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Dr. Ben Carson was an exceptionally talented neurosurgeon and has now retired.
He achieved several milestones throughout his career. He was the first person who successfully operated on conjoined twins and separated them.
Carson also accomplished many other breakthroughs in his neurosurgery career that paved the way for more developed medical science applications in the future. Ben Carson competed as an independent candidate in the Presidential race of 2016. Looking at all his achievements, it might seem impossible to believe that this brilliant doctor was raised in a poor family in America. He faced many hardships and setbacks in his life and emerged as one of the most successful doctors not only in America but also in the world.
After completing the bachelor's degree, getting selected in a neurosurgery program at the time was almost a miracle because of competition. However, because of his academic excellence, Dr. Carson got selected by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, out of hundreds of applicants. He served as a surgical intern at Johns Hopkins for the first year and as a neurosurgery resident for the rest of the five years. In 1984, Dr. Carson was appointed as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery in Johns Hopkins Hospital. This was the start of his brilliant medical career. Carson and his wife Lacena Rustin, whom he met at Yale, have three sons, Benjamin Jr., Rhoeyce, and Murray.
If you are interested in more such content, then keep on reading the articles on facts about Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bob Dylan facts too.
Belonging to a poor family, young Ben was practically raised by his single mother for most of his life. Born on September 18, 1951, Benjamin Solomon Carson was the younger son of Robert Solomon Carson Jr. and Sonya Carson. He was born in Detroit, Michigan where he lived with his parents. At the age of five, Carson's mother Sonya found out that his father had a prior wife whom he did not divorce. In 1959, at the young age of eight, his parents got separated and the life of misery started for him. His mother became very depressed and could barely look after Ben and his elder brother at that time. However, later it was Sonya's hard work and sacrifices that pushed Carson to use his intelligence in the right way and do something extraordinary with his life.
Ben as a child was not very focused on his studies. Struck by poverty, Carson got anger issues at a very young age. He became so furious and short-tempered that he would often rush at people to hit them with bats, bricks, and hammers at the slightest misunderstandings. Once he attempted to stab his close friend over a quarrel on changing radio stations. This was the turning point for young Ben. He rushed home after this incident and prayed to God and devoted his attention to reading books of proverbs. When Sonya managed to put herself together after the separation from Ben's father and finally got a chance to look after her children, she made sure they get the best in their lives. Sonya juggled between two to three jobs to put food on the table after she separated from Robert Carson. She immediately took disciplinary actions when she became aware of their poor academic results. Carson was addicted to watching television as a child, Sonya limited the television time to two shows per week and instructed them to write a review on two books every week after reading. Soon this strict enforcement of Ben's mother started to pay off, he began to score well in his school and one day could also answer many unknown questions such as those about rocks his teacher brought to class. This became a major turning point for him and the start of Benjamin Carson's bright career.
Ben Carson began his primary education in 1951 when he was five years old. He dealt with a lot of family issues during that time which brought out the worst in him. He and his brother could not focus on their studies for a major part of their childhood. Carson was an average student in his early life. The troubles began to worsen when his father and mother got separated leaving the children heartbroken. Sonya, the young mother of two became depressed after the separation and could not properly look after her kids. This is the time when their academic records worsened.
At five years old, Carson started his life in kindergarten at Fisher School which was one of Detroit's public schools. He completed two complete grades and the first half of the third grade at Fisher School. After their parents' separation, Carson and his elder brother moved to the Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston with their mother. Driven by poverty, he and his brother got admitted to a two-classroom school during this time at the Berea Seventh-day Adventist church. Education in this school was not at all serious as only two teachers taught the students up to eighth grade and the students spent most of their time singing songs and playing games. In 1961, when he was 10 years old, Ben and his brother moved back to Detroit with his mother and returned to the Detroit Public Schools. however, they lagged behind other students after having wasted a year of their education. He changed many schools after moving to Detroit and also began to improve academically after his mother enforced restrictions on watching television. He showed interest to get into the medical field from a very young age. By ninth grade, the economical condition of their family improved a little and Carson shifted to the Southwestern High School. He completed his high school education from this school and ranked third in his class when he graduated. Carson worked as a simple laboratory assistant in the biology, chemistry, and physics laboratories of his high school from 10th-12th grade. He also worked a summer job as a biology lab assistant at Wayne State University in 11th and 12th grade.
After scoring a high SAT score, a good opportunity awaited Carson for his higher studies. It is said that Carson scored the highest score in 20 years of the Detroit Public Schools. Carson wanted to move away from his family for his college education. He had many options but decided to go to either Harvard University or Yale University. He would have applied at both the universities but only had 10 dollars to spare on the application fees of one university. He went on with his decision and got into Yale University where he got a full scholarship. He graduated with a Bachelors's degree in Psychology from Yale. Ben was also offered two unmerited scholarships from the University of Michigan and West Point. He chose to attend the medical school of the University of Michigan but faced major setbacks in the first year of his medical degree. Carson was struggling academically and even the professors recommended him to leave the degree or enroll in a reduced course. Fortunately, Carson braced himself up from the second year and graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School as a doctor in 1977.
Dr. Carson became the youngest ever director of Pediatric neurosurgery in any hospital at the age of 33. He retired as the professor of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, pediatrics, and oncology from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after residing as the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Children's Center for 29 years.
The most iconic achievement of Carson in the field of neurosurgery is his success to separate a pair of conjoined twins. In 1987, Carson operated on a pair of conjoined twins called the Binder twins who were joined at the back of the head since birth. A team containing 70 members led by Carson worked on the case of separating the twins for 22 hours. The twins were separated successfully at the end of the operation and this created medical history. Before this, any operation that tried separating conjoined twins either resulted in the death of one of the twins or both of them. This was the first instance of separating such pairs successfully and this made Dr. Carson one of the most important personalities in the field of neurosurgery.
His other surgical innovations include the first successful neurological procedures on a fetus inside the mother's womb. He came up with an intra-uterine procedure to relieve the pressure on the brain of a hydrocephalic fetal twin. He also introduced hemispherectomy where he operated on an infant who was suffering from uncontrollable seizures and removed a portion of the infant's brain. This stopped the seizures of the infant and the other half of the brain actually made up for the lost half. Carson developed new methods to eliminate brain stem tumors too. He has over 100 neurological publications in his name. Apart from being an excellent neurosurgeon, Carson was also in high demand for public speaking in many gatherings to inspire the youth and the doctor did it without any hesitation. After retiring from Johns Hopkins Hospital, Carson began to speak more frequently in the public. He voiced his opinions against the public issues and emerged as a strong critic of the Obama Administration in the US. He retired completely from the field of medicine in 2013.
Do you know that the net worth of Dr. Ben Carson was 40 million dollars till 2020? This insane net worth is the highest net worth for any neurosurgeon in the world. Not only an accomplished and undoubtedly one of the best neurosurgeons in the world but Carson is also renowned for his presence in diverse fields. He was the author of six books, each of them becoming bestsellers individually in the market. The doctor also has a movie based on the struggles and success of his life. Currently, he is a notable person in US politics who devoted his life to helping poor children get an education.
Ben Carson aimed to run for the Presidential election in 2016, he changed to an independent party from being a Republican. He spent almost 85 million dollars for his campaign and a lot of time and effort to win the elections. However, after losing in all 11 states holding the primary elections for the presidential position, he ended his presidential campaign on March 2, 2016. He rather endorsed his former rival candidate Donald Trump for the Republican nomination. Carson strongly opposed Barrack Obama and criticized every issue of the ruling party publicly. He became a strong opposition to the Obama administration. After Trump won the presidential election in 2016, Carson was offered a position in the administration and also joined his team as vice-chairman. He joined Trump as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and in 2o17, he officially became a member of the senate. He served as the 17th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the United States from 2017 up to 2021.
In 1994, Carson along with his wife started the Carson Scholars Fund. The Carson Scholars Fund was a scholarship initiative that was started with the purpose to help poor children. Deserving students between grades four to eleven receive the Carson Scholars Fund for academic excellence and humanitarian qualities. Students receiving the Carson Scholars Fund got a scholarship of a thousand dollars for the completion of their college education. A total of 6,700 scholarships were funded. He was also the founder of the American Cornerstone Institute or ACI. The American Cornerstone Institute was a think tank that promoted faith, liberty, community, and life.
Carson authored ten books in his life out of which six are individually bestsellers. Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story was Carson's autobiography. Later this book was adapted into an inspiring movie. Carson is also the co-founder of Benevolent Endowment Network (BEN) that pays for the medical expenses of patients who need pediatric neurosurgery but do not have adequate funds.
The pioneer of neurosurgery, Benjamin Carson has been honored with many awards for his exceptional discoveries in the medical field. He is an obliged member of the American Academy of Achievement, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. All these organizations recognize some of the highest achieving individuals in diverse fields. He was awarded 38 honorary doctorate degrees in his life with innumerable national merit citations. The Detroit Public Schools where Carson got his primary education included a school in Carson's name called Dr. Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine for those who want to pursue a career in health care.
In the year 2000, Ben Carson received the esteemed Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged which is given by Jefferson Awards.
On the 200th anniversary of the Library of Congress, Carson was elected as Library of Congress Living Legend in 2001. He was the 89th person to receive this honor.
In 2005, Carson got the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership award for conducting charitable works like the Carson Scholars Fund throughout his life.
He received the Spingarn Medal from NAACP, the highest honor for his outstanding achievements in 2006.
In 2008, Ben Carson was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the White House. It is the highest honor of any civilian in the nation.
In 2008, Ben was also awarded the Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medal and was named as one of America's Best Leaders by the US News and World Report.
He was also elected to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine in 2010 which is one of the highest honors in the field of medicine and science.
In 2012, he received the Influential Marylander Award from The Daily Record and in 2014, Carson was ranked sixth in the list of most admired persons produced by Gallup.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 19 facts about Dr. Ben Carson every kid should know about! then why not take a look at Abby Lee Miller's facts or Antoninus Pius's facts?
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