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Famous People with Paraplegia

Famous People with Paraplegia

Paraplegia is the impairment of the motor or sensory functions of the lower extremities and comes from the Greek word which means “half-striking”. In most cases this is caused by an injury to the spinal cord or a congenital condition such as spina bifida that affects the neural elements found within the spinal canal.

This term is used if there is impairment to the lower extremities. However, if all four limbs are affected, the term is quadriplegic while monoplegia is used if only a single limb is affected.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Despite the impairment that paraplegia can bring, there have been a great number of people who have become famous and have made great contributions to society. Here is just a small list of those who have managed to overcome their paraplegia.

List of Famous People with Paraplegia

Franklin D Roosevelt: At the age of 39, Roosevelt became paralyzed due to polio, but went on to become President of the United States and elected to four terms. He is arguably the most famous person who was also paralyzed.

John Porter East: Became a politician despite being partially paralyzed by polio in 1955.

Frank Gardner: a preeminent journalist for the BBC, Gardner was paralyzed when he was shot at close range by an Al-Qaeda assailant in Saudi Arabia. Gardner continued to work after his recovery, even providing commentary from time to time.

Larry Flint: the founder of Hustler magazine, was paralyzed from the waste down after an assassination attempt in 1978.

Angela Rockwood: model and actress who became quadraplegic after a 2001 car accident. After stem cell treatments and physical therapy, she is now classified as paraplegic.

Angela Rockwood

Chuck Graham: Becoming paralyzed from an automobile accident when he was just 16, Graham managed to forge a political career in Missouri becoming elected to their house of representatives and then to the state senate.

Tanni Grey-Thompson: A paralympian born with spina bifida, this has not stopped Tammi from becoming a prominent athlete in her sport.

Rick Hansen: Paralyzed in an automobile accident when he was 15, Hansen went on to become a paralympian for Canada.

Susan Peters: actress who became paraplegic in 1945 after a duck hunting accident.

John Hockenberry: A journalist and a blogger, Hockenberry was paralyzed in a car crash when he was only 19 years old.

Paul Johnson: A disc jockey and record producer in the US, he became paralyzed after an accidental shooting.

Colt Wynn: A bodybuilding champion from the US.

Colt Wynn

Sharry Konopski: An actress and model, she sustained injuries in a car accident that placed her in a wheelchair.

Charles Krauthammer: A conservative columnist and frequent contributor to the Fox News Network, he was paralyzed when he was in college after diving into a pool and striking his head against the flooring.
Boris Kustodiev: A painter in Russia who became paraplegic because of tuberculosis of the vertebral column.

James Langevin: Accidentally shot when he was 16 and paralyzed, Langevin went on to become a US Congressman from Rhode Island.

Ajith C. S. Perera: Paralyzed when he fell out of a tree onto his moving car, Perera is a disabilities rights activist in his native country of Sri Lanka and a former cricket umpire as well.

Deng Pufang: A noted politician in China.

Daryl Mitchell: actor who was involved in a motorcycle accident in 2001.

Wolfgang Schauble: Sustaining his injuries in a failed assassination attempt, Wolfgang is a politician in Germany.

Leisl Tesh: A wheelchair basketball player from Australia

George Wallace: Governor of Alabama and former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972, Wallace was paralyzed from an assassination attempt.




If you’re interested in this page, then you may be interested in Famous People with Quadraplegia.