Famous People with Dyscalculia

It’s not easy to find a list of famous people with dyscalculia. Much of the time, people with math problems either get by, learn to overcome them or are given help without ever being diagnosed with dyscalculia. Of all the famous people we could find, we thought you’d recognize at least one person from this list of dyscalculics.

Celebrity Famous Name A little about them
Henry Winkler Henry Winkler, the Fonz, is best known for his role on Happy Days, but has accomplished a great deal more since then. The best part is his charitable work with the Annual Cerebral Palsy Telethon, Toys for Tots, Special Olympics and the Epilepsy Foundation. Henry Winkler created for himself a platform and has used that to create good around the world.
Cher Talk about the best of the best. You can’t deny that she has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes and a Cannes Film Festival Award among others for her work in film, music and television. I don’t think she’s let math issues hold her back.
Mary Tyler Moore Mary started early. At 17 she was a dancer in Hotpoint Applicances commercials. She went on to star in the Dick Van Dyke show, Thoroughly Modern Millie, wrote the book After All and talks about life with diabetes. Mary is a true superstar.
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin had math problems. But he was able to overcome those problems and go on to great success. Did you know he was a newspaper printer, writer, musician, scientist. He founded the first post office, volunteer fire department, public library, and college in Pennsylvania.
Hans Christian Anderson One way to overcome math issues is to avoid them altogether. Hans Christian Anderson knew his strength was in the written word. His works are familiar the world over and are read by kids every day.
Bill Gates Here’s a guy who’s got numbers coming out of his ears. Working in a college computer lab in the late ’70’s, Bill learned to write simple computer programs – and then harder and harder ones until he built the worlds largest computer company.
Thomas Edison 10,000 times he attempted to invent the lightbulb. What kind of patience, endurance and drive does it take to fail 9,999 times and still have the drive to do 1 more? Thomas Edison had problems with math, but learned to overcome them.
Luis Armand Garcia When his fans yell his name, they usually say “hey Max” from the George Lopez show. At 14 years old, Luis has quite a few credits to his name already. Chevrolet commercials, ER, touring with Ellen DeGeneres and Disney. Luis hasn’t let math slow him down.
Sarah Barrable-Tishauer Sarah is a Canadian actress best known for her role in Degrassi: The Next Generation. She got her start playing Nala in a production of The Lion King and got to act with Gregory Hines. Most of her fans would agree that Sarah needs more screen time and bigger movies.

We challenge to find more people who’ve encountered math problems and have overcome them with grace. What’s your story? Are you destined one day to be considered one of the famous people with dyscalculia? Share your story with us.



Comments

  1. terry hatchett says:

    I’m 58 year old women with dyslexia and dyscalculia and life has been a real struggle for me. I’ve been lucky in some respects, I married a good man and had two great kids who didn’t inherit my learning disability. I have spent so much time hiding, because I didn’t want any one to find out I was stupid. It was so painful when my kids saw that I couldn’t spell or do simple math problems.
    I know some people have other gifts or talents that helped them feel good about themselves, unfortuantly I don’t have any.
    My mother was extremely smart and could never understand what was wrong with me. Intelligence and education was what was valued in my family. I was not intelligent so I did not have much value in my family. My mom saw my LD as weakness and bullied my most of my life.
    There has been many times that I wondered why God gave this burden to me. If I was born with no arms no one would expect me to play tennis, but no one can see my handicap so they can’t understand why I can’t do certain things.
    Please don’t tell children how they can over come their LD and give them false hope. That is truly cruel and will only add to their pain and shame.

    Sorry, I’m not now or will I ever be a success story.

    • Michelle Yeager says:

      Dear Terry,

      Has anyone ever commented on your message? If not, shame on them! I want to say to you that it took a lot of courage to say what you said, and it saddens me that I don’t see any posts related to it.

      First let me tell you that I have NEVER commented on a post, blog, etc. I have often wanted to, but with my very busy schedule, I have not ever taken the time. This time is different. I feel completely compelled to respond to you….

      I am a mom of a 12 year old boy, who has been diagnosed with several learning differences. (notice I say differences, not disabilities!!). I have chosen to stay positive about this challenge we have, rather than see it as a burden. Posiive attitude goes a long way when it comes to the daily challenges that we face!! My son is a loving, sweet boy that has an incredibly creative side. Even though he has been bullied in school, he worked through that as well, and is accepting of his differences. Rather than hide his differences, I have been very open about them, even to the disbelievers (the ones that think he is lazy, dumb, bored, needs meds, needs to do more homework, needs more discipline, etc.). Thankfully, I have the support of my family and close friends, and everyone loves my son for who he is, and accepts who he is not (and may never be). But then again, my feeling is that you can be who you want, life is what you make it…

      My mom passed away at age 58. She was a wonderful woman. She was very well loved and cherished, and I miss her dearly. She also was not the brightest at certain tasks. At this point in my life, after studying the learning differences my son has, I am fairly certain that my mom also had learning differences. Although this may have affected her in some areas of her life, it did not make her less of a person. In fact, like my son, her qualities of kindness shined through and through. Her family loved and accepted her just for who she was, a wonderful person.

      Many times, when you are lacking in certain areas, other traits are much more prominent. For example, my son cannot easily follow directions, memorize lists or math facts, but with his visual/spacial dominant qualities, he was our guide in Disneyland a few weeks ago, when my husband and I could not figure out where we were! My point in this is that I am SURE that you have qualities and talents that are VERY SPECIAL. You just need to figure out what YOUR GIFTS are! And if you ask true friends, I bet they can tell you a LIST of things that they admire and love about you. Please stop hiding and being ashamed…you have NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT. You were born this way, and there is NOTHING wrong with you , despite your mother’s belief!! You are just different….You are NOT dumb, stupid, worthless, unintelligent, handicapped, etc… EMBRACE THE FACT THAT YOU ARE DIFFERENT, and teach the world to be tolerant of these differences. Do it for YOURSELF and your family, especially your CHILDREN.. Teach them to be accepting of all kinds of people, as everyone is different, and that is what makes life unique and interesting.

      I am sorry that you question God, and why he “burdened” you with this. I am not a super-religious person, but my belief is that God (or whoever you call “God”) only gives you what you can handle. You have been given this “GIFT” for a reason. Is your “extremely smart Mom” still alive? If so, maybe YOU are supposed to teach HER empathy, tolerance, acceptance, and true UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, which should be the basis for all parents raising children! As educated and smart as you say your Mom was, I am POSITIVE that your mom would get an F- in that subject! It really hurts me the most to see your written words of her unacceptance. I am very happy to see that you have a good husband and great children….believe me, that is something to be said in this day and age of unhappy relationships and troubled kids!! So, pat yourself on the back, because many educated and intelligent people cannot figure that one out!! :o)

      Since people can’t see your differences, TELL them….tell them that you have always struggled with X,Y and Z…there are many resources out there to help you! It is NOT TOO LATE. You are only a young 58! You have a future with children to love and a husband to enjoy happy times with….why not accept yourself for who you are, and move on? Focus on the things that you CAN do! You are an adult with a family and do not have to believe or agree with your mother’s thoughts. My mom died of a brain aneurysm and I would have loved her to meet my children. Do not continue to allow your self to live in such sadness. Seek counseling for that too. They will help you find the very special person inside you! You may even get to the point where you can accept your mother for who she is/was, and understand that you are a better person than her. By passing this message on, I hope that you will inspire others and find purpose in your life. I hope I have inspired you. I wish you the very best….

      Michelle Yeager

      • Michelle, Thank you so much for your articulate words. You are exactly correct we look like other people, but we are not like others and we do carry shame. I don’t know about you, but I have lost many jobs and no one has tried harder to keep them. After turning 50, I’m tired of hiding. You know I’m going to probably get some bad negative feedback, but here goes…Why is homosexuality celebrated with such gusto, and you have a few learning disabilities and you are not just thrown in the “closet”‘ but you’re bound, gaged and blind folded and tortured.

        It is something that never leaves you and only gets harder, especially in this economy. I guess I need to buy a lot of lotto tickets!

        Hopefully, somehow things will get better. I’m not sure how.

    • Dr. Al Silbert says:

      Michele, Thank you so much for taking the time for your wonderful response. Your reply is truly inspirational. You have our admiration.

    • Rochelle Nolette says:

      Hi – I am 39 years old and never knew what was wrong with me other than I was LD. I was looking around on the computer last night and looked up LD. I have found out that I have dyscalculia and that I may have Gerstman Syndrome. I wanted to cry because I never knew what I had other than just LD. I was told when i was a kid that id never live on my own, drive a car or even cook for my slef. That I would never do my own laundry. I thought i was stupid. I’d had teachers give me the answers to test and the answers to worksheets in school. I didnt get my drivers licence till 1999. – I have heald down jobs but now for long. I can read a book and tell you all bout the book and then give you a summery on it. – My dad had to die and mom had a stroke befor I came to know this information. They never told me what was wrong with me other than I had to go onto post and have some special classes there. I also had to be take out of the class room for extra help. I am so angery at my mom and dad for never telling me what was wrong with me. I do remember going to huge meeting on LD. I just wish I had more information.

  2. Are you really sure that Einstein has dyscalculia?

    • Dr. Al Silbert says:

      Stephanie, Thanks for alerting me to this issue. I’ve since looked into this and have concluded that, while it is possible that Einstein suffered from dyscalculia, it is far more likely that he was simply bored to tears in school and shut down. The good news is that he re-started his engines and soared.

  3. Dr. Al Silbert says:

    Terry,

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you’re already a success story. It sounds like you were a wonderful mom! And, if conditions arise, you’ll go on to be a wonderful grandma, too.

    We all have our issues, some more than others. Please don’t ever give up trying to find your calling.

    The good news is that you are not longer in school where you are measured by how well you spell and how well you do math. It’s painful to think about how hard that must have been for you. But, except for the memories, it’s over.

    Trust that there are many other things you are good at. Perhaps you haven’t found them yet, but, if you keep trying, you’ll surely find them.

    Please take Michele’s advice. It’s never too late to find your strengths.

  4. Wernher von Braun does not belong on this list, with or without his name spelled correctly. He did poorly in math and physics in seconddary school when he was uninterested in those subjects. Once he got a copy of Hermann Oberth’s book Die Rakete zu den Planetenr√§umen and he realized he needed math to understand it, he applied himself and excelled – so much so that he ended up filling in for the math teacher when he fell ill. He also tutored the weaker students in his class, all of whom ended up passing their exams. He graduated with honors.

    I’m getting my facts from Dr. Space: The Life of Wernher von Braun, by Bob Ward, although the same things are reported in all biographies of him. Where are you getting your “facts” for this diagnosis?

    If you’re going to keep him on this page, despite the lack of evidence for your claim, you should include the fact that he was the first director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and headed the team that built the Saturn V. Space Camp was a nice idea, but it hardly compares with his real accomplishments.

    • Dr. Al Silbert says:

      You are correct; he doesn’t belong on this list. Boredom with school subjects is often misinterpreted so he appears, with various name spellings, on numerous lists of famous people with dyscalculia.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to bring this to our attention. I will see to it that Wernher von Braun is be removed from this list.

  5. Hi,
    My lovely 8yrs old son seem to have this too.
    I am very disappointed and very sorry.
    I was already taking him to some extra Math lessons,he seem he is gonna repeat the class even he tries so hard.
    I really don’t know what to do at this point…

    • D3 kondev says:

      i’m 16 years old n i have dyslexia, dyscalculia n dysgraphia , i ‘m strugglin wid ma math n academics n have been teased on my disorders but over time i reliaze dat dyslexia is not a curse infact itz a blessing because we r created special n blessed n people with these disorders get to be with such great people’s category, like albert einstein, pablo picasso , lenardo da vinci , bill gates n many more

  6. Jose Gonzalez says:

    I thank you for posting this information. I am sure you have helped millions out there who contend with their gift, rather then appreciate it. Truth is, learning disabilities are gifts bestowed upon those worthy of it. I am not saying this because I have Dyslexia. I verily believe that learning disabilities are gifts, but the individual must be aware of his or her particular LD.

    How is it a gift?

    Well, think about it, how hard do you have to toil with an equation to solve it? 3, 4 hours? Now think, would the average person sit and contend with one problem, and not give up? Probably not. But you who attain Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, or what have you, are persistent — the essential component to success. After all, geniuses do not succeed, persistent people do….

  7. Bonnie Montgomery says:

    I’m a great speller & reader with a poor sense of direction and math. Some of my greatest teachers were illiterate, but wiser and more humane than I’ll ever be. I can enjoy Shakespeare, knowing that his genius was not the written word, but the content of the human heart. What my best teachers taught me came from their kindness and understanding, not from their books. I still can only “read” about the things my dyslexic friends “do”. So, if you feel as if you are a child of a lesser god, or carry a greater burden, remember that YOU are not the loser; the society that does not value your difference is the loser. Where would we be without Ben Franklin, or the Fonz? Where would we be without so many different ways of seeing? Where would we be without YOU? We would be lost…..

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