20 Famous People With ADHD

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated March 26, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

For people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity can interfere with how they function at work, in school, or in social settings. If you live with ADHD, you’re not alone: It’s estimated that about 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD. Included in this number are many accomplished athletes, actors, creatives, leaders, and entrepreneurs who have been open about their experiences, too. 

There are various treatments and strategies available that can help those diagnosed manage their symptoms and improve daily functioning. As the list below demonstrates, a diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t have to hold you back from living a fruitful, enjoyable life. First, let’s take a brief look at what ADHD is and what its most common symptoms include.

Your ADHD doesn't define you

What is ADHD?

ADHD is classified as a neurological disorder that can present in one of three ways: primarily in regards to symptoms of inattention, primarily in regards to symptoms of hyperactivity, or a combination of both. In adults, symptoms of inattention can include disorganization, trouble with time management, trouble multitasking, and difficulty following through on tasks. Symptoms of hyperactivity can include restlessness, impulsiveness, trouble managing stress, and low frustration tolerance. These symptoms must frequently interfere in daily life and functioning and be present for six months or more in order for a diagnosis of ADHD to be considered.

Well known people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Read on for a list of famous athletes, musicians, actors, creatives, television personalities, business leaders, politicians, and entrepreneurs that have ADHD.


1. Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps was diagnosed at a young age, and he said that there were many teachers along the way who doubted his ability to succeed. By the age of 10, however, he was already ranked nationally in his age group for swimming. Today, he is the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, having won 28 Olympic medals in total—23 of them gold. Phelps says that although his ADHD has been a challenge at times, it has made him the person he is now.  

2. Simone Biles

Simone Biles has spoken out against the stigma of ADHD, saying that she has this condition and has taken medication for it since she was a child. Biles is the most decorated American gymnast of all time. She has won seven Olympic medals in gymnastics, and in 2022, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the youngest person to receive it at the time. When hackers leaked her sensitive medical records, Biles spoke out about being on prescription drugs for ADHD since she was a child and that it was nothing to be ashamed of.

3. Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw is a former football star, member of the National Football League's Hall of Fame,  and Super Bowl champion who is now a TV sports commentator. Bradshaw was diagnosed later in life, and he has been open about the challenges he experienced in school due to undiagnosed ADHD and how he poured his energy into football instead. 

4. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time, and he is another athlete with ADHD. He won six NBA championships on the Chicago Bulls, and he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

5. Scott Eyre 

Scott Eyre is a former baseball pitcher who played for teams such as the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs, and the Toronto Blue Jays. He opened up about his ADHD diagnosis in 2001. 


6. Lily Allen 

English singer-songwriter and actor Lily Allen recently announced that she was diagnosed. Though diagnosed later in life, she said that she was not surprised by the diagnosis.

7. Dave Grohl

Frontman for the Foo Fighters and former drummer for Nirvana spoke out in a YouTube video and revealed his diagnosis of ADHD, using it as a way to explain his poor academic performance. Grohl also made it a point to emphasize that he was a terrible student, but it was not the fault of his school.

8. Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles is a singer, songwriter, and artist. Her music has been met with much critical acclaim, including a Grammy for Best R&B Performance. Knowles reports that she initially did not believe she had ADHD after receiving her first diagnosis until a second doctor told her she had it, too.

9. Will.i.am

Will.i.am is a rapper, singer, record producer, and seven-time Grammy Award winner. He said that working on music helps him manage his ADHD symptoms and keep his mind focused. He explained its effects on him by saying, “One thing I learned about ADHD is that it’s hard to keep your attention, and you can’t sit still and you’re always moving and thinking about a whole bunch of things. But those traits work well for me in studios and in meetings about creative ideas.”

Actors, TV personalities, and creatives

10. Emma Watson

Emma Watson has never talked about her condition, but there are reports that she has been diagnosed and receiving treatment for ADHD since she was a child. She’s also been wildly successful in her acting career, starring in many critically acclaimed movies, graduating from an Ivy League university, and serving as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

11. Will Smith

Smith was diagnosed as an adult, and attributes his drive in his career to being a by-product of his ADHD. He’s had a long and successful career, starring in the highly acclaimed film Ali and many other blockbuster films. 

12. Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver is a chef, author, and television personality. He has been open about having ADHD as well as dyslexia, and he has given some of the unique strategies he’s used to help him focus at work. 

13. Lisa Ling

Lisa Ling, a journalist and television personality, was diagnosed at age 40 when she worked on an episode about ADHD for her show, Our America With Lisa Ling. 

14. Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum is a well-known actor and model who has been open about his experiences living with both ADHD and dyslexia. In an interview with T Magazine from the New York Times, Tatum said, “You get lumped in classes with kids with autism and Down syndrome, and you look around and say, ‘OK, so this is where I’m at.’ Or you get put in the typical classes, and you say, ‘All right, I’m obviously not like these kids either.’ So you’re kind of nowhere. You’re just different.”

15. Bex Taylor-Klaus

Actor Bex Taylor-Klaus has spoken out about their experience living, even offering encouragement to others that have the condition, and says that there are ways to manage it. For example, they have shown findings that playing sports helped them growing up.

16. Cara Delevigne 

Model and actress Cara Delevigne explained her feelings about growing up with ADHD. ”I was very ashamed of the way I felt. I had a very privileged upbringing; I was very lucky, I went to an amazing school. And then the guilt of feeling that way and not being able to tell anyone because I shouldn’t feel that way and I shouldn’t feel bad.” 

Leaders, politicians, and entrepreneurs

17. David Neeleman

David Neeleman is the founder of multiple commercial airlines, including JetBlue. He has spoken openly about his experience with ADHD, crediting the condition for getting him to where he is today and helping him think of innovative solutions. 

18. Sir Richard Branson

British business mogul Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Airlines and is also well-known for his work in space travel. He is yet another accomplished individual diagnosed. 

19. James Carville

James Carville is a political consultant, commentator, and author well known for his work leading campaign strategy for former President Bill Clinton. Carville has been open about his experience with ADHD.

20. Paul Orfalea

Businessman Paul Orfalea is the founder of the copy chain Kinko's and another example of a savvy entrepreneur with ADHD

Ilona Titova/EyeEm
If you have an ADHD diagnosis, help is available

As this list illustrates, it’s entirely possible to have a successful, fulfilling life with ADHD. In fact, some of the celebrities listed here see the condition as an asset and a key part of their success. It all comes down to finding ways to manage your symptoms that work best for you. 

For some people, certain symptoms may make it more difficult to navigate the tasks involved in setting up in-person therapy appointments. In these cases, online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp may represent a more convenient alternative. This is because you can get matched with a licensed therapist online by filling out a short questionnaire and then have sessions from the comfort of home without the hassle of a commute. Research has also suggested that online therapy can be effective for individuals with ADHD. For instance, a 2022 study examined the efficacy of online interventions for ADHD, and it found that they may represent “an effective intervention” for those experiencing symptoms of the condition.

Your ADHD doesn't define you

For individuals with ADHD, symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity can disrupt how they function in school, work, or social settings, and it may put them at higher risk for other mental health conditions, like clinical depression. That said, there are a variety of strategies and treatments that can help you manage symptoms—and as this list demonstrates, there are countless examples of very accomplished individuals with ADHD. If you're looking for support for ADHD symptoms or other mental health concerns, you can connect to a licensed therapist online or in person.

Gain a better understanding of ADHD
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