I am surprised by how many famous people who have achieved great success in their chosen careers have also revealed that they are dyslexic and can’t read functionally. Among them are actors Tom Cruise, Henry Winkler, and Cher; millionaires Nelson, Laurence, and David Rockefeller; Charles Schwab, Richard Branson, and others. In the case of the Rockefeller brothers, they all attended the experimental Lincoln School, endowed by their father, where they were taught to read by the whole-word method, which caused their dyslexia. And probably the others acquired their dyslexia in public and private schools much in the same way. But what is even more disconcerting is that none of these famous people have been, or were, cured of their dyslexia.
Some years ago, when I was doing an article on Boston’s famous Quincy Market for Boston Magazine, I interviewed the proprietor of one of the upscale restaurants in the mall. He told me he couldn’t read. He was a graduate of Indiana University, but still couldn’t read. Yet, he managed to become a highly successful entrepreneur. I offered to teach him to read with my Alpha-Phonics reading program. He accepted, and I went to his office in the evening several times a week. When I began teaching him the sounds of the letters, beginning with short “a,” he asked if other people knew this. He had never heard of short “a,” The sounds of the letters were a complete mystery to him.
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Sam Blumenfeld (photo)