27 August 2012

Guess the identity of this famous self-educated man

I selected these extracts from a biography at infed:
...he “stumbled upon starting to acquire some kind of homemade education”. He became extremely frustrated at not being able to express what he wanted to convey in letters that he wrote...

He got himself a dictionary and began painstakingly copying every entry. It took him a day to do the first page. He would copy it all out and then read back aloud what he had written. He began to remember the words and what they meant. He was fascinated with the knowledge that he was gaining. He finished the A’s and went on to the B’s. Over a period of time he finished copying out the whole dictionary...

..."every free moment I had, if I was not reading in the library, I was reading in my bunk. You couldn’t have gotten me out of a book with a wedge”... [he] read and read and read. He devoured books on history and was astounded at the knowledge he obtained... His reading was not limited to history, however. He read about genetics and philosophy. He read about religion... He never stopped wanting to learn. Just before his death in 1965, he maintained that one of the things he most regretted in his life was his lack of an academic education.
Answer below the fold...
Malcolm X, born as Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925.


  1. Go to the shelf in your library or book store that has the biographies of Malcolm X. Then, when someone comes by, mutter, "Hmmm. Never see any bios of Malcolms I through IX."


  2. AhA I knew that one! Who can forget a person copying the whole dictionary.


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