Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., had a childhood dream of becoming a physician. Growing up in a single parent home with dire poverty, poor grades, a horrible temper, and low self-esteem appeared to preclude the realization of that dream until his mother, with only a third-grade education, challenged her sons to strive for excellence. Young Ben persevered and today is an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and he has directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for over 29 years. He became the inaugural recipient of a professorship dedicated in his name in May 2008. He is now the Emeritus Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D. and Dr. Evelyn Spiro, R.N. Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery, having retired on June 30, 2013.
Some career highlights include the first separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins joined at the back of the head in 1987, the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa, and the first successful placement of an intrauterine shunt for a hydrocephalic twin. Although he has been involved in many newsworthy operations, he feels that every case is noteworthy – deserving of maximum attention. He is interested in all aspects of pediatric neurosurgery and has a special interest in trigeminal neuralgia (severe facial pain) in adults.
Dr. Carson holds more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans, and many other prestigious organizations. He has sat on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporation, the Academy of Achievement, and is an Emeritus Fellow of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University. He was appointed in 2004 by President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Council on Bioethics. He is a highly regarded motivational speaker who has addressed various audiences from school systems and civic groups to corporations and the President’s National Prayer Breakfast.
In 2001, Dr. Carson was named by CNN and TIME Magazine as one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists. That same year, he was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 “Living Legends” on the occasion of its 200th anniversary. He is also the recipient of the 2006 Spingarn Medal which is the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP. In February 2008, Dr. Carson was presented with the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal by President George W. Bush at the White House. In June 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the President, which is the highest civilian honor in the land. He has literally received hundreds of other awards during his distinguished career.
In June 2013, after 40 years of medical endeavors, Carson retired and today serves as Professor Emeritus of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University.
His first four books, Gifted Hands, THINK BIG, The Big Picture and Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk (January 2008), provide inspiration and insight for leading a successful life. A fifth book, America The Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, was released in early 2012 and made the New York Times Bestseller List in 2013. His sixth book, One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future was released on May 20, 2014 and has also made the New York Times Bestseller List. His seventh book, One Vote: Make Your Voice Heard was released September 22, 2014. His eighth book, You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G., which encourages young people to aim high, was recently released on February 4, 2015. His ninth book, More Perfect Union, was released on October 5, 2015.
Dr. Ben and Candy Carson’s dream is to name a Carson Scholar in every school within the United States.
With groups of all ages, Dr. Ben Carson shares the philosophies that have enabled him to overcome obstacles in his personal, professional, and spiritual life. The lessons he has learned about himself and the world have enabled him to leave behind a life of poverty in America’s inner cities for that of a successful and highly respected surgeon, businessman, and motivational speaker.
In boardrooms, school auditoriums, books, and churches, Dr. Carson tells his audiences that the keys to a life of satisfaction, accomplishment, and peace lie in one’s ability to discover his or her potential for excellence; the acquisition of knowledge to develop it; and a willingness to help others. Education, he says, is liberation.
He introduces young people to the wealth of opportunities and lifestyles that exist in intellectual pursuits, far beyond the narrow worlds of sports and entertainment, so mistakenly glorified in today’s celebrity culture of TV, movies, and popular music. He calls upon us all to strive for excellence and recognize our God-given abilities.
Dr. Carson is presently on a leave of absence from the Fund, and may not be able to timely reply to any communications.
(Dr. Carson) I was inspired by the mission stories in church, that frequently featured missionary doctors who travelled the world at great personal expense to bring not only physical, but mental and spiritual healing to others. I was attracted to kids, because I like to get a big return on my investment.
(Dr. Carson) Being inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) medical honor society and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences.
Helping people realize that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you in life is YOU!
The Presidential Medal of Freedom
Every time I come out of the operating room and can tell a family that the operation went well and their loved one is doing well.
Chip the Dam Builder by Jim Kjelgaard (about a beaver)
Mr. Jaeck, the science teacher who was the first to have a lot of faith in me (Ben).
Yes, dogs: boxer – named Echo, German shepherd/wolf – named Boon-day, black cat – Shadow, salamander - Sally