Nedda Gilbert, MSW, Educational Consultant, and Author
The association between intelligent and successful entrepreneurs, artists and scientists and having dyslexia, (or other learning disabilities) is made for several reasons.
First, these individuals proudly and publicly proclaim they have dyslexia as if to say, see I'm not dumb! See I made it! The best revenge is success! Unfortunately, growing up with dyslexia can make a child feel they're doomed or inferior in some way. That's because the measure of success in a school setting is not ideal for someone with dyslexia where the emphasis is on reading and writing.
Feelings of inferiority can persist through to adulthood. So it 's important these well-known individuals celebrate their accomplishments against the odds and inspire others. Again, some of this may stem from the low self-esteem and challenges that come from trying to prosper in a world where having dyslexia and a learning disability can feel like a roadblock to normalcy or success.
Secondly, you will note that the above professions - entrepreneurship, acting, science - are all fields in which individual talents - not how well one fits in - are rewarded. In another answer on this topic, I suggested that finding freer, less structured and creative environments in which to contribute may be what allows individuals with dyslexia to leave their mark. Working in more traditional jobs or organizations may exacerbate problems.
Finally, dyslexia and learning disabilities often force individuals to compensate and become creative and resourceful. As one of the experts in this thread pointed out, there are advantages to this. Outside of school (where dyslexia can feel very defining), the real world of work and life presents opportunities to engage those massive creative skills. Misspelled, misstated and misfired words become trivial or minor distractions to the far more monumental accomplishments of these individuals.