Raymond Burr, known as 'Perry Mason' to millions of TV viewers, also starred for seven seasons as paralyzed chief of detectives 'Ironside' -- one of the few title roles ever for a wheelchair user. He was only pretending then, but ironically poor health and burgeoning weight later made his walking difficult -- for real.
Ron Kovic, author of 'Born on the Fourth of July,' became the focus of public awareness of disability through Tom Cruise's hit movie based on Kovic's book.
A diving accident in 1967 left
Joni Eraekson a quadriplegic, and started an amazing pilgrimage
which would lead to her writing 26 books and
founding Joni and
Friends, a disability advocacy, ministry and education movement.
Joni's daily radio program and monthly magazine column reach millions.
In 1998, she received the first honorary doctorate ever bestowed by
Ethel Barrymore appeared on stage and in films in a wheelchair in the final years of her distinguished acting career.
George Wallace served two terms as governor of Alabama while using a wheelchair, the result of an assassination attempt in Maryland during the 1972 presidential campaign.
Roy Campanella's major league baseball career ended, but a new opportunity in public speaking and advocacy opened when an injury put him on wheels.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's
use of a wheelchair remains today a controversial issue.
In an elaborate system of staging, his chair was almost
never revealed to the public, lest it make him appear
weak as a national leader, although it was
widely known that he had fallen victim to polio in young
NBC's John Hockenberry
(below), drives a chair, too.In his recent book he
discusses some of the wrong notions
others have about life in a wheelchair. He currently writes a column on the
drawing on his years as a reporter for NPR, ABC, and NBC.
Federal attorney Joe Hartzler (below) of Springfield,
Illinois, a wheelchair- user
since 1989 because of multiple sclerosis, rode into the courtroom to
successfully prosecute the case of the Oklahoma City
British scientist Stephen Hawking's conquest of an uncooperative body with an indomitable spirit and a talking computer have made him a legendary figure worldwide, and a poster boy for the 'can-do' attitude.