13 January 2009

Famous People with ADHD

Here's a list of famous people with ADHD and those who MIGHT have had it. Obviously people who lived a long time ago weren't officially diagnosed that way, but written history suggests they might have had ADHD. This list is a compilation of several other separate lists. Enjoy!
You are in good company!

Ansel Adams — Photographer
Ann Bancroft —Actress
Alexander Graham BellTelephone Inventor
Harry Andersen — Actor
Hans Christian Anderson — Author
Beethoven — Composer
Harry Belafonte —Actor, Singer
Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington —WWII Flying Ace (Black Sheep Squadron Leader)
Terry Bradshaw —Football Quarterback
George Burns — Actor
Sir Richard Francis Burton — Explorer, Linguist, Scholar, Writer
Admiral Richard Byrd — Aviator (Was retired from the navy as, "Unfit for service")
Thomas Carlyle — Scottish historian, critic, and sociological writer
Andrew Carnegie - American Industrialist
Jim Carrey — American Comedian
Lewis Carroll — Author (Alice in Wonderland)
Prince Charles — Future King of England?
Cher — Actress and Singer
Agatha Christie — Author
Sir Winston Churchill — English Statesman (Failed the sixth grade)
Bill Cosby — American Actor, Comedian
Tom Cruise — Actor, Couch Jumper
Harvey Cushing M.D. — Greatest Neurosurgeon of the 20th Century
Salvador Dali —Spanish Surrealist Artist
Leonardo da Vinci — Italian Inventor, Artist
John Denver — American Musician
Walt Disney — American Cartoonist, Film Producer, Theme Park Innovator (A newspaper editor fired him because he had "No good ideas".)
Kirk Douglas — American Actor
Thomas Edison — Inventor (His teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything)
Albert Einstein — Physicist (Einstein was four years old before he could speak,and seven before he could read)
Dwight D. Eisenhower — U. S. President, Military General
Michael Faraday — British Physicist, Chemist
F. Scott Fitzgerald — Author
Malcolm Forbes —Forbes Magazine Founder & Publisher
Henry Ford — Automobile Innovator, invented the Production Line
Benjamin Franklin —American Colonial Politician, Elder Statesman, Inventor
Galileo (Galilei) — Italian Mathematician, Astronomer
Danny Glover — American Actor
Tracey Gold — American Actress
Whoopi Goldberg — Comedienne, Actress
Georg Frideric
Handel —German Composer
Valerie Hardin — Gothic Poet, Artist, Children's Author
Mariette Hartley — Actress
William Randolph Hearst — Newspaper Magnate
Ernest Hemingway — Author
Mariel Hemingway — Actress
Milton Hershey — Hershey's Chocolate Magnate, American Philanthropist
Dustin Hoffman — Actor
Bruce Jenner — Olympic Athlete
Luci Baines Johnson - Daughter of USA President Lyndon B. Johnson
"Magic" Johnson — American Basketball Player, Film Personality, Business Man
Samuel Johnson — Author
Michael Jordan — American Basketball Player
John F. Kennedy — U. S. President
Robert F. Kennedy — U.S. Attorney General, Brother of JFK
Jason Kidd — Professional Basketball Player
John Lennon —Musician
Frederick Carlton (Carl) Lewis —American Olympic Athelete.
Meriwether Lewis - explorer (Lewis & Clark) 
Abraham Lincoln —U.S. President during American Civil War (Entered The Black Hawk War as a Captain and came out a Private)
Greg Louganis — Olympic Athelete (Diving)
James Clerk Maxwell — British Physicist
Steve McQueen — American ActorWolfgang 
Amadeus Mozart — German Child Prodigy Composer, Violinist, Pianist
Napoleon Bonaparte —Emperor of France
Nasser (Gamal Abdel-Nasser) Egyptian Leader
Sir Issac Newton - English Scientist, Mathematician (Did poorly in grade school)
Nostradamus —Physician, Prophet
Ozzy Osbourne —English Rock Musician, said he was ADHD on TV
Louis Pasteur — Scientist, developed "Pasturization" (Rated as mediocre in chemistry when he attended the Royal College)
General George Patton — American Military
Pablo Picasso — Spanish Cubist Artist
Edgar Allan Poe — English Author, Poet, Master of the Macabre
Rachmaninov — Russian Composer
Eddie Rickenbacker — WWI Flying Ace
John D. Rockefeller —Founder, Standard Oil Company
Nelson Rockefeller — U.S. Vice President
August Rodin — Artist, Sculptor
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt — American First Lady
Pete Rose —American Baseball Player
Babe Ruth — American Baseball Player
Nolan Ryan — American Baseball Player
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat — Egyptian President, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1976
George C. Scott — American Actor
George Bernard Shaw —Author
Will Smith — American Actor, Rapper, Entertainer
Tom Smothers — Actor, Singer, Entertainer
Socrates — Greek Philosopher
Suzanne Somers — Actress, Pinup Girl
Steven Spielberg — American Filmmaker
Sylvester Stallone — American Actor
Jackie Stewart — Car Racing, Grand Prix Hall of Famer
James Stewart — American Actor
Henry David Thoreau —Author, Poet
(Lev Nikolayevich) Leo Tolstoy — Russian Author (Flunked out of college)
Alberto Tomba — Alpine Ski Champion
Vincent van Gogh — Dutch Artist who settled in France, Impressionism
Russell Varian — Inventor
Jules Verne — Author (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)
Werner von Braun — German Rocket Scientist (Flunked 9th grade algebra)
Lindsay Wagner — American Actress (Bionic Woman), Spokesperson
Gen. William C. Westmoreland — Military (Vietnam Era)
Robin Williams — Prolific American Comedian, Actor,
Woodrow Wilson — U. S. President
Henry Winkler —American Actor (Fonzie)
Stevie Wonder — American Musician
F. W. Woolworth — Department Store Innovator (While working in a dry goods store at 21, his employers wouldn't let him wait on a customer because he "Didn't have enough sense.")
Frank Lloyd Wright — American Architect
Orville Wright —Airplane Developer
Wilber Wright — Airplane Developer
William Wrigley, Jr. — Chewing Gum MakerWilliam Butler Yeats — Irish Author


Here are links you might enjoy:

Famous ADHD Quotes

Ty Pennington's ADHD Story

Michael Phelps, Olmpic Gold Medalist's ADHD Story
.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whoa i dont know if its tru or not but one of the guys failed 9th grade algebra i have adhd tambien and im most likely gonna fail algebra im not sayn its good it acually game me som hope that I CAN DO IT like really that just made my day im so HAPPY! LOL!

Liz said...

Anon - you just need extra help in math anyway and, unfortunately, the ADHD is making it harder. You just gotta work your butt off, get lots of help studying and practicing and be happy if you pass. My nephew is going through the same math issue you are going through.

Sean said...

I have noticed that many with AD/HD also have mild er autism or Asperger's syndrome which makes it interesting. I was misdiagnosed with some form of Attention Deficit Disorder back in 80's but now have a full "proper" diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, but if only my parents or teachers knew back in 80's!? Then I would have done better socially and acedemically!

Albert Einstein was labelled as thick and lazy, but who would come up with equation E=MC2!? I guess the simplest way of understanding Asperger's is to think of it as discribing someone who thinks and perceives about the world differently to others.

If anyone wants to talk to me regarding Asperger's here is my email iseanmoon@hotmail.com.

Kind regards

Sean

Liz said...

Sean - thanks for sharing. Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list.

Nat said...

Hey, I have ADHD and I just finished Medical SCHOOL! I almost failed 7th, 8th, 9th grade. But when I started working at 18 years old, I realized I was smarter than other people who got good grades. I figured out that I think DIFFERENTLY! But I am smart, so I went back to college and then medical school. I studied different than they did. I used colored markers to make my notes. I organized really really well. It worked.

YOU CAN DO IT! You are probably smarter than most of the people in your class.

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with ADD in ninth grade. I went for testing because I had trouble with Trigonometry. I had a team of doctors etc test me over a period of several months. I have struggled with ups and downs (mainly due to not being consistant). I am a member of MENSA and feel that my ADD is now an advantage to me. I started my own business and with the ADD heaven that social media created, I am successfully growing a nonprofit and a for profit company.

andrea_v2k said...

I was looking for inspiration, thought i'd look up some famous ppl with ADHD, as I took a "break" from studying for a midterm and listening to music and looking up random stuff online and writting and email, just wanted to say, thanks for the list and @NAT It was really nice to read your experience, Im going back to school, cus I know I can do it (its extra meaningful to me to hear it from other ppl) I've been thinking about med school :) but I have to get a hold of my ADHD any extra studying tips? I am too detailed for my own good, I take triple the time it would take anyone else to study just because I get really into it, but sometimes it doesnt help me especially when im close to deadlines.

Claire said...

I'm 13 and have just been diagnosed with mild ADHD. it does make me feel better knowing that my idol (will smith) has ADHD and he seems fine. I'm very scared and I don't want to be someone that seems mental or anything. is there any cure for this? I'm so scared. please help :(

claire

Claire said...

I'm 13 and have just been diagnosed with mild ADHD. it does make me feel better knowing that my idol (will smith) has ADHD and he seems fine. I'm very scared and I don't want to be someone that seems mental or anything. is there any cure for this? I'm so scared. please help :(

claire

shelly said...

I have a 160 IQ and had the worst time just trying to make it through high school. It wasn't until my late 20's that I learned I had ADHD. I went back to school and did mostly online classes pulling off a 3.8 GPA. You can do it, you just need to figure out what works for you.

Anonymous said...

I have ADHD, and I am currently in college! I had trouble in grade and middle school. In high school I had problems with every class except, english, photography, and phycology. Because of my ADHD my mother home schooled me from kindergarden up. I had problems keeping concentration. I moved out of my mom's and out on my own at 17 so I had major issues with keeping up with my high school. I finally graduated at 20. I was shocked to find out I had graduated with a G.P.A. of 3.25! After a few years off of school I decided to go back to school. I am going for my degree in Business Administration. At first I thought I had made a mistake. I felt there was no way I could do it. Then I found a classmate whom also suffers from ADHD. Since then I have learned that I have my very own way of organization and learning. Every semester I tell each of my instructors that I have ADHD and what exact issues I have. Most of them work with me. I am doing really well and have actually been on the honor roll multiple times. Even though it is really hard sometimes, I am getting through it one step at a time!

Anonymous said...

Um well I've been struggling with adhd, asthma, and juvinile rhumitiod arthritis and this is a very cool list

Anonymous said...

Sadly there is no cure. But i know hiw hard it is im 16 and i was diagnosed at 8 years old. Just stay on the meds and tell your teachers and everything should be fine.

Anonymous said...

Yea I have that too it sucks so bad!

Anonymous said...

I have not been diagnosed yet. But i think i have it because i have always showed some of the features. It was really painful when i learnt about it and i taught i was abnormal. But now i have come to accept it and am planning on getting medical attention. Now that i've seen this list of "Famous People with ADHD", i am hopeful now.

Anonymous said...

I have known I have had ADHD since I was 7 years old. Elementary and middle school have been a major challenge. My teachers have been accepting and accommodating and that has made this school year so much better. Knowing that all of these people have struggled but made it out on top makes me feel so much better

Anonymous said...

Great list! I would like to change to acronym for ADHD to ATTB "ability to think big." Much more optomistic!

Anonymous said...

It is 2am for me and this list as well as the comments have provided a spark of hope for me. My 7 year old was recently diagnosed with ADHD then started having seizures less than 3 weeks after that. He already has asthma and food sensitivities prior to that so reading ALL the positive words here mean a lot! I will share this list with him.
Thank you. Really.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I am form India and age 31.
In India there is none of awareness about ADD/ADHD type of word even.

I belongs to lower middle class and few months ago while listening an podcast of Vivian Snyder(Psychotherapist/logist) giving speech about Vipassana Mediation helps ADD/ADHD peoples. After listening that podcast I realized that its symptoms like i am facing.

My last 10 to 12 year as an individual and my career is very fluctuated and lots of ups and downs came to me.

I left my job and then I got Vipassana mediation and the transformation is commendable.

But the distraction is still a problem after reading all.

I strongly believe that most the ADD peoples are artistic and I am also an artist, because of distraction and fluctuation I chose Taxation/Management but the interest level is very low for this field.

I like photography, Drawing, Music
and its an advantage.

thanks for sharing the Experiences.

LOL

Anonymous said...

I have ADHD too and I am 25 and it's something that I recently found out. If I had known about it when I was a child things would have probably been a little easier. But, hey :) I think ADHD is a really cool thing that can happen. It's just that you think differently and see the world with a different perspective from others. But it also, and especially, means you are capable of doing things that normal people can't.
So, if you are diagnosed with it or suspect you have it, don't lose heart. You are not alone and just look at the kind of people you are among, geniuses of some kind or other and in so many fields.
If you can accept the way you are different from others I think ADHD can actually add intellect rather than make things and living difficult. Whoever has it don't worry at all. Start enjoying your difference and you will start finding your strong points. Work on them and you will be the best in your field. After all ADHD isn't just about not being able to focus, it is also about being able to obsessively work on one thing with an intensity and inspiration that others cannot fathom.

@Claire: Please don't be scared. There is nothing wrong about having ADHD. If your idol Will Smith can do it why can't you? Trust yourself and find out your strengths. You will be fine. :)

@andrea_v2k: I know what you mean. I've had the same problem in college before exams. But, you see, with ADHD you are also capable of having bursts of strong and fast learning periods. Give yourself permission to skim through your study material and to only glimpse at the details. Trust yourself that you are capable of rememebering those details, because you really can. You can easily skim and go through it in a one or two hours and you will do fine in the exams. :)

Natalie said...

I was diagnosed with ADD in kindergarten and I am now a sophomore in high school. I have never felt normal and I always thought of myself as different from everybody else, but now I understand that I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

Some day my name is going to be up there...

Anonymous said...

you all are great people and best of luck to everyone!

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody, i was recently diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. Ever since i was a young girl life has been difficult. Im 36 now and i still struggle on a day to day basis. My parents dont seen to understand what i go through at times, it hurts :( i wish they knew how difficult it is being me. I constantly get scolded like im a little kid, it sucks and depressing. Even though i seem to struggle in some things i will say that i am creative in other things. Its good to know there is people out there like me :)

Anonymous said...

This is really helpful! I also hear that Adam Levine (Maroon 5) has come forward as ADHD! And Brendon Urie (panic at the disco) too!

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