(Source: Who Are The Gifted
reprinted from Parent Information, Hillsborough Township Public Schools Program of Gifted and Talented Education.)
Her family suggested Louisa May Alcott should find work as a servant or a seamstress.
An editor told her she could never write anything with popular appeal.
Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique.
His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.
Caruso's parents wanted him to be an engineer; his teachers said he had no voice at all and could not sing.
Winston Churchill failed sixth grade.
Charles Darwin, who gave up a medical career begun at Edinburgh, was told by his father,
"You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching."
In his autobiography, he wrote, "I was considered by all my masters and by my father as a very ordinary boy,
rather below the common standard in intellect."
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of good ideas.
Thomas Edison's teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything.
Einstein did not speak until he was four years old and didn't read until he was seven.
His teacher described him as "mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams."
He was expelled and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.
Carl Jung, who had trouble with math, was considered stupid by his teachers.
His concept of himself was less intelligent, less hardworking, attentive, decent, and cleaner than many of the other boys.
Louis Pasteur was only a mediocre pupil in undergraduate studies, 15th out of 22 in chemistry.
Rocket scientist Werner Von Braun failed ninth grade Algebra.
Fred Waring was once rejected by his high school chorus teacher.
Tennessee Williams was enraged when his play Me, Vasha was not chosen in a class competition at Washington University,
where he was enrolled in English XVI. The teacher recalled that Williams denounced the judges' choices
and their intelligence.
F.W.Woolworth's employers at the dry goods store said he had not enough good sense to wait upon customers.
Emile Zola failed his class in literature at the Lycee, receiving a mark of zero.
Isaac Newton did poorly in grade school.
The director of the Imperial Opera in Vienna told Madame Schumann Heink that she would never be a singer
and advised her to buy a sewing machine.
Leo Tolstoy flunked out of college.
Admiral Richard E. Byrd had been retired from the Navy, as "unfit for service" until he flew over both poles.
Abraham Lincoln entered the Black Hawk War as a Captain and came out as a private.