17 Famous People who Won over Marfan Syndrome

The world is replete with examples of people who have had the potential of achieving something big in their lives, yet could not even take the first step towards their goal just because excuses took precedence over their will-power. In case you are wondering which personalities I am talking about, let me please tell you that these procrastinators are not famous people at all. How can they be after all famous, if they never made a mark for themselves?

To search for such people, you just need to look around you. People in your friend circle or in your neighborhood are perhaps teeming with such individuals who stand at the pinnacle of procrastination. And perhaps one of them is just you. People make excuses of time, health and money to postpone their endeavors towards their goals. But for some, these things don’t matter at all. There have been people, in the past, who have taken the adversities of their lives head-on and made it big in their lives. Diseases and health disorders never came in the way of these successful men. Do you want to know who all these people were? Let me introduce you to some famous people with Marfan syndrome.

But before we can begin to learn about famous people with Marfan syndrome, let me take you on a quick tour of what Marfan syndrome is all about. The famous people with Marfan syndrome have suffered from genetic disorder of connective tissues in their body. This disease can manifest in variable clinical presentations. The victims of this disease suffer defects of heart valves. Even the organs like lungs and eyes are far from being safe. But after all, who are these famous people with Marfan syndrome who surged ahead, regardless of the conditions of their body?

17. Robert Johnson

 

In the year when the Indian city of Calcutta was going to lose its status of being the national capital to Delhi, a boy-child was born in Missisippi. The year was 1911 and the boy’s name was Robert Leroy Johnson. He is an example to be followed by all those who keep on procrastinating their goals and dreams by accusing circumstances to be unfavorable for he is one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. This man was suffering not only from Marfan’s syndrome but also from the intense hardships, tortures and loneliness of being an African-American during the Great Depression. Even in such dire situation, he never gave up his passion for music and was noted for playing harmonica and jaw harp.

But this is not all! Robert Johnson, who later grew to be one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome, did not stop here, for the legend was yet to rise. He used the severe terrors of his time to metamorphose his depressing experiences into music that would touch the hearts of thousands of people across the globe and would continue to hold deep meanings even decades after his last breath.

Famously called as “The King of Delta Blues Singers, Robert Johnson had a very tough time to become one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. He used to ply his craft on street corners and juke joints, romanticizing his very own existence by writing songs as an itinerant performer. Life had been very treacherous for this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome as he never got the fame he deserved during the time he lived and breathed on the planet. This famous man with Marfan syndrome gained his due fame when his recordings were reissued in 1961. Credited by many rock musicians as a vital influence, Robert Johnson was undoubtedly the “most important blues singer that ever lived” in the words of Eric Clapton.

On August 16, 1938, this champion of guitar, harmonica and the blues left the world forever, leaving us with his melodious tunes, created by this famous person with Marfan syndrome, lingering in our minds forever.

 

16. Vincent Schiavelli

 

An ordinary man with Marfan syndrome may just be suffering from the disorder and merely waiting to die. He hardly realized that it is not the disease in the body that kills the spirit of life but the disorder in the mind. Because time and again, there have been famous people with Marfan syndrome who have stood high and tall, rising above the general population, to amass wealth and fame. One such man was Vincent Schiavelli. This famous person with Marfan syndrome was an Italian-American character actor who has been featured in many renowned films which are remembered till date.

The man who made these films memorable was born on November 11, 1948 in Brooklyn, New York to a Sicilian-American family. Opposed to most of people suffering from this syndrome, Vincent took the reins of his life in his own hands and went on to study acting through the theatre programme at New York University. By 1960s, this one of the famous people with Marfan syndrome, had assumed positions and roles on the stage.

Famously described as “the man with sad eyes”, his droopy look added an altogether different charm to a film. This man with a height of 6 ft 6 in, left his mark behind on all films he worked in as a critically acclaimed supporting actor.

And as if there was no stopping for this man in his entire life, Vincent did not limit himself with acting. This one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome was a polymath. He also wrote a number of cookbooks and his food articles can be found on the columns of many reputed magazines and newspapers. He hosted a total of 26 episodes on an Italian cooking show called Chefs of Cucina Amore. Such was the spirit of this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome that he also received a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award in 2001.

Being one of the famous people with Marfan Syndrome, he also served as the honorary co-chair of National Marfan Foundation, an organization which serves the individuals affected by Marfan syndrome. He waved us goodbye on 26th December 2005.

 

15. Flo Hyman

 

If you are wondering that all famous people with Marfan syndrome have been men, be prepared to give some second thoughts to it. For the person next in our list of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome is none other than the legendary volleyball player, Flo Hyman. She was an American athlete and had also played professional volleyball in Japan.

Born on July 31st, 1954, in Los Angeles, Flo Hyman was quite self-conscious about her speedy growth. To avoid getting her disorder known to people, she used to reportedly hunch whenever she walked and used to slouch while sitting. To rescue her from the inferiority complex that was setting in this lady, her parents advised her to be proud of her height and use it to her advantage. That was the genesis of one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome!

And then there was no looking back for this famous person with Marfan Syndrome. By the time Flo Hyamn embarked on being a senior in her high-school, she had developed a lethal spike in volleyball. The University of Houston still remembers her as the school’s first female scholarship athlete.

Hyman was audacious enough to prefer volleyball over her studies. She opined that she could attend school even when she would grow old but volleyball can be played only when you are young. Her quote, “if you want to win the war, you’ve got to pay the price” still reverberates amongst the athletes who aspire to reach the pinnacle of success in their sport of interest. Her charisma and devotion towards the team along with her agility and finesse remains unmatchable till date.

Such was the indomitable will power of this one of the most famous people with Marfan Syndrome, that she also surged ahead with her team in Olympics to grab the silver medal in her game. But lady luck refused to smile on her all of a sudden. On January 24, 1986 she died during a match following an aortic dissection. The Inglewood Park Cemetery still has the remains and the memories of this famous person with Marfan syndrome.

 

14. Mary Queen of Scots

 

Famous people with Marfan Syndrome are not only found in ordinary walks of life, but also inside the regalities, inside the plush interiors of palaces of royal families. Mary Queen of Scots, also known as Mary Stuart and Mary I of Scotland was the successor of James V of Scotland. Life was not a bed of roses for her, opposed to general life timeline of royals. Her father had to leave her and the world forever when she was just six-days old. Having acceded the throne at such a tender age, she was incapable of ruling the entire kingdom. While the kingdom was being ruled by regents, our one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome spent most of her childhood in France.

Marital life, which is bliss for many, was quite torturous for her. Although she later turned out to be one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome, however her two marriages ended in absolute disaster. As if ill-luck was still not satisfied by plaguing her life, she had to flee after failed attempts to regain the throne. As the common notion goes that even your shadow leaves you alone when you are in dark, her first cousin got her imprisoned and finally executed on the charges of treason.

Although she is one of the famous people with Marafan Syndrome, she was born weak and frail. King James on his deathbed had exclaimed, when he heard the news of the birth of a daughter, “it came with a lass, it will pass with a lass”. Although her claims to the English Throne made her infamous in the eyes of the ruling class of her time, her life has got recorded in the leaves of the books of history as one of the most famous people with Marafan Syndrome.

 

13. Tutankhamen

 

One of the most famous people with Marafan Syndrome lived in one of the earliest civilizations on the planet. Surrounded by grandeur and imperial atmosphere from all directions, the 11th pharaoh of the Egypt’s 18th dynasty is one of the most celebrated and most enigmatic kings of all times; who posthumously has also been regarded as one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

The successor of Akhenaten, ‘the heretic king’, had inherited the throne at an age of eight to nine. Even at such a tender age, Tutankhamen (or Tutankhamun) did not let his disorder to come by his way. He courageously and meticulously restored the old traditions of Egypt, re-establishing the traditional cult of Amun and moving his capital from Akhetaten back to Memphis.

An age of less than ten, when most of us don’t even know how to study the complex topics of algebra and history, this young boy and one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome, could very well read the sentiments of the Egyptian masses. He changed his name to Tutankhaten, meaning ‘the living image of Aten’, to please the public and bring order to the chaotic social situation in his empire.

By 18 years of age, when we just begin to understand our responsibilities of being an adult, the young king had been quite successful in appeasing the masses by repairing the damaged temples of Amun so as to bring the enraged public under his order. He was not only one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome but also a great administrator. His tomb has been termed as the most splendid one amongst all other tombs excavated in Egypt.

Although there is a huge mystery that shrouds the death of this young king, he is certainly one of the most famous people with Marafan Syndrome in the history of human civilization.

 

12. Jonathan Larson

 

Let me please bring you back from historical times to the modern era. I am sorry for this abrupt change of epochs, but that is necessary to know another famous person with Marfan Syndrome. People affected with various diseases tend to miss out the essential song of life. They tend to forget that there is much more, or infinitely more, to life beside their disease. Only a handful few know how to listen to the melody of life and how to sing along with it. Out of these handful few, there has been one person who went a step ahead and composed many songs on a myriad of social issues, like multiculturalism, addiction and homophobia; and hence became one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

Wondering who this man is? Remember ‘Rent’ or ‘tick, tick…Boom!’? Well, you got it right. It is none other than the celebrated American composer and playwright, one of the most famous people with Marfan Syndrome, Jonathan Larson. Born on 4th February 1960, Jonathan Larson got a fruitful exposition to performing arts, music and theatre at a very early age. With giants like Elton John, Billy Joel and The Beatles having a constructive influence on this man, Larson picked up and aced at playing trumpet and tuba and singing at a very young age, metamorphosing into one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

His superb songwriting skills were evident in his creation like Sacrimmoralinority, Superbia and Saved! – An Immoral Musical on the Moral Majority to name a few. He grew up to be one of the most famous people with Marfan Syndrome, even though he was unaware of this disorder. The undiagnosed disorder claimed his life on 25th January 1996 when he died due to aortic dissection. He is set an example for all other people with Marfan Sysndrome as he received three posthumous Tony Awards and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Post his demise, his family and friends stared Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation, which helps artists, especially musical theatre composers and writers, with monetary grants to support their creative work. And that is how the legacy of one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome continues to live on.

 

11. Niccolo Paganini

 

Music seems to have a peculiar and fond connection with the famous people with Marfan Syndrome. The next personality in our list is a violin virtuoso of all time, Niccolo Paganini. This man not only captivated the audience with his performances, but also held the musicians of his time spellbound by his shows. He is one man who has left an indelible mark on of the pillars of modern violin technique and made his mark as one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

Music used to, as if, run in his veins. His concerts left people like Franz Schubert mystified. Can you believe that Meyerbeer used to follow him in every concert, failing every time to get enough of his playing? Such was the charisma of this famous person with Marfan Syndrome that he had left ineradicable influence on Liszt, who was so much moved by the technical finesse of Niccolo Pagnani that he resolved to create similar miracles on piano.

Legend also has it that when Paganini was just six-years old, his mother had traded his soul for a career as the greatest violinist in the world. His concerts were so enchanting that it is said that no amount of disturbance could distract the audience from his trance. The Marfan Syndrome had affected his body, giving him slender figure, cadaverous structure and long skinny fingers along with long nose on a long-drawn face with hollow cheeks. The people feared one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome to be Devil’s son. He is also reported to have been forced to produce letters from his mother so that he could prove himself to be having human parents. Although he was feared as some satanic, he was worshipped wherever he went, inducing tenor and awe. He walked on the earth as one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome of his times.

This famous person with Marfan Syndrome had played a Pie yel Concerto in a Genoa church at the age of eight, thanks to stern disciplining by his father. However, his failure in a casino business left him bankrupt and he died in 1840 from internal hemorrhaging.

 

10. John Tavener

 

After going through the life history of a famous person with Marfan Syndrome who was considered to be Devil’s son, let us befriend another person who was rather famous for his extensive output of religious work. Born in 1944 in London, John Tavener rose to eminence in 1968, with his cantata ‘The Whale’. The Guardian described this famous person with Marfan Syndrome as ‘the musical discovery of the year’ at the age when he was just 24 years old.

His compositions also found a way to the royal family of United Kingdom. His ‘Song for Athene’ was sung at the funeral of Princess Diana. One of the most famous people with Marfan Syndrome during his time, he was also knighted in 2000 for his services to music and won Ivor Novello Award. However, health was never on his side. In his thirties, his life was shaken by a stroke which was followed by a heart surgery and removal of tumor in his forties.

On 12th November 2013, he left the world forever, leaving behind the memories of one of the legends in music industry and one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

 

9. Bradford Cox

 

If you are a fan of Deerhunter or Atlas Sound, then you must be very well acquainted with one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome we are going to introduce now. Bradford Cox, the American musician and one of the most famous people with Marfan Syndrome alive, is the lead singer and guitarist of the indie rock band Deerhunter.

Born on May 15th, 1982, Bradford Cox dropped out of his school as a teenager. His parents had divorced, which forced him to live alone in his childhood home. But that could not bring a dead end to the life and aspirations of one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. His tenor in music is a reflection of the solitary life he has spent and his mental state. In his isolation, which was a result of him having no friends, he began to develop a liking for music as he was amused as to how music could sound heartbreaking or melancholic or nostalgic. Considered as one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome, his stream-of-consciousness way of songwriting makes his compositions even more beautiful.

No wonder, this legend is one of the most famous people with Marfan Syndrome.

 

8. Osama Bin Laden

 

Till now, we had been looking at the lives of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome who built tenor with their work. Let us now recall a person who spread terror wherever he went and whenever he was remembered. Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, alias Osama Bin Laden was the founder of al-Qaeda, a militant organization in Asia. He is considered to be one of the most infamous or famous people with Marfan Syndrome.

Born to a billionaire, Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden in Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden reportedly joined mujahideen forces in 1979 in Pakistan fighting against Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The main factor that led to the growth in his popularity was his funding of mujahideen by channeling weapons, money and soldiers from the Arab into Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda, one of the most dreaded militant organizations in the world, was found in 1988. This famous person with Marfan Syndrome had a tall and slender body of around 6ft 4in. This man built relations with Hamid Gul, a three-star general in Pakistan Army. In return, he sought and also got training for his militant forces from ISI and Pakistan Armed Forces. And since then, this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome had never looked back.

In his fight against Soviets and his campaign against US, this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome was also alleged to be the kingpin of 9/11 attacks. He continued to spread terror far and wide in all directions, until he was killed by the valiant marines of the US in Abbottabad in May 2, 2011. Believe it or not, this man was certainly one of the famous people with Marfan Syndrome.

 

7. Sergei Rachmaninov

 

While guns spread terror, music spreads love and harmony. Yes, we are back to music again! What is the relation between music and famous people with Marfan Syndrome is left for you to investigate. I am still doing a research on it. But when it comes to music and famous people with Marfan Syndrome, how can we forget that one man who weaved magic with his fingers on the piano?

Sergei Rachmaninov, was a Russian composer, conductor and pianist. One of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music was born in 1873. He broke all boundaries to explore the expressive abilities of piano. A part of an old aristocracy, he was given piano lessons by his mother. Even his father was an amateur pianist. But life was not a cakewalk for this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

Rachmaninoff had to face a lot of setbacks in his life. His First Symphony (Op. 13, 1896) was premiered on 28 March 1897 in “Russian Symphony Concerts”. This moment of achievement was brutally berated by critic and nationalist composer César Cui. This ensued a three-year long period of depression in the life of this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. His attempt was criticized by Leo Tolstoy.

But things were not going to remain the same forever for this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. His hard-work and dedication along with the passion for music made him one of the most prominent pianists of all times. One of the most famous people with Marfan Syndrome in Russia, he died on 28th March 1943.

 

6. Abraham Lincoln

 

He is one of the most revered figures in the history of the world. There has hardly been any one else so awe-inspiring and with a captivating personality as the 16th president of the United States. Born on March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was undoubtedly one of the famous people supposedly with Marfan Syndrome. His unique appeal and incredible impact over US still lies unparalleled.

He was largely self-educated and served as a lawyer in Illinois. He is the man, who was not only one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome, but who also led the US in its bloodiest war, the Civil War of 1860s, which is still recorded as the greatest political and constitutional turmoil in the history of the most powerful nation on the planet. After the attack, he focused on building the nations from the ruins that had been created. Stressing on importance of banks, railroads and rapid modernization, he has been one of the main driving forces behind the fruitful development of the US and its present strong nation status. But do you know much about the life history of one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome?

His childhood that was marred with poverty had been a great teacher to him. From an early age, he had confronted the vagaries of life and poverty head-on. His life is a perfect example of how a man can rise and succeed even after falling hundred numbers of times. This man, who shaped the world like hardly anyone else before, was definitely one of the most famous people with supposedly Marfan Syndrome.

 

5. Michael Phelps

 

Well…enough of history in knowing about the most famous people with Marfan syndrome! Let’s refresh ourselves a bit by diving into a rejuvenating swimming pool along with the greatest legends of swimming of all time. Born on June 30th, 1985, Michael Philips stands tall and proud as the most decorated Olympian of all time and also as one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. His tally of Olympic medals has touched the figure of 22. Can you believe that this swimming prodigy and one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome was once so afraid of swimming that his instructor allowed him to float around on his back?

Such were the high spirits of this champion and one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome that he went on to become the youngest American male swimmer to compete in Olympic Games at just 15 years of age. The killer instinct of this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome helped him to propagate him to set new records. He is the man credited with setting the first ever swimming record. Such is the legacy left behind by one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. He has risen as the perfect example of how man can conquer over his deficiencies with hard-work, passion and a will to achieve more and more. He certainly deserves a place in the list of famous people with Marfan syndrome.

 

4. Isaiah Austin

 

When it comes to sports and famous people with Marfan syndrome, Michael Philips is not the only twinkling star. He is accompanied in the list by an ace basketball player, named Isaiah Austin. Born in 1993, Isaiah Austin stands at the epitome of human will-power conquering one’s deficiencies. One of famous people with Marfan syndrome, Isaiah is an American basketball player. He had been considered  a first-round prospect in 2014 NBA draft until his diagnosis of Marfan Syndrome threatened to put a halt on his dreams.

But as there is nothing that can stop champions, this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome was made a ceremonial pick by Adam Silver. The crowd gave a standing ovation on seeing his dream getting fulfilled. How many of you know that Austin is also blind from his right eye, following an injury he sustained in middle school? With Marfan syndrome and blindness staring right at his face, this young man has defied all physical disorders and subverted the paradigm with his will power. Who can ever doubt the grit and sheer determination of this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome?

His Isaiah Austin Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to support and spread awareness amongst people affected by the Marfan Syndrome. His never-say-die attitude and passion for his sport make him one of the famous people with Marfan syndrome.

 

3. Arik Einstein

 

Back to music again!! Let me introduce you to an amazing personality, named Arik Einstien, who happens to be a proud entry in the list of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. This man was a full package of various talents. From singing to songwriting to even screenwriting and acting, Arik Einstein clearly stood out of the crowd around him as one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

This most influential Israeli artist of all time was born on 3rd January 1939. He had been a sports enthusiast and an athlete in his formative years, and later turned to be one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. Although he aspired to be a military fitness instructor, time had some other plans of bringing out the other genius lying dormant inside this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. The shy and homebody person had enthralled the audience for many years and is one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

 

2. Edith Sitwell

Back to ladies! Here is another lady in the list of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell, alias Edith Sitwell was the eldest of the three literary Sitwells.

She was a British poet and critic, renowned for her work influenced by French symbolists. Life was full of turbulence for this one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. Her father used to lock her with an iron frame so as to cure her spinal deformation. Feeling unattached to her parents all the time, she had a very gloomy childhood. To add to her woes, she was also the target of personal attacks from personalities like Geoffrey Grigson and F. R. Leavis regarding her unusual appearance. Who would have known that time that she will be forever regarded as one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome?

She was one who bore all the assaults and harassments and yet could make her own way into glory. Her words, “I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it” and “I am one of those unhappy persons who inspire bores to the greatest flights of art”, still reverberates in the minds of literary folks. This lady has set an example for others to follow and is regarded as one of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

 

1. Julius Caesar

 

We began our article on a musical note, but we will end it on a royal note. One man who stands undisputed as one of the most revered and most famous people with Marfan syndrome is the general of Rome, Julius Caesar. He was a Roman general, statesman and a distinguished autjor of Latin prose. If there has been someone who has been largely responsible for the fall of Roman Republic and the establishment of Roman Empire, it is this famous man with Marfan syndrome.

The main driving force behind the consolidation of Rome’s territory to Rhine and English Channel after the Gallic Wars, is attributed to Julius Caesar. He refused to obey the Senate’s orders to step down from his position and marked his defiance by crossing the river Rubicon with his legion. The conflict that ensued and his remarkable victory in the civil war placed him at an unrivalled position of power and authority making him the unparalleled ruler and the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

A number of reforms were initiated by the most famous people with Marfan syndrome. He also dared to break all rules and order the creation of a new calendar, called the Julian calendar. Although he succumbed to the plot designed by Marcus Brutus, he has left a legacy behind him for the historians and ordinary men to cherish forever.

This man who stands as the face of Rome was certainly at the top of all famous people with Marfan syndrome.

 

So now, you have seen enough of famous people with Marfan syndrome who have set a benchmark for achievers for all spheres of life. We need to learn from the grit and will-power of the most famous people with Marfan syndrome.

Just think once, if they could do it regardless of their physical disorder and become the most famous people with Marfan syndrome, what is stopping us to surge ahead and claim our due fame and recognition in the world?