Autism FAQ - Well-known Autistic People
Note: the accounts of some of these people are listed above under
Well-known people who have chosen to write or speak about their
Autistic family members:
- Richard Burton (deceased actor) about his daughter by his first wife.
- William Christopher (Father Mulcahy on the TV show M*A*S*H) about
his son, Ned.
- Will Clark (Baseball player) about his son.
- Paul Collins (writer) about his son.
- Myron Cope (Pittsburgh sportscaster) about his son.
- Tom Henke (Toronto baseball pitcher) about his son.
- Carl Erskine (former baseball player).
- Audrey Flack (scuptor, photographer), mother of an adult
- Doug Flutie (football player) about his son, Doug Jr.
- Stephen J. Gould (scientist/writer) about his son, Jesse.
- Merton Hanks (football player) about his daughter, Milan.
- Scott Mellanby (hockey player) about his son.
- Joe Mantegna (actor), father of daughter with autism.
- Dan Marino (football player) about his son.
- Jenny McCarthy (actress), about her son, Evan.
- Wynton and Brandford Marsalis (jazz/classical musicians)
about their brother.
- Mark McEwen (TV weatherman on CBS Morning News), about his
- Barbara Roberts (former Governor of Oregon), mother of adult
- Tracy Rowlett (Dallas anchorperson) about his son.
- Jonathan Shestak (movie producer) about his son, Dov.
- Beverly Sills (opera singer) about her son, Bucky.
- Phoebe Snow (singer), mother of daughter with autism.
- Sylvester Stallone (movie actor) about his son, Seargeoh.
- BJ Surhoff (Baltimore baseball player, 1996) about his son, Mason.
- David Tomlinson (the actor who starred in Mary Poppins,
Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the Love Bug etc) had an autistic son,
whose diagnosis and education is mentioned in some detail in
Mr Tomlinson's autobiography Luckier than Most.
Autistic individuals who have become well-known through their
writing and/or speaking on their experiences:
Occasionally there is speculation as to whether some particular
well-known person is autistic, e.g. an author, scientist, or
mathematician known to be unsocial and very focused.
For example, there is an audiotape
called Was Einstein Autistic?
(see Bibliography Section)
However, despite such speculation, these people in general
could socialize in ways far advanced of typical autistic behavior:
eye contact, etc.
A theory currently in vogue is that autism is
a severe variant of a mild condition that causes people
to lack social skills:
the book Shadow Syndromes expands on this theme.
It is probable that nearly all famous people occasionally cited
as being possibly autistic fall more naturally under such a milder
One of the most convincing cases I've heard of a famous person
being truly autistic was in regards to Canadian pro golfer
Moe Norman. There is a biography of him: The Feeling of
Greatness, the Moe Norman Story by Tim O'Connor.