|Address||10942 Egret Pointe Lane |
West Palm Beach, Florida 33412, United States
|| September 18, 1951
Oct 06, 2017 12:47am
Black - Pro-Life - Cancer - Christian - Protestant -
|Info||Benjamin S. Carson, Sr. (born 18 September, 1951) is an American neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008. |
Benjamin Solomon Carson was born in Detroit, Michigan. His mother, Sonya Carson, had dropped out of school in the third grade and married Robert Solomon Carson, a much older Baptist minister from Tennessee, when she was only thirteen. When Carson was only eight, his parents divorced, and Mrs. Carson was left to raise Benjamin and his older brother, Curtis, on her own. She worked at two, sometimes three, jobs at a time to provide for her boys.
Early on Carson experienced difficulty in school, eventually falling to the bottom of his class. He became the object of name calling and subsequently developed a violent, uncontrollable temper. Determined to turn her son’s life around, Carson’s mother limited his television watching and refused to let him go outside to play until he had finished his homework each day. She required him to read two library books a week and to give her written reports on his reading, even though, with her own poor education, she could barely read what he had written. Soon Carson was amazing his instructors and classmates with his improvement. "It was at that moment that I realized I wasn't stupid," he recalled later. Carson continued to amaze his classmates with his new found knowledge and within a year he was at the top of his class.
After determining that he wanted to be a psychiatrist, Carson graduated with honors from high school and attended Yale University, where he earned a degree in Psychology. From Yale, he went to the Medical School of the University of Michigan, where his interest shifted from psychiatry to neurosurgery. His excellent hand-eye coordination and three-dimensional reasoning skills made him a superior surgeon. After medical school he became a neurosurgery resident at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. At the age of 33, he became the hospital's professor and director of Pediatric Neurosurgery.
In September 1987 Carson performed a procedure to separate a pair of seven-month-old German Siamese twins, who were joined at the head. Carson was the lead surgeon on the team which performed the complex procedure.
In 1997 Carson and his team went to South Africa to separate Luka and Joseph Banda, infant boys from Zambia. Both boys survived, and neither one suffered severe brain damage. The Bandas were the first set of twins joined at the tops of their heads to be successfully surgically separated. The operation lasted 28 hours.
In 2003, Carson was a member of the surgical team that worked to separate conjoined adult siblings Ladan and Laleh Bijani. Neither survived the surgery. When asked why he had performed such a risky surgery, Carson stated that they conveyed to him they would rather die than stay conjoined.
Carson married Candy Rustin--whom he met at Yale--in 1975; she holds a M.B.A. degree and is an accomplished musician, and both are devout evangelical Christians and members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They have three sons, Murray, Benjamin Jr., and Rhoeyce.
Carson has received numerous honors and awards including over 40 honorary doctorate degrees. He was a member of the American Academy of Achievement, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Yale Corporation (the governing body of Yale University), and many other prestigious organizations. He sits on many boards including the Board of Directors of Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporation, and America's Promise. He was also the president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. In 2007, Carson was inducted into the Indiana Wesleyan University Society of World Changers and received an honorary doctorate while speaking at the university. He returned to IWU the following year when his friend, Tony Dungy, was also inducted into the society. On June 19, 2008, Carson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush.
Carson has written three bestselling books published by Zondervan, an international Christian media and publishing company: Gifted Hands, The Big Picture, and Think Big. The first book is an autobiography, and the other two are about his personal philosophies of success that incorporate hard work and a faith in God. Carson is a Evangelical Christian and a Seventh-day Adventist. In a debate with Richard Dawkins, Francis Collins, and Daniel Dennett, Carson stated he doesn't believe in evolution: "I don't believe in evolution...[it] says that because there are these similarities even though we can't specifically connect them it proves that this is what happened."
In 2002 Carson was forced to cut back on his public appearances a bit when he faced a medical problem of his own. In June he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but fortunately the cancer was caught in time. Because of his brush with death, however, Carson made a few life changes. He still operates on more than three hundred children a year but has been trying to shorten his days: prior to his cancer he used to work from 7:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night. Now, he tries to leave the hospital at 6:15 P.M. This gives him more time to spend with his wife and three children.
A television movie about Carson's life, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, premiered on TNT on February 7, 2009, with Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. in the lead role and Kimberly Elise portraying his mother.