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Famous People With Headaches

Is Your Name on the List?


Updated June 10, 2009

Migraine headaches are a pain to famous people and us “regular folks” alike. Celebrity news being as plentiful as it is right now, it’s easy to read reports of current celebrities and their struggles with health issues, headaches included. Looking back through history we see many important historical figures that seem to have been plagued by migraines. In some cases we can also see how migraines may have impacted the way these people saw the world. Here is a list of famous people who have been affected by migraine headaches.

Historical Figures

Thomas Jefferson
Julius Caesar
Ulysses S. Grant
Robert E. Lee
Mary Todd Lincoln

Artists, Authors, and Great Thinkers

Vincent Van Gogh: Some historians believe he had visual auras, accounting for some of the artistic techniques evident in his work.
George Seurat. The scotoma, a form of migraine aura, is called the Seurat effect by some authors.
Claude Monet
Virginia Woolfe
Cervantes: Author of Don Quixote.
Lewis Carroll
Sigmund Freud
Friedrich Nietzsche


Elvis Presley
Elizabeth Taylor
Lisa Kudrow
Elle MacPherson
Carly Simon
Whoopi Goldberg
Marcia Cross: This “Desperate Housewives” star has spoken out repeatedly about migraines, trying to increase awareness about the condition.


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Scottie Pippen
Terrell Davis: This Denver Broncos running back had to leave Superbowl XXII due to a migraine attack.

Famous people are no different than any of the rest of us when it comes to migraines, but it can be encouraging to see what people have been able to accomplish despite a sometimes debilitating condition. Perhaps you can get some encouragement as you consider how many people are affected by migraine headaches.

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