Dyslexic Politicians found around the world past and present!
Why is it do you think that dyslexics make such great leaders in general? Is is because they are great visionaries who can see the bigger picture? Is is because they have a better ability to empathise with others because of their own struggle? We have listed some of the well known and lesser known politicians around the would who have dyslexia.
Founding Father of the United States
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I learn. Involve me and I remember.”
Sir Winston Churchill
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955
“I was, on the whole, considerably discouraged by my school days. It was not pleasant to feel oneself so completely outclassed and left behind at the beginning of the race.”
1st U.S. President
“Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better be alone than in bad company.”
Lee Kuan Yew
1st Prime Minister of Singapore, 1959 – 1990
“When I did a course on speed reading and I did not succeed, not because I was stupid because I usually have to run my eye back, make sure that I got the right word. That slows me down, but because I read more slowly, I read only once and it sticks, so there are compensations. The important thing is, not to be discouraged and feel that I am disabled, no! Leonardo da Vinci was dyslexic, so what? He was a great artist, sculptor, painter, thinker… so. I’m not comparing myself to him. But if he can overcome dyslexia… fortunately, I overcame it without my knowing it…”
His Daughter, a neurologist, found out in Primary school that she had some difficulties spelling in English, although the same problem did not occur when reading or writing in Chinese. She subsequently diagnosed her father.
Prime Minister of Australia from 1991 to 1996
Paul Keating, one of Federal Parliament’s most devastating and fearsome wordsmiths, in fact struggles with dyslexia as a child and carried his issues around comprehending written words privately through later life. He would often read slowly and use the aid of a ruler in order to gain meaning from text.
In Paul Keating: The Biography by historian Dr David Day, Keating’s verbal dexterity is refereed to as one of his greatest assets as a politician.”
“He could convince sceptical voters with his explanations of complex ideas. And despite the paucity of his formal education, he could hold audiences in his thrall. Yet he could only read with difficulty. Had he been tested, it is likely that he would have been found to be afflicted with dyslexia. On one hand, this made his success in public life even more impressive. But it also may help explain why he was so successful as a political communicator,”- Day
Current Prime Minister of Norway, elected 2013
Prime Minister Erna Solberg is one of the few politicians who is open about her long-life struggle with dyslexia. Even when she has faced criticism over social media posts due to spelling or grammatical errors. One of her posts read that she had just had a ‘fantastic’ dinner with ‘colourful women’ from various ethnic backgrounds. Her message contained grammatical and spelling errors and one reader commented that ‘I think Norway’s PM should have assistants who can write correct Norwegion’, his message also containing spelling errors. Solberg’s response was frank, “I have dyslexia and write myself”. The critic subsequently apologised and removed his post to social media.
George W. Bush
43rd U.S. President
“One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.”
George H. W. Bush
41st U.S. President
“It’s a very good question, very direct, and I’m not going to answer it.”
British Politician, 1995 – 1997
“I am humble enough to recognize that I have made mistakes, but politically astute enough to know that I have forgotten what they are.”
7th U.S. President
“There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th U.S. President
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
Lyndon B. Johnson
36th U.S. President
“He was late learning to read, used to muddle up the order of letters and spelling was very inaccurate. He was thought of as unacademic. To cope with the mountains of paperwork as a Minister, he asked others to do the summarizing and to prepare proposals to be submitted on half a sheet of paper.” – Michael Hessletine
“Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There’s nothing to do but to stand there and take it.” – Lyndon B. Johnson
28th U.S. President
“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”
Former Vice President of the United States
‘For I was one of the “puzzle children” myself—a dyslexic, or “reverse reader”—and I still have a hard time reading today.
But after coping with this problem for more than 60 years, I have a message of encouragement for children with learning disabilities—and their parents.
Based on my own experience, my message to dyslexic children is this:’
“DON’T ACCEPT ANYONE’S VERDICT THAT YOU ARE LAZY, STUPID, OR RETATDED” – Nelson Rockefeller
Australian Senator, 2005 – 2011
Academically, Fielding suffered setbacks through an undiagnosed case of dyslexia, and this led to problems studying subjects such as English. Nevertheless, he excelled in mathematics, and his high marks in this subject allowed him to graduate with sufficiently high scores to gain entry into the Bachelor of Engineering degree at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology , where he studied electronic engineering.
Member of the Canadian House of Commons
Dewar has said that there is still a stigma attached to dyslexia in Canada. Few politicians — let alone someone aspiring to lead the official Opposition with hopes of becoming prime minister one day — have been willing to talk about their struggles with reading, writing or verbal expression.
“Dyslexics are very good as leaders, they might be pure hell as secretaries but for leading they’re fantastic.”
Former First Lady of the United States
“You must do the very thing you think you cannot do.”