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David Bailey is a world-famous British fashion photographer and portrait specialist with dyslexia.

He was raised in poverty in East London. He remembers going to the cinema nearly every night some years in wintertime, because it was cheaper than putting the heat on.

He struggled with reading and writing from a young age. A rebel at heart, he began to skip school and claims that one year he was only in attendance 33 times! After leaving school, he jumped from job to job before picking up a camera and discovering his natural gifting.

His talent shone through immediately and within a year he was working for Vogue. He revolutionized fashion photography with his own inimitable style. He basically invented the supermodel status with his work with Vogue covergirls like Jean Shrimpton. Soon, everything he touched turned to gold. If you were the subject of a David Bailey photoshoot, the next day you would be shot to stardom.

Once, an interviewer asked him why he was such a good photographer: “Dyslexia. I think dyslexia is a kind of privilege because it helps you to see differently from other people.”

Sarah Forrest is a Literacy Specialist for the Easyread System, an online program for children with reading difficulties and dyslexia. Get a free trial at