Ari Emanuel is co-CEO of one of America’s top talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor. He has worked with top Hollywood writers, actors, and filmmakers and continues to be an active talent agent. He has been known for his frenzied work pace and aggressive business decisions, traits he relates back to his struggle with dyslexia and ADHD as a child. In third grade Emanuel was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. Mathematics came easily to him, but Emanuel admits he struggled greatly with reading and English. He was placed in special education at New Trier West High School, but his grades remained bad and he was constantly told he was stupid and would not graduate from high school, let alone college. But growing up, Emanuel was surrounded by a family fiercely dedicated to high education achievement, and Emanuel often was told to read the newspaper and discuss current events at the dinner table. He credits his mother for his drive to succeed - she stayed up late reading with him and provided constant encouragement despite his teachers’ lack of faith in his ability to graduate.

Emanuel not only graduated from both New Trier West High School and Macalester College, but went on to become a top Hollywood talent agent, helping the careers of more than 1,000 A-list clients. In all his success, though, he never forgot about his early struggle with dyslexia and is currently on the Board of Advocates for, urging parents of dyslexic children to get early help and support for their child’s disability. He also received the Outstanding Achievers with Learning Disabilities Award from the Lab School of Washington and Baltimore in recognition of his career’s success despite his dyslexia and ADHD.

To read more about Ari Emanuel’s story or to view the image source, please read this article at the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity’s website.