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We came across many famous people with Asperger’s Syndrome while researching for our recent blogs on autism and neurodiversity. We found 150+ Asperger’s famous people…and even with a bit of overlap, there are lots of new faces too! These famous Aspies include comedians, actors, athletes, scientists, musicians, writers, leaders, and artists.

Disclaimers: This list of famous people with Asperger’s who have been diagnosed and those who have been reported or rumored to have Asperger’s. I do my best to list resources for any questionable ones and welcome feedback, additions, and edits! I am not an expert on Asperger’s Syndrome.

 

Celebrities with Asperger’s

Does Greta Thunberg have Aspergers? Thunberg said at a TEDx Talk, “I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, OCD and selective mutism. That basically means I only speak when I think it’s necessary. Now is one of those moments.”(image source: Wikipedia)

 

David Byrne Aspergers

David Byrne, lead singer, and guitarist from Talking Heads has Asperger’s. (image source: Wikipedia Creative Commons)

 

Which famous people have Asperger’s Syndrome? If you had to list the very top celebrities with Aspergers, these would surely make the top 20 list:

  1. Isaac Asimov (diagnosed)
  2. Dan Aykroyd (diagnosed)
  3. Susan Boyle (diagnosed)
  4. David Byrne (diagnosed)
  5. Charles Darwin (rumored)
  6. John Denver (diagnosed)
  7. Eminem (rumored)
  8. Daryl Hannah (diagnosed)
  9. Dan Harmon (self-diagnosed)
  10. Alfred Hitchcock (rumored)
  11. Sir Anthony Hopkins (diagnosed)
  12. Michael Jackson (rumored)
  13. Courtney Love (diagnosed)
  14. Clay Marzo (diagnosed)
  15. Marilyn Monroe (rumored)
  16. Jerry Seinfeld (self-diagnosed)
  17. Satoshi Tajiri (diagnosed)
  18. James Taylor (diagnosed)
  19. Greta Thunberg (diagnosed)
  20. Robin Williams (rumored)

But let’s break it down in more detail. There are so many reported famous people with Aspergers that I categorize them by their professional field (Actors, Athletes, Musicians, Entrepreneurs, Scientists, etc.).

 

Actors with Asperger’s

Dan Aykroyd Aspergers

Dan Aykroyd on the set of Great Outdoors. Aykroyd struggled since childhood with symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome. (image source: Wikipedia Public Domain)

  • Dan Aykroyd – Actor
  • Corey Burton – Voice Actor
  • Charlie Chaplan – Actor (rumored)
  • Lizzy Clark – Actress
  • Paddy Considine – Actor
  • Stephen Fry – Actor
  • Crispin Glover – Actor (rumored)
  • Daryl Hannah – Actress
  • Anthony Hopkins – Actor
  • Barry Humphries – Actor
  • Andy Kaufman – Actor
  • Marilyn Monroe – Actress (rumored)
  • Alex Plank – Actor
  • Robin Williams – Actor (rumored)

 

Comedians with Aspergers

Asperger's R Us

Comedic troupe Asperger’s R Us is made up entirely of men with Asperger’s. (Image source: Max W. Lauf)

  • Noah Britton – Asperger’s Are Us Comedic Group
  • Trip Carey – Asperger’s Are Us Comedic Group
  • Ethan Finlan – Asperger’s Are Us Comedic Group
  • Jack Hanke – Asperger’s Are Us Comedic Group
  • Michael Ingemi – Asperger’s Are Us Comedic Group
  • Michael Palin – Comedian (rumored)
  • Jerry Seinfeld – Comedian (rumored)
  • Robert White – Comedian

 

Other TV/Media Personalities with Asperger’s

Woody Allen Aspergers

Woody Allen, a famous film director is rumored to have Asperger’s. (image source: Georges Biard)

  • Woody Allen – Director (rumored)
  • Tim Burton – Director (rumored)
  • Justin Eugene Evans – Film Director
  • Paula Hamilton – Model
  • Brant Hansen – Radio Personality
  • Anne Hegerty – TV Personality
  • Alfred Hitchcock – Film Director (rumored)
  • Jamie Hyneman – TV Host (rumored)
  • Paul El Kharrat – the youngest champion of the show The 12 Coups de midi 
  • Heather Kuzmich – Model
  • Nina Marker – Model
  • John Motson – Sports Commentator
  • Suzanne Muldowney – Performance Artist
  • Chris Niosi – Voice Actor
  • Keith Olberman – Sports Commentator (rumored)
  • Chris Packham – TV Personality
  • Alex Wineman – Model

 

Famous Athletes with Asperger’s

Jessica-Jane Applegate Aspergers

The Current reported: Jessica-Jane Applegate also lives with the challenges associated with Asperger’s syndrome. She has become one of the most inspiring female athletes with a developmental disability since starting her career in 2011. (image source: Richard Gillin)

Among other celebrities who have Aspergers are athletes. These famous Aspies are an inspiration to fans of their sport.

  • Jessica-Jane Applegate – Swimmer
  • Danny Chew – Cyclist
  • Tommy Dis Brisay – Runner
  • Nikolas DiDomenico – Cyclist
  • Jim Eisenreich – Major League Baseball Player
  • Justin Hansen – College Football Player
  • Guy Martin – Motorcycle Racer
  • Clay Marzo – Surfer
  • Marcelo Ríos – Tennis Player
  • Linus Söderström – NHL Hockey Player
  • Codi Ware – Racecar Driver

 

Famous Musicians with Asperger’s

Bob Dylan Aspergers

President Obama presenting Bob Dylan with a Medal of Freedom. It is rumored, but not confirmed that Bob Dylan has Asperger’s Syndrome according to IMDb. (image source: Wikipedia Public Domain)

Susan Boyle Aspergers

Susan Boyle, Britain’s Got Talent singer, was misdiagnosed as having a brain tumor at birth, WebMD reported. Boyle said: “I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understanding of what’s wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself.” (image source: Wikipedia, Wasforgas)

Many musicians with Asperger’s use music as an outlet, especially rappers. Does Eminem have Aspergers? He raps about Asperger’s in his songs, but it has never been officially diagnosed. Does Chief Keef have Aspergers? Elite Daily says:

“Rumors have swirled that Keef has Asperger syndrome, which puts him somewhere on the Autism spectrum.”

  • Lil B – Rapper (rumored)Bella Bartok – Composer (rumored)
  • Mark Boerbach – Musical Savant
  • Susan Boyle – Britain’s Got Talent Singer
  • Anton Bruckner – Composer (rumored)
  • Dan Bull – Rapper
  • David Byrne – Singer
  • John Denver – Musician
  • James Durbin – American Idol Singer
  • Bob Dylan – Musician (rumored)
  • Joseph Eber – Musician
  • Eminem – Rapper (rumored)
  • Example – Rapper
  • Glenn Gould – Pianist
  • David Helfgott – Pianist
  • Michael Jackson – Musician (rumored)
  • Chief Keef – Rapper (rumored)
  • Ladyhawke – Musician
  • Juice Leskinen – Musician
  • Abz Love – Rapper
  • Courtney Love – Singer
  • Gustav Mahler – Composer (rumored)
  • Travis Meeks – Musician
  • Josh Morgan – Drummer
  • Rich Mullins – Christian Singer/Songwriter (rumored)
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Composer (rumored)
  • Ari Ne’eman – Activist
  • Craig Nicholls – Musician
  • Lisa Nowak – American Astronaut
  • Gary Numan – Singer & Songwriter
  • Eric Satie – Composer (rumored)
  • Savant – Musician
  • Slushii – Musician
  • Richard Strauss – Composer (rumored)
  • James Taylor – Musician
  • Penelope Trunk – Entrepreneur & Author
  • Ludwig van Beethoven – Composer (rumored)
  • Robbie Williams – Singer (rumored)
  • Adam Young – Musician (rumored)

 

Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders with Aspergers

bill gates asperger

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at ‘D5: All Things Digital’ conference in Carlsbad, California. (image source: Joi Ito Flickr)

Does Bill Gates have Aspergers? The Guardian reported Bill Gates:

“…has been described as having autistic-type traits: lack of eye contact, poor social skills, a monotonous voice, a prodigious memory and a tendency to rock backwards and forwards during business meetings.”

How about the famous mind behind SpaceX? Does Elon Musk have Aspergers? This research on neurodiversity says its definitely possible. The article also discusses Steve Jobs’ Aspergers observations.

Here’s the full list of famous Aspie entrepreneurs/biz leaders I found:

  • Julian Assange – WikiLeaks Founder

On September 23, 2020, Computer Weekly reported that the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange:

“is on the autistic spectrum and has a history of depression that would put him at risk of suicide if he is extradited to a US prison”

This information was part of court proceedings from psychiatrists who evaluated Assange before his trial. In September of 2011, Assange talked to the UK Independent about being autistic:

“Later, when I became well known, people would enjoy pointing out that I had Asperger’s or else that I was dangling somewhere on the autistic spectrum. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, so let’s just say I am – all hackers are, and I would argue all men are a little bit autistic. But in my mid- to late teens I could barely focus on anything that didn’t seem to me like a major breakthrough.”

  • Adam Bradford – Activist & Entrepreneur
  • Michael Burry – U.S. Investment Fund Manager
  • Blondinbella – Entrepreneur & Blogger
  • Henry Ford – Industrialist (rumored)
  • Carly Fulgam – President of Autism Society of America Ventura
  • Bill Gates – Entrepreneur (rumored)
  • William (Bill) Hunt Gross – Investor & Philanthropist
  • Howard Hughes – American Businessperson (rumored)
  • Steve Jobs – Apple Co-founder (rumored)
  • Daniel Lightwing – Internet Gambling Business Co-Founder
  • Elon Musk – Tesla & SpaceX Co-Founder (rumored)
  • Satoshi Tajiri – Pokemon Inventor
  • Nikola Tesla – Inventor of Electric Motors (rumored)
  • Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook Founder (rumored)

Political Leaders with Aspergers

Trump Aspergers

Does Trump Have Aspergers? Many suspect so, but it has never been confirmed. (image source: Wikipedia)

  • Brisco Cain – Politician
  • Benjamin Franklin – U.S. Politician (rumored)
  • Al Gore – Politician (rumored)
  • Jeff Greenfield – Political Analyst
  • Thomas Jefferson – U.S. President (rumored)
  • Abraham Lincoln – U.S. President (rumored)
  • Ludwig II – King of Bavaria (rumored)
  • Lindsay Mason – Politician
  • Timothé Nadim – French Politician
  • Donald Trump – U.S. President (rumored)
  • George Washington – U.S. President (rumored)

 

Famous Aspergers Artists

Charles Schulz Aspergers

Charles Schulz was best known for creating the “Peanuts” comic strip. His Asperger’s was never confirmed. (image source: Wikipedia)

  • Jim Henson – Animator & Puppeteer (rumored)
  • Peter Howson – Painter
  • Wasily Kandinsky – Painter (rumored)
  • Paul Kostabi – Artist
  • L S Lowry – Artist
  • Michelangelo – Artist (rumored)
  • Patrick Samuel
  • Charles Schulz – Cartoonist (rumored)
  • Vincent van Gogh – Painter (rumored)
  • Andy Warhol – Artist (rumored)

 

Famous Scientists with Asperger’s Syndrome (and Inventors)

There is speculation around whether some of the world’s greatest scientists and inventors had Asperger’s. Did Einstein have Aspergers? Many reports say its possible, but we may never know.  How about other famous scientists? Most of the famous people on this list were never diagnosed with Aspergers, only rumored to be on the autism spectrum.

Alan Turing Aspergers

An article on Medium discusses whether Alan Turning had Asperger’s Syndrome (image source: Wikipedia Public Domain)

  • Alexander Graham Bell – Inventor (rumored)
  • Richard Borcherds – Mathematician
  • Henry Cavendish – Scientist (rumored)
  • Marie-Curie – Scientist (rumored)
  • Charles Darwin – Naturalist (rumored)
  • Thomas Edison – Inventor (rumored)
  • Albert Einstein – Scientist (rumored)
  • Francis Galton – Scientist (rumored)
  • Oliver Heaviside – Physicist (rumored)
  • Alfred Kinsey – Scientist (rumored)
  • Barbara McClintock – Scientist (rumored)
  • John Nash – Mathematician (rumored)
  • Sir Isaac Newton – Mathematician
  • Dawn Prince-Hughes – Scientist (rumored)
  • Alan Turing – Mathematician (rumored)
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein – Logician (rumored)

 

Famous Writers with Aspergers

Temple Grandin Aspergers

Temple Grandin was diagnosed with Asperger’s as a child. (image source: Steve Jurvetson)

  • Syed Talha Ahsan – Poet
  • Hans Christian Anderson – Author (rumored)
  • Isaac Asimov – Author
  • Jane Austen – Writer (rumored)
  • Daantjie Badenhorst – Journalist & Author
  • Kage Baker – Writer
  • Benjamin Banneker – Author (rumored)
  • Henry Bond – Writer
  • Axel Brauns – Writer
  • Lewis Carroll – Author (rumored)
  • Todd Rafael Cimino – Novelist
  • Jennifer Cook O’Toole – Writer
  • Emily Dickinson – Poet (rumored)
  • Charles Dickinson – Writer (rumored)
  • Tim Ellis – Australian Author & Magician
  • Allx Generous – Author
  • Temple Grandin – Writer
  • Gunilla Gerland – Author
  • Dan Harmon – Writer (rumored)
  • Liane Holliday Willey – Author
  • Luke Jackson – Author
  • James Joyce – Author (rumored)
  • Franz Kafka – Writer (rumored)
  • Garrison Keillor – Writer
  • Rosie King – Writer
  • H. P. Lovecraft – Writer (rumored)
  • A.R. Morlan – Author
  • Jerry Newport – Author & Mathematical Savant
  • Tim Page – Pulitzer Prize Author
  • Markku Tapani Pölönen – Screenwriter
  • John Elder Robinson – Author
  • George Bernard Shaw – Writer (rumored)
  • Rudy Simone – Author (rumored)
  • Susanna Tamaro – Author
  • Daniel Tammet – Novelist & Poet
  • Raymond Thompson – Scriptwriter
  • Henry Thoreau – Writer (rumored)
  • Mark Twain – Writer (rumored)
  • Donna Williams – Author
  • Virginia Woolf – Writer (rumored)

 

Other Famous Aspies

These famous Aspies needed a category of their own. They may not be famous actors, but they are famous in their own right. Does M2K have Aspergers? Jason Zimmerman, a famous video gamer who goes by M2K does have Asperger’s Syndrome.

  • Hans Asperger – Podiatrist (Asperger’s was named after him)
  • Bobby Fischer – World Chess Champion (rumored)
  • Carl Jung – Psychoanalyst (rumored)
  • Charles Rennie Mackintosh – Architect (rumored)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche – Philosopher (rumored)
  • Bertrand Russell – Polymath (rumored)
  • Oliver Sacks – Neurologist (rumored)
  • Judy Singer – Activist & Sociologist (she coined the term Neurodiversity)
  • Vernon Smith – Award-winning Economist
  • Greta Thunberg – Environmental Activist (and sailed from the U.S. to Lisbon, Portugal in 3 weeks!)
  • Jason Zimmerman (M2K) – Video Gamer

 

Movies About Autism or Asperger’s

While researching celebrities with Asperger’s Syndrome, we realized quite a few famous movies have been made based on people with Asperger’s or Autism. Here are a handful to note:

  • The Accountant
    • AutismMag.org discusses a popular movie called The Accountant — Aspergers plays a key part in this film about an accountant (played by Ben Affleck) with Aspergers Syndrome
  • The Social Network
    • Many people asked “Does Mark Zuckerberg have Aspergers” after watching this movie about the creation of Facebook. The Autism Support Network said: “…It quickly becomes clear that the character has something on the autistic spectrum, most likely Aspergers syndrome,” when referring to Zuckerberg’s character in the movie.
  • Mozart and the Whale  
    • Based on the life of author and public speaker, Jerry Newport, this is a love story about a man with Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • Man on the Moon
    • A film based on the life of famous Aspie entertainer Andy Kaufman. The main role is played by actor Jim Carrey.
  • Parenthood
    • In season 5 of Parenthood, popular character Hank finds out he has Aspergers while reading a book to relate to Max’s Aspergers. “Does Max Burkholder have Aspergers?” He plays the young character Max Braverman, who does, but the star does not have Asperger’s in real life.  What about Hank who is played by Ray Romano in this popular TV show. Does Ray Romano have Aspergers? Not in real life.
  • The Office
    • The Office is not really about Autism, but some may ask the question, Does Dwight Schrute have Aspergers? A blog about autism in the media says its possible:”Adam from Adam, Christopher from The Curious Incident with the Dog at Night Time, Donald from Mozart and the Whale, and Don Tillman from The Rosie Project, along with Dwight, Sheldon and Abed, all fit into what I call “the quirky, high-functioning Aspie” archetype.”

Viewers of the Big Bang Theory have suspected the character Sheldon, to be on the autism spectrum, but does Jim Parsons have Aspergers? No, but he seems to think his character exhibits some characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome.

There are so many more movies, books, and tv shows based on people with Asperger’s. Here is a list of the top 10 movies according to Shrink Tank.

 

More Famous Aspies?

My list is by no means complete. Please let me know if you find other successful people with Asperger Syndrome and I will be glad to add them to this growing list! Just ping me at Heather@Ongig.com.

If you enjoyed this list, you might also want to check out Famous People with Dyslexia [A List of 175+ Actors, Athletes, Musicians & Scientists] and Famous People with ADHD [100+ Actors, Entrepreneurs, Athletes, Musicians & More!]

And a final thanks goes to…

Sources for my Research on Famous People with Asperger Syndrome

These pros helped me source the article — thank you!

  1. Nicol Natale’s article on 7 Famous People You Didn’t Know Had Asperger’s Syndrome
  2. Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide’s article on History’s 30 Most Inspiring People on the Autism Spectrum
  3. Michelle Fattig’s article on Famous People Who Have or Had Asperger’s Syndrome
  4. Colin Eldred-Choen’s article on 6 Creatives On The Autism Spectrum – Actors And Filmmakers
  5. Michelle Fattig’s article on Famous People Who Have or Had Asperger’s Syndrome
  6. Ranker.com’s article on Celebrities Who (Probably) Have Asperger’s Syndrome
  7. Applied Behavior Analysis Edu’s article on 5 Top Athletes on the Autism Spectrum
  8. Michael Capone’s article on Hockey Player Talks About Living With Asperger’s and ADHD
  9. Matt Stephens’ article on College football player with Asperger’s did the ‘impossible’
  10. Nikolas DiDomenico’s blog on “I Didn’t Learn Until After Racing For a Few Years That Having a Label Can Be a Positive Thing”
  11. Karen Gold’s article on The high-flying obsessives
  12. Yousif Nur’s article on A comedian with Asperger’s who isn’t an antisocial introvert? It’s no joke
  13. Erin Herbert’s blog on Athletes with Autism
  14. Johanna Kristina’s list of Celebrities with autism or Asperger’s syndrome
  15. Dr.John Brock’s article on Did Alan Turing have Asperger syndrome?
  16. Wikipedia’s list of People with Asperger syndrome
  17. Apoorva Madavilli’s article on Did Einstein have autism?
  18. Peter Russell’s article on Singer Susan Boyle Reveals Asperger’s Diagnosis
  19. Samantha Craft’s article on Meet Judy Singer a NeuroDiversity Pioneer
  20. Fandom’s Parenthood Wiki
  21. Emma Dalmayne’s article on Why I Appreciate Eminem Lyrics on Aspergers
  22. A blog about Autism in the Media
  23. Mindy Fox’s article on Asperger’s and “The Social Network”
  24. Doran Miller-Rosenberg’s article on How Autism And Learning Disabilities Breed Incredible Rappers Like Chief Keef And Lil B
  25. Stephan Shahinian’s article on The Neuro-Biology of Genius
  26. Kerry Magro’s article on Why our autism community loves Sheldon Cooper
  27. Dr. Frank Gaskill’s article on Top 10 Movies about Asperger’s and the Autism Spectrum, According to a Psychologist
  28. “Autistic Asperger’s, I am exhausted having to conform to the norm (by Web24 News)
  29. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has Asperger syndrome and depression, court hears (by Bill Goodwin)
  30. Julian Assange: ‘I am – like all hackers – a little bit autistic’ (by Independent UK)
  31. PEOPLE YOU KNOW WHO MAY HAVE ASPERGERS MINDS (by aspergersvic.org)

 

Why I wrote this?

Ongig is on a mission to eliminate boring and biased job descriptions. As part of this, we try to share best practices on all aspects of diversity. For example, Ongig’s Text Analyzer helps you avoid words that are exclusionary to famous (or non-famous) people with Asperger’s or other forms of Neurodiversity. Please visit Ongig if you’d like to learn more.

by in Diversity and Inclusion