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Children’s Section

Famous People
with Epilepsy

Famous People with Epilepsy

Epilepsy doesn’t have to limit your life — we have put together a list of famous people throughout history and modern times, to prove you can accomplish (almost) anything!

Van Gogh, Vincent (1853 - 1890)

Vincent van Gogh was born in the Netherlands (Holland). He started off being a preacher, but soon turned to painting beautiful pictures. 

In 1886 he left Holland to live in France where, between 1888 and 1890, he painted his most famous pictures. The best known of all his pictures is the Sunflowers, which is worth many millions of pounds. 

As well as being one of the greatest artists ever Vincent van Gogh just happened to have epilepsy.

Lil Wayne

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr, better known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record executive, entrepreneur, and actor. He is regarded by many contemporaries as one of the most influential hip hop artists of his generation, and often cited as one of the greatest rappers of all time.

He recently admitted to suffering with the condition and he has dealt with it for much of his life, having multiple seizures throughout his life.

Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock)

Adam Keefe Horovitz, better known as Ad-Rock or King Ad-Rock, is an American rapper, guitarist and actor. He was a member of the hip hop group Beastie Boys. Beastie Boys were one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide. In 2012, they became the third rap group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He has epilepsy and has even experienced a grand mal seizure.

Prince (The Artist Formerly Known As)

Prince Rogers Nelson, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, and actor. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. A multi-instrumentalist who was considered a guitar virtuoso, he was well known for his eclectic work across multiple genres, flamboyant and androgynous persona, and wide vocal range which included a far-reaching falsetto and high-pitched screams.

He first talked about his childhood battle with epilepsy publicly back in 2009

Socrates (c. 470 – 399 BC)

Socrates  was a Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought. An enigmatic figure, he authored no texts, and is known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers composing after his lifetime, particularly his students Plato and Xenophon.

He is thought to have suffered from simple partial seizures and complex partial seizures.

Edith Bowman

Edith Eleanor Bowman, is a Scottish radio DJ and TV presenter. She hosted the Weekday Afternoon Show and the Weekend breakfast on BBC Radio 1 until 2012, and has presented a variety of music-related television shows and music festivals.

She had epilepsy as a child.

Mike Skinner (The Streets)

Michael Geoffrey Skinner, is an English rapper, singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer. He is best known for the music project The Streets. Skinner is best known for his lyricism matched with his blurring of musical styles of UK garage, hip hop, indie rock, reggae and ska.

He has suffered from epilepsy since age seven.

Hugo Weaving

Hugo Wallace Weaving, is a British actor resident in Australia. He is best known for playing Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy, Elrond in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, V in V for Vendetta, and the Red Skull in the movie Captain America: The First Avenger.

He suffered with epilepsy as a teenager when he experienced major seizures at least once annually for many years, but hasn’t had a seizure for over 18 years now.

Neil Young

Neil Percival Young, is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, musician, and activist. After embarking on a music career in the 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles, joining Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and others. Since his early solo albums and those with his backing band Crazy Horse, Young has been prolific, recording a steady stream of studio and live albums.

He has had epilepsy for the majority of his life, his daughter also inherited it from him. They both manage their epilepsy with medication.

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC)

Julius Caesar was one of the greatest generals who ever lived – he was extremely clever and courageous. One writer described him as a superman and genius for the way he led the Roman Empire. 

Caesar arrived on the shores of Britain in the year 54 BC . His invasion made him a great hero in the city of Rome. He remained the world’s most powerful man until March, 44 BC, when he was stabbed to death by a group of men led by Brutus and Cassius. 

Throughout his life he kept in very good health. The fact that he had epilepsy didn’t affect his success in any way.

Our Interactive Illustrated Junior Encyclopaedia lets you explore the world of epilepsy and learn about all the key subjects.

Test your knowledge with our quizzes or download some of our games to keep yourself entertained or to play with a friend.

It is thought that at least one person in every 103 has epilepsy. This means that in Britain alone there are at least 150,000 children with epilepsy.