Famous People With Asperger’s Syndrome

Did you know that there are actually a lot of famous people…well known, successful people…who either have Asperger’s syndrome or have been rumored to have Asperger’s?

It is helpful to take a look at some of these people to show us that having Asperger’s syndrome does not have to get in your way of being successful. In fact, sometimes it is the very traits in Asperger’s that can make you successful.

1. Bill Gates

Bill Gates, one of the richest people in the world today, is the founder of Microsoft. Gates shows many traits of Asperger’s, although he has never been formally diagnosed.

Gates was always more interested in machines than people as a kid, and had a single minded focus on figuring out how the computer worked. The first computers were just being developed when Gates was growing up, and he spent hours at his school’s computer trying to figure out how to build software for it and learn how it worked.

His tenacity would serve him well later on as he developed the software that would become the basis of Microsoft. Videos show Gates rocking on television, and point out his incredible memory as a child. Gates had little time for social niceties and always preferred to get to the point of things.

2. Dan Aykroyd

The famous actor and screenwriter Dan Aykroyd has also admitted to having both Asperger’s and Tourette’s, diagnosed when he was 12. In an NPR interview with Terry Gross in 2004, Aykroyd said that he still had
a “touch” of Asperger’s, although he had mostly grown out of the physical tics that go with Tourette’s.

Dan was one of the original members of  “Saturday Night Live” and stared in such notable films as “The Blues Brothers” and “Ghostbusters”.

3. Tim Page

Tim Page is a well-known music critic and author. He has won a Pulitzer prize for his work writing music criticism for the Washington Post. His memoir, “Parallel Play,” talks about his life growing up with a feeling that something was not quite right, that he was alone in a way he couldn’t quite describe. He was not diagnosed with Asperger’s until age 45.

Page says that “it would be easier for me to improvise an epic poem before a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden than to approach an attractive stranger across the room and strike up a conversation.”  (“Parallel Play,” Tim Page). As a child, Page was obsessed with details of things, music, and movies, and was mostly oblivious to the social world around him.

4. Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin has made many great innovations in humane animal handling systems and more humane ways to slaughter livestock. She is also a celebrated author and has done much for awareness of Asperger’s and autism.

People like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Thomas Jefferson, and Steven Spielberg have also been suspected to, but not have been confirmed, to have Asperger’s.

Having Asperger’s syndrome does not limit your ability to do anything that you want to in your life. As we can see from these examples, some of the traits of Asperger’s syndrome – focus, single-mindedness, and perseverance – can actually be a blessing in disguise in achieving your goals as many famous people with Asperger’s syndrome have found.

Author: Health Care on April 20, 2011
Category: Autism

Last articles