Famous People in History with a Disability


Read the following vignettes and match each to the personalities listed below:

  1. Tiger Woods
  2. Howie Mandel
  3. Daniel Radcliffe
  4. Lois Curtis
  5. Agatha Christie
  6. Marlee Matlin
  7. Jeison Aristizábal
  8. John Nash
  9. Walt Disney
  10. Magic Johnson
  11. Harriet Tubman
  12. Ellie Simmonds
  13. Frida Kahlo
  1. Born with achondroplasia (dwarfism) and began swimming when she was five. In Rio 2016 she she broke the world record in the 200m individual medley by swimming under three minutes for the first time (2:59.81) and winning her fifth Paralympic gold. She went on to seal a bronze in the 400m freestyle.
  2. Famous for his athletic skill on the basketball court, this athlete has a reading disability.
  3. African American woman with mental health and intellectual disabilities. She, and another woman, were responsible for The Olmstead Act (1999) which states that; unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes discrimination in violation of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  4. He has lived with a mild case of dyspraxia which is a common neurological disorder that affects motor skill development.
  5. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after birth and doctors said he would not amount to anything more than a shoe shiner. a nonprofit founder with cerebral palsy, grew up in one of the most impoverished areas in Cali, Colombia. The nonprofit organization that he founded and runs helps to provide educational and medical support for kids who live in the same conditions that he grew up in.
  6. He had no success in school, but he became a well known producer and cartoonist.
  7. Actor, comedian, and game-show host, has coped with ADHD and OCD his entire life.
  8. Acquired a traumatic brain injury as a teenager and as a result developed epileptic seizures and hypersomnia. Abolitionist who risked her life to free slaves through the underground railroad.
  9. A Mexican woman who had multiple disabilities including polio as a child and spinal and pelvis damage from a car accident, became a world-renowned self-portrait painter.
  10. An American professional golfer, possibly the most successful golfer of all time.  He had stuttering problems and has gotten past it through hard work and practice.  He admitted doing everything possible to conquer his speech disorder by talking to his dog until he would fall asleep. 
  11. An American mathematician with acute paranoid schizophrenia. Developed a successful academic career and earned the Nobel Prize in Economics.
  12. Became first Deaf woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress.
  13. She had a learning disability that made it difficult for her to write fluently. She was a prolific and famous writer of mystery stories and novels. She dictated all her work to a secretary-transcriptionist.


1-L,  2-J,  3-D,  4-C,  5-G,  6-I,  7-B,  8-K,  9-M,  10-A,  11-H,  12-F,  13-E