Everyone come across hardships once in a lifetime, but when someone with disability can overcome all the odds, they don’t just survive, but also find mega success. It is such a great thing to behold. It takes a lot of courage and absolute fearless attitude to go when it comes to achieve success with disabilities. From CEOs and inventors to artists and performers, we have listed the success stories of some of the biggies who achieved success despite of their disability.
For any man, it’s a great accomplishment to perform something extraordinary, but it is even more when someone does it with a terrible disability. We have listed the top 10 people who have major presence in the world with their actions and they succeed against all odds.
10. Sudha Chandran
Sudha Chandran is one of the most popular TV actresses and dancers in India, despite the fact that she is not so popular in the US. In 1981, she lost one of her legs to infection due to car accident. She is a popular Bharatnatyam dancer and she used prosthetic “Japir foot” to learn dancing and she became one of world’s highly acclaimed dancers. Mayuri, a Bollywood film, was produced about her life.
9. Lenin Moreno
Vice President of Ecuador from the year 2007 to 2013, Lenin Ecuador is one of the most influential people to hold public office with disability since FDR. He made history and brought public attention for the overall progress of the disabled people in his nation. He was injured in a shooting before venturing into politics. Because of his work to fulfill the needs of disabilities in the nation when he was Vice President, he was Noble Peace Prize nominated in the year 2012.
8. Helen Keller
An American lecturer, author and political activist, Helen Keller is on Alabama state quarter and the first blind and deaf person who earned college degree. The film and play, The Miracle Worker, portrayed her story very beautifully and demonstrated how Anne Sullivan, her teacher finally developed a language that she could understand. Helen published total of 12 books, including My Religion, her spiritual autobiography. She campaign basically for labor rights and women rights and also joined the Socialist Party in the United States.
7. Frida Kahlo
When Frida was in her teens, she was injured in a trolley accident and taken bed rest for months to repair a broken back which would never heal 100%. Frida Kahlo is a Mexican artist and one of the most popular artists with disabilities in 20th century. When she was 6 years old, she contracted polio and had misshapen lag. She is also popular for self-portraits and she portrayed most of the roles in wheelchair. Frida is also known for her tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera, a Mexican artist who is also a major aspect of her life. She will always be popular for her passionate spirit of survival with her artistic talent.
6. Marlee Matlin
She is one of the most successful deaf actresses and Academy Award winner for her lead role in 1986 film, Children of a Lesser God. Since she was just 18 months old, she has been deaf because of genetically malformed cochlea. She is also a Golden Globe Award winner for her role in this film. She also received Oscar and played a character on several TV shows, including Law & Order: SVU and The L World, as well as reality shows like Dancing with the Stars and The Apprentice.
5. Stevie Wonder
One of the most popular singers these days, Stevie Wonder is a singer, musician and songwriter with blindness. Since he was born around 6 weeks early, blood vessels of his eyes’ backside couldn’t reach the front yet and didn’t grow. Since then, he is blind. With a child prodigy, he signed his first record label when he was 11 years old, Tamla label of Motown. Since then, he has been performing and having wildly successful career. He has recorded up to 30 top ten hits in the US, including singles like “Sir Duke”, “Superstition”, and “I Just Call to Say I Love You”.
4. Ralph Braun
Late Ralph Braun was the founder of Braun Corporation and also among the leading wheelchair accessible vehicles manufacturer and titled “Champion of Change” by former US President Barack Obama. He was the man who brought mobility to the disabled people. He was born with muscular dystrophy and started his career by creating the first wheelchair accessible van in 1966 with hand controls. BraunAbility, his company manufactured the first accessible minivan in 1991. He was envisioned to bring mobility through four wheels to millions of disabled peoples across the world. Though he passed away earlier this year, his legacy will always be alive and remembered.
3. John Hockenberry
An American author and journalist, John Hockenberry has won Peabody Award three times and Emmy Award four times. Despite spinal cord injury, he is among the most successful journalists. In the late 1990s, he worked for Dateline and became one of the first journalists who used wheelchair in American network. He is also the author of “Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence”, and The Takeaway host, a live news program aired since 2008 on Public Radio.
He is one of the most anticipated US presidents who helped guide the country through Second World War successfully. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is known to be the most popular president as he was in office the whole time and also on his wheelchair. When starting his career in gusto, he suffered polio when having water at campground and got paralyzed from waist. Even though this news was not publicized for several years that he couldn’t walk as public might doubt his competency. He still proved his potential as a great leader and didn’t let paralysis to become his roadblock.
1. Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is more than just a namesake at Discovery channel’s awesome show, Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking. He is one of the most popular physicists across the world and he could achieve it despite being diagnosed with a critical illness in 21, ALS.
Now, he can speak only with the help of a computer and a lifetime power-chair user since 1980s. However, he never gave up on his passion to study the universe despite his disability, especially the framework of quantum mechanics and general relativity. A Brief History of Time, his bestselling book, stayed on the bestsellers list of Sunday Times for surprising 237 weeks. He is truly one of the most influential personalities who conquered the disabilities.