Top 10 famous scientists with dyslexia

Top 10 famous scientists with dyslexia

Pretty unfortunate that still many people equates dyslexia with lower IQ. Considering the number of famous inventors, scientists, actors, presidents born with dyslexia, it is evident that dyslexia have nothing to do with low IQ.

Who could’ve thought the most brilliant mind ever born in the history of humankind, Albert Einstein, had difficulty with reading aloud and word retrieval?

The point here is that dyslexia is just not the end of the academic road. Every dyslexic individual sees and learn about the world with a different perspective, as in the case of Albert Einstein. He was outside -the-box thinker. So can be you, your kid or anyone with the dyslexia. Just because you have dyslexia doesn’t mean you’re inferior.

To further boost morale of our dear readers, we gathered a list of 10 most famous scientists with dyslexia. Scientists mentioned below were able to achieve greatest heights even in the times when there was hardly any assistance for dyslexia.

10. Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell was dyslexic and other famous scientists with dyslexia

Alexander Graham Bell (3 March 1847 – 2 August 1922) was a renowned inventor and scientist famous for his invention of practical telephone. Telephone was the outcome of his effort to create a device for helping deaf people.

His school years were really not that great. He struggled through school due to his dyslexia. Other than his subjects of interests, his school records were majorly filled with absenteeism and poor grades. But, that didn’t stop him for developing greatest inventions of all time.

He is also well known today as one of the founders of the National Geographic society


We so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.

Alexander Graham Bell, Inventor of Telephone

9. Pierre Curie

Pierre Curie was dyslexic and other famous scientists with dyslexia

Pierre Curie (15 May 1858 – 19 April 1906) was a French Physicist.He was a pioneer of nuclear physics and radioactivity. His research in the field (with his brother, Jacques Curie)led to the discovery of the piezoelectric effect. Pierre received schooling entirely at home by his mother and father.

He showed a strong interest towards mathematics and geometry. At the age of just 14, he began studying with a mathematics professor who helped him shape his future prospects. Pierre’s knowledge of physics and mathematics earned him his bachelor of science degree in 1875 at the age of sixteen.

He and his wife, Marie Curie, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 for their contribution to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium.


It is important to make a dream of life and a dream reality.

Pierre Curie, French Physicist

8. Jacques Dubochet

Jacques Dubochet was dyslexic and other famous scientists with dyslexia

Jacques Dubochet (born 8 June 1942) is a retired Swiss biophysicist. He was awarded with the Nobel Prize in 2017 along with Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for their contribution in developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.

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The Swiss Nobel laureate struggled through his school years as he was dyslexic. He was diagnosed while at the age of 14 when he was about to fail in high school.

Initially, he desired to become a writer but had to give up as he found writing too hard. As a result, he decided to pursue a career in science, his second choice.



We three have never been very good chemists but we are gratified with a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The Peter Principle says that everyone is promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. We are worried that we may have reached this remarkable point.

Jacques Dubochet, Swiss Nobel Laureate Biophysicist

7. Michael Faraday

Micahel Faraday was dyslexic and other famous scientists with dyslexia

Michael Faraday (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867 ) was a English scientist famous for his contributions to the field of physics and chemistry. Belonging to a very poor family, he received only a basic education in a church Sunday school.

He was a dyslexic. On one hand, he spoke and wrote with great difficulty. Memorizing stuff was a nightmare. He did poorly with the symbolic language of mathematics. But, on the other hand, he was gifted with an expanded ability to visualize — to see things whole.

He went on to become the first person to invent electric motor and dynamo. He also discovered a number of new organic compounds, including benzene, and was the first to liquefy a permanent gas.


A centre of excellence is, by definition, a place where second class people may perform first class work.

Michael Faraday, English Scientist

6. Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei was dyslexic and other famous scientists with dyslexia

Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642 ) was an Italian natural philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who made fundamental contributions to the sciences of motion, astronomy, and strength of materials and to the development of the scientific method.

His father was Vinzenzo Galilei, a musician and his mother was Guilia Ammannati. Initially, Galileo was enrolled at the University of Pisa to become a physician. However, he was not able to finish his medical degree. Instead, he opted for mathematics and fine arts.

Two major incidents responsible for this decision – One was his first observation that a chandelier despite swinging in large and small arcs took almost the same time to return to the first position. Other one was a lecture of geometry which he accidentally attended clarifying his mind of his future prospects. He is known as the Father of Modern Science.


We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.

Galileo Galilei, Italian Mathematician & Inventor

5. James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell was dyslexic and other famous scientists with dyslexia

James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics. His research in kinetics and electricity contributed in structuring modern Quantum mechanics and special relativity.

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Maxwell was a quiet child. At school he was at first regarded as shy and rather dull. He made no friendships and spent his occasional holidays in reading old ballads, drawing curious diagrams and making rude mechanical models. His inconveniences followed him even to Edinburgh University where he additionally attempted to fit in and it wasn’t until he touched base in Cambridge that he blossomed.


The student who uses home made apparatus, which is always going wrong, often learns more than one who has the use of carefully adjusted instruments, to which he is apt to trust and which he dares not take to pieces.

James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish Physicist

4. John Robert Horner

john robert horner was dyslexic and other famous scientists with dyslexia
Source: montana.edu

John Robert Horner (15 June 1946) is an American Paleontologist. His major work revolved around researching dinosaur’s behavior and growth. His work contributed to the evidence that dinosaurs cared for their young.

He discovered his dyslexia while working at Princeton  ( 1975-1982 from the ages of 29 to 36). In an interview, he admitted that he was an introvert and shy to speak in front of an audience of any size. He struggled through school being considered lazy, dumb, and perhaps even retarded. He discovered his passion for fossil hunting when he found his first dinosaur bone at the age of 8.

Despite his difficulties with reading and writing, Jack won high school science fair prizes because he had enormous enthusiasm for practical science.


A dinosaur out of context is like a character without a story. Worse than that, the character suffers from amnesia.

John Robert Horner, American Paleontologist

3. Carolyn Widney “Carol” Greider

Carol W. greider was dyslexic and other famous scientists with dyslexia

Carol W. Greider (born 15 April 1961 ) is an American molecular biologist. She received Noble Prize in 2009, along with Blackburn and Jack W. Szostak for the discovering how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

Carol was born in a family of scientists ( her dad was a physics professor and her mom was a PhD botanist). During school years, she used to consider herself ‘stupid’. In an interview, Greider said that her early school days were really difficult. She performed poorly in standardized tests. She was put in remedial spelling classes but that didn’t help her grades either.

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It wasn’t until later that she figured out that she was dyslexic and that her trouble with spelling and sounding out words did not mean she was stupid.


Learning compensatory skills also played a role in my success as a scientist because one has to intuit many different things that are going on at the same time and apply those to a particular problem. Perhaps my ability to pull more information out of context and put together difficult ideas may have been affected by what I learned to do from dyslexia.

Carol W. Greider, American Nobel Laureate Biologist

2. Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas alva edison was dyslexic and other famous scientists with dyslexia

Thomas Edison (11 February 1847 – 18 October 1931) was a famous American Scientist and Businessman and scientist. Edison with 1093 U.S patents to his name, was consider to be one of the most prolific inventors of his time. He invented phonograph and a long lasting light bulb. He also created the world’s first industrial research laboratory. 

Thomas wasn’t really that bright in school. He was labelled dumb, lazy and inattentive by his teachers. Eventually, his mother withdrew Tom from school and began to home-teach him. He was a slow learner, terrible at arithmetic and had difficulty with speech. Thomas Edison was dyslexic and a troublemaker. This resulted in lot of behavioral issues. Overcoming his dyslexia, Edison put a concentrated effort towards his interest. He believed in hard work and rooted for it. His determination led him to invent numerous influential gadgets that are still widely used.


Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

Thomas Alva Edison, American Inventor

1. Archer John Porter Martin

archer john porter martin was dyslexic and other famous scientists with dyslexia

Archer John Porter Martin (1 March 1910 – 28 July 2002) was a British chemist. He received Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1952 for the development of modern chromatography technique which helps to separate different compounds in a mixture. Martin is considered to be dyslexic, as he was barely able to read until he was nine.

He went to Bedford School, a middle-of-the-road private school, when he was eleven.  This is where his interest in making things and in methods of separation by studying fractional distillation originates. As a result, he was able to bag a scholarship for Peterhouse, Cambridge in 1929.


Much can often be learned by the repetition under different conditions, even if the desired result is not obtained.

Archer John Porter Martin, British Nobel Laureate Chemist

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