Ben Carson - 2011

Groundbreaking Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Author and Humanitarian

September 20, 2011

Dr. Carson spoke about the challenges of poverty, poor grades, the rewards of perseverance, and shared inspirations and insight from his life.


Encouraged by his mother to strive for excellence, Dr. Ben Carson overcame his background of dire poverty, poor grades and low self-esteem to achieve his dream of becoming a physician. Director of pediatric neurosurgery for 25 years at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, he is famous for being the first to successfully separated twins conjoined at the back of the head

In 2009, "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story," a movie based on Carson's memoir, premiered on TNT. Carson is also president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. He has penned four books: "Gifted Hands," "THINK BIG," "The Big Picture" and "Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk."

In 2001, Carson was named by CNN and TIME magazine as one of the nation's 20 foremost physicians and scientists and was also selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 "Living Legends." He is also the recipient of the 2006 Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP. In 2008, Carson was presented with the Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medal by President Bush at the White House and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the land.

He is married to his wife of more than 30 years, Cindy, and is the father of three sons. And his mother, Sonya Carson - whom Carson credits with his success - is alive and well.