Top 10 Famous People with Marfan Syndrome

1 2

Common, yet rare. Slow, yet life-threatening. What we are talking about is Marfan syndrome, a genetic condition also known as arachnodactyly. This disease affects eyes, bones, heart and major blood vessels. No, this genetic anomaly has a curious speciality. This does not suppress intelligence. Rather, from what we have seen so far, people who suffer from this disease turn out to be exceptionally brilliant and talented. If you find it difficult to believe me, have a look at the given 10 famous personalities who suffered (or are believed to be suffering) from Marfan syndrome.


1. Bin laden

Bin Laden

Yes. The person who kept the whole world on tenterhooks; the criminal mastermind behind Al Qaeda who was finally hunted down to put an end to an era of suffering and terrorism was a victim of this disease. In 2011 Dr. Steve. R. Pieczenic who worked in several important government positions,controversially stated in a TV show that Bin Laden died in 2001 due to Marfan’s syndrome and that the US claims were mere fabrications. Long fingers, long arms, elongated head and narrow face- Laden had all visible symptoms of the Marfan syndrome. He also added that the diagnosis was done by CIA doctors who had examined Laden in 2001 and thus the operation was a mere “theatre of absurd”. Reports show that life expectancy in Marfan syndrome patients is short. All said, let me remind you, there are no conclusive proofs available till date that prove that Laden did suffer from the disease!


2. Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps

News is rife that Michael Phelps the 22 time Olympic medallist is all set to return and compete in the coming 2016 Rio games. He is regarded as the best swimmer the world has ever produced. Extremely flexible, tall and thin, Phelps can move through water faster than any other human! His extremely large ‘wingspan’ (arm length more than 208cm!) has always been a topic of discussion. But some people believe that this curious body structure could be attributed to Marfan syndrome. But in his autobiography, ‘Michael Phelps: Beneath the surface’, he asserts that he had tested negative in Marfan syndrome tests.  But the fact that he is getting aorta tests annually has led many to argue that Phelps does meet the criteria.


3. Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots did lead an eventful life that ended in a scaffold. She was executed at the age of 44 after 19 years of captivity. This took a toll on her health and she suffered constantly from fever and joint pains, and chronic rheumatoid arthritis was diagnosed in her. Swollen and painful limbs prevented her from walking and she grew unable to walk without assistance. Later in 2001, studies revealed that the arthritis that tormented her might have been a result of Marfan syndrome. Again, the Queen’s bodily features assert this conclusion. It is said that she had long hands, unusual height and small head.


4. Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Lean. Sallow skin. Elongated and small head. Thin long nose. Small eyes and heavy eyelids. Thin chest and sloping shoulders. These are not only the body features of Abraham Lincoln, but also the symptoms of Marfan syndrome. It is believed that this disease was found in one of Lincoln’s descendants.  Thus it was presumed that Lincoln might have suffered from Marfan syndrome. It was in 1960 that a physician published a paper in Journal of the American Medical Association with the statement that Lincoln suffered from Marfan syndrome. But not all doctors were ready to accept his findings. They argued that there was not enough evidence to prove that Lincoln’s features were due to Marfan syndrome. The debate still goes on.


5. Tutankhamen


We also have on our list King Tutankhamen whose circumstances of death have given rise to a series of speculations and debates. He died at the age of 19 after ruling for nine long years and after a series of DNA tests and Ct scans scientists have arrived at the conclusion that he might have suffered from Marfan syndrome. It is believed that his father, Akhenaten also suffered from this disease. Some studies show that his mother too had symptoms of this mysterious disease! He was unusually tall and had thin limbs.


1 2

About The Author