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Artists

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger is one of the world's premier fashion designers. His labels can be found in high street stores everywhere. He has amassed huge personal wealth after building his company from the ground up at age 18. New York born and raised, Hilfiger was the second of nine children born to German-Irish parents. He always struggled at school with basic reading and writing, choosing to study machine shop rather than text-based subjects in high school.

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso may be the most recognizable name in the art world of the 20th century. Born in 1881, his artistic ability was noted from a young age, and indeed he would grow up to be a revolutionary in the fine arts. However, despite his obvious talents with a paintbrush, he was not so good with a book.

He struggled identifying letters and was labeled as having dyslexia. Picasso had to learn to manage his dyslexia for the rest of his life.

As an artist and dyslexic, he developed different ways to see the world. He created unforgettable masterpieces by blending colors, shapes and patterns into a unique style that could not be ignored. It is said that Picasso painted things as his eyes viewed them whether that be upside down, twisted, out of perspective or mismatched in proportion. With his brilliant mind, he changed the face of art as the world knew it.
Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg

Jurassic Park. E.T. Jaws. Indiana Jones. Did you know that the maker of some of the most famous movies of all time struggled to read as a child? In fact, Steven Spielberg wasn't diagnosed with dyslexia until he was 59 years old, when he took his daughter for a learning evaluation for her difficulty in the classroom.

As a kid, Spielberg was not enthusiastic about school. But he loved creating stories to act out with his friends, and at a young age starting making a few short movies with his friends. He was always trying new things. In fact, one attempt at creating a scene that involved blood and gore resulted in his mother finding bits of cherry pie oozing out of the kitchen cabinets for years! In his early teens, Spielberg made adventure films that he shot around his town. He used to charge 25 cents for admission to a home showing of his movies, while his sister sold popcorn. Even though reading was a challenge, he knew he was destined for more than detention hall.

When he speaks now about his dyslexia, he explains, "it is something that I have had since I was a child. It was not fun to go to elementary school and have other students and teachers not understand my reading problems. Today, [I have] accommodated my life to the challenges of dyslexia and I feel very proud of that. When you are a child you have to achieve a different balance when you find yourself to be dyslexic."

Despite his difficulties in reading as a child, Spielberg has used his skills at imagining and creating to his advantage, becoming one of the world's most famous movie directors of all time.
Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams

Imagine you were 12, and you were asked to leave schools because you were dyslexic and struggling to keep up, both socially and academically.

That's what Ansel Adams went through when he was young.

The famous photographer was pulled out of school and homeschooled by a private tutor.

Though he returned to school to finish eighth grade, Adams had already developed a love of nature—specifically, his fascination with Yosemite National Park—that made him want to start to photograph nature. His parents gave him a Kodak Brownie and he began to develop his skills.
Malcolm Alexander

Malcolm Alexander

Malcolm Alexander

Alexander's work as a sculptor is highly-acclaimed with commissions that include two 18-foot monuments for the State of Alaska and another of the actor Jimmy Stewart for his hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Malcolm offers sage advice for dyslexics—he encourages you to find your gift and persevere. "And don't expect it to come easy; nothing comes easy. But you've got a gift. Don't waste it."
Florence Welch

Florence Welch

Florence Welch

Despite receiving exemplary grades in secondary school and getting straight A's on the General Certificate of Secondary Education, Florence Welch spent many school nights singing.

Welch, who was diagnosed with dyslexia in primary school, succeeded in school, but found no passion in her studies.

Many nights, she would skip lessons in favor of reading scary stories and pursuing the arts. Welch said she's "not great at logical thinking" and enjoyed doodling instead of schoolwork.
Chuck Close

Chuck Close

Chuck Close

The famous photorealist painter had to overcome many hardships in his life, but not without learning the value of perseverance.

Chuck Close, most famous for his large-scale portraits that are divided into grids and painted, has to move around in a wheelchair due to a collapsed spinal artery in his back. He also suffers from prosopagnosia, or face blindness, where he can't recognize faces.
Cher

Cher

Cher Cher

For decades, Cher has been a household name. Her career in music, television, and film is filled with award winning performances. She's well known for her talent as well as her somewhat bizarre clothing and hair style choices. No one can deny that Cher is one of the most famous entertainers alive today, but her life wasn't always filled with glamor and success.
John Lennon

John Lennon

John Lennon

Visionary musician John Lennon has touched hearts and inspired the world from his first song with his revolutionary band, The Beatles. Since the 1960's, Lennon has been celebrated for his musical talents and philanthropic acts. Lennon's untimely death in 1980 could not stop the peaceful musician's impact on the world.
Copyright © 2017. Helping Every Child to Read.

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