Robert Rauschenberg’s dyslexia helped him create art—art that uses words.

In school, Rauschenberg would doodle in the margins of his textbooks and was a slow reader. Though he went to college, he dropped out and was drafted by the Navy, where his interest in art was piqued.

While he was stationed in San Diego, he was exposed to The Henry E. Huntington Library and other museums of art, where he took a liking to many two- and three-dimensional art forms called "combines," which have inspired his artwork.

Though Rauschenberg has difficulty reading, lots of his art uses words to create the image. One aspect in particular he uses is palindromes, where the sentence is spelled the same both forward and backward. One of his most famous works is called Able was I ere I saw Elba, about Napoleon’s exile to the isle of Elba.

"I got hooked," Rauschenberg said of his use of words in art. "Also because I am dyslexic, I was very good at the print workshop economically, because I can see backwards and forwards at the same time! I don't have to proof it, I can already see it!"

Read Rauschenberg’s full biography at LD Online.