The Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the muscle development. This condition affects aorta and the valves more than anything. It received its name after a French pediatrician, Antoine Marfan who has described it first in the year of 1896. It is also known as arachnodactyly that affects bones, eyes, blood vessels, and heart.

The symptoms of this disease include longer arms, fingers and legs, sloppy joints, etc. However, no matter the struggles life throws in our way, each of us can still become successful. A source of inspiration is this list of famous people with Marfan syndrome. Despite their daily obstacles, each of these 8 personalities made it on their own.

 8 # Robert Johnson

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Robert Johnson was one of the popular American musicians. He was born in the year of 1911. This multi-talented personality influenced many young generations and great musicians through his fondness for blues.

As an Itinerant performer, Johnson played most of his music on street corners, at Saturday night dances, etc. He reached a wider audience only after the reissue of recordings on the King of the Delta Blue Singers. He is recognized today as the master of Blues. At the age of 27, he died due to severe heart complication which is the effect of being one of the famous people with Marfan syndrome.

 7 # Flo Hyman

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Flo Hyman was a volleyball player and Olympic silver medalist of United States citizenship. At an early age, she had rapid growth in several parts of her body as she was badly affected by the ruthless Marfan syndrome.

Nonetheless, her mother was her biggest source encouragement. Her valuable lesson was to teach her how to use the struggles to her own advantage. Afterward, Flo Hyman began to show interest in sports. This is only the beginning of what turned out to be a great volleyball player. She died while she was playing in a game held in Japan in the year of 1986. This was the incident that led professionals to discover that Flo died due to Marfan syndrome.

6 # Vincent Schiavelli

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Vincent Schiavelli is one of the famous people with Marfan syndrome who made a pristine career in acting. He has appeared in many successful movies such as “Man on the Moon,” “Taking Off,” “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and more.

Schiavelli was a famous personality in Hollywood who wrote several articles in newspapers, magazines, and a cookbook also. He was one of the tallest men in the movie industry with the height of 6 feet. Unfortunately, Vincent has been diagnosed with Marfan.

On the other hand, he never gave up. Schiavelli decided to battle this obstacle through many researches and studies for National Marfan Foundation. Along the way, the star underwent treatment for this dangerous disease. He is one of many actors with Marfan syndrome then sadly died while fighting it.

 5 # Sergei Rachmaninov 


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Sergei is one of the popular personalities who had to live with the Marfan syndrome. He succeeded in the music industry as a composer. Other than that, he was a good conductor and painter. Sergei was born with long fingers. However, he managed to make great use of this physical trait to play wonderful music on keyboard.

He was a slender person with narrow head, long, and thin nose. His career had a lot to suffer under the shadow of various health issues such as eye strain, back pain, and arthritis. In the end, the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov died because of this syndrome after much remarkable success in the music industry.

4 # Abraham Lincoln

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He is the fourth person on our list of top 8 famous people with Marfan syndrome who was the 16th President of United States. He had lean stature, sloping shoulders, long nose, small head, and small eyes which happened to be the visible effects of this disease.

Officials denied most of the doctors’ diagnosis on the grounds that there was not enough evidence to prove it. One of the descendants of Lincoln had Marfan. Therefore, people assumed the American president had the condition as well. In the year of 1960, a paper named Journal of the Year published the news about his syndrome.

3 # John Tavener

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John Tavener spent his 46 years of life struggling with his Marfan syndrome. He was a famous British personality and a classical composer. Not only John, but also many of his family members suffered from his disease. Unfortunately, his daughters and brother went through the same health issues.

He has spoken about this disease and didn’t shy away from mentioning this battle in his public speeches. Tavener nurtured positive thoughts about his life and he created awareness among people about this dangerous disorder. He has spent most of his life time in struggling with this disease as a talented person. Due to his openness and mindfulness about this condition, John Tavener makes it in our list of famous people with Marfan syndrome.

2 # Michael Phelps

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Michael Phelps is the best swimmer the Earth has ever met, and he is an Olympic medalist. He is tall, thin, and flexible, and all these traits help him to swim faster than other people in the inground swimming pools.

Michael Phelps scored almost 39 world records in swimming and has won 18 gold medals during the Olympic Games. He took regular heart tests and he doesn’t get positive sign of Marfan syndrome anymore when he tests for it. However, many people are saying he was suffered from that disease.

1 # Osama bin Laden

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Everyone in this world is familiar with this person named Osama bin Laden. He was born in a billionaire family with 16 other children. He developed the known physical traits of Marfan such as long fingers, bony face, long arms, spinal problems, difficulty in walking, and others.

The way he thought about things was different from others. For many years, he featured in the FBI’s list with Most Wanted Terrorists. Osama bin Laden is one among the famous people with Marfan syndrome. On the other hand, a debate is still going on whether he suffered from this disease or not.

Final Word

The Marfan Research Foundation is still conducting research to find out the prevention measures and treatment for this disease. We hope you find this article useful in knowing some important information and symptoms of this disease. Please share your feedback in the following comments section.