Famous People with Asthma

Many of these people live/lived in the public eye, they may have been an athlete, musician or the president. My point is that Asthma isn’t something that should ever box us into a category where we CAN’T do something because of having the illness. As you can see from this list, this is some of the people who had/have asthma and didn’t let it stop them achieving their dreams no matter what they were.

I want you to see just how many people pushed through with their asthma, and it doesn’t mean all these people had mild controllable asthma. Some had struggles, many bad days and some had asthma at a time when medication wasn’t readily available like it is today. Asthma is about management, you manage your asthma well and you respect your asthma there is no reason you can’t achieve your dreams too!



  • David Beckham – professional soccer player
  • Jerome Bettis – professional football player
  • Bruce Davidson – Olympic equestrian
  • Tom Dolan – Olympic medalist, swimming
  • Chris Draft – professional football player
  • Kurt Grote – Olympic medalist, swimming
  • Nancy Hogshead – Olympic medalist, swimming
  • Paula Radcliffe- Marathon Runner

    “I don’t really think asthma has affected my career – if anything it’s made me more determined to be successful and reach my maximum potential.” If you learn to manage your asthma and take the correct medication there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be the best.

  • Juwan Howard – professional basketball player
  • Jim “Catfish” Hunter – professional baseball player
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Olympic medalist, track
  • Bill Koch – Olympic medalist, cross-country skiing
  • Greg Louganis – Olympic medalist, diving
  • Tom Malchow – Olympic medalist, swimming
  • Debbie Meyer – Olympic medalist, swimming
  • Art Monk – professional football player
  • Austin Healy – England Rugby International Player

     “I’ve had asthma since my childhood but I can’t afford to let it affect my performance on the pitch.”

  • George Murray – wheelchair athlete & Boston Marathon winner
  • Robert Muzzio – decathlete
  • Dennis Rodman – professional basketball player
  • Jim Ryun – Olympic medalist, track
  • Alberto Salazar – marathon runner
  • Paul Scholes

    “My asthma is well controlled so it has never affected my performance.”  (Manchester United & England Footballer)

  • Emmitt Smith – professional football player
  • Karin Smith – Olympic javelin specialist
  • Isaiah Thomas – professional basketball player
  • Peter Vanderkaay – Olympic medalist, swimming
  • Amy VanDyken – Olympic medalist, swimming
  • Bonnie Warner – Olympic Luge specialist
  • Bradley Wiggins  – Olympic Medalist

    ‘It does sound quite bad if you are diagnosed with asthma and your natural instinct is to think that’s it. But there is better medicine available now and I am an Olympic champion – the evidence is out there that you can succeed.’

  • Dominique Wilkins – professional basketball player
  • Kristi Yamaguchi – Olympic medalist, figure skating
  • Theresa Zabell – Olympic medalist, sailing
  • Darren Gough  – Cricket Player

    “Whether it is uniquely English pollen that triggers my asthma attacks, or the cooler, damper air, I don’t know.”


  • Jessica Alba – actress
  • Steve Allen – comedian, actor
  • Loni Anderson – actress
  • Jason Alexander – actor, director
  • Ludwig von Beethoven – composer
  • Leonard Bernstein – conductor, composer
  • Kristin Chenoweth – singer, actress
  • Judy Collins – folk singer
  • Alice Cooper – rock singer
  • Morgan Fairchild – actress
  • Kenneth Gorelick (Kenny G) – musician
  • Bob Hope – comedian, actor
  • Billy Joel – singer
  • Robert Joffrey – dancer, choreographer
  • Diane Keaton – actress
  • Ricki Lake – talk show host
  • Liza Minnelli – actress, singer
  • Pink – singer
  • Arnold Schoenburg – composer
  • Martin Scorsese – film director
  • Paul Sorvino – actor
  • Sharon Stone – actress
  • Elizabeth Taylor – actress
  • Antonio Vivaldi – composer, conductor
  • Orson Welles – actor, director
  • Matt Johnson – TV Presenter (This Morning )

    “I can happily take my inhaler anywhere in front of anyone… Weirdly, when I laugh really hard I get a very tight chest,”


  • Ambrose Bierce – journalist and author
  • Elizabeth Bishop – poet and author
  • Charles Dickens – author
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes – poet, physician, inventor
  • Samuel Johnson – 18th century poet, critic, essayist
  • Joseph Pulitzer – publisher, philanthropist
  • Dylan Thomas – poet, playwright
  • John Updike – author
  • Edith Wharton – author


  • Calvin Coolidge – 30th President of the U.S.
  • Benjamin Disraeli – British statesman, author
  • Che Guevara – South American revolutionary leader
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson – political leader
  • John F. Kennedy – 35th President of the U.S.
  • John Locke – 17th century politician, philosopher
  • Walter Mondale – 42nd Vice President of the U.S.
  • Peter the Great – Russian Czar
  • Theodore Roosevelt – 26th President of the U.S.
  • Daniel Webster – lawyer, statesman
  • Woodrow Wilson – 28th President of the U.S.





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