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Tampa Mayor's Alliance For Persons With Disabilities

Famous Persons with Disabilities
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SCHUMANN Robert, 1810-1856, (mental disorder),
This inspired poet of human suffering experienced bipolar depression. He was a major German romantic composer and pianist.

SCHWAB Charles, 1937-present, (learning disability),
Founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Charles Schwab Corporation, a brokerage firm. In 1974 he became a pioneer in the discount brokerage business.

SCOTT George C., 1927-present, (learning disability),
American actor. First performer to refuse an Oscar 1970 for Patton.

SHAW George Bernard, 1956-1950, (learning disability),
British playwright, critic, and essayist. Became one of the most famous writers of the 1900’s. Was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925. Wrote 50 plays in a 70 year career.

SHEARER Norma, 1900-1983, (visual impairment),
American actress who won 1930 Oscar for The Divorce, First Lady of The Screen. Married to Irving Thalbeg 1927.

SIMON Carley, 1945-present, (speech impairment),
Multi-faceted singing composer and lyricist. Started singing as a child to help her deal with her stuttering. Song hits include You’re So Vain 1972, Jesse 1980. Grammy Award Winner, 1971.

SMOTHERS Tom, 1937-present, (learning disability),
American comedian and singer. He and his brother Dick have sung and acted together since the 1960s. Starred in the television show The Smothers Brothers.

SOCRATES,470?-399BC, (epilepsy),
Greek Philosopher and teacher. Viewed philosophy as necessary pursuit of all intelligent men, teacher of Plato. Was one of the most original, influential and controversial figures in ancient Greet philosophy and in the history of western thought.

SOMERS Suzanne, 1946-present, (learning disability),
American television actress who starred in Three’s Company 1977-1981, Step by Step, 1991.

SPENCER-DEVLIN Muffin, 1953-present, (bipolar),
Before joining the LPGA tour she was an aspiring actress and model in New York City. She also was a contributing writer to Golf Illustrated and writers book reviews for the Advocate. She has manic depression and is trying to cure herself holistically. Her last names are a combination of her father and stepfather.

ST. PAUL, 5?-67? AD, (epilepsy),Apostle to the Gentiles Roman, Biblical figure. (Paulus, Saul of Tarsus). One of the founders of the Christian religion, opposed it until conversion after a vision, ministered to Gentiles, presumably wrote Pauline Epistles, suffered martyrdom.

STALLONE Sylvster, 1946-present, (learning disability),
Won stardom with his movie Rocky. He is one of the world’s highest paid actors, commanding $20 million a picture.

STEVENS Thaddeus, 1792-1868, (physical impairment),
United States Congressman. Born with clubfoot.

STEWART Jackie [John Young Stewart], 1939-present, (learning disability),
Scottish auto racer, World Grand Prix Champion, 1969, 1971 and 1973,Auto racing commentator for ABC.

STEWART James, 1908-1997, (speech impairment),
American actor. Hollywood great, best known for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1939, It’s a Wonderful Life 1946.

STING [Gordon Summer], 1957-present, (mental disorder),
Before Sting he had small modeling jobs and few television commercials. In 1979 he had a bit par in the film Quadrophemia. Was in the movie Dune. Nicknamed Sting for the black and yellow sweater he would wear while performing. He learned piano from his mother but loved jazz and guitars. In 1977 he started the group Police. The rock-reggae sound broke with Roxanne a song written as a plea to a prostitute. It was subsequently banned from the BBC which made it an instant hit. Later went solo and is successful first album Dream of the Blue Turtles went Platinum.

SWINBURNE Algernon Charles, 1837-1909, (epilepsy),
His literary criticism was extensive, ranging from Shakespeare to Dickens, but he earned his reputation as a great poet. In 1860 published two verse dramas The Queen Mother and Rosamond.

TCHAIKOVSKY Peter Ilyich, 1840-1893, (epilepsy),
First Russian composer whose music became part of the standard concert program in Western Europe. Known for classical ballet scores Swan Lake 1877. Nutcracker Suite l892, Sleeping Beauty 1889.

TEN BROEK Jocobus, 1911-1968, (visual impairment),
He lost his sight in a bow and arrow accident eue to a boyhood accident. He earned a doctorate in law. Taught law at the University of Chicago. He started the National Federation of the Blind. He said discriminating against people with visual impairments was a violation of their rights as guaranteed in the United State Constitution. Wrote many books. He was also recognized as a national authority in the field of constitutional law.

TENNYSON Lord Alfred, 1809-1892, (epilepsy),
Was a spokesman for the values of the Victorian age and its most famous poet. He was made a peer in 1884, taking his seat in the House of Lords as the first Baron Tennyson. His first published volume was Poems, Chiefly Lyrical 1830. Few poets have produced masterpieces in so many different poetic styles. His verses expresses in readily comprehensible terms the Victorian feeling for order and harmony.

TESLA Nicola, 1856-1943, (speech impairment)(mental disorder),
Electrical engineer, is generally recognized as the inventor of the induction motor. Was born in Smiljan Croatia. This genius had obsessive compulsive disorder.

TILLIS Mel, 1932-present, (speech impairment),
American county music singer and song writer. Includes stuttering problems as part of his act. Has written over 450 songs. CMA entertainer of the Year 1976.

TOLSTOY Leo, 1828-1910, (mental disorder),
Author of War and Peace, he revealed the extent of his own mental illness in My Confession. Count Leo Tolstoy is considered one of the greatest figures of world literature, was a major influence on late 19th century Russian philosophical theory.

TOULOUSE-LAUTREC Henri de, 1864-1901, (physical impairment),
He was born Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Montfa. A great artist and who suffered from a degenerative bone condition. Well known for his French posters. Most popular poster is the Moulin Rouge.

TUBMAN Harriet, 1820-1913, (epilepsy),
Rescuer of slaves during the American Civil War through establishment of an ‘underground railroad’. Her epilepsy was due to a blow to the head at age 13 from an overseer. After the Civil War she founded the Harriet Tubman home for Indigent Aged Negroes.

UDALL Morris, 1922-1998, (neuromuscular),
American politician. Sought Democratic Presidential Nomination 1976, keynote speaker Democrat National Convention 1980, Congressman from Arizona 1970’s. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease later in life.

VAN GOGH Vincent, 1853-1890, (mental disorder)(epilepsy),
Celebrated artist who had bipolar depression. Post-impressionist did not receive recognition for his genius until after his death.

VEECK Bill, 1914-1986, (amputee),
Owned the Milwaukee Brewers. Bill lost his right leg in War II. He also owned the Cleveland Indians after the war. In 1948 he was the first American League owner to hire black players to play in the major league when he signed Larry Doby and Satchel Paige. He sold the Indians in 1949 when he bought the St. Louis Browns. In 1959 he brought the Chicago White Sox. He retired from baseball in 1981. Bill was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 five years after his death.

VERNE Jules, 1828-1905, (learning disability),
French novelist who wrote some of the first science fiction stories. He forecast the invention of air planes, submarines, television, guided missiles, and space satellites and he predicted their uses accurately. He wrote Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea 1870.

VON BRAUN Werner, 1912-1977, (learning disability),
He regularly failed his high school math examinations, but was often caught day-dreaming (due to his attention deficit disorder) of one day flying to other planets. Led development of V-2 missiles for Germany during World War II, directed post World War II rocket research in United States.

WACHTLER Sol, 1930-present, (bipolar),
He was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Mario Cuomo in 1985, after 12 years as a justice on the court, preceded by 4 years on the Supreme Court and was named to the position by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. He was arrested in 1992 and charged with a 13 month harassment campaign against an ex-lover and her daughter. This time in his life he was a Chief Judge of New York Court of Appeals. He may be reinstated to the bar in 1999.

WAGNER Lindsay, 1949-present, (learning disability),
Only science-fiction woman ever to win best actress Emmy, 1976-1978 for Bionic Woman. Television films include This Child Is Mine 1985.

WALLACE Mike, 1918-present, (depression),
American Broadcast journalist CBS correspondent, 1963-1976, co-editor, 60 Minutes 1968, inducted into television Academy Hall of Fame 1991.

WALSH Raoul, 1887-1980, (visual impairment),
American actor and director. Directed Hollywood’s first outdoor talking movie, In Old Arizona 1929.

WALTERS Barbara, 1931-present, (speech impairment),
American broadcast journalist. First woman to co-anchor the Today Show 1963-1976. With ABC News since 1976, known for one-on-one interviews, correspondent 20/20 1981, co-host 1984 to present.

WASHINGTON George, 1732-1799, (learning disability)
1st President of the United States. Was unable to spell throughout his life and his grammar usage was very poor. Thought to have learning disabilities.

WEITHBRECHT Robert, 1920-1983, (hearing impairment),
Deaf American scientist invented the TDD Telecommunication Device for the Deaf in 1964.

WERT Doug, 1968-present, (epilepsy),
He started playing golf as a freshman in high school. Went on to get a degree in professional golf management. In 1989 he quickly moved up the ranks of the PGA. He is head professional at Penn State. He plays a large part in helping students learn how to properly run a course.

WESTMORELAND William Childs, 1914-present, (learning disability),
American general commanded United State forces in the Vietnam War (1964 to 1968). Relied on ground operation search and destroy. He retired in 1972.

WHITESTONE Heather, 1973-present, (hearing impairment),
Due to the flu and the drug the doctor gave her at 18 months of age, it left her deaf. Her mother spent hours to teach her to lip read and to learn rhythm she took ballet. In college she majored in accounting, but ballet remained her true passion. She started entering beauty pageants. In September 1994 she found herself in Atlantic City, New Jersey competing for the title of Miss America. She was the first woman with a disability ever to hold the treasured crown.

WILLIAM III, 1650-1702, (epilepsy),
Also called William of Orange. In 1672 he was elected stateholder (viceroy) of the Netherlands and fought in the Dutch War (1672-1678). There was fear he would restore the power of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Europe’s leading Protestant statesman and was invited in 1688 to England where he led the so-called ‘Glorious Revolution’. James fled to France and in 1689 William and Mary proclaimed joint sovereigns of England. In 1689 William brought England into the League of Augsbury, there after known as the Grand Alliance. He became King of England in 1697. In 1701 he headed the second Grand Alliance but died before he could take an active part in the struggle.

WILLIAMS Donna, 1963-present, (autism),
Wrote her autobiography Nobody Nowhere: The extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic 1992 and Somebody Somewhere 1994. Her first book tells of her lifelong battle with autism.

WILLIAMS Robin, 1951-present, (attention deficit disorder),
Actor/comedian who has been diagnosed with ADHD, starred in television’s Mork and Mindy, 1978-1982, won Grammy 1979 for album Reality What A Concept, films include Good Morning, Vietnam 1987 and The Birdcage 1996.

WILLIAMS Tennessee, 1911-1983, (mental disorder),
American playwright who suffered with clinical depression. Plays include the popular The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcare Named Desire

WILLIS Bruce, 1955-present, (speech impairment)
American actor with childhood stuttering who played David Addison on television series Moonlighting, 1985-1989, won 1987 Emmy starred in film Die Hard.,

WILSON Brian, 1942-present, (bipolar disorder),
Musician composer for the Beach Boys. Vocalist, bassist, pianist with CA rock group, hits include Help Me Rhonda 1965, wrote Wouldn’t It Be Nice: My Own Story 1991.

WILSON Woodrow, 1856-1924, (learning disability),
28th President of the United States from 1913-1921 who is known to have a (learning disability) (dyslexia). World War I leader awarded Nobel Peace Prize for Versailles Treaty, 1919, domestic reforms included 1914 creation of Federal Reserve.,

WINKLER Henry, 1945-present, (attention deficit disorder),
American actor, director and producer. Has ADD. He was at the bottom 3% in the county in math. Played Fonzie on television series Happy Days 1974-1984.

WINTERS Johnathan, 1925-present, (bipolar),
American comedian and actor. Known for characterizations, improvisations, films since 1963 include The Loved One 1965.

WONDER,Stevie, 1950-present, (visual impairment),
Steveland Morris was born premature. He was placed in an incubator. At that time no one knew oxygen (high-dose) damaged newborn’s eyes. By the time he was well enough to lave the hospital he was completely blind. At age of four he started to play the piano. When his uncle gave him a harmonica he mastered it almost over night. One of Stevie’s friends had an older brother who played with a band called the Miracles. At age 10 his friend took him to the Motown studio. After school he hung around the studio experimenting with various instruments and playing songs he had written himself. The mangers were stunned by his talent and encouraged him to develop as a songwriter and performer. In 1963, Motown released his first hit single, Fingertips, Part Two. His first album Little Stevie Wonder The Twelve Year Old Genius. [This is when he became Stevie Wonder]. In 1971, at age 21 he broke away from Motown and opened his own recording studio. He experimented with computerized instruments called music synthesizers. his first self produced album Music of My Mind explored new realms of melody, rhythm and harmony. In January 1974 he was nominated for six Grammy Awards.

WOO John, 1945-present, (physical impairment),
Film and television director. Was born with the given name Wu Yusem. Born in Guangzhou Province of Mainland China. Now lives in the United States. At age three he was diagnosed with a serious medical condition in his back. Following surgery he couldn’t walk right, until eight years old, and his right leg is shorter than his left leg. Directed From Rags to Riches 1979, Hard Target 1993.

WOOLF Virginia, 1882-1941, (mental disorder),
British novelist who experienced bipolar depression characterized by feverish periods of writing and weeks immersed in gloom.

WRIGHT Brothers - Wilbur, 1867-1912, (learning disability), 1871-1948 Orville,
Invented and built the first successful airplane. On December 17 1903 they made the world’s first flight in a power-driven, heavier-than air machine near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

YOUNG Neil, 1945-present, (epilepsy),
Canadian musician who played with Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Albums include Rust Never Sleeps 1979, Freedom 1989, Rugged Glory 1990.

YOUNG Robert, 1907-1998, (mental illness),
American actor who starred in television series Father Knows Best 1954-1962, Marcus Welby MD 1969-1976.