Ben Carson
Overview
 
Benjamin Solomon "Ben" Carson, Sr., M.D., (born September 18, 1951) is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 neurosurgeon
Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spine, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.-In the United States:In...

 and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Johns Hopkins Hospital is the teaching hospital and biomedical research facility of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, located in Baltimore, Maryland . It was founded using money from a bequest by philanthropist Johns Hopkins...

. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

, the highest civilian award in the United States by President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 in 2008.
Carson was born in Detroit, Michigan and was raised by his single mother, Sonya Carson. He struggled academically throughout elementary school, but started to excel in middle school and throughout high school.
Encyclopedia
Benjamin Solomon "Ben" Carson, Sr., M.D., (born September 18, 1951) is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 neurosurgeon
Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spine, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.-In the United States:In...

 and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Johns Hopkins Hospital is the teaching hospital and biomedical research facility of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, located in Baltimore, Maryland . It was founded using money from a bequest by philanthropist Johns Hopkins...

. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

, the highest civilian award in the United States by President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 in 2008.

Early life

Carson was born in Detroit, Michigan and was raised by his single mother, Sonya Carson. He struggled academically throughout elementary school, but started to excel in middle school and throughout high school. After graduating with honors from his high school, he attended Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, where he earned a degree in Psychology. From Yale, he attended University of Michigan Medical School, where his interest shifted from psychiatry to neurosurgery
Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spine, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.-In the United States:In...

.

Career

Carson's excellent eye-hand coordination and three-dimensional reasoning skills made him a gifted surgeon . After medical school he became a neurosurgery resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Johns Hopkins Hospital is the teaching hospital and biomedical research facility of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, located in Baltimore, Maryland . It was founded using money from a bequest by philanthropist Johns Hopkins...

 in Baltimore. After starting off as an adult neurosurgeon Carson became more interested in pediatrics; the investment of operating on children satisfied him more than the investment on operating on adults. With children he believed that “what you see is what you get,” when they’re in pain they clearly show it with a frown on their face or when they are happy they show by smile brightly. He realized that the investment from spending enormous amount of time on operating on children resulted in adding fifty to sixty years to their life compared to the investment from spending the same amount of time on operating on adults and those patients dying less than ten years due to other complications. Realizing this, he switched into the pediatric apartment and since then has been the head of pediatric neurosurgeon department and successfully completed many operations .
At age 33, he became the hospital's youngest major division director, as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Carson's other surgical innovations have included the first intrauterine procedure to relieve pressure on the brain of a hydrocephalic fetal twin, and a hemispherectomy
Hemispherectomy
Hemispherectomy is a very rare surgical procedure where one cerebral hemisphere is removed or disabled. This procedure is used to treat a variety of seizure disorders where the source of the epilepsy is localized to a broad area of a single hemisphere of the brain...

, in which a young girl suffering from uncontrollable seizures had one half of her brain removed.

In 1987, Carson made medical history by being the first surgeon in the world to successfully separate siamese twins (the Binder twins) conjoined at the back of the head (craniopagus twins
Craniopagus twins
Craniopagus twins are conjoined twins who are conjoined at the cranium. This condition occurs in conjoined twin in about 1 in every 2,500,000 births...

). Operations to separate twins joined in this way had always failed, resulting in the death of one or both of the infants. Carson agreed to undertake the operation. The 70-member surgical team, led by Carson, worked for 22 hours. At the end, the twins were successfully separated and can now survive independently. Carson recalls:

Awards and honors

Carson has received numerous honors and many awards over the years, including over 61 honorary doctorate degrees. He was also a member of the American Academy of Achievement, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans
Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans
The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is a nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia, that was founded in 1947 to honor the achievements of outstanding Americans who have succeeded in spite of adversity and to emphasize the importance of higher education...

, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
Alpha Omega Alpha
The Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, commonly called Alpha Omega Alpha and abbreviated ΑΩΑ or AOA, is a national honor society for medical students, residents, scientists and physicians in the United States and Canada.-History:...

, the Yale Corporation
Yale Corporation
The Yale Corporation, sometimes, and more formally, known as The President and Fellows of Yale College, is the governing body of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.The Corporation comprises 19 members:...

 (the governing body of Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

), and many other prestigious organizations. He sits on many boards including the Board of Directors of Kellogg Company
Kellogg Company
Kellogg Company , is a producer of cereal and convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles, and vegetarian foods...

, Costco Wholesale Corporation, and America's Promise
America's Promise
America's Promise — The Alliance for Youth is a foundation founded by Colin Powell in 1997 to help children and youth from all socioeconomic sectors in the United States.In late April 1997 Presidents Bill Clinton, George H. W...

. 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
Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana Wesleyan University is a private, evangelical Christian, liberal arts university located in Marion, Indiana that is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church denomination...

 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
Tony Dungy
Anthony Kevin "Tony" Dungy [DUN-jee] is a former professional American football player and coach in the National Football League. Dungy was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001, and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008...

, was also inducted into the society. On June 19, 2008, Carson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

 from President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. He is a recipient of the Ford's Theatre
Ford's Theatre
Ford's Theatre is a historic theater in Washington, D.C., used for various stage performances beginning in the 1860s. It is also the site of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865...

 Lincoln Medal and the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership
William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership
The William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership is an annual award given by the William E. Simon Foundation in honor of its founder, former Secretary of the Treasury and financier William E...

, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine
Institute of Medicine
The Institute of Medicine is a not-for-profit, non-governmental American organization founded in 1970, under the congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences...

 (IOM) of the United States National Academy of Sciences
United States National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

 in 2010.

Publications and appearances

Carson has written four bestselling
Bestseller
A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on lists of currently top selling titles that are based on publishing industry and book trade figures and published by newspapers, magazines, or bookstore chains. Some lists are broken down into classifications and...

 books published by Zondervan
Zondervan
Zondervan is an international Christian media and publishing company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Zondervan is a founding member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association .- History :...

, an international Christian media and publishing company: Gifted Hands, The Big Picture, Take the Risk, and Think Big. The first book is an autobiography and two are about his personal philosophies of success that incorporate hard work and a faith in God; Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

. In a debate with Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

, Francis Collins
Francis Collins (geneticist)
Francis Sellers Collins , is an American physician-geneticist, noted for his discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project . He currently serves as Director of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Prior to being appointed Director, he founded and...

, and Daniel Dennett
Daniel Dennett
Daniel Clement Dennett is an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. He is currently the Co-director of...

, Carson stated he doesn't believe in evolution: "I don't believe in evolution...He says that because there are these similarities, even though we can't specifically connect them, it proves that this is what happened."

A video documentary about Carson's life titled Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story is a 2009 movie directed by Thomas Carter, starring Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and NAACP Image Award winner Kimberly Elise. It is a movie based on the life story of world-renowned neurosurgeon Ben Carson from 1961 to 1987. A Johnson and Johnson...

was released by Zondervan
Zondervan
Zondervan is an international Christian media and publishing company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Zondervan is a founding member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association .- History :...

 in 1992. Subsequently in 2009, a separate television movie
Television movie
A television film is a feature film that is a television program produced for and originally distributed by a television network, in contrast to...

 with the identical title premiered on TNT
Turner Network Television
Turner Network Television is an American cable television channel created by media mogul Ted Turner and currently owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner...

 on February 7, 2009, with Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. in the lead role and Kimberly Elise
Kimberly Elise
Kimberly Elise is an American film and television actress. She is best known for her role in the films Set It Off, Beloved, John Q, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and For Colored Girls...

 portraying his mother.

Personal life

In June 2002 Carson was forced to cut back on his public appearances when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but the cancer was caught in time. Since then Carson has cut back on his schedule. He still operates on more than 300 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.

Carson married Lacena (Candy) A. Rustin—whom he met at Yale—in 1975; she holds an M.B.A. degree and is an accomplished musician, and both are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

, a Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 denomination
Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...

. They have three sons, Murray, Benjamin Jr., and Rhoeyce.

Publications

  • (2009) Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, Zondervan Publishing Co. ISBN 0-310-21469-6
  • (2008) Take The Risk, Zondervan Publishing Co. ISBN 0-310-25973-8
  • (2000) The Big Picture, Zondervan Publishing Co. ISBN 0-310-23834-X
  • (1996) Think Big, Zondervan Publishing Co. ISBN 0-310-21459-9
  • (1990) Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, Review&Herald Pub. Assoc., ISBN 0-8280-0669-5

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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