Henry Winkler Uses His Dyslexia As Inspiration

Winkler And His Dyslexia

Unfortunately, Henry Winkler has dyslexia. He has dyslexia — has his whole life — but only found out after they tested his son when he was three.

So he spent his whole life struggling without really knowing why. And is he mad about it? At the beginning, but now not so much.

In fact, he’s written several books, has had a successful movie career, and was the freakin’ Fonz. He was also on arguably the funniest show on television — Arrested Development. He embraces it:

“I think that at first I was ashamed then I found out when my step-son Jed was in the 3rd grade, we had him tested and that’s when I found out that’s what I have. Then I was angry, all that punishment, all that yelling, all that feeling bad was for naught and then I thought maybe I would not be on the phone talking to you today if I did not not struggle through my learning challenge. Because if I were to give you two words to live by it would be tenacity and gratitude. Tenacity gets you where you want to go and gratitude doesn’t allow you to be angry along the way.

It’s a process. I didn’t want to be angry, so you embrace the dyslexia rather than be embarrassed by it or defeated by it. Now certainly there are times when I wish I could spell, I wish I could do math in my head, I wish I could learn Italian.”

We think that’s definitely the way you have to go about it. There’s nothing you can really do to fix dyslexia completely, so to reflect back and know that you’ve been successful regardless has to be pretty empowering!

I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River is his newest book, filled with anecdotes, pictures, and observations. It’s a quick and sweet read, so check it out if you can!

[Image via WENN.]

Jul 8, 2011 10:30am PDT

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