Here are 10 people from around the world who triumphed over physical disability and did excellently well in their work and in their lives and become among the most talked about personalities in the world.
1. Louis Braille (1809 – 1852)
Louis was blind and invented the Braille system of printing with raised dots to enable blind people to read. By changing the world of reading and writing he revolutionized the world of blinds.
2. Miguel de Cervantes (1547 – 1616)
Spanish author of Don Quixote lost an arm in battle. Considered as one of the greatest literary figures of Spain, he always followed his words – The truth lies in a man’s dreams…perhaps in this unhappy world of ours whose madness is better than a foolish sanity.
3. Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)
Despite being blind and deaf she became a famed author. She could put her fingers to a person’s lips and understand the words which were being spoken.
4. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945)
He was crippled by polio and spent much of his life in a wheelchair but was elected US president four times. The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.
5. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
One of the world’s greatest composer. He continued to compose music even after he became totally deaf in 1817. He will be always remembered for his beautiful masterpieces including Da-da-da-dumm.
6. Frank Gardner (1961 – )
The British television reporter was paralyzed in 2004 from a gun attack while working in Saudi Arabia. He later resumed work with the BBC. Absolutely no words can suffice our gratitude towards this brave journalist, the truth teller.
7. Terry Fox (1958 – 81)
Canadian athlete lost a leg to cancer. He took up long-distance running and through this, he raised money for a cancer charity. He was proclaimed a national hero, and the annual Terry Fox Run events organized all across Canada, in the US, and in other countries around the world.
8. Douglas Bader (1910 – 82)
He became an inspirational British war hero and flying ace, despite losing both his legs in a plane crash. Retired from the RAF as 100% disabled, he relearned how to walk on tin legs (never using a stick), drive a car (he needed the clutch pedal moved), play squash (with much falling, crashing and banging) and golf (to a very high standard).
9. Lance Armstrong (1971 – )
American cyclist contracted cancer that affected his brain and lungs. He recovered and went on to win the grueling Tour de France cycle race a record seven times in a row, from 1999 to 2005. According to this daredevil “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
10. Stephen Hawking (1942 – 2018)
Say hello to this genius masterpiece, a man who does superlatively and without obvious effort something that most people cannot do by the uttermost exertion of their abilities. This British physicist and celebrated author of A Brief History of Time suffers from motor neuron disease. He is confined to a wheelchair and speaks with the aid of a voice synthesizer.