Famous people with as

Contents

23 Famous People With Autism Who Accomplished Incredible Things

While being on the spectrum can sometimes create challenges, these famous people with autism have been able to use their unique way of seeing the world to achieve great feats.

Some of these famous people with autism may surprise you. You may not have known that some of the best-known stars or some of the world’s most fascinating minds are actually on the spectrum.

Like this gallery?
Share it:

1 of 24

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins was diagnosed with Asperger’s when, as he put it: “my wife was trying to figure out who she was married to.” He credits Asperger’s syndrome with making him extremely restless – and, in turn, an unusually hard worker.Flickr 2 of 24

Courtney Love

Courtney Love, singer of Hole, was diagnosed as “mildly autistic” when she was a young girl. Though she was unusually intelligent, she struggled with school and with social interactions. Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images 3 of 24

Dan Aykroyd

“My very mild Asperger’s has helped me creatively,” says comedic star Dan Aykroyd. “I sometimes hear a voice and think: ‘That could be a character I could do.’”Wikimedia Commons 4 of 24

Alonzo Clemons

Alonzo Clemons’s IQ is somewhere between 40 and 50 — but somehow, he is capable of creating incredibly detailed and lifelike 3D sculptures of animals. “No one taught him to do this,” says Nancy Mason, his assistant. For Clemons, she says, sculpting is an unstoppable instinct. “When they took away his clay, he would sculpt anything he could get his hands on.”www.alonzoclemons.com 5 of 24

Matt Savage

Composer and pianist Matt Savage taught himself how to read music when he was just six-years-old. By the time he was 11, his music career was so successful that he was signed to Bösendorfer pianos and performing for heads of state around the world.YouTube 6 of 24

Kim Peek

The inspiration behind the movie “Rain Man”, Kim Peek was famous for being able to perfectly memorize any book he read. While he did not have the motor skills to button up his own shirt, Peek could perfectly recall the contents of 12,000 books.Wikimedia Commons 7 of 24

Stanley Kubrick

It’s been widely speculated that directory Stanley Kubrick had Asperger’s Syndrome. The director has been described as an “intense, cool, misanthropic cinematic genius who obsesses over every detail.” Kubrick’s single-minded obsession with filmmaking was so strong that he could only enjoy life when he was standing behind a camera. “I’m happy – at times – making film. I’m certainly unhappy not making films.”Keith Hamshere/Getty Images 8 of 24

Craig Nicholls

Craig Nicholls, frontman of Australian rock band The Vines, was diagnosed with Aspeger’s Syndrome after being charged with assault for kicking a photographer during a show. When he was let go under the condition that he’d seek help for his condition, Nicholls shouted out: “I’m free!” When asked if Asperger’s was the root of his destructive behavior, Nicholls told an interviewer: “Yeah, I’d like to say that. That’s a good excuse anyway, for acting like a jerk.”Paul McConnell/Getty Images 9 of 24

Blind Tom Wiggins

Tom Wiggins was a master pianist of the 19th century, who could play anything he heard. Some called him the “human parrot” or the “human phonograph”. One of Wiggins’ most impressive tricks was playing three songs at once. He could play “Fisher’s Hornpipe” with his left hand, “Yankee Doodle” with his right, and sing “Dixie” all at once.Wikimedia Commons 10 of 24

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was never diagnosed with autism while he was alive, but autism expert Dr. Judith Gould insists that he “almost certainly had Asperger syndrome.” Warhol’s monosyllabic conversational style, meticulously structured routines, and unique creative vision all show strong signs that the legendary artist was on the autism spectrum, Dr. Gould says.Wikimedia Commons 11 of 24

David Byrne

When asked about his condition, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne says that he just sees himself as “different” – not defective. “We all don’t have to be the same,” Byrne has said. “I used to get annoyed when folks placed value judgements on sociability — implying those who are not gregarious or social are somehow less — it’s just different.”Flickr 12 of 24

Tim Burton

Tim Burton’s long-time partner, Helena Bonham-Carter, is convinced that the legendary director has Asperger’s. “You start recognizing the signs,” she has said. “We were watching a documentary about autism and he said that was how he felt as a child.”Gage Skidmore/Flickr 13 of 24

Satoshi Tajiri

The creator of Pokemon, Satoshi Tajiri, has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. His colleagues have described him as “reclusive” and “eccentric” – but his unusual brain is the mastermind behind one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time.Victoria Mulneix/YouTube 14 of 24

Daryl Hannah

The Splash and Kill Bill actress has been fairly public with her childhood diagnosis of Asperger’s. Hannah has said her autism has made her incredibly shy and fearful of large events. It is perhaps because of this that Hannah mostly stays clear of Hollywood anymore.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images 15 of 24

Leslie Lemke

Leslie Lemke struggles with his motor controls so badly that he can’t hold onto utensils without dropping them. When he sits down at the piano, though, he can play anything he hears. Lemke’s foster parents first realized his talent when they heard him, without ever having taken a single piano lesson, sitting down and playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 after only having heard it once on television.Chicago Tribune’s Sunday Magazine 1988 16 of 24

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin’s work has reshaped the way livestock are handled, thanks in a large part to her unique insight into how an animal’s mind works. But today, she’s best known for giving the world a unique insight into how the autistic mind works. Her books have helped tear down the stigma around autism and helped others to better understand how people with autism see the world.Flickr 17 of 24

H.P. Lovecraft

Master of horror H.P. Lovecraft died before Asperger’s syndrome became a recognized diagnosis, but few have been posthumously diagnosed with it as often as he has. Multiple books have been written about Lovecraft’s unusual habits. “He certainly displayed all the symptoms,” one reads: “a lack of empathy and concern for others, obsessive interests, and a work ethic bordering on the compulsive.”Wikimedia Commons 18 of 24

Stephen Wiltshire

Stephen Wiltshire is an artist with the uncanny ability to draw any landscape after only having seen it once. Pictured on the right is one of Wiltshire’s incredibly photo-realistic drawings.Wikimedia Commons 19 of 24

Dan Harmon

“Rick and Morty” and “Community” creator Dan Harmon has never been formally diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, but he’s convinced that he has it. “I started looking up these symptoms, just to know what they are,” he said, “and the more I looked them up, the more familiar they started to seem.”Gage Skidmore/Flickr 20 of 24

Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet made a name for himself when he recited pi from memory to 22,514 digits. His mind, though, is capable are far more incredible things than that. Tammet has the ability to master languages incredible quickly, once conducting a full interview in Icelandic after only studying the language for a week.Wikimedia Commons 21 of 24

Glenn Gould

Eccentric master pianist Glenn Gould, whose performances were marked by strange habits like rocking and humming while playing the piano, has long been suspected to have had Asperger’s syndrome. “Every new hall, every new piano and every new person was extremely stressful to Gould,” says Dr. Timothy Maloney, director of the music division of the National Library of Canada. “As he grew older, he needed to be at a remove from society. This is an arch example of an Asperger’s sufferer.”Wikimedia Commons 22 of 24

Jedediah Buxton

Jedediah Buxton couldn’t write a word, but he had an incredible ability to do math. In the 18th century, he found work as a human calculator — a man who could sum up any math equation anyone needed, entirely in his head.Wikimedia Commons 23 of 24

Derek Paravicini

Derek Paravicini was born extremely premature at only 25 weeks. He was blind and suffered severe learning disabilities — but he also had absolutely perfect pitch. Paravicini was 9-years-old when he played his first concert with an orchestra. He has played for Princess Diana and been featured on countless shows, usually labeled a “superhuman”.Wikimedia Commons 24 of 24

Like this gallery?
Share it:

23 Famous People With Autism Who Accomplished Incredible Things View Gallery

“Much of the time,” says animal welfare pioneer Temple Grandin, “I feel like an anthropologist on Mars.”

Grandin has autism, but it would be hard to call her condition a disability. She has a Ph.D. in animal science and has spearheaded some of the most important and revolutionary ideas in livestock handling of the past century. Indeed, Grandin’s innovative ideas were made possible by her unique way of seeing the world.

Still, life as a woman with autism is not without its challenges. For Grandin, relating to other people with conventional brains – “neurotypicals”, as the autism community often calls them – can be very difficult.

It’s part of the strange, often poorly understood realities of life with autism. It’s a condition that can often go unnoticed; an invisible challenge that affects an estimated 1 in 59 people.

But it isn’t always just a disability. It’s a condition that can come with some incredible gifts – especially for these famous people with autism.

What Is Autism?

“Autism” is a very broad term. It describes a whole spectrum of conditions, all characterized by a few common traits, and just to name a few like repetitive behaviors and challenges with communication and social skills. For instance, you may have heard of or know of a person diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which is also considered a spectrum disorder.

Some famous people on the autism spectrum are high-functioning which means that they can better integrate into society – even if they often see things slightly differently from the rest of their peers.

Others, however, are more strongly affected. One-third of those with autism suffer from an intellectual disability, and about just as many are susceptible to epilepsy.

One could say that a person with autism is wired differently. Their brain’s nerve cells and synapses are organized in a different way, and, as a result, process information uniquely.

Autism can sometimes leave people feeling isolated. “I do not fit in with the social life in my town or university. … Most of my Friday and Saturday nights are spent writing papers and drawing,” Temple Grandin has said. “My life would be horrible if I did not have my challenging career.”

Famous People With Autism

But autism isn’t without its gifts. The unique wiring of the brain often gives people with autism a whole different outlook on the world, letting them see it in ways other people wouldn’t even consider. And with that unique perspective can there also be an incredible memory or an unrelenting focus on one’s passions.

Perhaps that’s how these famous people with autism were able to become successful. Experts have also posited that many of these famous people with autism throughout history may well have gone through most of if not all of their lives unaware that they even had the condition.

But without the unique point of view that autism creates some of the great breakthroughs in human history may never have happened. Without people to see things a little different our world would simply stay the same.

Next up in famous people with autism, read about Kim Peek, the savant who inspired Rain Man. Then, check out these historical figures with mental disorders that you may not have known about.

Chris Packham thinks his Asperger’s has been crucial to his success (Picture: BBC)

With Chris Packham’s new documentary, Asperger’s and Me, airing tonight at 9pm on BBC2, he has been talking publicly about his struggles growing up undiagnosed and ‘a little bit weird’.

Yet it’s precisely those unusual qualities that have made him what he is today: a celebrated broadcaster with an obsessive knowledge of the things that interest him and an ability to hyper-focus.

11 things I’ve learned since being diagnosed as autistic

Dismissive of supposed ‘cures’ for autistic spectrum disorders, Packham is clear that his Asperger’s is an intrinsic part of who he is, even in his darkest moments – he considered suicide on two separate occasions, the latter only prevented by the knowledge that he would be leaving his beloved dogs to fend for themselves.

He says he would like to be free of the mental strains that come from living with Asperger’s, yet he is vehemently against any form of treatment that might remove his autistic traits.

Advertisement Advertisement

‘Thirty years on, managing my autism on national television still requires an enormous effort. Sometimes I fail, I do just go off on one, but I realise now there is no way I could do my job without Asperger’s,’ he said.

Although Packham may be the most vocal, there are many other well-known faces who almost certainly wouldn’t be where they are if they hadn’t been born with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Here are four other examples.

1. Guy Martin

(Picture: Getty)

Motorcycle racer Guy Martin is one of the most popular people on television today, his awkward charm and straight speaking manner making him thoroughly entertaining to watch.

Of his Asperger’s diagnosis, he told the Mirror: ‘It hasn’t changed anything, it just confirms why I do certain things in a certain way.’

In this now famous clip from 2009, Martin talks about making a cup of tea with an attention to detail that will be familiar to anyone with Asperger’s, or who knows someone with it.

2. Gary Numan

(Picture: Getty)

Renowned for his otherworldly appearance and robotic attitude when he first shot to fame, musician Gary Numan spent much of his early career struggling behind the scenes, unable to cope with the stresses and strains brought on by being thrust into the public eye, despite having done so quite willingly.

Though he was never formally diagnosed with Asperger’s, he does, however, think it’s likely behind some of his quirkier traits.

He said: ‘I had some problems during my school years and, after many trips to a child psychologist, it was suggested that I had Asperger’s.

Advertisement Advertisement

‘I’ve never known for sure but I’ve always accepted that to be the case.’

He credits his wife Gemma with helping him to learn to understand himself and his condition, which he thinks has helped him succeed in his career.

‘I’m obsessive, but that’s a vital and useful trait for people in the music business. I’m driven and highly focused on things that I’m interested in, like my musical career.’

3. Anthony Hopkins

(Picture: Getty)

Although Hopkins wasn’t diagnosed with Asperger’s until he was in his late 70s, he acknowledges that it has had a huge effect on his life.

And in an interview with the Daily Mail, he had more to say about the positives that can come from the sometimes unusual characteristics often found in those with Asperger’s.

‘I don’t go to parties, I don’t have many friends,’ he said. ‘But I do like people. I do like to get inside their heads.

‘I definitely look at people differently. I like to deconstruct, to pull a character apart, to work out what makes them tick and my view will not be the same as everyone else.’

4. Ladyhawke

Pip Brown, better known as singer-songwriter Ladyhawke, was – as so often happens – only diagnosed with Asperger’s as an adult, when she sought help for her chronic anxiety.

Advertisement

She told The Guardian that despite being incredibly self-conscious most of the time, the second she gets on stage it disappears.

While Asperger’s Syndrome is indeed at the higher functioning end of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, it shouldn’t be forgotten that those with the syndrome have had to struggle more in life than if they’d been neurotypical.

Being autistic is tiring, because we are constantly trying to fit ourselves into a world that isn’t quite the right shape for us.

But being autistic doesn’t mean lacking imagination, or ambition, or creativity. Sometimes our differences truly can be our strengths.

For more information about Asperger’s Syndrome and ASD, contact the National Autistic Society

MORE: Medication really helps me manage my anxiety – so why are we so scared of it as a treatment?

MORE: How to cope with mental health issues when it feels like the world is going mad

MORE: How to survive Christmas with an autistic child

Advertisement Advertisement

20 Incredibly Successful People on the Autism Spectrum

Though autism is said to affect 1 in every 59 people in the United States, for those who have been diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, or another developmental disorder on the Autism Spectrum, the world can sometimes feel like a lonely place. While autism remains relatively misunderstood, one thing is for certain: those with autism are just as capable as anyone else of achieving incredible success. The proof? The people on this list: 20 incredibly successful people on the Autism Spectrum.

Woody Allen


Though it has never been explicitly stated that three-time Oscar winner Woody Allen is on the Autism Spectrum, both Allen himself and various experts seem to agree that that’s likely the case. The writer, director, actor, and musician is well known for his quirky ways. As Allen has stated, “I am a neurotic in a more benign way. I mean, I have a lot of neurotic habits. I don’t like to go into elevators, I don’t go through tunnels, I like the drain in the shower to be in the corner and not in the middle.”


As a child, comedy legend Dan Aykroyd was expelled from two different schools before anyone realized that he had mild Asperger’s Syndrome. Since his diagnosis, Aykroyd has been vocal and honest about his experiences on the Autism Spectrum. According to the Oscar-nominated actor and writer, Asperger’s even helped Aykroyd develop his famous Ghostbusters character.

Marty Balin


Marty Balin is best known as the founder of Jefferson Airplane, a psychedelic rock band that was popular in the 1960s. After struggling as a child, Balin was diagnosed with mild autism. Though he is mostly out of the spotlight now, Balin remains an advocate for those on the Autism Spectrum. He even recorded a song for a short film about children on the Autism Spectrum.


You may recognize Susan Boyle as the shy, but charming Scottish woman who wowed on Britain’s Got Talent. After all, she went on to sell 14 million albums! But perhaps you didn’t realize that Boyle has been officially diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome — a diagnosis that came as a “relief,” according to Boyle. Though Boyle is still learning about her Asperger’s and how being on the Autism Spectrum affects her life, she knows she is happiest when she is singing.


Is Tim Burton — the beloved director behind such films as Beetlejuice, Alice in Wonderland, Edward Scissorhands, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to name but a few — autistic? Though Burton has neither confirmed nor denied his place on the Autism Spectrum, his long-time partner, Helena Bonham Carter, seems to think autism makes perfect sense. According to Carter, she experienced an “a-ha moment” while researching an autistic character for a film. “Autistic people have application and dedication. You can say something to Tim when he’s working and he doesn’t hear you. But that quality also makes him a fantastic father, he has an amazing sense of humor and imagination. He sees things other people won’t see.”

Tony DeBlois


In addition to being on the Autism Spectrum, Tony DeBlois is blind — the result of receiving too much oxygen after being born premature. DeBlois began playing the piano at age two, and it quickly became apparent that he was not an average toddler. He excels at music, and as an adult, plays 20 different musical instruments. He is also capable of performing more than 8,000 pieces by memory! Today, BeBlois travels the world performing in concerts and sharing his gifts with people of all nationalities.


Though it hasn’t been confirmed, autism experts seem to agree that there is a real possibility that Bill Gates is on the Autism Spectrum. They cite things like Gates’s habit of rocking while he concentrates, his short and monotone speech patterns, and the way in which he tends to avoid eye contact. Because these are all common characteristics of those on the Autism Spectrum, it seems very likely that the tech billionaire is in fact autistic.


Those who have taken the time to learn about autism are sure to know the name Temple Grandin. Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University and a prolific author, did not begin speaking until she was nearly four years old. When she was diagnosed with Autism as a child, it was recommended she be institutionalized. Fortunately, her parents thought otherwise. Since her diagnosis, Grandin has become a leading force in the animal sciences, has produced an award-winning biopic about her life, and was even named as one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”

Daryl Hannah was a massive star during the the late 1980s, starring in such Hollywood films as Blade Runner, Wall Street, Splash, and Steel Magnolias, to name but a few. Still, according to Hannah, her successful career practically ended when she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Said Hannah, “I never went on talk shows, never went to premieres. Going to the Academy Awards was so painful for me. I’d almost faint just walking down the red carpet. I was so socially awkward and uncomfortable that I eventually got blacklisted.”

Comedy fans will recognize Dan Harmon as the writer and creator of the hit show Community. While researching Asperger’s Syndrome for a character he was creating, Harmon realized that much of what he was learning described him to a T. As he told Wired Magazine, “I started looking up these symptoms, just to know what they are. And the more I looked them up, the more familiar they started to seem. Then I started taking these internet tests.”

Sir Anthony Hopkins

On a list of the greatest living actors, Sir Anthony Hopkins would almost certainly be included. The actor, who won an Oscar for portraying Hannibal Lector in The Silence of the Lambs, has been diagnosed with high-functioning Asperger’s Syndrome (though Hopkins hasn’t said at what point in his life he received the diagnosis). When talking about the way being on the Autism Spectrum affects him, Hopkins says, “I don’t go to parties, I don’t have many friends, but I do like people.”

Heather Kuzmich

Heather Kuzmich was a contestant on Cycle 9 of America’s Next Top Model, and remains one of the biggest fan favorites of all time. At age 15, Kuzmich was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and spent much of her teenage years struggling to communicate and form friendships. Though she finished 5th on the show, Kuzmich has found great success since as a model and, currently, a student of video game design.

Whether as the wife of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain or the lead singer of the punk band Hole, Courtney Love has enjoyed a long career in the spotlight. In a popular biography about Love, it was revealed that the grunge singer has a mild form of autism. According to Love, she struggles with social skills, and would practice social cues and conversation by visiting gay clubs with close friends.

Clay Marzo

Hawaii native Clay Marzo was diagnosed with autism as a child. This apparently made little difference to either Clay or his parents. Said Clay’s mother, “I will not give my son a label: watch him, and you will see his raw intelligence.” Marzo’s natural ability soon became apparent. Shortly after winning the Hawaii State 200m Freestyle in swimming at age 10, Marzo decided to focus solely on his main passion: surfing. Marzo won so many surfing competitions as a teenager, the documentary Just Add Water was produced about him. At age 15, he received two Perfect 10s during a National Scholastic Surfing Association — an unprecedented accomplishment. Now an adult, Marzo continues his career as a successful competitive surfer.

John Elder Robison

When bestselling author John Elder Robison was a child few had ever heard of Asperger’s Syndrome. As a kid, Robison was often punished for “misbehaving” and “laziness.” It wasn’t until adulthood that a doctor suggested to him that he might have Asperger’s. “The knowledge,” said Robison, “changed my life forever. It took some time, and a lot of hard work, but the knowledge of how and why I am different transformed my life.” In 2007, Robison published his heartfelt memoir, Look My in the Eye, and the book instantly became a massive bestseller. Today, Robison continues to write about his experiences with Asperger’s Syndrome, while remaining a tireless advocate for those on the Autism Spectrum.

Jerry Seinfeld has stated on more than one occasion that he believes himself to be autistic. Though no medical professional has ever officially diagnosed him, Seinfeld has defended his theory by citing various childhood challenges and his tendency to think literally. While Seinfeld may consider himself to have Asperger’s Syndrome, others disagree. Indeed, the comedian’s revelation has been extremely controversial, with many feeling that his self-diagnosis has served to make light of an actual issue.

Dr. Vernon Smith

Dr. Vernon Smith, a professor of economics at Chapman University, practically invented the field of experimental economics — an achievement for which he won the Nobel Prize in 2002. Dr. Smith is incredibly open and honest about having Asperger’s Syndrome, but actually credits his autism for his professional success. As he told MSNBC, “I don’t feel any social pressure to do things the way other people are doing them, professionally. And so I have been more open to different ways of looking at a lot of the problems in economics.”

You may not know the name Satoshi Tajiri, but we’re willing to bet you would recognize Pokémon, Tajiri’s most famous creation. Satoshi Tajiri has stated that he is on the high-functioning end of the Autism Spectrum. He has confirmed on more than one occasion that he has Asperger’s Syndrome. But, as a general rule Tajiri chooses not to talk about his diagnosis in public. Rather, he prefers that his many accomplishments speak for themselves.

Alexis Wineman

Alexis Wineman made history as the first Miss America contestant with autism. The former Miss Montana as diagnosed with pervasive development disorder, a less common disorder that can be found on the Autism Spectrum, as a child. Despite the social pressures that come with competing in pageantry, Wineman held her own, and was voted the America’s Choice Award.

Adam Young (Owl City)

Adam Young, the singer and songwriter behind Owl City, is a successful musician with Asperger’s Syndrome. According to Young, he struggles greatly with insomnia. In fact, insomnia happens to be the topic of “Fireflies,” one of his most famous songs. He is also an extreme introvert, and admits to having spent most of his high school years alone and without friends.

Famous Celebrities With Autism

According to her “Asperger’s doesn’t define me. It’s a condition that I have to live with and work through, but I feel more relaxed about myself,” she said in the interview. Now that is what you call a never dying spirit.

3

We never thought, that in our life time we would be talking about the renowned filmmaker to have suffered from Asperger’s syndrome. Though Kubrick does not live among us anymore, his legacy continues.

Kubrick was diagnosed in retrospect by Dr. Michael Fitzgerald along with co-writer Viktoria. They based their diagnosis on the facts on Kubrick’s behavioral traits – like obsessive interests, poor sociability and lack of adaptability towards new things.

2

Jerry Seinfeld

I won’t believe it if you tell me you haven’t watched Seinfeld ever. Nevertheless and all time classic comedic sitcom that aired on NBC, the lead character Jerry Seinfeld told the NBC news that he believes he’s on the autism spectrum.

Though not officially confirmed yet, the statement still came out to be a shocker. Especially for a person that grew up watching Seinfeld.

1

I think it is justified to reserve this place for the most influential autism spokesperson, which is none other than Grandin. She has been a global voice on autism awareness by being the only person to publicly share extensive insights about her experiences of autism.

Her revolutionary consultation on animal science has proven valuable in the livestock industry. Even though Grandin was never formally diagnosed with autism in her childhood, she was properly diagnosed in her 40’s. Additionally, she is an advocate of greater good and has been named as a ‘Hero’ in the Times 100 most influential people.

History’s 30 Most Inspiring People on the Autism Spectrum

Though autism did not become the mainstream diagnosis it is today until well into the 20th century, it is certainly not anything new. Indeed, history is full of people who many consider to be or have been somewhere on the autism spectrum. Like the 30 people on this list.

Famous Autistic People in History

  • Dan Aykroyd – Comedic Actor
  • Hans Christian Andersen – Children’s Author
  • Benjamin Banneker – African American almanac author, surveyor, naturalist, and farmer
  • Susan Boyle – Singer
  • Tim Burton – Movie Director
  • Lewis Carroll – Author of “Alice in Wonderland”
  • Henry Cavendish – Scientist
  • Charles Darwin – Naturalist, Geologist, and Biologist
  • Emily Dickinson – Poet
  • Paul Dirac – Physicist
  • Albert Einstein – Scientist & Mathematician
  • Bobby Fischer – Chess Grandmaster
  • Bill Gates – Co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation
  • Temple Grandin – Animal Scientist
  • Daryl Hannah – Actress & Environmental Activist
  • Thomas Jefferson – Early American Politician
  • Steve Jobs – Former CEO of Apple
  • James Joyce – Author of “Ulysses”
  • Alfred Kinsey – Sexologist & Biologist
  • Stanley Kubrick – Film Director
  • Barbara McClintock – Scientist and Cytogeneticist
  • Michelangelo – Sculptor, Painter, Architect, Poet
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Classical Composer
  • Sir Isaac Newton – Mathematician, Astronomer, & Physicist
  • Jerry Seinfeld – Comedian
  • Satoshi Tajiri – Creator of Nintendo’s Pokémon
  • Nikola Tesla – Inventor
  • Andy Warhol – Artist
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein – Philosopher
  • William Butler Yeats – Poet

Related: 15 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Online Programs

While we are well aware that retrospective diagnosis of autism is near impossible, the figures on this list have been carefully chosen. Experts ( both medical professionals and those who experience autism first-hand) agree that every person listed here probably shows or showed autistic tendencies, and we’ve noted those cases in which some experts disagree with others. Despite the challenges associated with the identification of autism, this list is meant to be helpful and inspiring to those who themselves fall somewhere on the spectrum.

1952-present


Popular comedic actor Dan Aykroyd had already been expelled from two different schools by the time a doctor diagnosed him with mild Asperger’s Syndrome as a child. Since then, Aykroyd has been pretty honest and up-front about his experiences with the autism spectrum. The Academy Award-nominated actor and writer has even spoken to great extent about how his experiences with autism contributed to his character in Ghostbusters.

Hans Christian Andersen

1805-1875


The experts go back and forth over whether Hans Christian Anderson, the beloved writer of such fairy tales as The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling, was autistic or not. Most of those who insist that he appeared somewhere on the spectrum are those who are autistic themselves, and therefore can relate to Andersen on a personal level. For example, Andersen’s diary describes to great length his many bouts of unrequited love for those who were, quite frankly, unattainable — a common personal experience, say those on the spectrum who can relate. They also cite the recurring theme of outcast characters in his stories. Most never achieve their sought after happy endings.

Benjamin Banneker

1731-1806


Benjamin Banneker was an African-American author, surveyor, naturalist, astronomer, inventor, and farmer who lived as a free man in 18th century America. Plenty of contemporary documents refer to Banneker’s “unparalleled brilliance” and “odd methods of behavior,” lending credence to the common idea that Banneker had a high-functioning form of autism. He was known to fixate on certain objects, such as a friend’s watch, until that fixation ultimately led to an experiment or invention of his own.

Susan Boyle

1961-present


Most people know Susan Boyle as the shy Scottish introvert who sold more than 14 million albums after appearing on Britain’s Got Talent. But even more people found Boyle inspiring when she announced she had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a diagnosis that Boyle said, felt like “a relief.” Boyle is still learning about the autism spectrum and how it affects her, but as long as she keeps singing, people are sure to continue to be inspired by her.

1958-present


Is Hollywood director Tim Burton autistic? His long-time partner, Helena Bonham Carter, seems to think so. At least, she once speculated that he was “possibly autistic” during an interview. While researching an autistic character for a film, Carter claims, she had an “a-ha moment” and realized that much of her research applied to Burton. Said Carter, “Autistic people have application and dedication. You can say something to Tim when he’s working and he doesn’t hear you. But that quality also makes him a fantastic father; he has an amazing sense of humor and imagination. He sees things other people won’t see.”

Lewis Carroll

1832-1898


There are few historical figures as controversial as Lewis Carroll, the author of the children’s classic Alice in Wonderland. While some of his behavior, such as continuously seeking out the company of young girls, has made some wonder if the university professor was a pedophile, others use the same information to insist that Carroll was actually autistic. After all, Carroll lived in a different time and place, with far different social customs than what we are used to today. He was also known to be a poor communicator, and therefore likely found interacting with children much easier. His difficulty with communication was exacerbated by a severe stammer. Finally, Carroll showed great mathematical ability and even considered himself to be a minor inventor, both common characteristics of those on the spectrum.

Henry Cavendish

1731-1810


Henry Cavendish is perhaps one of the most important scientists in history. A natural philosopher, chemist, and physicist, Cavendish is perhaps most famous as the discoverer of hydrogen. He is also thought to have been autistic. Besides his weekly meetings at the prestigious Royal Society Club, Cavendish did all he could to avoid company and social calls. Indeed, he was so reclusive, he communicated with his servants in writing, ordered his meals via a note left on the table, and even added a private staircase to the back of his house so as to avoid the housekeeper. He also avoided eye contact and was described by a contemporary as the “coldest and most indifferent of mortals.” But he was also brilliant, though it was only after his death that fellow scientists went through his many papers and realized all he had accomplished.

Charles Darwin

1809-1882


Trinity College professor Michael Fitzgerald, a leading psychiatrist, researched and published a paper concluding that Charles Darwin had Asperger’s Syndrome. There are records from Darwin’s childhood that state he was a very quiet and isolated child, who avoided interaction with others as much as he could. Like so many others with Asperger’s, he sought alternative ways of communicating, such as writing letters. He had fixations with certain topics like chemistry, but was a very visual thinker — all traits of someone on the autism spectrum.

Emily Dickinson

1830-1886

In her book Writers on the Spectrum: How Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome have Influenced Literary Writing, academic Julie Brown includes classical poet Emily Dickinson. Brown is part of a large group who believe Dickinson showed plenty of signs of being autistic: she wrote poems that were extremely unconventional for her time period, she was reclusive, she got along best with children, she wore white clothing almost exclusively, and had a fascination with scented flowers, among other things. While Dickinson’s biographer, Lyndall Gordon, insists that Dickinson’s epilepsy is what made her so reclusive, medical professionals are quick to point out that those with autism have a much higher chance of also having epilepsy.

Paul Dirac

1902-1984

Paul Dirac has repeatedly been referred to as one of the most significant and influential physicists of the 20th century. The Cambridge professor greatly contributed to early quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics, and even received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. That Nobel, however, was almost refused by Dirac, who was so reclusive that he didn’t want the publicity. Such shyness is one of many reasons why a large number of people think Dirac may have had some form of autism. Besides his shyness, they cite his intense focus, extreme literal mindedness, lack of empathy, and his rigid patterns, among other things.

Albert Einstein

1879-1955

Perhaps the most famous scientist and mathematician in history, Albert Einstein had a number of interesting and possibly telling characteristics. For one, he had trouble socializing, especially as an adult. As a child, he experienced severe speech delays and later echolalia, or the habit of repeating sentences to himself. And of course, there is the fact that Einstein was incredibly technical. Such characteristics have led many experts to conclude that he appeared somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Bobby Fischer

1943-2008

Bobby Fischer, the chess grandmaster and World Chess Champion, is said to have had Asperger’s Syndrome in addition to paranoid schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Fischer was known to be extremely intense, and did not relate well to others thanks to his lack of friendships and poor social abilities. His extreme focus on chess is another sign, as his track record for not being able to cope in an unstructured environment.

Bill Gates

1955-present

Could Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world be autistic? Quite a few autism experts seem to think so! While nothing has ever been confirmed regarding whether or not Gates falls on the autism spectrum, those who seem to think he is cite things like the distinct rocking motion Gates displays when he concentrates, his shortened and monotoned speech patterns, and his habits of avoiding eye contact on the rare occasion he speaks directly with someone else. These are all common characters of those on the spectrum, and the evidence that Bill Gates may be autistic is quite persuasive.

1947-present

There may be no autistic person alive today more famous than Temple Grandin. The author and Colorado State University professor didn’t begin speaking until she was almost four years old, and the doctors who diagnosed her recommended she be institutionalized. Fortunately, her parents did not agree with those doctors. Grandin has gone on to become a leading force in animal sciences, has been named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people, and even produced an award-winning biopic about her life. She remains an outspoken advocate in the autism community, and has been unapologetic about her belief that the “characteristics of autism can be modified and controlled.”

1960-present

Daryl Hannah — the beautiful star of films like Splash, Blade Runner, and Steel Magnolias — only came out about her experiences on the autism spectrum about five years ago. Since then, Hannah has been nothing but inspirational as she’s told the honest truth about her challenges with Asperger’s Syndrome. As a child, we rocked herself to self-soothe, and was so shy that once she began acting she refused to give interviews or even attend her own premieres. Though she has mostly learned to control and live with her diagnosis, Hannah has all but left the entertainment industry to focus on environmental issues and other passions.

Thomas Jefferson

1743-1826

This one is especially controversial. Those who argue that the third president of the United States fell somewhere on the autism spectrum cite the fact that Jefferson was well-known to have been an uncomfortable public speaker and one who could not relate well to others. A number of contemporary documents even reference Jefferson’s sensitivity to loud noises and his many strange routines, such as the constant companionship of a pet mockingbird. Despite the evidence, the best we can do when it comes to Jefferson is speculate, as most documents dating from his early life burned down with his childhood home.

Steve Jobs

1955-2011

Those who associate Steve Jobs with autism admit that it’s pure speculation, but they are also quick to point out that that speculation has grown more and more mainstream since the Apple genius’s death in 2011. Those who believe Jobs landed somewhere on the spectrum cite such behavioral quirks as his obsession with perfection, his unorthodox ways of thinking, and his general lack of empathy when dealing with others.

James Joyce

1882-1941

Ask any autism expert about James Joyce, and you’ll likely hear them argue that his writing itself is extreme evidence of Joyce possibly being autistic. After all, his two most famous works, “Ulysses” and “Finnegan’s Wake”, are brilliant, yet intentionally difficult to read and understand. As Joyce told Harper’s Magazine, “The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole life to reading my work.” Some claim that this intentional approach to his work showed Joyce’s desire to distance himself from society, a very autistic thing to do. These same scholars also reference Joyce’s youth, during which he was extremely intelligent, but also suffered from a number of phobias and had trouble keeping friends.

Alfred Kinsey

1894-1956

Alfred Kinsey was a famed sexologist and biologist who founded the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. As is just about anything in his line of work, Kinsey was extremely controversial. Though the controversy surrounding his work has died down since Kinsey’s death, a new controversy has since arisen: was Kinsey autistic? Many medical professionals seem to think so. A 1999 article in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders stated that Kinsey meets the criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome because of his “qualitative impairment in social interaction,” “failure to develop appropriate peer relationships,” and “lack of social and emotional reciprocity.”

1928-1999

Stanley Kubrick is most famous as the innovative and exceedingly creative director of films like “A Clockwork Orange,” “Dr. Strangelove,” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.” But could he also have had some form of autism? The experts are split on this one. Those who argue that Kubrick was indeed autistic cite the director’s reclusive nature and his habit of hoarding animals. He was a chess mastermind, and said to be uncomplimentary and cheap. Still, there are plenty of reports that refute these allegations.

Barbara McClintock

1902-1992

Barbara McClintock was a famed scientist who made great breakthroughs in the study of chromosomes and how they change during the reproduction process. McClintock has long been thought of as autistic in some way. She had an extreme fixation on her work and was able to focus for long periods of time. She was also very particular about what she would and would not wear. Notably reclusive and one who went to great lengths to avoid any attention of limelight, McClintock nearly didn’t accept the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine that she was awarded for her excellent and groundbreaking work.

Michelangelo

1475-1564

Dr. Muhammad Arshad published in the Royal Society of Medicine’s Journal of Medical Biography a convincing paper arguing that Michelangelo was almost certainly autistic. Another leading researcher on the topics, Professor Michael Fitzgerald, agrees. Their evidence: the artist’s singular interest in his work, a temper that could change at the drop of a hat, strict routines, and very poor social skills. Such characteristics, all of which were determined through dozens of contemporary notes and letters, are consistent with those with high-functioning autism.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

1756-1791

Most scholars agree that musical maestro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was somewhere on the spectrum. Mozart was allegedly extremely sensitive to loud noises, had a notoriously short attention span, and could fly through a cycle of facial expressions within seconds. In one well-documented incident, a bored Mozart began doing cartwheels and vaults over tables while meowing loudly like a cat.

Sir Isaac Newton

1643-1727

Thanks to researchers at Cambridge University, we have a pretty good idea that Isaac Newton had Asperger’s Syndrome or something else on the spectrum. The researchers, who also argue that Albert Einstein was autistic, mention in their article evidence that Newton isolated himself as much as possible and was notoriously awkward when it came to typical daily conversation. He was not good at keeping friends, and relied strongly upon routines. Lastly, there are a number of reports that suggest that he was often so focused on his work, that he went for days at a time without eating or sleeping.

1954-present

Jerry Seinfeld, one of the most popular comedians of all time, has said in multiple interviews that he believes himself to be on the autism spectrum. Though he has never been officially diagnosed by a medical professional, Seinfeld has defended his self-diagnosis by citing various social challenges that he has experienced since childhood, as well as his tendency to think literally. While Seinfeld may consider himself to have Asperger’s Syndrome, others in the autism community disagree. In fact, Seinfeld’s revelation has been quite controversial, with many feeling that his self-diagnosis has only served to make light of actual issues.

1965-present

As a child, Satoshi Tajiri was fascinated by insects and was even nicknamed “Dr. Bug” by other children. As an adult, Tajiri turned that interest into the world-wide phenomenon that is Pokemon — which itself makes him an inspiration to millions of children (and adults!) around the world. But Satoshi Tajiri is also on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. Though he confirmed that he does indeed have Asperger’s Syndrome, Tajiri does not talk about it in public, choosing instead to let his many accomplishments speak for themselves.

Nikola Tesla

1856-1943

Thanks to his major rival, Thomas Edison, who reportedly stole many of his best ideas, Nikola Tesla died poor and alone. More recently, Tesla is finally getting the credit he deserves for many of his most genius ideas. It’s likely the inventor was also autistic. According to records of Tesla’s time, he suffered from a large number of phobias, was extremely sensitive to light and sound, isolated himself, and was obsessed with the number three.

1928-1987

Experts like Judith Gould, the director of the leading diagnostic center for autism in the United Kingdom, insists that it makes perfect sense that Andy Warhol was autistic. After all, much of the artist’s work focuses on repetition, on which those with autism usually fixate. In interviews, Warhol almost always responded to questions with monosyllabic answers, possibly evidence that he had the verbal dyslexia that is so common among those on the spectrum. He reportedly refused to wear anything but a certain kind of green underwear. Still, not everyone agrees that Warhol was autistic. Those who argue against this posthumous diagnosis suggest that Warhol’s different behavior was calculated in an effort to “enhance a sense of mystery.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

1889-1951

The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is another inspiring historical figure who very likely had autism. In fact, Wittgenstein’s most famous work, “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” has been cited again and again as a classical example of the autistic thought process. Contemporary letters and diary entries reference Wittgenstein’s persistent irritation, especially when it came to understanding and dealing with those around him.

William Butler Yeats

1865-1939

Professor Michael Fitzgerald, the same Trinity College professor who recently published a paper asserting that Charles Darwin likely had some form of autism, claims the same thing about Irish poet William Butler Yeats. Fitzgerald cites Yeats’ extreme difficulty in school, where he was bullied for his lack of interest and awkward social behavior. He also brings up the fact that Yeats pined for years for Maud Gonne, despite her stated disinterest. Still, Yeats’ biographer, Oxford professor Roy Foster, rejects Fitzgerald’s idea’s.

7 famous people who have Asperger’s

Greta Thunberg is only 16 years old, but the Swedish student has won admirers all over the world for her bravery in speaking up for the environment and holding politicians to account.

The teenager, who has Asperger syndrome, has also been the victim of bullying from cruel internet trolls, but she won’t let that hold her back.

She took to Twitter to tell her 1.3m followers: “When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning! I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances- being different is a superpower. #aspiepower”.

According to the Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland: “Asperger Syndrome is a condition on the Autism Spectrum which impacts on the way that individuals view the world, interact with and communicate with others.

“While people who have Asperger Syndrome can have many talents and unique skills, they can experience challenges in forming relationships with others, managing anxiety, social exclusion and limited employment opportunities.”

And Greta isn’t the only famous face with Aspergers to make their mark on the world.

Here are seven others you may have heard of…

1) Adam Harris

The brother of Minister for Health Simon Harris, Adam Harris founded the autism advocacy group AsIAm.

Frustrated at the lack of understanding around autism when he was growing up, he works hard to raise awareness of the condition and give autistic people a voice.

2) Aoife Dooley

Aoife Dooley is an illustrator and comedian who is best known for her Your One Nikita illustrations.

She has published two books, How to be Massive and How to deal with poxes on a daily basis .

In 2018 she released the Your One Nikita animated tv series on the RTE Player, with season 2 on the way soon.

Check out her website here .

3) Anne Hegerty

Anne Hegerty, also known as The Governess, shows off her general knowledge on ITV quiz show The Chase, but she won the hearts of viewers across Ireland when she appeared on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

4) Daryl Hannah

Actress Daryl Hannah was diagnosed with Asperger’s early in her career.

She said the condition made it difficult for her to cope with some of the demands made of Hollywood stars, like appearing on talk shows and attending premieres.

“These days I have little tricks that I do to help me cope,” she told Women’s Weekly. “As long as I remember to do them, then I am okay.”

5) Susan Boyle

PASADENA, CA – OCTOBER 17: Susan Boyle arrives at “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” Finale at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on October 17, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Singer Susan Boyle was misdiagnosed as “brain damaged” when she was a baby – only discovering she had Asperger’s in 2012.

“It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid,” she told The Guardian. “I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understanding of what’s wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself.”

6) Courtney Love

Singer Courtney Love of the band Hole (Image: Getty)

Singer and actress Courtney Love was diagnosed with autism at age 9, she revealed in her autobiography.

She struggled to make friends as a child and wrote about those painful memories in her songs.

7) Anthony Hopkins

(Image: Rex Features)

In 2017, renowned actor Anthony Hopkins said he had received a diagnosis of Asperger’s later in life.

The Silence of the Lambs star said being on the spectrum made him a “loner” but has helped him get roles.

“I definitely look at people differently,” he told the Daily Mail. “I like to deconstruct, to pull a character apart, to work out what makes them tick and my view will not be the same as everyone else.”

What is Asperger’s syndrome?

People with Asperger’s are on the Autism spectrum. They are generally vulnerable to high levels of anxiety and mental health problems, especially in late adolescence and early adulthood.

According to Autism NI, Dr Lorna Wing has described the main features of Asperger’s Syndrome as:

  • Naive, inappropriate one sided interactions
  • Struggle to form friendships
  • Pedantic or repetitive speech
  • Poor non verbal communication
  • Intense absorption in certain subjects
  • Fine or gross motor difficulties

The website notes: “Some individuals with AS may have an encyclopedic knowledge of their special interests and will have strengths in noticing fine details, which can be a great benefit in the workplace.”

People you know who may have Aspergers

Bill Gross – successful investment manager (C): his video about his diagnosis is here

Dan Aykroyd – Comedic Actor (C)

Hans Christian Andersen – Children’s Author

Benjamin Banneker – African American almanac author, surveyor, naturalist, and farmer

Susan Boyle – Singer (C)

Tim Burton – Movie Director (C)

Lewis Carroll – Author of “Alice in Wonderland”

Henry Cavendish – Scientist Charles Darwin – Naturalist, Geologist, and Biologist

Emily Dickinson – Poet

Paul Dirac – Physicist Albert Einstein – Scientist & Mathematician

Bobby Fischer – Chess Grandmaster

Bill Gates – Co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation

Temple Grandin – Animal Scientist (C)

Daryl Hannah – Actress & Environmental Activist (C)

Thomas Jefferson – Early American Politician

Steve Jobs – Former CEO of Apple

James Joyce – Author of “Ulysses”

Alfred Kinsey – Sexologist & Biologist

Stanley Kubrick – Film Director

Barbara McClintock – Scientist and Cytogeneticist

Michelangelo – Sculptor, Painter, Architect, Poet

Chris Packham – naturalist, TV presenter (C)

Gary Numan – singer and songwriter

Michael Burry – USA physician, investor and hedge fund manager: Movie the Big Short based on him (C)

Dawn Prince-Hughes – PhD, primate anthropologist, ethologist, and author of Songs for the Gorilla Nation

Jerry Newport – American author and mathematical savant, basis of the film Mozart and the Whale

John Elder Robison – author of Look Me in the Eye

Judy Singer – Australian disability rights activist, sociologist who coined term neurodiversity

Liane Holliday Willey – author of Pretending to be Normal, Asperger Syndrome in the Family; Asperger syndrome advocate; education professor; and adult diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at age 35

Travis Meeks – lead singer, guitarist and song writer for acoustic rock band Days of the New

Who are some famous people with Asperger syndrome?

I compiled a list of all the names of famous people with ASD or suspected of having or having had ASD that I could find. My hope is that this list could serve as a reminder to people with ASD who have challenges that there are some famous people who have and/or still do face some of the same challenges, but that they can be very capable, influential people.

Furthermore, while some of the names on this list will confirm the stereotypes of ASD, at the same time this list is an indication of the diversity of personalities, talents, deficits, and challenges.

It is my contention that autism is the gift of specialized thinking and ability. The autistic brain is more refined and focused by design not by injury or illness. What some may call special gifts accompanied by learning deficits or disabilities is in my mind indicative of a brain that by virtue of its specialized design simply has different and very specific priorities.

~ Brian King

Diagnosed

  1. Dan Aykroyd— Actor, comedian, producer, screenwriter, musician, businessman
  2. Jacob Barnett — Physics student, child prodigy, synesthete
  3. Susan Boyle — Singer
  4. Martin Bryant — Spree killer
  5. David Byrne — Founding member, principal songwriter, lead singer, guitarist
  6. Bram Cohen — Computer programmer, entrepreneur
  7. James Durbin — Singer, guitarist
  8. Temple Grandin — Professor of animal science, consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, autism spokesperson
  9. Daryl Hannah — Actress
  10. Heather Kuzmich — Fashion model
  11. Matthew Labyorteaux — Actor, voice artist
  12. Clay Marzo — Professional surfer
  13. Caiseal Mór — Novelist, artist musician
  14. Craig Nicholls — Musician; lead singer, songwriter, guitarist
  15. Chris Packham — Television presenter, naturalist, award-winning photographer, author
  16. Dawn Prince-Hughes — Anthropologist, primatologist, ethologist, adjunct professor, executive chair of ApeNet Inc.
  17. Matt Savage — Autistic savant musician
  18. Vernon L. Smith — Professor of economics, former research scholar, Fellow of the Mercatus Center
  19. Satoshi Tajiri — Video game designer

These are the people that have diagnosed themselves or suspected themselves of having ASD. These claims tend to be more credible, as they are often corroborated by people who know them. Omitted from this list is Courtney Love, whose claim of having been diagnosed with autism could not be corroborated.

Self-diagnosed/self-suspected

The following people have been suspected of having ASD, though certainly not all claims are equally credible.

Omitted from this list are among others: Woody Allen, Jim Carrey, Tyler Cowen, Michael Jackson, Evgeny Kissin, George Lucas, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Mitt Romney, Tom Green, Robin Williams, and Neil Young, as no substantial evidence could be found to substantiate the claims that they have/had ASD.

Suspected

  1. Julian Assange — Computer programmer, founder of WikiLeaks
  2. Marty Balin — Singer, songwriter, musician
  3. Roger Bannister — Former middle-distance athlete, physician, academic
  4. Warren Buffett — Business magnate, investor, philanthropist
  5. Bob Dylan — Poetic songwriter, singer, painter, writer, Nobel prize laureate
  6. Greg Egan — Writer
  7. Bill Gates — Business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist
  8. Steve Jobs — Entrepreneur, businessman, inventor, industrial designer
  9. Robert M. Pirsig — Writer, philosopher
  10. Steven Spielberg — Director, producer, screenwriter
  11. Mark Zuckerberg — Computer programmer, Internet entrepreneur, co-founder of Facebook

Below is a list of people who have been diagnosed or suspected of having ASD after their death. I omitted as many names with questionable claims to ASD as I could—names like Richard Feynman, Adolf Hitler, Pablo Picasso, and Ayn Rand, because I could not find credible sources that substantiated the claims that they might have (had) ASD.

Either way, a proper diagnosis can never be made on the dead, so do take these claims to ASD diagnoses with a pinch of sodium.

Posthumously “diagnosed”/suspected, or suspected before death

  1. Hans Christian Andersen — Author; novelist, poet
  2. Sherwood Anderson — Novelist, short-story writer
  3. Archimedes — Mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, astronomer
  4. Hans Asperger — Pediatrician, medical theorist, medical professor
  5. A. J. Ayer — Philosopher
  6. Benjamin Banneker — Almanac author, surveyor, naturalist, farmer
  7. Béla Bartók— Composer, pianist, ethnomusicologist
  8. Daisy Bates — Journalist, welfare worker, lifelong student of Australian Aboriginal culture and society
  9. Samuel Beckett — Novelist, playwright, theater director, and poet
  10. Ludwig van Beethoven — Composer, pianist
  11. Robert Boyle — Natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, inventor
  12. Marie Curie — Physicist, chemist, Nobel laureate
  13. Lewis Carroll — Writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, photographer
  14. Henry Cavendish — Natural philosopher, scientist, experimental and theoretical chemist and physicist
  15. Bruce Chatwin — Travel writer, novelist, journalist
  16. Joseph Cornell — Artist, sculptor
  17. Charles Darwin — Naturalist, geologist, biologist
  18. Éamon de Valera — Politician, statesman
  19. Emily Dickinson — Poet
  20. Paul Dirac — Theoretical physicist
  21. Arthur Conan Doyle — Writer
  22. Robert Emmet — Orator, rebel leader
  23. Albert Einstein — Theoretical physicist
  24. Paul Erdős — Mathematician
  25. Dian Fossey — Zoologist, primatologist, anthropologist
  26. Janet Frame — Writer; novelist, poet
  27. Rosalind Franklin — Chemist, X-ray crystallographer
  28. Francis Galton — Statistician, progressive, polymath, sociologist, psychologist, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician
  29. Antoni Gaudí — Architect
  30. Carl Friedrich Gauss — Mathematician
  31. Sophie Germain — Mathematician, physicist, philosopher
  32. Kurt Gödel — Logician, mathematician, philosopher
  33. Glenn Gould — Pianist
  34. Franz Grillparzer — Writer
  35. William Rowan Hamilton — Physicist, astronomer, mathematician
  36. Hermann Hesse — Poet, novelist, painter
  37. Patricia Highsmith — Novelist, short-story writer
  38. Thomas Jefferson — Founding Father
  39. James Joyce — Novelist, short story writer, poet
  40. Wassily Kandinsky — Painter, art theorist
  41. Immanuel Kant — Philosopher
  42. Andy Kaufman — Entertainer, actor, writer, performance artist, professional wrestler
  43. Stanley Kubrick — Film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor, photographer
  44. Charles Lindbergh — Aviator, military officer, author, inventor, explorer, environmental activist
  45. Konrad Lorenz — Zoologist, ethologist, ornithologist, Nobel laureate
  46. L. S. Lowry — Artist; illustrator, painter
  47. Barbara McClintock — Scientist, cytogeneticist, Nobel laureate
  48. Herman Melville — Writer; novelist, poet
  49. Gregor Mendel — Scientist, Augustinian friar, abbot of St. Thomas’ Abbey
  50. Piet Mondrian — Painter
  51. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — Composer
  52. John Forbes Nash Jr. — Mathematician
  53. Isaac Newton — Natural philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, physicist
  54. George Orwell — Novelist, essayist, journalist, critic
  55. Willard Van Orman Quine — Philosopher, logician
  56. Srinivasa Ramanujan — Mathematician, autodidact, genius
  57. Julia Robinson — Mathematician
  58. Peter Mark Roget — Physician, natural theologian, lexicographer
  59. Carl Sagan — Astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, science communicator
  60. Erik Satie — Composer, pianist
  61. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni — Sculptor, painter, architect, poet
  62. Adam Smith — Economist, philosopher, author
  63. Philip II of Spain — King of Spain (1556–1598), King of Portugal (1581–1598), King of Naples and Sicily (1554—), jure uxoris King of England and Ireland
  64. Baruch Spinoza — Philosopher
  65. Charles XII of Sweden — King of Sweden (1697–1718)
  66. Jonathan Swift — Satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet, cleric, dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral
  67. Nikola Tesla — Inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, futurist
  68. Vincent van Gogh — Artist; painter
  69. Robert Walser — Writer
  70. Andy Warhol — Artist, director, producer
  71. Simone Weil — Philosopher, mystic, political activist
  72. Ludwig Wittgenstein — Philosopher
  73. W. B. Yeats — Poet

For a list with more—albeit less famous—names of people with ASD, have a look at: Autism Hall of Fame (Awetism Hall of Fame)

Images: copyright © 2017 Martin Silvertant. All rights reserved.

For more information on (high-functioning) ASD, have a look at: Embrace ASD

A blog about quantitative- and qualitative research on autism, by Natalie Engelbrecht and Martin Silvertant.

Footnotes

Under the microscope with Dan Aykroyd

Autism to Astrophysics: Jacob Barnett.

Susan Boyle: my relief at discovering that I have Asperger’s

Martin Bryant – Encyc

David Byrne: Another Talented Individual with Autism

BitTorrent’s Bram Cohen Isn’t Limited by Asperger’s

A Conversation with James Durbin: His New Album, Music and Autism

Temple Grandin: Inside ASD

https://www.forbes.com/forbes/we…

Interview: Heather Kuzmich of America’s Next Top Model – Wrong Planet

Matthew Labyorteaux

Cover Story: Landon’s Little Kids – Vol. 10 No. 11

Amazing Surfer with Autism Struggles with Celebrity

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

A Blessing and a Curse

Craig Nicholls of The Vines Copes with Autism

Chris Packham on why he keeps the body of his dead dog in the freezer

The Zoo Story

Matt Savage

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/703073…

How Satoshi Tajiri’s autism helped create Pokemon

A Certain World

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Travel Photo of the Year: Danny Beath tribute

The Monday interview: David Bellamy

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Famous People with Autism: Tim Burton

How Dan Harmon Drives Himself Crazy Making Community

19th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference: Garrison Keillor Unforgettable

Autism Hall of Fame (Awetism Hall of Fame)

Les Murray

My nerd thing and Asperger’s Syndrome

Gary Numan: My family values

Asperger’s syndrome: The ballad of Nikki Bacharach

Numan Convinced He Has Asperger’s

The Controversy Around Autism and Neurodiversity

Julian Assange: ‘I am – like all hackers – a little bit

Autism Hall of Fame (Awetism Hall of Fame)

Famous People With ASDs

Opinion | Asperger’s History of Overdiagnosis

http://ezinearticles.com/?Does-W…

Bob Dylan is mildly autistic

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Undiagnosing Gates, Jefferson and Einstein by Jonathan Mitchell

Diagnosing Bill Gates

Temple Grandin on Happy Aspies, Autism, and Start-Ups

Chrys Jordan’s answer to Who are some famous people with Asperger syndrome?

Did Spielberg turn Asperger’s Syndome into a billion-dollar asset?

Does Mark Zuckerberg Have Aspergers?

Facebook Founder Zuckerberg’s Asperger’s Problem · Guardian Liberty Voice

Godel, Mendel, Andersen, Archimedes, Lindburg had High Functioning Autism – Professor Michael Fitzgerald

The Ugly Duckling – Hans Christian Andersen and Aspergers

Autism – The misunderstood malady

Writers on the Spectrum

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Godel, Mendel, Andersen, Archimedes, Lindburg had High Functioning Autism – Professor Michael Fitzgerald

Was Archimedes Autistic?

Did Hans Asperger (1906–1980) have Asperger Syndrome?

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes: Jennifer Elder, Marc Thomas: 9781843108153: Amazon.com: Books

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

Unstoppable Brilliance

Unstoppable Brilliance

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

Unstoppable Brilliance

The World Needs People With Asperger’s Syndrome

11 Famous People With Autism

NeuroTribes

How autism leads to genius

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes: Jennifer Elder, Marc Thomas: 9781843108153: Amazon.com: Books

Joseph Cornell – a meeting of minds.

The World Needs People With Asperger’s Syndrome

Éamon de Valera – Wikipedia

Was the famous poet Emily Dickinson autistic, epileptic, both or neither? One thing is certain, she had the gift of a finely developed sense of smell

Writers on the Spectrum

What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life: Avery Gilbert: 9781505442878: Amazon.com: Books

The Strangest Man

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

How autism leads to genius

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

Unstoppable Brilliance

Einstein and Newton showed signs of autism

Autism, PDD-NOS & Asperger’s fact sheets

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes: Jennifer Elder, Marc Thomas: 9781843108153: Amazon.com: Books

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes: Jennifer Elder, Marc Thomas: 9781843108153: Amazon.com: Books

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Interview: James Watson

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Remarkable Biologists

The Myriad Gifts of Asperger’s Syndrome

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes: Jennifer Elder, Marc Thomas: 9781843108153: Amazon.com: Books

Godel, Mendel, Andersen, Archimedes, Lindburg had High Functioning Autism – Professor Michael Fitzgerald

The World Needs People With Asperger’s Syndrome

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Unstoppable Brilliance

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

The World Needs People With Asperger’s Syndrome

Unstoppable Brilliance

Kandinsky and Autism

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes: Jennifer Elder, Marc Thomas: 9781843108153: Amazon.com: Books

6 Actors and Film Makers on the Autism Spectrum

Godel, Mendel, Andersen, Archimedes, Lindburg had High Functioning Autism – Professor Michael Fitzgerald

Andy Warhol and Konrad Lorenz: Two Persons with Asperger’s Syndrome – Professor Michael Fitzgerald

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes: Jennifer Elder, Marc Thomas: 9781843108153: Amazon.com: Books

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

The World Needs People With Asperger’s Syndrome

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes: Jennifer Elder, Marc Thomas: 9781843108153: Amazon.com: Books

The World Needs People With Asperger’s Syndrome

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Einstein and Newton showed signs of autism

Autism, PDD-NOS & Asperger’s fact sheets

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

https://books.google.nl/books?id…

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes: Jennifer Elder, Marc Thomas: 9781843108153: Amazon.com: Books

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

The World Needs People With Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s and Self-Esteem

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

https://books.google.nl/books?id…

https://www.researchgate.net/pub…

Was Michelangelo’s artistic genius a symptom of autism?

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Create Your Own Economy

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Asperger’s Syndrome and High Achievement

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

The Myriad Gifts of Asperger’s Syndrome

Could these historical figures been on the autism spectrum?

Nikola Tesla’s Autobiography – My Inventions – Free

Vincent van Gogh Mood disorder and Asperger’s syndrome. – Professor Michael Fitzgerald

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

Referenced list of 175 famous people diagnosed as autistic or subject of published speculation about autism/Asperger syndrome (AS)

Andy Warhol and Konrad Lorenz: Two Persons with Asperger’s Syndrome – Professor Michael Fitzgerald

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

The World as Wittgenstein Found It

The Genesis of Artistic Creativity

How Asperger’s Syndrome affected W.B. Yeats’ life and work

10 Famous People With Autism

When thinking of people with autism, individuals seem to gravitate towards deficits in their existence- their “peculiar” routines, repetitive physical behaviors, and discomfort in social situations. We want to highlight individuals for their assets, their genius, and for their contributions to the world. Many autistic people actually have spoke music skills, math and science abilities and other creative spike skills. Listing off just 10 people with autism is just that- listing off 10 people with autism. In fact it well-known that this spectrum disorder is filled with unique individuals as unique and distinct as anyone else. What sets these individuals apart is not their struggle, but their triumph.

1.)Temple Grandin

Perhaps the most famous living person with autism is Temple Grandin. Temple works as an activist and advocate and is well known in agriculture for her contributions to the bovine industry. Grandin describes a type of sensory experience much like mental movies, and was able to use her heightened sensory experience to see inside the minds eye of a cow. Not only that, but early on Temple learned to communicate her needs, and became a very important voice for autistic people across the globe. Today Grandin travels the world talking about autism acceptance and works hard to smash debilitating myths the general population may have about the spectrum disorder. She encourages everyone to think about assets over impairments when considering autistic children in schools, and autistic adults for employment. Her vision is simple: make space for all types of minds and do-ers including all individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

“What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool? You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done,” – Dr. Temple Grandin

2.)Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was a well-known American poet and wrote particularly unconventional poetry at the time. Unfortunately it is often Dickinson’s difficulties that people write about when discussing her autism. She was in fact peculiar, never married and lived a more insular life. She also had epilepsy, but perhaps what was truly remarkable about Dickinson was the nature of her poetry. To say that it was unconventional would be an understatement. It was in fact unconventional lacking in the tones and themes that were popular at the time but in perhaps what was more unconventional about her work was the fact that she was a woman doing it. Did her insular life keep her safe from gendered stereotypes? Did her unique mind shield her from pressures to conform with her writing? Perhaps the most important question to ask is- is it because of her autism that we have the body of work we have now? It’s too late to ask her, but Dickinson would want us to keep asking regardless: “the door should stay ajar,” she wrote. Perhaps she meant with regards to learning and in the case of Dickinson and her autism, perhaps we should keep our doors open to learning about autism.

3.)John Elder Robison

John Elder Robison currently scholar in residence in the department of neurodiversity at the college of William and Mary. Before advocating for autism awareness Robison lived his formative years unaware of his diagnosis, and grew up in a family quite at odds with the world. It wasn’t until receiving the diagnosis of autism at the age of 40 did Robison receive better understanding and a new lense from which to describe his childhood. He then wrote his famous memoir Look Me in the Eye.. Since then, Robison became a strong autism advocate and speaker. He coordinates autism programs with government agencies including the US Department of Defense, Education and Social Security. Robison continues to be present in research and underwent trans magnetic stimulation procedures to aid in his cognitive function. If you want to learn more about living life with Asperger’s syndrome read one of his many books.

4.)Daryl Hannah

Hollywood actress and advocate Daryl Hannah is perhaps best known for her roles in Splash, Blade Runner, and Kill Bill. However as a child Hannah was diagnosed with autism. She spent much of her childhood alone and rocking herself to soothe her feelings. Now middle-aged a diagnosis in her childhood would have meant a lot of misunderstanding and knee-jerk drastic treatment options. In fact for Hannah it was recommended she be institutionalize. But, thankfully that wasn’t the case. Instead Hannah put her creative spike skills and rich imagination to use as an actress. Again as with Dickinson, this begs the question: where would Hannah be without her autism? And would we ever have seen such an imaginative rendition of Pris?

5.)Henry Cavendish

Richter’ Law, Ohm’s Law, and Coloumb’s Law, and Charles’ Law could all be renamed to Cavendish’s Law. But because of Cavendish’s quiet nature m and secretive behavior, none of those findings were published. It is theorized of course that Henry Cavendish was autistic- specifically, with Asperger’s syndrome. Though according to the recent diagnostic manual, Asperger’s is no longer an official term, many people with Asperger’s like to keep that label. Cavendish also discovered hydrogen- what he called inflammable air, and figured out how to measure the density of the Earth. Many individuals with Asperger’s have spoke skills, work meticulously, and are often prolific. Many people with Asperger’s are not as vocal about their work as those without and may not work within the same social pressures. Could this be why Cavendish didn’t find the urge to publish his work? It is possible, but today one can only theorize.

6.)Michelangelo

When people talk about autism, there’s far too much stigmatic language attached to preferred methods of living or for lack of a better term/ behavior. One behavioral trait that is regularly discussed with autism is repetitious behaviors. However when learning to master a skill, repetition for hours is what makes a master. This is one of Michelangelo’s behaviors that were discussed as “peculiar” his reputations patterns. In fact Michelangelo was known to repeat his routines and without them would get frustrated. Yes, this can be problematic- rigidity. However would we have the Sistine Chapel if it weren’t for his tenacity and his ability to stick to a routine, focus on the details that make up anatomically accurate painting, and then of course paint for lengthy hours at a time on his back? Maybe seeing the world from an “upside down” perspective is what makes a genius.

7.)Amadeus Mozart

Arms flapping, sensitive to sound to the point of illness, erratic mood swings and outbursts, and echolalia. If this were written on a medical report today a doctor might recommend sedating or ADHD-centric medications like amphetamines or even anti depressants. But then we wouldn’t have Mozart. If we knew that child was going to become Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, perhaps we would give him another outlet like music. Again the antisocial behaviors and curiosities are the markers we look towards when we theorize diagnosing Mozart with autism. But before we started connecting these traits, Mozart has been known for being a child prodigy and in fact is the grandfather of an entire Era of music- Classical. His mathematical patterns, chord progressions, surprise endings, and goofiness are all what made Mozart’s work and Mozart’s life stand out- what made him unique. If Mozart had autism, those skills were just as much about his autism as his mood swings and echolalia.

8.) Ido Kedar

Though maybe not yet famous the world over, Ido Kedar should be. His book, Ido in Autismland, discusses his journey as a person who lives with autism. In fact, for the first half of his life Ido lived in a silent prison- but understanding everything that was happening around him. He was subjected to repetitive drilling in isolation- a common method of treatment for people on the autism spectrum. It wasn’t until he learned to communicate by typing that he revealed the truth. “I had no hope that my intelligence would be discovered,” writes Ido. He had to fight to be an education from school and in fact did graduate from high school with a 3.9 GPA. Ido was in fact trapped in a silent prison but with the ability to now type to communicate he has literally written his way to freedom. Today Ido works as a powerful advocate and seeks to educate others about nonverbal autism which is prevalent for people in the autism community.

9.) Albert Einstein

Known for his theory of relativity, Einstein had an inexplicable and incredible mind. He was nodding off to sleep when his theory came to him in a dream, or so it is told. When Einstein was a little boy he was non verbal. In fact, Einstein did not develop language until he was 3 years old. Regardless, Einstein rapidly accelerated through school and began picking up on concepts far beyond his grade level. Einstein, like many people with autism struggled some with relationships. Though married with children he asked that his children not touch him- it made him uncomfortable. Einstein struggled socially. These are the types of hallmarks that people use when labeling someone with autism. But perhaps his mind wasn’t so inexplicable after all. Perhaps it is because of his autism that we have this incredible mind.

10.) Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick is known for his visually inspiring films and tedious methodical ways of working. Kubrick spent nearly an entire year directing and perfecting his last film Eyes Wide Shut. By comparison this is how long it took to film all three of the Lord of the Rings films (9 hours of film). Kubrick insisted on repeated take after take perhaps to a level of perfectionism that was uncomfortable for his actors. Those who worked with him on his films describe a person who truly had a vision- and worked tediously and repetitiously until his vision unfolded. We have his autism to thank for the start opening of 2001 and the deep intense moments in A Clockwork Orange.

Boyle added that the diagnosis didn’t define or confine her.

‘It will not make any difference to my life. It’s just a condition that I have to live with and work through.’

Getty

Albert Einstein was a physicist who developed the theory of relativity. In 1921 he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics ‘for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.’

Born in Germany on March 14 1879, he struggled to develop language but excelled at maths and physics from a young age. By 1908, he was recognized as a leading scientist and worked as a lecturer at the University of Bern. In 1933 he moved to the USA and became possibly the world’s most influential people.

In 2015, a study by researchers at the Ohio State University and it’s thought Albert Einstein displayed many of the obsessive behaviours of a person with Asperger syndrome.

6. Jerry Seinfeld

Getty.

Stand-up comedian, actor, producer and director Jerry Seinfeld is best known for playing a semi-fictionalised version of himself in the show Seinfeld, which he created and wrote with Larry David.

Born April 29 1954, Seinfeld is one of the richest comedians in the world and is estimated to be worth $950 million.

In 2014 he spoke to Brian Williamson Thursday’s Nightly News about being on the autism spectrum and believing he had a mild form os the syndrome.

‘I’m very literal. When people talk to me and they use expressions, sometimes I don’t know what they’re saying. But I don’t see it as dysfunctional. I just think of it as an alternate mindset,’ explained Seinfeld.

List of Famous People with Autism ranked by fame and popularity. Autism is a disorder in which symptoms include impaired social interaction, delayed or disrupted verbal and non-verbal communication and repetitive behavior. Autism can be caused through genetics or by agents that cause birth defects. As of 2012, The Centers for Disease Control report that 20 per 1,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with autism.

Who is the most famous person with autism? Albert Einstein tops our list. Einstein is amongst a list of historical figures who are suspected to have had autism. Autism wasn’t classified as a disorder until the 1940s. Einstein is thought to have had autism because he experienced language delays and educational slowness. Other historical figures who are thought to have had autism include Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and Mozart.

Hole front woman Courtney Love was diagnosed with a mild case of autism as a child. Daryl Hannah has struggled with autism all her life and she says that the disorder made her “terrified of fame.” Author Temple Grandin is one of the most famous women with autism. Grandin works tirelessly for the causes of animal rights and autistic rights.

What do you think of all of the famous people who have been diagnosed with autism? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *