Famous people with LD and AD/HD

Could you and your child use a little inspiration? Read about famous folks who overcame the challenges of LD and AD/HD.

By GreatSchools Staff

Did you know that many successful and famous people grew up with learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD)? Actor Danny Glover, business leader Charles Schwab, and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, to name a few, are all inspirations. Talk with your child about some of these successful people whose interests he shares or whose accomplishments he may admire. This will help him understand that he's not alone with his struggles and will foster hope for his future goals.

Note: You may notice that we haven't included some of the people mentioned on other lists of people suspected of having LD and/or AD/HD. While they may have struggled with certain aspects of learning, we can't confirm that they had a specific disability because they lived before these diagnostic categories came into use.

Look for information about successful people with LD and/or AD/HD, in the following categories:

Artists and artisans


Business leaders

Community advocates and activists

Entertainers and celebrities

Explorers and adventurers

Legal and political figures

Medical professionals


Scientists, engineers, and technology experts

Writers and media professionals

Updated August 2009

© 2008 GreatSchools Inc. All rights reserved. Originally created by Schwab Learning, formerly a program of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation.