Famous people

Isaac Newton

Some people say that Newton had Asperger’s Syndrome.      He definitely was not at all sociable but was very focused on his work.       See article.

It is said that he was sitting under a tree when an apple fell on his head, which got him thinking about the nature of gravity.      His three laws of motion, mathematically formulated, have played a significant role in developing the modern world we live in today      They are still used by engineers and scientists.

  • For the story of his life see:  Biography website       History website   (scroll down)
  • You may already know that he was born at  Woolsthorpe Manor  in Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth, and went to school at King’s School, Grantham.
  • Here is a video that delves behind the widely held image of the man.*
  • There are many books in Lincolnshire Libraries on Isaac Newton, if you would like to immerse yourself in a good read.      Several of them can be found in the Grantham branch.      See:  Library list
  • He is said to have invented Calculus.      You could say that calculus actually is rocket science.      Here are some easy viewing videos:  Introduction to the maths         Who invented calculus?

Bill Gates etc.

Does Bill Gates have Asperger’s?       Opinion is divided.       Here is an easy reading On-line discussion.        Both sides of the argument have a case, but it seems reasonable to believe that he might.

Click play button for a watchable 8 minute video about Bill and the rise of MS Windows.     Also here is a 3 minute interview with him in 1991.*
If you are interested in computers you might like to have a look at his career.

Here is a thoughtful article about Gates and children with Asperger’s.       Then, in Undiagnosing Gates, the writer explores in some depth the reasons why people might think that some famous people are or were on the autistic spectrum.        He offers an intelligent critique.

Richard BransonVirgin 747

  • Have you heard of Richard Branson?     If not, see  Who is he?
  • To find out whether he has Asperger’s Syndrome, see Does he? .
  • To read his life story in brief click on:  Biography .
    His achievements are legendary.

People with Asperger’s tend to be unconventional.      This can sometimes be an advantage.       Richard Branson has defied convention in quite a few ways, often with considerable success.      Here are some examples:

  • His first company  Virgin Records  had a spin off record label, Caroline Records.     The first release under this label was Tubular Bells  by Mike Oldfield.
  • His company  Virgin Atlantic  managed to break the monopoly that British Airways had on trans-Atlantic services.
  • Virgin is working on a low carbon fuel for jet aeroplanes.
  • Would you believe it, a glass bottomed aeroplane ?
  • His company  Virgin Trains  introduced  Pendolino  technology to allow trains go more quickly.      See  Video  for a demonstration of the way it handles curves in the track.       As the Pendolino article explains, things did not quite go according to plan, though.

Of course, there are always disadvantages of being on the Autistic Spectrum.       For a more every-day kind of story you might like to try  Have~You~Seen  on Roy Cropper.

Celebrities on the spectrum

Dan Harmon is an American writer and performer.       He has said that he is on the autistic spectrum and discusses Asperger’s syndrome as portrayed in one of his characters in his TV comedy series Community.       Here is an article about his leading role in the series.

Some people in the public eye are considered to be on the autistic spectrum.      Here are samples of some of their songs, films etc:   Susan Boyle        James Durbin        Tim Burton        DanHarmon – witty      Temple Grandin        Peter Tork – Monkees’ keyboard & bass player         Vincent D’Onofrio        For the full Temple Grandin film see Have you seen.