On this Presidents’ Day, we want to inspire you by sharing these 5 U.S. presidents who each achieved greatness while having a disability.
Abraham Lincoln dealt with depression that was so severe that it caused would cause physical ailments, such as headaches, and incapacitate him. That didn’t stop Lincoln from becoming a lawyer, a member of the House of Representatives, and leading the country during Civil War.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, a five-star general, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, President of Columbia University, and 34th President of the United States from 1953-1960 is believed to have had a learning disability. Most believe that Ike had some form of dyslexia.
Not only did Franklin D. Roosevelt serve an unprecedented four terms in office, but he was also the first president with a significant physical disability. FDR was diagnosed with infantile paralysis, better known as polio, in 1921, at the age of 39. Although dealing with this crippling disease was difficult, many believe that his personal struggles helped shape FDR, both as a man and as a president.
Woodrow Wilson did not learn his letters until the age of nine and did not learn to read until the age of twelve. He had dyslexia and struggled with reading his entire life. Instead of being overcome by his disability, Wilson used determination and self-discipline to not only survive in school, but to excel.
James Maidson experienced what doctors today would call epilepsy with complex partial seizures, in which those afflicted can hear but not understand, and speak but not make sense.
Madison apparently experienced one while in militia training, and it kept him from serving in the Revolutionary War. But when he wasn’t experiencing a sudden attack, he could be quite vigorous.