When it comes to the fight for American civil rights, Harriet Tubman is much more than a woman; she is an institution, and she had Narcolepsy. Born in either 1819 or 1820 into a life of slavery, Tubman was an African-American abolitionist all her life at a harsh plantation in Maryland. Subject to cruel ownership, bitter working conditions, and painful punishments, this brave woman spent her entire life, as a slave, fighting for the equality of African-Americans and the abolishment of slavery.
At the age of twelve, Harriet received a brain injury that would affect her for the rest of her life. An attempt to help a fellow escape had gone awry, and the runaway slave was captured. Harriet refused to follow her overseer’s directions and tie up the escaping slave. Angry at her disobedience, the overseer delivered a harsh blow to the front of her head. The blow was so intense that she suffered a permanent indention in her forehead. The trauma Harriet received caused her to suffer from Narcolepsy and seizures; she later developed chronic headaches and suffered life-long as a result of the beating.
An accomplishment not many can claim, Harold Ickes is one of few politicians who is known for falling asleep on the job- in the White House! Campaign advisor to Davis Dinkins during his run for New York Mayor, Ickes was a respected and honored White House Deputy Chief of Staff during the presidential reign of Bill Clinton; Ickes also headed Clinton’s campaign during the presidential race in 2002. During Bill’s famous scandal, Ickes worked hard to help save the reputation of the Clinton family.
It is rumored that Harold Ickes, while a passionate politician and respectable man, suffered from the plagues of Narcolepsy. He would fall asleep at inappropriate times, very often while on the job. He was actually prescribed amphetamine medication to help him stay awake during the day like many Narcolepsy patients today. Ickes didn’t take the medication often because it would cause him to suffer from a new plague, Insomnia. Some people claim that many years of Narcolepsy, daytime sleepiness, and sudden naps, Harold Ickes had become much more defensive, and even displayed a few moments of public vulgarity.
When you hear the name, Natassja Kinski, you don’t think of the word disorder; it should be the farthest thing from your mind. A disorder, however, is exactly what this German actress has. Natassja Kinski is one of the most famous narcoleptic sex symbols in the world. During the 1970s and 1980s, this gorgeous actress was a household name in Germany after starting her career as a model. Later, she turned her interests towards to the Silver Screen. Kinski even won a Golden Globe for her brilliant performance in “Tess”. Despite suffering from an unpredictable disorder like Narcolepsy, Kinski was able to appear in over sixty movies in her entertainment career. During an interview, Kinski even revealed that she avoids driving at night because she takes her Narcolepsy and the dangers associated with it seriously.
James Christian “Jimmy” Kimmel is one of pop culture’s most popular famous people with Narcolepsy. Kimmel is one of comedy’s most celebrated comedians, and is most famous for hosting his late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC. In addition to hosting his talk show Kimmel also co-hosted The Man Show, and Win Ben Stein’s Money on Comedy Central. An accomplished producer, Kimmel has also produces famous shows like The Andy Milonakis Show, The Sports Show with Norm McDonald, and Crank Yankers.
Jimmy Kimmel is one of the most famous people in the media spotlight today who uses his platform to talk publicly about Narcolepsy. He has not been ashamed to share his personal struggle with the disorder with a public who may gain some help or comfort in his story. The comedian was diagnosed with the sleep disorder until his thirties. In an interview with Esquire, the hilarious host got up close and personal about the pains and pressures of Narcolepsy. He said, “You know how when you’re regular tired, your whole body is tired? With narcolepsy, just the inside of your head is tired. It’s like somebody’s gently sitting on your brain. You have almost no focus. All you’re thinking about is not falling asleep.”
Teresa Nielson Hayden
Born on March 21, 1956, Teresa Nielson Hayden would grow up to become on the most famous people with Narcolepsy to ever write literature. Hayden was raised in Arizona where she later became and managing and consulting editor to a company called Tor Books. The American essayist is famous for her work as a science fiction editor and fanzine writer. Teresa Nielson Hayden also manages her own weblog; the blog has become quite popular, and her entries cover a wide variety of topical and interesting material. Throughout her career, Hayden was nominated for five separate Hugo awards.
Hayden was open about her struggles with Narcolepsy and the disorder’s difficult side effects. Not many Narcolepsy patients are able to function adequately in the literary world, a world that requires stillness and focus, but Hayden proves that anything is possible. Hayden’s public acceptance of her sleep disorder, and her admittance of medicated treatment, inspired people all over the country to seek diagnosis and treatment.
Famous Fictional People with Narcolepsy Disorder
Tyler Durdern: The infamous main character of the novel Fight Club, Tyler Durden is a schizophrenic narcoleptic whose self-destructive hallucinations get him into a big heap of trouble. Edward Norton played his character in the movie co-starring Brad Pitt.
Argentinean: With a modernized stylistic revision of classic musical numbers, an artistic directing style, and an all-star cast, Moulin Rogue has easily become one of the most popular musicals of the last thirty years. In the film, there is an outlandish, eccentric Bohemian artist with Narcolepsy known only as, “the Argentinean Narcoleptic”. The hero’s involvement in the plot of the play becomes solidified when the unreliable narcoleptic foreigner cannot stay awake long enough to complete the show.