Kim Peek Biography,
Kim Peek was born in November 11 1951 died in December 19, 2009 was an American savant. Known as a “megasavant”, he had an exceptional memory, but he also experienced social difficulties, possibly resulting from a developmental disability related to congenital brain abnormalities.
He was the inspiration for the autistic savant character Raymond Babbitt in the movie Rain Man. Although Peek was previously diagnosed with autism, it is now thought that he instead had FG syndrome.
Kim Peek Age
Kim Peek was born in November 11, 1951 ,He died in December 19, 2009, was a savant with a photographic or eidetic memory and developmental disabilities, resulting from congenital brain abnormalities.Died at the age of 58 years
Kim Peek Early life
Kim was born with a water blister on the right side of his skull. Doctors also found that his brain spheres were not separated. They opined that Kim will remain a retarded child and would not be able to do much. They were right to a great extent as Kim continued to be different – he could not develop normal motor abilities; he could not dress himself and even failed to button his shirt; and could not figure out the light switch.
However, his underdevelopment in certain areas eclipsed his stunning performance in certain other areas. Kim’s father recalls that he started reading when he was hardly 16-20 months old, and by the time he had turned 3, he asked the meaning of the word “confidence”. It was found that Kim was able to recall almost word-by-word whatever he had read. By 1969, he was working at a day store for adults with disabilities, and he would prepare pay checks without the help of any record or calculator.
Kim took an extended leave from the store to move around the country and the communities to give lectures to persons affected with disabilities. He was accompanied by his father as well as his mother. He lived a hard life.
Kim is generally held to be autistic, despite people claiming otherwise. In a 2008 study, it was held that he had FG Syndrome and not Autism. However both conditions are seen to be related to the X Chromosome (and by association Fragile X Syndrome) and therefore it is likely that Peek was both Autistic and had FG Syndrome. This would explain his Autistic symptoms and certain inconsistencies that developed in the adjustment period that people are jumping on. Indeed, as late as 2006 when he made any appearances, he described himself as an Autistic Savant.
Kim Peek Inside The Astounding Life Of Kim Peek – The Real Rain Man
Peek was born with a truly extraordinary brain, one that lacked the cluster of nerves that connects the two hemispheres. But as he grew, this abnormality led to some surprising abilities.
By the age of two, Peek was already able to memorize huge amounts of information. He also had an unusual ability to read books at an incredible speed. Peek could finish most books in under an hour while remembering almost everything that he had read.
Part of this ability was informed by the fact that he could actually read two pages, one with each eye, at the same time. Scanning the right page with his right eye and the left page with his left eye, Kim Peek spent most of his life reading.
Combined with his incredible ability to store information, this turned Peek into a walking encyclopedia. For instance, Peek could give detailed driving directions to cities across the world based on maps he had simply once glanced at.
Furthermore, the real Rain Man had a remarkable ability to make mental calculations involving calendars. For example, you could give Peek any day in history and he would be able to tell you what day of the week it fell on. He would frequently approach strangers and amaze them by telling them what day of the week they were born on based on their birth date, as well as some of the most important events that happened on that days.
So what exactly gave Kim Peek his amazing abilities?
Researchers have suggested that being born with no connection between the hemispheres of his brain meant that he was able to process more information at once. Unlike many people with the condition, however, Peek’s brain developed different connections that most people don’t have. These extra connections let Peek recall incredible amounts of information.
However, Peek’s condition also led to serious problems. In spite of his incredible memory, Peek struggled intellectually. He had problems with subjects requiring reasoning abilities like mathematics and his I.Q. was shockingly only around 87, which is below the normal range of approximately 90-110.
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Peek also had developmental problems. He didn’t learn to walk until he was almost four years old and he required help to do basic things like buttoning up a shirt. Luckily for Peek, he had an incredibly devoted father, Fran, who spent most of his life looking after his gifted son and performing the tasks that Peek found difficult.
In 1984, the Peeks met screenwriter Barry Morrow, which led to the creation of the script for Rain Man. The resulting popularity of the movie led to many television appearances for Peek as well as interest from scientists who ran a series of MRIs on Peek in order to help expand our understanding of how the human brain works.
Kim Peek eventually died of a heart attack in 2009 at just 58. It was the end of an incredible life.
As Barry Morrow once said of Peek, “I don’t think anybody could spend five minutes with Kim and not come away with a slightly altered view of themselves, the world, and our potential as human beings.”
5 Mind-Blowing Things Kim Peek Could Do That You Can’t
1 Reading Both Pages of an Open Book at Once
One reason Kim was able to provide so much detail and depth from his voluminous memory was that he could speed-read anything put in front of him. Peek could open a book and read each of the two facing pages at the same time – the left eye reading the left page, the right eye reading the right one, effectively absorbing both pages at once.
Even thick books were filtered into his brain in under an hour using this technique. He became known for going through the better part of the entire catalog of books in the Salt Lake City Library reading everything he could get his hands on.
2 Providing Instant Driving Directions Between Any Two Cities In The World
Before Google Maps could do it, Kim could.
Among his other reading materials at the library, he absorbed maps, atlases, and travel guides. Using a combination of his near-perfect recall and his prodigious mathematical calculating abilities, Kim could calculate the best routes in his head in an instant, years before anybody thought to put a computer on the job.
3 Figuring Out What Day Anyone’s Birthday Was On
Not just the date… the day. And not just for modern persons… Kim could tell you in a second that Isaac Newton was born on a Sunday—but also, interestingly, that his birthday was both Christmas Day 1642 and January 4, 1643, since two competing calendars were in use at the time.
Even better, Peek could instantly provide any other notable events that might have happened on the same day from his recall of newspaper headlines and other historical reading.
4 Reciting Any Shakespeare Play Verbatim
Kim loved Shakespeare and with his high-speed reading skills didn’t have any trouble absorbing the entirety of the Bard’s body of work.
He also enjoyed going to performances of Shakespeare’s plays, but there was a problem… not all of the actors could remember their lines as perfectly as Kim did. When a thespian deviated, even slightly, from the original work, Kim would stand up mid-performance to correct them. An impressive feat of memory, but not something that went over well with the Shakespeare in the Park crowd.
4 Counting Cards
The scene from Rain Man where Raymond hits it big at the Vegas blackjack tables never happened in real life, but Kim did read a book on card counting and had all the mental faculties to perform that feat… but even savants know right from wrong.
When the screenwriter for the movie tried to get Peek to enter a casino to try the experiment in real life, Kim refused, feeling that it would be unethical.
Kim Peek passed away in 2009 of a heart attack, but his feats will not soon be forgotten, thanks to Rain Man. Nor did Peek ever forget his own role as inspiration for the movie—to his dying day, one of his most prized possessions, that he carried with him everywhere he traveled, was the golden Oscar statute given to him by the screenwriter who won it for penning the movie.
Kim Peek Net Worth
Kim Peek has a net worth of $1 Million – $5 Million before He died. He earned the money being a Kim Peek. He is from Utah.
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Kim Peek News
The real Rain Man dies of heart attack in home town of Salt Lake City, aged 58
Kim Peek, the real Rain Man whose almost unimaginable powers of memory were coupled with severe disabilities and who inspired the Oscar-winning film role played by Dustin Hoffman, has died of a heart attack in his home town of Salt Lake City, aged 58.
Peek has been called a “mega-savant” for his ability to memorise to the word up to 12,000 books, including the Bible and the Book of Mormon. He could read two pages in about 10 seconds – the right page with his right eye and the left simultaneously with his left eye.
He knew phone books by heart, and could tell you what day of the week a particular date fell upon going back decades. One of his party tricks was to tell strangers the names of the people who used to live next door to them years ago.
At the same time, though, he had deep disabilities and relied on his father Fran for help dressing, brushing his hair and other simple motor skills.
News of his death led to an outpouring of expressions of gratitude from thousands of parents of disabled children who said that the film, and Peek’s many public appearances that followed it, had given them comfort and hope. “Kim taught us something about human potential beyond what most of us can even imagine let alone explain,” said one commentator on his local paper, Deseret News.
“His legacy can be summed up in one word: inspiration,” said Darold Treffert, a psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin medical school who advised the makers of Rain Man and who was close to Peek for the past 20 years.
Peek was born on 11 November 1951 with damage to the cerebellum; the corpus callosum, the large bundle of nerves that connects the left and right hemispheres, was also missing.
At the age of two his severe disabilities almost landed him for life in an asylum.
In those days his condition was known as “idiot savant” and considered best treated in mental institutions. He was seen by a neurologist who famously could spare only five minutes as he was on his way to a golf course, and who concluded that the infant Kim would never be able to speak or learn and should be taken out of society.
Fran Peek, however, refused to accept that advice — after all by the age of two Kim could already read and memorise books. For the following 56 years, Fran acted as his son’s primary carer, guide and loyal friend. “My dad and I share the same shadow,” Kim once said.
Together, father and son toured the world, taking their story of the potential to overcome even seemingly intractable disabilities to more than 2 million people.
“You don’t have to be handicapped to be different. Everybody is different,” Kim would tell his audiences.
The Peeks lived in relative obscurity until 1984 when they attended a conference in Texas held by a group with the decidedly unreconstructed name Association for Retarded Citizens. There they met Barry Morrow, a Hollywood screenwriter who was looking for stories that had film potential.
“I was absolutely flabbergasted,” Morrow has said of that meeting. “I could not get this man out of my mind.”
When Hoffman was cast in the title role of the film Rain Man that Morrow wrote, based in spirit if not in detail on the life of Kim Peek, he spent time with Peek, imbibing his mannerisms and quirks. Film folklore has it that when Hoffman parted company with Peek, he said: “I may be the star, but you are the heavens.”
Rain Man went on to take four Oscars, including best actor for Hoffman.
The film propelled Peek himself into a global phenomenon, though it never seemed to change him. He once wryly said: “I wasn’t supposed to make it past 14 and here I am at 54, a celebrity.”
Audiences clamoured to hear him answer questions off the top of his head, such as who was the game winning pitcher of game three of the 1926 World Series (Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Cardinals). They were stunned by his ability to rattle off facts in about 15 different subjects, including history, literature, sport and the British monarchy.
Brain scientists were equally eager to study him in the search for clues as to his extraordinary powers. In 2004 Nasa scientists scanned his brain to look at what happened when Peek expressed and thought of things.
Neurologist Elliott Sherr was part of a team at the University of California that was working with Peek at the time of his death, trying to understand the impact of the damage to his cerebellum. “His gift to the world was that he was a source of hope to others wherever he went,” Sherr said.
Peek was initially diagnosed as having autism, but in recent years that view has been overturned.
Scientists remained intrigued by signs that over the years he seemed to acquire greater cognitive skills to interpret facts – something assumed to be lacking in savants.
He had begun to play the piano, and had developed something of a sense of humour. Before Rain Man he had shunned company and was incapable of looking people in the eye, but the film seemed to boost his confidence and social skills.
“He moved from holding this gigantic database of fact in his head to being able to join facts together,” Treffert said. “He became a living Google.”
• This article was amended on Wedneday 23 December 2009. We confused two parts of the brain in describing Kim Peek’s medical condition. This has been corrected.