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 director of the division of pediatric neurosurgery and a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
His exceptionally blessed career includes the first separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins joined at the back of the head in 1987 and the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa. Although he has been involved in many newsworthy operations, he feels that every case is noteworthy – deserving of maximum attention. His special interests involve craniofacial reconstructive surgery, neuro-oncology (brain tumors), skeletal dysplasia, seizure surgery, and on the adult side, trigeminal neuralgia
Dr. Carson holds more than 40 honorary doctorate degrees. He is a member of the American Academy of Achievement, the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans, and many other prestigious organizations. He sits 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 was the 91st recipient of the Spingarn Medal which is the highest honor bestowed by the National Association of Colored People. 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 he 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 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 12 states and counting. He also co-founded Angels of the OR which will provide grants to assist families with non-covered medical care expenses involving both adult and pediatric neurosurgery. Dr. Carson is seeking to expand both of these programs nationwide.
His three books, Gifted Hands, THINK BIG, and The Big Picture provides inspiration and insight for leading a successful life. Dr. Carson has been married for over 30 years to his wife, Candy, and is the father of three sons. And yes, his mother, Sonya Carson, who made all this possible, is alive and well.