Dr. Samuel Johnson

Dr. Samuel Johnson

Dr. Samuel Johnson, the famous 18th century English author, was plagued by various illnesses at a young age.   He suffered from scrofula, which left him with facial and neck scarring.  Dr. Johnson had hearing problems as well as poor eyesight.(1)  He endured facial tics, made unusual sounds and rocked his head.(2)  Friend James Boswell wrote about Dr. Johnson’s tics and condition in his book, Life. (3)   With the aide of Boswell’s writings, Dr. Johnson’s Tourette Syndrome was confirmed two hundred years after his passing.

Despite having TS, Dr. Samuel Johnson authored A Dictionary of the English Language in just nine short years.  This literature masterpiece was essentially the first British dictionary.  To put things into perspective, simultaneously the French had forty scholars compiling the French dictionary which took them forty years. (2)

On December 13th, 1784, Dr. Samuel Johnson died after battling various sicknesses and is buried in Westminster Abbey.(3)


  1. http://lifechums.wordpress.com/2008/06/08/tourettes-syndrome-series-disabled-legend-dr-samuel-johnson/
  2. http://londonrevolution.net/virtual_tours/dr_johnson_statue_strand/index.php
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Johnson#Health
  4. http://www.ricksenterprises.com/ricks_coolsites/sites_directory/article.php?action=print&n=429