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Did Thomas Edison Have Dyslexia?

Thomas Edison was an American inventor and businessman who developed many important devices. Edison is considered one of the most prolific inventors of his time. He held 1,093 U.S. patents and many in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Apparently, he also had dyslexia.

Edison was often ill as a child and therefore started school later than he otherwise would have. Although he did have problems when he finally went to school, these problems resulted from his social behavior, not his mental abilities. One problem was that Tom became annoyed with having to share the text with other children. Tom, “a rapid reader, had no patience with his classmates.”

Tom’s overworked and short-tempered teacher finally lost his patience with the child’s persistent questioning and seemingly self-centered behavior. Noting that Tom’s forehead was unusually broad and his head was considerably larger than average, he made no secret of his belief that the youngster’s brains were “addled” or scrambled.

His mother promptly withdrew Tom from school and began home-teaching him. Not surprisingly, she was convinced her son’s slightly unusual demeanor and physical appearance were merely outward signs of his remarkable intelligence.

Before Thomas Edison was ten, he had already read History of England, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, History of the World, and The Age of Reason.