Speech-Language Pathology/Stuttering/Famous People Who Stutter/Political and Business Leaders

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Annie Glenn (1920- ), wife of astronaut and Senator John Glenn, once refused to talk to President Lyndon Johnson because of her stuttering.[1]

Representative Dennis Kucinich (1946- ; D-Ohio) overcame stuttering as a child. Rep. Kucinich was elected mayor of Cleveland at the age of 31. As a state senator, he won the 1996 National Association for Social Workers Outstanding Senator of the Year Award. He also won an Emmy for his political analysis on WJW-TV.[2]

Other political leaders who stutter include Berkeley Free Speech leader Mario Savio [3] (1942-1996) and congressman Frank Wolf (1939- ; R-Virginia).[4]

Business Leaders[edit]

In the business world, John Sculley's (1939- ) stuttering "has taken him many years to overcome. He was also painfully shy."

Sculley wrote in his autobiography, "I was determined to build a strength out of what was originally a weakness. I went to the theater to watch how performers positioned themselves on stage. I'd practice for hours. I became obsessed with the idea that I was going to become better than anyone else as a business communicator."[5]

Sculley rose to president of Pepsi-Cola. He succeeded in overtaking Coca-Cola as the #1 soft drink. He then changed coasts and cultures to become president of Apple Computer for ten years. Sculley became a great public speaker, gaining "renown for his ability to deliver rousing speeches in front of thousands, sometimes without notes."[6]

Stutterer and CEO Jack Welch (1935- ) led General Electric to become one of the largest and most profitable American corporations.

  1. ^ Wolfe, Tom. The Right Stuff.
  2. ^ ASHA Leader
  3. ^ Richard Benyo, personal correspondance.
  4. ^ Stuttering Foundation of America.
  5. ^ Sculley, John. Odyssey (1987). p.111.
  6. ^ Carlton, Jim. Apple: The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders. (New York: Random House, 1997).