward Irving Wortis, or known to most by his pen name Avi, is an award-winning children’s book author.
  • Barbara Corcoran
    Shark Tank celebrity investor and real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran didn’t do well in school when she was younger. Her grades suffered because of dyslexia, which she wasn’t fully aware she had until her son began to have trouble in school in a similar nature.
  • Disney's Shake It Up
    Hear a young actress discuss her character's -- as well as her own -- life with dyslexia.
  • Ben Foss
    The invention of the Intel Reader was inspired by its creator's dyslexia.
  • Benjamin Zephaniah holds the title of poet, writer, musician, professor, and holder of 16 honorary doctorates-- he also never received formal education past the age of 13.
  • British playwright and novelist Bernard Taylor surrounded himself with the literary arts. He studied at an art college in London and moved to New York City as a young man, where he made a living as an actor, writer, and illustrator.
  • The famed Taebo expert discovered his dyslexia late in life, but is still a successful body-shaping sensation.
  • Success Story: Blake Charlton
    Blake Charlton learned to cope with his dyslexia by developing humor and making fun of himself.
  • Success Story: Brad Falchuk
    Co-creator, executive producer, and writer of hit TV shows Glee and American Horror Story, Brad Falchuk has made a career out of his talents despite living with dyslexia.
  • Success Story: Brian Meersma
    ​Through his hard work exploring assistive technology and helping others, seventeen-year-old Brian Meersma embodies the term self-advocacy.
  • Success Story: Carol Greider
    For a woman who has made a breakthrough in DNA and cancer research and won a Nobel Prize, it’s hard to imagine that she was barely accepted to graduate school.
  • Upon publishing his first novel, Learning Without Reading: Extreme Dyslexia, dyslexic Casey M Tate realized his dream of becoming an author had become true.
  • Channing Tatum
    Channing Tatum struggled with both ADHD and dyslexia as a kid growing up. He was placed in the special education classroom with children who had Down Syndrome and autism because of his learning disabilities.
  • Charles “Pete” Conrad, commander of the second mission to the moon, Apollo 12, was one of the first people to set foot on the moon.
  • Businessman Charles Schwab
    Charles Schwab, the 67th richest man in America and one of the world’s most influential and esteemed businessmen, credits his success to his dyslexia.
  • Chef Marco Pierre White
    A kitchen guru, this chef and former mentor to Gordon Ramsay discusses his experience with dyslexia.
  • Success Story: Cher
    It may be hard to believe that one of the most famous entertainers ever was a high school dropout.
  • Chris Koehl
    Former So You Think You Can Dance participant Chris Koehl opens up about his learning disability.
  • Christine Finn, a dyslexia high school dropout, spends most of her working life as a freelance journalist, including for The Guardian and British Broadcasting Corporation.
  • The famous photorealist painter had to overcome many hardships in his life, but not without learning the value of perseverance.
  • Teachers play a vital role in recognizing if a student is showing signs of a learning impairment. They can accommodate for a child’s learning disability in a variety of ways- providing additional worksheets, introducing a topic through a different angle, and other supplementary material.
  • Collin Corkum: Dyslexia Breakthrough
    A 95-year-old former teacher talks about how he continues to help dyslexics succeed.
  • Dale S. Brown
    Both a previous strategic consultant and disability policy expert in Washington DC as well as a senior manager of LDOnline, Dale Susan Brown is nationally recognized as a tireless advocate and spokesperson for individuals with learning disabilities.
  • Daniel Powter: Singer, Songwriter, Musician, and Dyslexic
    Rather than viewing his dyslexia as an obstacle, Daniel Powter calls it a “gift,” that allows him to focus on his own compositions and experience music from a purely auditory outlet without the barrier of sheet music.
  • Governor of Connecticut: Dannel Malloy
    This famous politician did not let his school struggles or his dyslexia slow him down.
  • Danny Glover
    With all of the lines he has to memorize and deliver as a famous actor, no one would suspect that a guidance counselor once described Danny Glover as retarded in school.
  • Success Story: Dav Pilkey
    "Try to remember that being unsuccessful in school doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be unsuccessful in life. Lots of people who didn’t excel in school still went on to have successful lives."
  • This Dancing with the Stars performer and acclaimed actor used to fear public speaking due to dyslexia -- but not anymore!
  • Success Story: David Boies
    David Boies has been involved in many high-profile lawsuits in the United States, but he struggles with reading and has a very limited vocabulary. How is he a successful lawyer with those struggles?
  • Success Story: Dean Kamen
    Not many people know who invented the Segway, the futuristic-looking individual transportation vehicle, but now you do.
  • Dean Stalham
    <em>Bueno Key</em>, a short film written and directed by dyslexics, premiered in July of 2015. The film’s screenwriter Dean Stalham is an award-winning writer whose dyslexia wasn’t diagnosed until he was 40 years old.
  • Known for her success as a romance novelist, Debbie Macomber has struggled with dyslexia all throughout her life.
  • Deirdre Silvestri made her dream of becoming an author come true. She is severely dyslexic, and it was well into her adult life until she was able to read well.
  • Success Story: Dillon Brennan
    This was written by Dillon Brennan, a bright young dyslexic who wrote in and offered to share his story.
  • Success Story: Dominic O’Brien
    Even with dyslexia, Dominic O’Brien has matched his memory against the greatest memory experts in the world and has come out victorious many times.
  • Booth fell in love with acting at age 12 when he starred in a school play and decided he liked the onstage spotlight. But there was one problem-- Booth was dyslexic and wasn’t looking for a future with so many words.
  • For 59-year-old Duncan Goodhew, his career in the swimming pool was more to him than just a competitive sport.
  • One of the most influential and successful Hispanic Americans, Edward James Olmos grew up in a poor neighborhood in East Los Angeles and struggled with dyslexia all through his schooling and career.
  • Emma Jefferies
    Creative thinker Emma Jefferies has caught our attention with her buzzworthy set of videos about living with dyslexia.
  • Success Story: Eric McGehearty
    As a 10-year-old, McGehearty became inspired by a summer art class and learned that he shouldn’t let his dyslexia stand in the way of becoming a success.
  • Erin Brockovich overcame dyslexia to become the lawyer who won a $333 million class-action lawsuit -- the largest of its kind in U.S. history.
  • Erna Solberg
    Erna Solberg, a dyslexic, has been Norway’s 21st Prime Minister since 2013 and is only the second woman to ever hold this position.
  • Ever since she was six years old, Fannie Flagg had wanted to be a writer, but her dyslexia delayed that career.
  • Success Story: Shaun Sanders
    The following was written by a very ambitious, intelligent, and confident dyslexic law student who got in touch with us via Reddit in May of 2013 and offered to share his remarkable story.
  • Successful musician Florence Welch found her passion in singing, in part, because of her dyslexia.
  • This San Francisco 49ers running back has struggled with dyslexia, but has still gone on to become a professional football player.
  • Despite struggling with learning disabilities, Fred Epstein became one of the most innovative neurosurgeons in the pediatric field.
  • Dutch Artist GabyGaby
    Dutch multimedia artist GabyGaby shares his all-positive attitude about his dyslexia.
  • Gaston Caperton was elected as governor of West Virginia and served from 1989 until 1997. During his two terms, he emphasized that education was his first priority.
  • Gavin Newsom was San Francisco's mayor for almost ten years before becoming the state of California’s Lieutenant Governor.
  • American actor and comedian George Burns famously wrote “For me the toughest thing about dyslexia was learning how to spell it”. His comedic charm and successful television career make it hard to imagine him struggling with a learning disability. But Burns, who remained undiagnosed for most of his life, was constantly faced with anxiety and frustration during his career. The young George Burns struggled in school from the start.
  • Glenn Harrington
    Glenn Harrington achieved something he never imagined he would in high school—he is a published author.
  • Even one of the world’s greatest divers ever has overcome some setbacks.
  • Gris Suarez
    This artistic woman's success story was written by Major Chris Heatherly of the United States Army.
  • Henry Winkler
    Read about how the man who played The Fonz co-wrote 17 children's books inspired by his own struggles with dyslexia.
  • Ingvar Kamprad
    Ever wonder how IKEA came up with unique Swedish names for all of its furniture? It was from its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who is dyslexic.
  • Scottish author of fifteen novels, many of which have received critical acclaim, Irvine Welsh didn’t jump right into writing-- he started composing songs as a young man, and then switched to writing poems, until finally graduating to the published author he is now.
  • Dr. Jack Horner
    Despite his dyslexia causing him to fail out of college several times, Jack Horner still went on to win a MacArthur Fellowship for his contributions to the field of science.
  • Jacob Meders
    One thing that didn’t stop artist Jacob Meders from living his dream was his dyslexia.
  • James Grady is dyslexic. He is also the author of Six Days of the Condor, Mad Dogs, and over ten other adult novels.
  • This man earned his PhD, worked with the Michigan Department of Education, and co-authored a book, all despite having dyslexia.
  • Success Story: Jay Leno
    Comedian and former host of The Tonight Show Jay Leno believes that hard work, perseverance, humor, and a positive attitude have been the driving factors for his success in show business and overcoming dyslexia.
  • Jeanne Betancourt, author of the children’s novel series Pony Pals, grew up struggling with dyslexia. She found reading and writing difficult as a young student, and never considered herself a good speller or a quick reader-- yet she always enjoyed making up stories.
  • Jenny Dearborn, current Chief Learning Officer at global tech company SAP, overcame more than the gender gap associated with STEM careers to be where she is now.
  • Jeremy Bonderman
    Jeremy Bonderman’s Major League Baseball career almost didn’t exist because of his dyslexia.
  • Success Story: Jewell Loyd
    The WNBA’s #1 Draft pick of 2015, Jewell Loyd, went through a lot of hoops to secure her spot on the Seattle Storm basketball team.
  • Many scholars studying dyslexia have gone through extensive schooling to become experts in the field, but for one member of the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), it was her experience that taught her what she knows.
  • Now back at the top of yet another multi million dollar cosmetics company, Jo Malone is speaking out about her dyslexia. She has said that the learning disability was never disabling, but a gift which allowed her to think creatively and face failure with an open mind.
  • Joe Wright went from being called "stupid" in school to directing movies based on some of the most complex literature in the world.
  • It took a couple of large setbacks for John Chambers to realize that he could overcome anything.
  • Success Story: John Irving
    This renowned author notes that his dyslexia is an advantage in his writing career.
  • Success Story: John Lennon
    John Lennon's beautiful music with the Beatles would not have existed without his perseverance through dyslexia.
  • Despite his early struggles, this dyslexic writer went on to graduate from Brown University, where he received an honors degree in English Literature.
  • Success Story: Jovan Haye
    Jovan Haye overcame dyslexia (and several other obstacles) to become a professional athlete.
  • IndyCar driver Justin Wilson is no stranger to hard work and perseverance.
  • Success Story: Karen Tillery
    Karen Tillery never understood why reading caused painful headaches, teachers’ lectures were garbled, and new concepts were a struggle to understand.
  • Keanu Reeves
    The star best known for his role in the Matrix, Keanu Reeves credits his acting to learning to cope with his dyslexia in school.
  • Success Story: Keely McCabe
    This young dyslexic is now a published author.
  • Keira Knightley
    Did you know actress Keira Knightley originally got into acting because of her learning disability?
  • This dyslexic college student has published her first novel&mdash;and more are to come.
  • Leana Greene Success Story
    Leana Greene, CEO of the world’s largest parenting video library Kids in the House, grew up thinking being different meant being less. Starting at age six, she watched as her classmates seemed to grasp spelling and reading just fine, while she continued to struggle at a slower pace.
  • Nine-year-old Lillian Harris used to approach speaking aloud in school with alarm and dread, but upon learning she has dyslexia, her confidence in school has grown dramatically.
  • Lindsay Wagner became a household name in the 1970s due to her role as the main character of the hit TV show The Bionic Woman. Her interest in acting developed as a child, when she could express and cope with her emotions in acting classes—trying emotions in both her family and academic life.
  • Recently awarded a spot on Forbes Top 30 Under 30 Musicians list for 2015, Lindsey Stirling didn’t catch the eye of the music world or public with her skills on the violin alone. Her use of electronics, animation, and modern sounds makes her music just as unique as she is.
  • Success Story: Liz Ball
    Both a lawyer and consultant for disability accommodations in the academic world, Liz Ball has accomplished a lot for those with learning disabilities.
  • Through the help of a writing competition promoted by BBC News, English native Louise Arnold has stepped into the spotlight as a writer of children’s literature.
  • Magic Johnson
    Magic Johnson may be most famous for his project in public awareness to help combat HIV. But there was another disability Johnson struggled with in his youth — dyslexia.
  • Malcolm Alexander
    This renowned sculptor encourages fellow dyslexics to "find their gift and persevere."
  • Success Story: Marilyn Bartlett
    It took Dr. Marilyn Bartlett until adulthood to realize she had a learning disability.
  • Not being able to read until he was in middle school didn’t stop Mark Schlereth from becoming a successful NFL player.
  • A young woman discusses her dyslexia and how it has not stopped her from writing.
  • A New York Times bestselling author, Max Brooks had bigger fears as a kid than the zombie apocalypse his bestselling novels The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War address. A young Brooks might have much rather faced a zombie than read out loud in class or take a test. Brooks’ difficulties with dyslexia in school negatively affected his perception of himself and his abilities-- damage that would never fully be reversed.
  • Success Story: Megan Beland
    The following was written by Megan Beland, a dyslexic author and illustrator who wrote a very heartwarming kids book about her little sister.
  • Success Story: Michael Bennet
    Despite all his success as a senator from Colorado, Michael Bennet failed the second grade.
  • Success Story: Muhammad Ali
    This successful boxer developed a reading program inspired by his struggles with dyslexia.
  • It wasn’t long before a young Nelson Rockefeller knew he would have to work twice as hard as his peers in order to succeed-- and succeed he did, becoming the Vice President of the United States under the administration of Gerald Ford.
  • Nina G.
    Usually, it's not polite to laugh at someone with a learning disability. But in the case of Nina G., she wants you to laugh.
  • English singer, songwriter, and talented musician, Noel Gallagher is best known for his stardom arising from the rock band Oasis. Gallagher is less known for having dyslexia, a learning disability that has affected his life in a myriad of ways.
  • Nolan Ryan completed 27 seasons as a Major League Baseball pitcher before retiring in 1993, the longest career of any major league baseball player. But his academic status was not as successful as athletic skill. Ryan&rsquo;s dyslexia proved to be just as tough as the sports he played.
  • Success Story: Octavia Butler
    Award-winning author of 13 books, including multiple best-selling trilogies, African-American female Octavia Butler proved her race and gender did not hold her back from doing what she loved-- and neither did her dyslexia.
  • Orlando Bloom talking with Access Hollywood about dyslexia
    Orlando Bloom talks with Access Hollywood about how dyslexia affected his education and his acting career.
  • Patricia Polacco
    Dyslexic author/illustrator and Michigan native Patricia Polacco talks about her work.
  • Patrick Dempsey
    Though "Dr. McDreamy" has had a successful on-screen career in the TV series Grey’s Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey’s childhood wasn’t nearly as easy.
  • Success Story: Paul Fisher
    This whiz of a computer programmer and CEO of Buyometric found success in spite of dyscalculia.
  • Success Story: Paul Stankard
    This world-renowned dyslexic artist found his calling in glassblowing.
  • This Pulitzer Prize winning poet overcame dyslexia by inventing a new way to read.
  • Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
    Although royalty, Swedish Prince Carl Philip has endured struggles just like the average person.
  • Grandchild to the queen of England, Princess Beatrice has spent much of her adult life working with organizations that focus on childhood education and support for learning difficulties such as dyslexia, a learning disability she was diagnosed with at age seven.
  • Princess Victoria
    Swedish Crown Princess Victoria was bullied because of her struggles with reading and writing. She now speaks up for dyslexic children.
  • Success Story: Quinn Lathrop
    Quinn Lathrop is an amazing 11-year-old who embraces his dyslexia as a gift and is passionate about educating the world about his gift.
  • Success Story: Rebecca Kamen
    This dyslexic woman, fascinated by dyslexia, used her artistic abilities to create sculptures that represent brain cells.
  • The designer and developer of Quora battled dyslexia, but overcame it when she discovered her love for programming.
  • Rex Ryan
    The New York Jets coach embraces his dyslexia and encourages fellow dyslexics to do the same.
  • Success Story: Richard Branson
    What is Branson’s secret to success? Dyslexia. What many people may consider to be a weakness, Branson considers his greatest strength.
  • Success Story: Richard Engel
    Engel's dyslexia helped him realize his passion for being thrown into alien environments and learning to survive.
  • This Hollywood writer wrote and directed Oscar-winning films, such as “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Places in the Heart,” despite suffering from severe dyslexia throughout his life.
  • Robert Rauschenberg’s dyslexia helped him create art—art that uses words.
  • This poet overcame dyslexia to pursue her greatest passion: writing.
  • Ron Davis
    This successful engineer discusses how his struggles with dyslexia allowed him to notice his creativity.
  • Award-winning author Sally Gardner created a career out of the very thing she called her enemy for years-- words. Gardner is severely dyslexic, and went through years of early schooling unable read or write.
  • Learning a second language isn’t an easy task, but for Mexican-born actress Salma Hayek, it wasn’t impossible, even with her learning disability.
  • Sam Allardyce, former soccer player and current manager of the soccer club Sunderland in England, failed his high school exams in 11th grade. Undiagnosed at the time, the young Allardyce learned to focus on what he was good at and not beat himself up over what the school system told him he was bad at.
  • A graduate of the University of Portsmouth with a degree in graphic design, Barclay has combined his experiences with dyslexia and his interest in typographic design into I Wonder What It’s Like to be Dyslexic, a book which describes and visually depicts his experience of what it’s like to read. Barclay, using his own experience with dyslexia, manipulates and modifies text on the pages of his book to create a difficult reading journey for its readers.
  • Success Story: Scott Sonnon
    Scott Sonnon overcame very severe dyslexia and abuse by becoming a five-time world martial arts champion.
  • Skye Lucas
    With a multi-sensory approach to teaching, Lucas was able to return to traditional school feeling much more confident and focused.
  • Former teacher Sonya Bridges is using the lessons she learned from battling with her own dyslexia to help fight against the illiteracy that plagues society today.
  • Stephen Cannell scripted 450 episodes and produced over 1,500 episodes over the course of his career working in television.
  • Success Story: Steve Walker
    After doing poorly in school, Steve Walker grew up to be a founder and CEO of his own company.
  • Success Story: Steven Naismith
    This star soccer player learned the true meaning of hard work, thanks to his dyslexia.
  • Steven Spielberg
    One of the world's most famous directors has struggled with dyslexia all his life. Yet, he still went on to create some of film's best masterpieces.
  • English actress and 3-time Emmy Award winner Susan Hampshire went 30 years of her life before finding out she had dyslexia.
  • Success Story: Tiffany Sunday
    This was written by Tiffany Sunday, a published author and dyslexic individual who reached out to us in June of 2014, eager to share her story.
  • Success Story: Tim Tebow
    The former Denver Broncos quarterback gives talks about his dyslexia and reads "Green Eggs and Ham" aloud.
  • Both a CEO and a doctor, Dr. Toby Cosgrove presides over the prestigious Cleveland Clinic and was once a cardiac surgeon. However, he struggled mightily in college because of his dyslexia.
  • Tom Cruise felt held back by his dyslexia, but hard work and determination led him to become an extremely successful actor.
  • Tom Dickson
    The man behind the development of the Will it Blend? video series and some of the world's most powerful home blenders reveals that he battles dyslexia.
  • Thomas Bolin ‘Tom’ Smothers, known for his role in the comedic TV duo The Smothers Brothers, earned his fame and by portraying the ‘dumber’ of the two brothers. Smothers accepted his role as part of his own life too, recognizing that he wasn’t as good at spelling and reading as his classmates throughout his schooling.
  • This renowned fashion designer's dyslexia was actually a contributing factor to his success.
  • Imagine dropping out of school in 11th grade unable to read, but with the dream of becoming a writer. That’s only a small portion of Victor Villasenor’s story.
  • Success Story: Vince Low
    Dyslexic himself, Vince Low decided to pay homage to famous dyslexics with his own unique art form.
  • Vince Vaughn
    For Vince Vaughn, making people laugh has never been hard. But not all things in life have come easy for the famous funnyman.
  • Four time winning artist of the Archibald Prize People's Choice, Vincent Fantauzzo looks back at his dyslexia as a blessing more than a disability.
  • Success Story: Will Marsh
    Will Marsh discovered that he was dyslexic in the third grade and decided shortly after that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of others living with dyslexia.
  • William Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard (HP), was expected to attend the prestigious Stanford College from an early age. His early academic performance did not project a Stanford acceptance, though.
  • Success Story: Woodrow Wilson
    Imagine that you didn't learn to read until you were twelve -- and yet you went on to become the President of the United States.
  • Success Story: Yeoh Shu Wen Cassandra
    This bright young dyslexic went from school struggles to straight A's.
  • Zoe Wanamaker built her fame as an actress through her role in the 11 season-long series, My Family.