Williams was one of the most influential country musicians of all time, both as a singer and as a composer. He suffered severe back pain throughout his short life. Sources cite him as having spina bifida or spina bifida occulta. An operation in 1951 aimed at relieving his constant pain was not successful. Addicted to alcohol and morphine, Williams died at the age of 29.
Judy Woodruff has a son who has spina bifida. In interviews, Woodruff shares that Jeffrey was born in 1981 with a mild case of spina bifida, but during routine surgery at age 16 developed complications which resulted in brain damage. She has been instrumental in the annual SBAA Celebrity Roast which raises funds for the Spina Bifida Association of America. Judy's husband is Al Hunt.
- Uphill Racer: People Magazine
- Q&A: Judy Woodruff on life with disabilities
- Small photo of Jeff and family from SB Roast
In the interview from the Special Olympics, he also said that two other people were born at the same time he was with spina bifida. He said he always saw a particular girl at the basketball games who was confined to a wheelchair. He asked someone who it was and they told him that she was one of the others born with spina bifida.
John realized it could have been him in that wheelchair and that is one of the main reasons he did a song for the Special Olympics. Most of those with spina bifida end up like the girl in the wheelchair and are not as lucky as John.
Buddy Winnett is a former horse jockey and trainer who is legally blind due to macular degeneration. Born in West Virginia to a large family, Winnett was diagnosed with spina bifida, and wasn't expected to live past the age of 6.
It is believed that Mexican artist Frida Kahlo may have had spina bifida, along with other disabilities, including residual damage from polio and injuries suffered in a bus accident.
- Neurological Deficits in the Life and Works of Frida Kahlo by Valmantas Budrys
British actor has a mild form of spina bifida. Learn more about his career on his page at IMDB.
Mayor Daley had a son named Kevin who had spina bifida. Kevin died in 1981.
has a young son who has spina bifida. During his career he was a starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. In 1996, Grbac was famously slammed by San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. Brown criticized Grbac's costly turnovers against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and called the 49ers' second-string quarterback an ''embarrassment to humankind.'' Grbac later said he was not prepared to play because he has been worried about his 9-month-old son, Jack, who has spina bifida, recently underwent surgery. The mayor later apologized.
Jean was born with spina bifida. She is a seven-time winner of the Boston Marathon, setting world records in five of those races. She set a world record in the 10-kilometer race last year, and won silver medals in 800-meter events at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, as well as two gold medals, one silver and one bronze at the 1996 Paralympics.
In 2000, Jean was voted #25 of the Top 100 Female Athletes of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated for Women, a list topped by the Olympic track and field sensation, Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Jay Bradford Fowler Jr., was an award-winning poet who was the author of 17 books of verse. He was born with spina bifida, and had been treated for degenerative arthritis throughout the 1990s. He had undergone at least 16 major operations over the years and had been bedridden the past eight years.
The first of his 17 books of poetry, "Writing Down the Light," was published in 1987. A book of his collected poems, "Caged Angel," was published in 1997. His last book, "Outrageous Asylum, Sonnets from the Nursing Home," appeared in 1998.
Monette was the older of two boys. His brother, Robert, was born with spina bifida. Monette became Robert's protector and champion. He also decided he would need to live an exemplary life to compensate for his brother's illness.
"Paul Monette: The Brink of Summer's End" is a poignant, illuminating documentary on Paul Monette, the National Book Award-winning author, who wrote with eloquence and fire about the devastation of homophobia and AIDS, the disease that left him twice a widower and ended his own life in 1995 at age 49.
Jim was born with spina bifida. He is also the co-author (with composer Deena Kaye) of Sound and Music for the Theatre: the Art and Technique of Design, and has been a visiting professor at Yale University. LeBrecht has won numerous awards, including the San Francisco Bay Area Drama Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Sound Design, which might as well be renamed in his honor, since he's won it five times.
Best known for his role in Shallow Hal, Rene (pronounced 'Reen') Kirby was born in Vermont in 1955. He also appeared in the film "Stuck On You" with Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear and Eva Mendes, and the HBO series Carnivàle.
Born in Florida in 1945, Walter Avant Smith Jr., showed an early interest in art, but lacked dexterity due to stiffness in his hands as a result of spina bifida. But he parlayed that interest into a career with film-maker John Waters after earning a degree in fashion arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Waters referred to Smith as the resident "ugly expert". He designed the pink satin ball gown adorned with huge cockroaches worn by Ricki Lake in Mr. Waters’s 1988 film, “Hairspray” and Divine's trademark look.
He also worked as an illustrator at Women's Wear Daily and other publications in New York.
He died of a heart attack in December of 2006.
- Waters Ally Van Smith; Films' Doyen of Dirt - Washington Post
- Van Smith, 61, Dies; Created Divine’s Distinctive Look - New York Times
- IMDB web page
Gil is a 1979 Pulitzer Prize winner for Investigative Reporting and has written for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Washington Post. He has a son, Cary, who has spina bifida. Gil profiled his son's early years in the book "Giant Steps" which is currently out-of-print but can sometimes be found at used book stores and online.
Robert was born with spina bifida. He an International poet-writer with well over 900 publications published worldwide. In 2000, Robert was nominated as one of the best poets of the 20th Century. Robert is also a Guinness & Ripley's World Record Holder for the longest non stop wheelie in a wheelchair, covering a total distance of 6.178 miles. Visit his web page listed below.
Born with spina bifida, Grey-Thompson's full name is Carys Davina but she is better known by her moniker, "Tanni". Tanni uses a wheelchair, and is considered to be one of the most successful disabled athletes in the United Kingdom. Thompson competes in events over a wide range of distances, first competing in the 100 m at the Junior National Games for Wales in 1984. Over her career to date, she has won a total of 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 golds, held over 30 world records, and won the London Marathon six times between 1997 and 2002. In 2002, she was made a Dame of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth.
- Official Website
- Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson made peer in House of Lords
- Baroness Grey-Thompson - Wikipedia
A rising star in the boxing world, Deontay is has a daughter, Naiyea, who was born with spina bifida in 2005. In May of 2007, he won heavyweight belt for the 2007 Golden Gloves National Tournament of Championship. At that time, he had 16 fights under his belt. Dave Godber, is the head coach of Deontay's team. “A man with 16 fights winning this championship is nothing beyond unbelievable,” Godber said. “That very rarely happens. This is something good to happen in a community.” Members of Deontay's team chanted Naiyea's name during the Golden Glove championship bout. His work earned him a spot on the 2008 Olympic team.
- Speaking with Deontay Wilder
- NPR Story - MP3
- Fighter puts his punch where his heart is - USATODAY.com
- Fighting for His Dream, And for His Little Girl - Washington Post
- Boxing for his baby - Tuscaloosa News
- Deontay Wilder earns bronze medal in Summer Olympics - Tuscaloosa News
- Olympic medalist boxer Wilder visits Lynn Haven gym - News Herald Panama City, Fla