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Dr. Benjamin Carson
Benjamin S. Carson spends most of his time giving.
Born into poverty in Detroit, Carson's childhood was marked by a strong temper, low self-esteem and constant ridicule from classmates because of poor grades. But his mother, Sonya Carson, refused to accept that. Motivated by her strong faith, Sonya Carson raised her two sons alone -- demanding they read two books every week and submit reports to her.
She insisted that Ben persevere in school, and his grades soon improved. He later graduated from Yale University and the University of Michigan School of Medicine before joining the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore as director of pediatric neurosurgery in 1984.
--By Todd Beamon
December 2, 2003