Billionaire Richard Branson Says Dyslexia Not A Disadvantage But 'A Different Way Of Thinking'

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald May 04, 04:00 am
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Sir Richard Branson gives up control of Virgin Atlantic amid Delta-Air France deal
Virgin CEO and billionaire Richard Branson discusses his struggles with dyslexia in his younger years. PICTURED: Branson speaks onstage during the AltaMed Power Up, We Are The Future Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel.
(Photo : Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AltaMed )

Before he established his billion-dollar company, Virgin CEO Richard Branson struggled with dyslexia as a child. He, however, learned not to see this disability as a disadvantage. He said he regards people with dyslexia as having "a different way of thinking," which can work for their success.

Branson detailed his experience with dyslexia in an exclusive piece for The Times. He revealed his school treated his disorder as a handicap and his teachers thought he was a lazy and dumb student.

"There were some subjects where I drew a complete blank," Branson wrote, adding he had big problems learning Math. "For years I hadn't been able to work out the difference between gross and net." The traditional school environment made him stop going to classes.

Once he deviated from attending school in his teens, Branson learned to deal with the "real world." That's when he used his disorder to bolster his work. "It helped me to think creatively and laterally, and see solutions where others saw problems," he said.

Branson spoke of his dyslexia struggles in the past. He also helped other kids with dyslexia overcome the hardships.

The billionaire puts dyslexia back in the spotlight this week as he launches Made By Dyslexia, his newest charitable endeavor. The organization aims to help people struggling with the learning disability as well as raise more awareness and understanding of those with the condition. One of its projects includes establishing the world's first dyslexia sperm bank.

"I can honestly say that because I have dyslexia, I look at the world in a different way," the CEO said, as per Campaign Live. "Dyslexic people can be hugely creative in identifying solutions to problems, and to coming up with new ways to tackle challenges." Learn more about the dyslexia sperm bank and Branson's cause in the video below.

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