His sister Kate may be the United Kingdom's favorite celebrity – and now more than ever as she brings a royal baby into the succession – but James Middleton, age 25, has had a few successes of his own. He currently is proprietor of four businesses and is showing his talent as a born entrepreneur.
And he has dyslexia.
When James revealed his dyslexia to the world a year ago, many people were surprised. You'd be hard-pressed to find a single fault in his delivery of the reading at a certain royal wedding.
However, James describes how that very experience brought back floods of memories from childhood, where reading aloud in the classroom was an exercise in enduring terror. As a boy, he struggled to spell any way other than phonetically, relying completely on little tricks and tips to get him through an exam.
"'Said' was Sally Ann Is Dead," he remembers, jokingly. Despite his light-hearted attitude of the present, he recalls a lot of painful moments. After enrolling in Marlborough College for secondary school, he couldn't even spell its name reliably. Like many dyslexics before him, in class he would count down the paragraphs to find the one he would be assigned and then frantically attempt to memorize it before he was called upon to read.
After having to retake his GSCEs, he gained entry to the University of Edinburgh. But two weeks into his degree, James took his continuing education into his own hands and decided that formal learning had only frustrating his natural ability for many years. He took the plunge and moved back home to start up his own business.
"If I had a choice," he says, "I would still choose to be dyslexic because I feel it helps me to see things in a different way. There is a talent in dyslexia, it can help you see things creatively. So I wouldn't change a thing."
He still struggles with spelling, and reading in public still produces anxiety. So, you ask, how did he do so well on April 29th of 2011?
He confesses with a grin that he re-wrote out every single word phonetically. No one would be able to recognize the words but him!
Rebekah Cox, number 35 on the 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2011 list, is the product designer and manager at Quora, the community question-and-answer site that gives users the information they need, when they need it. In fact, she built the front end of Quora herself. She, like so many others, has refused to let her dyslexia hold her back.
Barbara Corcoran was born March 10, 1949 in Edgewater, New Jersey. She was the second of ten children and shared a two-room apartment in Edgewater, New Jersey with her siblings and both parents. Despite her mother's encouragement and ability to pick out the special qualities in all of her children, Barbara had difficulties outside of the home.
At school, she struggled to read. She didn't fit in with her peers, and she often felt alone and believed that she was stupid.
Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea was born in Los Angeles, California on Novemeber 28, 1947. Known to friends as Kinko due to his curly hair, Paul's childhood was anything but easy. He suffered from both dyslexia and ADHD. His inability to read or to focus in school led not only to bad grades, but to him being expelled from four out of the eight schools he attended. His condition wasn't understood by medical doctors, teachers or even his parents. His inability to read was once attributed to weak eye muscles. Doing eye strengthening exercises did no good. His siblings tried to help as well and Paul's parents paid them to help him learn to read. Once again he was unsuccessful.
Considered one of the founding fathers of "Silicon Valley" and the American electronics industry, William Hewlett with his friend and partner David Packard began his career in electronic development in a garage in the 1930s. After more than 60 years as a pioneer in his industry and in a second career as a philanthropist, William Hewlett died January 12th, 2001 at the age of 86.