5 Famous autistic people throughout history

James Armstrong

The world would be a very different place if it weren't for autism.

Even though the condition has only recently been recognized, there are many famous people throughout history who are thought to have been on the autistic spectrum.

This is an article celebrating some of these people and the contributions they’ve made to our world.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Composer

Mozart is recognized as one of the most gifted musicians and composers the world has ever seen. His talent was precocious and astonishing; by the age of 5 he was composing pieces and performing for Royalty.

His work is regarded as some of the best classical music ever produced, and many pieces remain popular to this day. His influence on the development of western music is momentous.

Michelangelo – Artist, Architect, Engineer

Considered one of the greatest artists ever to have lived, Michelangelo’s work is some of the most recognizable and well-known of all time.

His genius was recognized during the course of his life and he was commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel Ceiling by the Pope. The project took Michelangelo 4 years, and the result is one of the most acclaimed works of art on the planet.

But his most famous piece is the statue of David, which is the epitome of Renaissance sculpture.

Sir Isaac Newton – Physicist

Credited with the “discovery of gravity” and considered by many to be the most influential scientist who ever lived, Newton’s work on universal gravitation and the laws of motion dominated scientific thinking for the next 300 years.

His other notable achievements include the invention of the reflecting telescope and his work on the visible spectrum of colours after observing the effect of a prism splitting beams of light into rainbows. But for the majority of people, Newton is most famous for having an apple fall on his head.

Lewis Carroll – Author

Carroll is the acclaimed 20th Century writer behind Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; one of the most enduringly popular pieces of literature ever produced.

He was also a noted poet; his nonsense poem Jabberwocky is thought to be one of the greatest ever written.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Pablo Picasso – Artist

A 20th Century artist who’s credited with leading and inspiring the cubist movement of artists, Picasso was a remarkable man. He lived through two world wars but never fought, spending the second in Nazi occupied France where he continued to paint and sculpt throughout the conflict.

Picasso is still revered as one of the most revolutionary and accomplished artists ever known.

This article was written by James Armstrong on Behalf of Autism Care UK.

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