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Famous People with ADHD

Margaret V. Austin, Ph.D., edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D.

Hope for a bright future: Famous people with ADHD

ADHD is a chronic condition that has no cure. Although ADHD is a serious disorder, it is also a condition that can be effectively managed. People with ADHD can be highly creative and intelligent. They can be exceptionally good at thinking 'outside of the box' and seeing solutions where others could not. In fact, there are many examples of famous and successful people who have ADHD. The following list names only a few:

  • Vincent Van Gogh, artist
  • Abraham Lincoln, president
  • Thomas Edison, inventor
  • Ansel Adams, photographer
  • Albert Einstein, physicist
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, novelist
  • Andrew Carnegie, steel entrepreneur
  • Norman Schwarzkopf, military general
  • Patty Duke, actress
  • Stevie Wonder, musician
  • Michael Jordan, athlete
  • Jim Carrey, comedian/actor
  • Will Smith, actor
  • Michael Phelps, Olympic swimmer
  • Sir Richard Branson, owner of a major airline, Virgin
  • Paris Hilton, socialite/actress

These successful people demonstrate that having ADHD doesn't mean doom and gloom. They moved beyond the challenges of ADHD. They developed strategies for self-regulation. They learned to keep challenging behaviors in check, while capitalizing upon their strengths.

In some respects, people with ADHD are just like everyone else. We must each learn to maintain an awareness of our feelings, and the impact of our behavior. We all need to practice self-regulation to succeed. This degree of self-awareness and self-control may be difficult for individuals with ADHD. However, once this pattern has been developed, ADHD will no longer limit your success.

Perhaps you've perhaps heard of the expression, "It takes a village." This certainly applies to the successful management of ADHD. Behind every successful person with ADHD are parents, families, teachers, friends, and professionals, who worked together as a team. Remember to express gratitude to your team of champions, and let your strengths lead the way to a bright and promising future.