Top 12 Famous People with Marfan Syndrome

Marfan syndrome is a strange genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue. It is an incurable condition, however, it required a medical diagnosis. Generally, it affects the heart, eyes, Blood vessels and bones.

The degree to which most people get affected by this condition varies and usually, it affects people under the age of 60.Most people with these conditions can be observed to be tall and thin having long arms, legs, fingers as well as toes.

While the condition seems rare, it usually affects 1 in every 5000 people irrespective of gender and ethnicity.

This is more believable when you realize how even well-known people are affected by this condition. Take a look at these famous people with Marfan syndrome!

Isaiah Austin (1993)

ai2k2-1928961Isaiah Austin, an American professional basketball player. He had played for the FMP of the ABA League and The Basketball League of Serbia. Austin played basketball for two years, representing Baylor University. He was considered to be a first-round prospect in the NBA Draft of 2014.

However, his dream was cut short as he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. After taking a two year stint from playing basketball, he was cleared to play basketball in the year 2016!

Michael Phelps (1985)


Born in 1985, Michael Phelps was another victim of Marfan syndrome. Having won over 22 Olympic medals, Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time. The thing about his story that most people do not know, is the fact that he was so afraid of swimming that he literally floated on the back of his swimming instructor. It obviously came as a shock to everyone when he represented America in the Olympic Games at the age of 15!

Bin Laden (1957-2011)

67bc416a8b3f0716770f6a706700f359-3927102Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, defined the face of terror. The man that founded the Al-Qaeda was hunted down and killed in 2011. However speculations arose that Bin Laden had actually died in the year 2001 because of Marfan syndrome. While the man showed more than a few visible symptoms of Marfan syndrome, there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence as to whether he really did suffer from the condition or not.


Bradford Cox (1982)

Bradford Cox was born in 1982. He is most well-known for Atlas Sound and Deerhunter. Although he suffered from Marfan syndrome, he did not allow his condition to hinder his way to success and is known to this day as one of the greatest musicians of all time.

Arik Einstein (1939-2013)

Born in 1939, he was a very ambitious man of Palestinian nationality. Though he wasn’t the Einstein that usually comes to mind, he was a genius in his own art. He wanted to be a military fitness instructor and an athlete, however he became a very successful artist. His Marfan syndrome did not stop him from excelling in the fields of singing, acting and even screenwriting,

Tutankhamen (1332 – 1323 BC)

web-tutankhamun-mask-get-3749064Surely, the 11th Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty deserves a place in the list of famous people that suffered from this condition. He inherited the throne at the age of eight, from his father Akhenaten. He didn’t let his condition affect him and he went on to restore the nations of Egypt. However, he died at the age of 19. Studies confirm that he was a victim of Marfan syndrome.

Julius Caesar (100 – 44 BC)

julius-caesar-3-9777901Julius Caesar being a distinguished author of Latin prose, a Roman statesman as well as a gifted general, still was a victim of this condition. Though he is known to be responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire, he bought about a number of reforms. He is also responsible for the Julian calendar that we know about today.

Niccolo Paganini (1782 – 1840)

niccolo-paganini-5-9552138Known as one of the finest musicians of all time Paganini mesmerized audiences with his performances. But very few know that he suffered from the Marfan syndrome. He has the credit of shaping the modern violin technique and his contributions to music are unforgettable.

Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)


Not only is he one of the most famous personalities in history as well as among the Presidents of the United States of America, he is also the most famous person on this list. He made a huge impact on the US as the 16th president to come into power. He was assassinated in the year 1865.

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 – 1943)


With so many other great musicians on the list, It Is only fair to bring up the name of Rachmaninov as another great musician who suffered with this condition. Born in Russia in the year 1873, Rachmaninov went on to become a great conductor, composer and pianist. He was also one among the last few representatives of romanticism in Russia.

Vincent Schiavelli (1948 – 2005)


Vincent Andrew Schiavelli, also known as Vince Schiavelli was an American journalist, character actor as well as a food writer, He is well known for his contribution on stage, screen and television. The tall man of height over 6 ft. 6 was also quite popular for his numerous supporting roles. His unique facial appearances as well as his height is attributed to his Marfan syndrome.

Edith Sitwell (1887- 1964)


Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell was a well-known British poet and critic. She is quite a topic of speculation as she stayed unmarried but was passionately attached to the gay Russian painter Pavel Tchelitchew. She was always generous and very helpful to London’s poetic circle.

She continuously published poetry from the year 1913 and is praised for her dramatic and abstract approach to it. She was often called a poseur because of her exotic costumes but is praised for its solid technique and unbelievable craftsmanship.


It is not often that you hear of people who overcome their struggles of health and achieve great success. However, it is inspiring and worth learning about.

These famous people with Marfan syndrome are definitely a testimony that it is possible to do anything you put your mind to irrespective of the setbacks.

It is important to get inspired by these 12 amazing individuals, gain courage and to achieve your goals.


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