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Linguistic Celebrity Profiles

Here's a list of people who used words to make a name for themselves. These writers and orators also lived with a disability. Their unique combination of intelligences -- strengths as well as weaknesses -- made them such successful people.

Agatha Christie
Legendary British mystery writer. She was learning disabled.

Demosthenes
Great Greek orator. He had a speech impediment.

Edgar Allan Poe
American macabre poet and short-story writer. He was emotionally disturbed.

Alexander Pope
18th-century British poet and satirist. He had a spinal curvature and never grew taller than 4' 6".

Rudyard Kipling
Poet and author of The Jungle Book. He was the first English author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was also sight-impaired.

John Irving
Contemporary American author of the The Cider House Rules and The World According to Garp. He is dyslexic.

What do your kids think?
Ask your kids if they can think of any famous people who have high linguistic intelligence. Start them off with a few familiar names:

  • R.L. Stein
  • Judy Blume
  • Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel)
  • Shel Silverstein
  • Roald Dahl

    Brought to you by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)

    Source: Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom by Thomas Armstrong (ASCD 1994)

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