ADHD success stories
1. Michael Phelps’
Swimmer Michael Phelps’ ADHD Helped him make Olympic history.
Michael Fred Phelps (born June 30, 1985) is an American former competitive swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals.
When Phelps was in the sixth grade, he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).By the age of 10, he held a national record for his age group (in the 100-meter butterfly). Michael Phelps not only mastered the technique, but made this an everyday feat as well. It was not a cakewalk for him, he said he wanted to die during his struggle with alcohol abuse which led to two DUI (driving under the influence) arrests.
2. Simone Biles
American gymnast and gold medalist in Olympics proudly opened up about having ADHD. Simone Arianne Biles was born on March 14, 1997, in Columbus, Ohio,the third of four siblings.Her birth mother, Shanon Biles, was unable to care for Simone or her other children – Ashley, Tevin, and Adria – due to her drug and alcohol addiction, and the children were in and out of foster care.Simone’s birth father, Kelvin Clemons, abandoned his family, struggled with addictions, and was never present in his daughter’s life. Simone Biles spent all her secondary education as a homeschooler and graduated in summer 2015. Biles first tried gymnastics at 6 years old as part of a day-care field trip. The instructors suggested she continue with gymnastics. Biles soon enrolled in an optional training program at Bannon’s Gymnastix. She began training with coach Aimee Boorman at age 8.
Read: Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion
Watch: Simone Biles Medical Info – ADHD Diagnosis
3. Alejandro González Iñárritu
Oscar winner film director Alejandro suffered an ADHD as a child and he was often referred as annoying kid in his childhood. he was born in Mexico City, the youngest of seven children to Luz María Iñárritu and Héctor González Gama. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a cargo ship at the ages of 16 and 18, Iñárritu worked his way across Europe and Africa. He has noted that these early travels as a young man have had a great influence on him as a filmmaker.The settings of his films have often been in the places he visited during this period. After his travels, Iñárritu returned to Mexico City and majored in communications at Universidad Iberoamericana, one of the most prestigious private universities in Mexico.
Read: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Read: Oscar winner Alejandro González Iñárritu on ADHD
4. Richard Branson
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (Richard Branson) is one of the most admired businessman of our days has ADHD. Branson was born in Blackheath, London, the eldest of three children of Eve Branson (née Evette Huntley Flindt; born 1924), a former ballet dancer and air hostess, and Edward James Branson (1918–2011), a barrister. Branson has two younger sisters. His grandfather, the Right Honourable Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, was a judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councillor. Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe School, a prep school in Berkshire, before briefly attending Cliff View House School in Sussex. His third great-grandfather, John Edward Branson, left England for India in 1793. His father, Harry Wilkins Branson, later joined him in Madras. On the show Finding Your Roots, Branson was shown to have 3.9% South Asian (Indian) DNA, likely through intermarriage. Branson attended Stowe School, an independent school in Buckinghamshire until the age of sixteen. Branson has dyslexia and had poor academic performance; on his last day at school, his headmaster, Robert Drayson, told him he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire. Branson’s parents were supportive of his endeavours from an early age. Branson’s mother was an entrepreneur. One of her most successful ventures was building and selling wooden tissue boxes and wastepaper bins.
Watch: Richard Branson in TED / Dyslexic / ADHD / ADD
5. Beth Nielsen Chapman
Beth Nielsen Chapman is an American singer and songwriter, she lived with undiagnosed ADHD for most of her life, and she was diagnosed at the age of 56.
Beth Nielsen Chapman was born on September 14, 1958, in Harlingen, Texas as the middle child of five to a Catholic family, an American Air Force Major father and a nurse mother. While Chapman was growing up, her family moved several times and settled in Alabama in 1969. While living in Germany at age 11, Chapman started playing guitar after her mother hid a Framus guitar as a Father’s Day gift in her room. She also learned to play the piano at the same time she started playing guitar. As a child and teenager, she listened to a variety of music including Hoagy Carmichael, Tony Bennett, James Taylor and Carole King. In 1976, Chapman played with a rock and pop group called “Harmony” in Montgomery, Alabama, effectively replacing Tommy Shaw who had just left to join Styx. She played acoustic guitar and piano as well as providing vocals for the group in a locally-popular bowling alley bar called Kegler’s Kove and has returned to play in the area on an infrequent basis ever since.
Listen: Greatest Hits Beth Nielsen
Read: Getting Creative with ADD
6. Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum is an American actor and dancer; he talks openly about how he suffered during his school time because of his ADHD. Tatum was born in Cullman, Alabama, the son of Kay (née Faust), an airline worker, and Glenn Tatum, who worked in construction.He has a sister named Paige. He is mostly of English ancestry.
His family moved to the Pascagoula, Mississippi area when he was six. He grew up in the bayous near the Mississippi River, where he lived in a rural setting.
Tatum has discussed having dealt with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and dyslexia while growing up, which affected his ability to do well in school. Athletic while growing up, he played football, soccer, track, baseball, and performing martial arts;As a child, he practiced wuzuquan kung fu.
Tatum spent most of his teenage years in the Tampa area, and initially attended Gaither High School. His parents wanted more effort and gave him the option of selecting a private high school or attending a military school; he chose Tampa Catholic High School, where he graduated in 1998 and was voted most athletic. He later attended Glenville State College in Glenville, West Virginia on a football scholarship, but dropped out. He returned home and started working odd jobs.
US Weekly reported that around this time Tatum left his job as a roofer and began working as a stripper at a local nightclub, under the name “Chan Crawford.” In 2010, he told an Australian newspaper that he wanted to make a movie about his experiences as a stripper.That idea led to the movie Magic Mike. Tatum moved to Miami, where he was discovered by a model talent scout.
7. Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis is an American actress, best known for her role as Colonel Joan Burton in Lifetime television series Army Wives (2007–2013). She grew up with ADHD, she has one daughter and she is also diagnosed with ADHD. She has a favorite phrase for ADHD “different, not defective.” Davis grew up in Joppatowne, Maryland. She attended Joppatowne High School and graduated with a degree in Theater from Howard University. Davis is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
Watch : Windy Davis on her (and her daughters) ADHD
8. Dusty Davis
Dusty Davis struggled in school as a child. He was hyperactive, and he had trouble focusing. So how did he get to become a successful race car driver? Hear Dusty’s story (and his parents’, too) on the challenges of growing up with ADHD.
William Adams (born William James Adams, Jr.; March 15, 1975), known professionally as will.i.am, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, actor, musician, DJ, record producer and philanthropist. In April 2013, his hip-hop group has won eight Grammy awards. He stated that he has ADHD. According to him, having ADHD is a big factor.
William James Adams Jr.was born in Eastside Los Angeles, and was raised in the Estrada Courts housing projects in the Boyle Heights neighborhood, where he and his family were among the few African Americans living in a predominantly Hispanic community.Adams has never met his father,William Adams Sr. He was raised by his mother, Debra (née Cain),who encouraged him to be unique and to avoid conforming to the tendencies of the other youth in his neighborhood on the east side of Los Angeles. To encourage his musical career, she sent him to public schools in affluent West Los Angeles.While attending John Marshall High School, he became best friends with Allan Pineda (stage name apl.de.ap), who was also a future member of The Black Eyed Peas. While still in high school, Adams and Pineda performed in East L.A. clubs and were soon joined by three other entertainers to form the socially conscious rap group, Atban Klann. Atban Klann caught the eye of Compton rapper Eazy-E and was signed to his label, Ruthless Records in 1992.
10. David Neeleman
David is a Brazilian American entrepreneur who has founded four commercial airlines, Morris Air, Westjet, JetBlue Airways and Azul Brazilian Airlines. He is also the co-owner of TAP Portugal, along with Humberto Pedrosa. But Neeleman credits his success, and creation of JetBlue, with his ADHD—saying that, with the disorder comes creativity and the ability to think outside the box.
Neeleman was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and raised in Utah, to a family of Dutch and North American descent. He lived in Brazil until he was five.
He co-founded (with June Morris) Morris Air, a low-fare charter airline, and from 1984 to 1988, he was the executive vice president of the company. In 1988 Neeleman assumed the helm of Morris Air as its president. In 1993, when Morris Air was acquired by Southwest Airlines for $130 million (Neeleman received $25 million from the sale), he worked for 5 months on their Executive Planning Committee.
After leaving Southwest, Neeleman became the CEO of Open Skies, a touch screen airline reservation and check-in systems company, later acquired by HP in 1999. At the same time, he helped with another upstart airline, WestJet. JetBlue was incorporated in Delaware in August 1998 and officially founded in February 1999, under the name “NewAir” by Neeleman.
11. Jamie Oliver
Jamie is a British celebrity chef and restaurateur. The star chef had ADHD as a child, but he told that healthy eating helps him manage it. Today, he’s a huge proponent for healthier school lunches and eliminating junk food from kids’ diets as a way to cope with attention disorders. Oliver was born and raised in the village of Clavering. His parents, Trevor and Sally, ran a pub/restaurant, The Cricketers, where he practised cooking in the kitchen with his parents.He has two siblings and was educated at Newport Free Grammar School.
He left school at the age of sixteen with two GCSE qualifications in Art and Geology and went on to attend Westminster Technical College now Westminster Kingsway College.He then earned a City & Guilds National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in home economics.
12. Karina Smirnoff
Karina is a USSR-born American professional ballroom dancer. She is best known to the general public as a professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars. She is a five-time U.S. National Champion, World Trophy Champion, and Asian Open Champion. She reported she was diagnosed with ADHD. Karina Smirnoff was born in Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, and is of half Greek and half Russian descent. At 11, she began competing in ballroom dancing. She chose to pursue ballroom dancing. In 1993, Smirnoff immigrated to the United States.
Smirnoff attended multiple schools, including Nerinx Hall High School in St. Louis and Christopher Columbus High School in The Bronx. She finally graduated from Bronx High School of Science. Smirnoff graduated from New York City’s Fordham University with a double major in economics and information system programming.
Read: Karina Smirnoff on her AHDH
13. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey is a Canadian actor, comedian, impressionist, screenwriter, and producer. He is known for his highly energetic slapstick performances. He is well known for his zany, all-over-the-place antics—but he said on the Celebrities with Diseases website that’s a result of his ADHD. Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, to Kathleen (née Oram; 1927–1991), a homemaker, and Percy Carrey (1927–1994), a musician and accountant. He has three older siblings: John, Patricia, and Rita. He was raised a Roman Catholic. His mother was of French, Irish, and Scottish descent and his father was of French-Canadian ancestry (the family’s original surname was Carré). According to his own testimony, at age ten, Carrey wrote a letter to Carol Burnett of the Carol Burnett Show pointing out that he was already a master of impressions and should be considered for a role on the show; he was, as a child, overjoyed at receiving the semblance of a formally written reply. Carrey lived in Burlington, Ontario, for eight years, and attended Aldershot High School. In a Hamilton Spectator interview (February 2007), Carrey said, “If my career in show business hadn’t panned out I would probably be working today in Hamilton, Ontario at the Dofasco steel mill.” When looking across the Burlington Bay toward Hamilton, he could see the mills and thought, “Those were where the great jobs were.”
14. Terry Bradshaw
Terry is a former American football quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL).He won the Pittsburgh Steelers four Super Bowl titles, was diagnosed with depression after he admitted he often had anxiety attacks before games. He also reported he has ADHD, and struggled even as a child. Bradshaw was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, the second of three sons of Novis (née Gay) and William “Bill” Marvin Bradshaw (1927–2014). His older brother is named Gary and younger brother is named Craig. Bill Bradshaw, the son of John and Margie Bradshaw, a native of Sparta, Tennessee, was a veteran of the United States Navy, a former vice president of manufacturing of the Riley Beaird Company in Shreveport, and a Southern Baptist layman. His mother, Novis (born 1929), was one of five children of Clifford and Lula Gay of Red River Parish, Louisiana.
Read: Winning Battle with ADHD