List of famous people with epilepsy, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Epilepsy is a common set of neurological disorders that are characterized by seizures. About 50 million people in the world have epilepsy, including a number of musicians, athletes, and Hollywood stars. There currently is no cure for epilepsy and medication can be used to treat the symptoms, but in severe cases even treatment can not stop the seizures.
Who are the most famous epileptics? Elton John tops our list. The “Your Song” musician began to suffer from severe epileptic fits in the 1980s, thought to be induced by his years of drug use. The seizures have reduced drastically in the ’90s and beyond because John stopped abusing drugs and alcohol. Other celebrity musicians who have epilepsy include Lil Wayne, Prince, and Neil Young.
Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover first started having seizures at age 15, but he wasn’t diagnosed with epilepsy until much later. Glover even experienced six seizures in one night. Later in life, Glover’s seizure stopped for seemingly no reason. Other famous people with epilepsy include Truman Capote, Tiki Barber, and Vincent Van Gogh.
Pop icon Prince struggled with epilepsy in his childhood.
Lil Wayne recently revealed that he has epilepsy. He says that he doesn’t know what it feels like to have a seizure because he blacks out every time it happens.
Elton John has struggled with epilepsy for years. It is thought that the epilepsy was induced by the star’s years of drug use.
Danny Glover has epilepsy and regularly suffered from seizures for a 20 year period of his life.
Alexander the Great had epilepsy although at the time is was diagnosed as the “sacred disease.”
Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz has epilepsy and even experienced a grand mal seizure.
The “Matrix” star Hugo Weaving was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 13. He doesn’t drive a car because of his high risk of seizure.
Musician Neil Young was diagnosed with epilepsy in his childhood.
Evanescence singer Amy Lee has epilepsy and she regularly advocates for awareness of the disorder.
26th President of the United States
Theodore Roosevelt struggled with epilepsy.
Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham was diagnosed with a mild form of epilepsy.
Many books suggest that Napoleon Bonaparte suffered from epilepsy throughout his life.
Writer Lewis Carroll used his epilepsy to inspire several of the effects that Alice felt in his classic book “Alice in Wonderland.”
Edgar Allan Poe suffered from seizures and historians differ their opinions on whether the seizures were caused by epilepsy or by alcohol withdrawal.
It is thought that Julius Caesar had epilepsy because he experienced seizures on at least four occasions.
Harriet Tubman suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy as a result of an injury.
Olympian Florence Griffith-Joyner died in her sleep as the result of an epileptic seizure.
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” writer Truman Capote had epilepsy that was believed to be induced by drug and alcohol use.
According to historians, Caligula suffered from epilepsy since childhood.
Singing sensation Susan Boyle says that she had a rough childhood because epilepsy caused her to faint frequently.
Vincent van Gogh suffered from seizures that doctors believed were cause by temporal lobe epilepsy.
Composer George Gershwin suffered from seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy.
Actress Margaux Hemingway suffered from epilepsy from the age of seven.
Korn front man Jonathan Davis believes that his epilepsy was induced by his years of drug use.
Many researchers believe that Socrates suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy.
Many historians believe that Michelangelo suffered from epilepsy.
Actor Richard Burton suffered from epilepsy most of his adult life and he self medicated with alcohol in order to treat the disorder.
Charles Dickens was believed to have suffered from epilepsy.
Bud Abbott suffered from epilepsy and on occasion he suffered a seizure on stage and his comedy partner Lou Costello would carry him off the stage.
James Madison was diagnosed by doctors as having epilepsy.
Supreme Court Justice John Roberts has suffered several seizures and is believed to be an epileptic.
Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie suffers from epilepsy and he regularly campaigns to increase funding for the disorder.
Historians believe that Gustave Flaubert suffered from epilepsy.
Dostoyevsky kept records of his seizures for the last twenty years of his life.
Football star Tiki Barber suffered from seizures until the age of five.
Many epilepsy experts believe that author Agatha Christie suffered from the disorder.
Joy Division front man Ian Curtis suffered from crippling seizures due to his epilepsy. The disorder is thought to be one of the reasons that Curtis eventually took his own life.
Football star Alan Faneca was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 15.
Comic actor RIk Mayall was diagnosed with epilepsy after experiencing sever head injuries.
Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp has been battling two brain tumors that have left him with epilepsy.