83 Famous People With Dyslexia You Would Least Expect

Alphabet letter tiles on pink background scrambled except for the word dyslexia

Last Updated on

May 1st, 2024 05:34 pm

Dyslexia is the most common of all neurodevelopmental disorders, affecting around one in five people around the world. So it’s no surprise that many famous people have it too!

Let’s learn more about Dyslexia and which famous dyslexics have spoken up about their learning difficulties.

What Is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disability where an individual has difficulty processing language due to neurological differences. This can make reading difficult by causing dysfunction with phonological processes like sound blending, discrimination or segmenting sounds. It also causes issues with word recognition and fluency.

Symptoms of Dyslexia may also include executive functioning problems, attention difficulties and low memory recall. Sometimes, these symptoms are so severe they cause Dyslexic individuals to give up on education at a young age.

That being said, there is hope for those who are diagnosed because early intervention can help support those affected. Many Dyslexic people go on to have successful careers, from everyday careers to successful entrepreneurs, film directors, and celebrities.

What Famous People Have Dyslexia?

Dyslexia can present certain challenges for students, but with the right support they can overcome any obstacle. Dyslexic celebrities like Keira Knightley, who was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 6, Salma Hayek and Tom Cruise have been very successful in Hollywood despite their learning differences. This just goes to show that anything is possible if you set your mind to it!

Here below is a growing list of other famous dyslexics you’ll be surprised to discover have Dyslexia:

Muhammad Ali

Ali is known as the greatest boxer ever. He fought many times and won every fight. But he couldn’t read well because of dyslexia. Despite his struggle with words on paper, he was an eloquent wordsmith and said, “A man who has no imagination has no wings”.

Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali and Brittany Murphy At the 16th Annual Carousel Of Hope Gala Presented By Mercedes-Benz, Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA 10-24-04

Muhammad Ali never let his dyslexia get in the way of success

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie, the renowned British crime novelist, also had dyslexia. Despite facing challenges with reading and writing, she went on to write over 80 novels and became one of the best-selling authors of all time. Her works, such as “Murder on the Orient Express” and “And Then There Were None,” continue to captivate readers worldwide.

Orlando Bloom

The actor Orlando Bloom had a dyslexia diagnosis at a young age. His father told him that he would never be able to become an actor because of his struggles with Dyslexia at age 7. But, after years of hard work, he became one of the biggest stars in the industry today.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney, pioneer of 20th Century entertainment, was another person who suffered from dyslexia. When he was younger, he used to write stories and draw pictures instead of reading books. He once said, “I’m afraid my brain will explode before I get out of school”.

Leonardo Da Vinci

It’s thought that Leonardo da Vinci struggled with dyslexia throughout his life, even though he was a genius. He wrote letters and notes using a mirror to see how he looked while writing. He also drew pictures of what he wanted to say rather than saying it out loud.

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg suffers from dyslexia. She often jokes that she didn’t know she had it until she got older. Her mother noticed she was having trouble reading and urged her to go to school. She eventually went to college in the United States where she studied journalism and communications.


Cher is best known for her singing career. She’s probably best known for her song Believe. Cher says that when she was younger, she felt different from others. She recalls asking herself, “Why am I not like everybody else?”. Cher also has dyscalculia, a similar condition affecting number comprehension.

Cher at the "Burlesque" Los Angeles Premiere, Chinese Theater, Hollywood, CA. 11-15-10

Cher has dyslexia and dyscalclulia, struggling with numbers and letters.

Pablo Picasso

Picasso suffered from dyslexia because he couldn’t see the letters properly. He struggled to see them correctly and was unable to read. But he had an amazing sense of space and visual-spatial ability, which is what gifted him his artistic ability.

Albert Einstein

Quite possibly the most famous person to be openly dyslexic, Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. At such a young age, he already showed signs of being smart and talented. By the time he was three, he could count to 10 by counting under his breath. His dyslexia was well-documented, and so he received help at a young age that led on to his presentation of the Theory of Relativity.

Steve Jobs

Jobs’ love for technology began at a young age. He created his first computer at the age of 12. The company he founded, Apple Computers, released its first product, the Apple 1, in 1976. Steve Jobs struggled with reading and writing in school, but used his innovative mind to pioneer the tech space forever.

Steve Jobs at the premiere of Disney's "Finding Nemo" at the El Capitan Theater, Hollywood, CA 05-18-03

Steve Jobs was one of the greatest innovators in modern history, despite having dyslexia

Richard Branson

Branson is a British entrepreneur dubbed as one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time. As the founder of Virgin Airlines and The Virgin Group, he started his business at the age of 24. He’s worth $4 billion dollars. He’s also dyslexic.

George Lucas

Film Producer George Lucas is best known for creating Star Wars. It took him years to learn how to overcome his disability. He learned to speak English as a second language and worked very hard to master the art of film making.

UNITED-KINGDOM, London : Star Wars creator George Lucas poses for photographers while Star Wars cast, crew and celebrities hit the red carpet for the last episode The Force Awakens European Premiere on December 16, 2015 in central London.

George Lucas is one of the most famous film directors of all time

Bill Gates

Gates is the cofounder of Microsoft Corporation and, like Branson and Jobs, is also one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time. Bill Gates has been dyslexic since childhood. In fact, he claims that if it weren’t for dyslexia, he wouldn’t have been able to create Windows or DOS.

Tommy Hilfiger

Hilfiger is the CEO of fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger. He’s dyslexic and has always had a passion for fashion. He’s made a name for himself in the fashion industry and has designed clothing for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Madonna and Lady Gaga.

John Lennon

English Singer-Songwriter John Lennon is one of the most influential musicians of all time. He’s best known for his songs Imagine and Give Peace A Chance, as well as his work in The Beatles. He struggled with reading and writing throughout his life, but that didn’t stop him writing some of the greatest songs of all time!

Charles Schwab

Schwab is the founder of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. He discovered he had dyslexia after his son’s diagnosis, like so many parents do. He has been working in finance for over 50 years. He’s now worth over $12 billion.

Henry Ford

Ford was the founder of Ford Motor Company. He struggled with reading and spelling. He taught himself how to read and write by copying articles from newspapers.

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins is an actor who has won numerous awards throughout his career. He’s best known as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the film Silence Of The Lambs.

Greg Louganis

Louganis is a former Olympic diver. He competed in the 1984 Olympics where he won gold medals in both the individual platform diving event and synchronized diving. You can read about his tragic story here.

Greg Louganis at the "Peter Pan" Opening Night, Pantages, Hollywood, CA 01-15-13

Greg Louganis, considered one of the greatest divers of all time, is dyslexic

Winston Churchill

Dubbed one of the greatest politicians of all time, Winston Churchill overcame Dyslexia to lead England during World War II.

Tom Holland

British actor Tom Holland received his dyslexia diagnosis aged 7. As a child with dyslexia, Holland channeled his talents into acting to become one of the world’s most in-demand actors of recent times.

Other Celebrities With Dyslexia

There are many other celebrities with dyslexia. These include:

  • Steve McQueen
  • Alyssa Milano
  • Richard Rogers
  • Chris Cosentino
  • Noel Gallagher
  • Ted Turner
  • Michael Faraday
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Holly Willoughby
  • Ann Bancroft
  • Chaz Bono
  • Eddie Izzard
  • Kara Tointon
  • Paloma Faith
  • Terry Goodkind
  • Magic Johnson
  • Justin Wilson
  • Caitlyn Jenner
  • Mollie King
  • Sally Gardner
  • Jim Carrey
  • Joss Stone
  • Anita Roddick
  • Aidan Bishop
  • Auguste Rodin
  • Carol Greider
  • Chuck Close
  • Craig McCaw
  • Duncan Goodhew
  • Bryan Singer
  • Jackie Stewart
  • Chris Rock
  • Billy Bob Thornton
  • Bob Weir
  • Brendan O’Carroll
  • Gary Cohn
  • George Patton
  • Pierre Curie
  • Susan Hampshire
  • John Irving
  • Michael Dudikoff
  • Amy Childs
  • Charles Rennie Mackintosh
  • Henry Winkler
  • Jay Leno
  • Erin Brokovich
  • W.B. Yeats
  • Gustave Flaubert
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Erna Solberg
  • Fannie Flagg
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Elon Musk
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Prince Carl Philip
  • Jason Conley
  • Jeremy Bonderman
  • Jacques Dubochet
  • Dave Chalk
  • Michael Young
  • Mark Henry

Dyslexia Can Be A Sign of Heightened Creativity

Teaching students about famous people who have dyslexia can help promote awareness of specific learning differences in the classroom. It can also build positive self-esteem in students who are struggling with their own reading difficulties.

Dyslexia is often seen as a strength and has been linked to many other successful people, including Mozart, Thomas Edison, and Andy Warhol. With the right encouragement and motivation, anyone can succeed!

Keep reading our articles and see what else you can find to inspire you to succeed!

Recommended Reading
Overcoming Dyslexia (2020 Edition): Second Edition, Completely Revised and Updated

A book full of cutting-edge research translated into an easy-to-follow plan of action offering help and hope to all who have reading problems, and their families.

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Rob Butler
30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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