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Black History Month Bio on Dr. Ben Carson

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Dr. Ben Carson Photo Credit: V. Aceveda, U.S. Air Force

Dr. Ben Carson
Photo Credit: V. Aceveda, U.S. Air Force

We here at So So Active are celebrating Black History Month the best way we know how: by educating the readers, you guys, of influential Black Americans. Today we bring you a short biography of Dr. Ben Carson. Carson is a neurosurgeon credited with being the first person to successfully separate conjoined twins.

Ben Carson grew up with his single mother, whom only had a third grade education. The condition of which he was living was poor, bringing home poor grades, not managing his temper, and not having the best self-esteem. It wasn’t until his mother sat him and his brother down to express to them that they could do anything they want with their lives.


This motivated Carson to become a surgeon. At age 33 he became the youngest director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Hospital. Carson enjoyed focusing on pediatric medicine because he felt that young children are very truthful when it comes to pain. “…When they’re in pain they clearly show it with a frown on their face or when they are happy they show it by smiling brightly,” he said.


In 1987, Carson became the first person in the world to successfully separate craniopagus twins, or twins conjoined at the head. The procedure of hypothermic arrest, which would prevent patients from bleeding out during a surgery was proposed by Carson for a procedure on conjoined twins. His colleagues didn’t think the procedure was possible.


Two months after that conversation with his colleagues, he flew out to Germany to perfect the hypothermic arrest for craniopagus separation. After five months, the twins and Carson flew back to the states to perform the surgery and it was a success. Carson even learned and perfected the revival of hemispherectomy. Hemispherectomy is the act of removing part of all of one side of the brain to prevent against epilepsy.


Ben Carson received many honorary doctorate degrees and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to a civilian by the White House.


A movie based on his book Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story was adapted into a tv movie of the same name. Cuba Gooding Jr. played Carson and Kimberly Elise portrayed his mother.