Historical icons with autism

Katya Tarabrina, Blue M Editor-in-Chief

Many of our favorite movies, shows and other forms of media have been created by individuals with autism, and here is a few that you might recognize.

  1. Tim Burton

One of the most creative and interesting cinematographers, Tim Burton has left a big impact on the world of film. With classics such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Corpse Bride,” Burton created cinematic masterpieces loved by people all over the world. His work inspired many others. Though he wasn’t diagnosed as a child, his wife Helena Bonham Carter, who he features in many of his films, helped him realize that he was in fact on the spectrum. 

  1. Albert Einstein

It has been speculated by many that the widely known genius Albert Einstein had autism. He exhibited symptoms such as social problems which, are common for this condition. Einstein most likely had a very active form of autism. He’s quoted for saying he very rarely understood the other people around him, which is why he devoted himself to his work, because it always had an answer unlike his peers. However, during his time, there was not a lot of research on autism, and many people who had it were not able to be diagnosed. 

  1. Bill Gates

The widely successful billionaire and Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft has been believed to have autism because he exhibited certain eccentricities that neurotypical people simply do not. His traits are very common with others who have the condition, and his skills to memorize very long Bible passages without mistake make him someone many on the spectrum look up to. From a young age, he was not known to possess social skills. However, he excelled in places others of his age did not. Now, he is known as a genius with success that many only dream of possessing.   

  1. Michelangelo

Based on a report showing new evidence, it suggests that the famous artist Michelangelo — known for painting the Sistine Chapel in Rome — had the condition. He met the criteria for having autism based on his behavioral traits. Many who knew him described him as a loner who had difficulty maintaining friendships and relationships. He was also not able to properly communicate with many people. He was noted for being “unable to show emotion,” which was a conclusion made likely on the fact that nobody knew what autism was or how it affected people who had it during the time he was alive. Despite not having many people in his life, he left a huge impact on the world of art. 

  1. Satoshi Tajiri

Many typical people won’t recognize his name, but rather his creation, Pokemon. Satoshi Tajiri created one of the most popular franchises in the world. He has been known to mention on multiple occasions that he has autism; however, he chooses not to talk about his diagnosis with the media. The fact that he has autism doesn’t define him; his accomplishments do.