Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr., M.D.
Benjamin S. Carson Sr., M.D., had a childhood dream of becoming a physician. But he grew up in a single-parent home, with dire poverty, poor grades, a horrible temper and low self-esteem. While that appeared to preclude the realization of his dream, his mother, with only a third-grade education, challenged both of her sons to strive for excellence. Carson persevered and today is a full 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 Childrenís Center for nearly a quarter of a century. He became the inaugural recipient of a professorship dedicated in his name in May 2008. He is now the Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D. and Dr. Evelyn Spiro, R.N. Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery.
Carsonís 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, Carson feels that every case deserves maximum attention. He is interested in all aspects of pediatric neurosurgery and has a special interest in trigeminal neuralgia (severe facial pain) in adults.
Carson holds more than 50 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 sits on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including Kellogg Co., Costco Wholesale Corp. and the Academy of Achievement. He is also an Emeritus Fellow of the Yale Corp., the governing body of Yale University. He was appointed in 2004 by President George W. Bush to serve on the Presidentís 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 Presidentís National Prayer Breakfast.
In 2001, Carson was named by CNN and Time as one of the nationís 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, the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP. In February 2008, Carson was presented with the Fordís Theatre Lincoln Medal by President Bush at the White House. In June 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the land. He has literally received hundreds of other awards during his distinguished career.
Carson is president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. The fund is currently operating in 27 states and the District of Columbia, having awarded more than $3.4 million to more than 3,400 scholars. He also co-founded Angels of the OR, which provides grants to assist families with non-covered medical care expenses involving both adult and pediatric neurosurgery. Both programs are in national expansion mode.
Carsonís first three books Ė Gifted Hands, THINK BIG and The Big Picture Ė provide inspiration and insight for leading a successful life. His fourth book, Take The Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose and Live With Acceptable Risk, was released in early 2008. Carson has been married for more than 30 years to his wife, Candy, and is the father of three sons. His mother, Sonya Carson, who made all this possible, is alive and well.