Like most bright dyslexics, she said, he learned to compensate. “George got through school by charming his teachers.” George’s 2nd grade teacher recalled, “I knew putting the Clooney kids at the front of the stage would attract some attention,” she continued. “I remember George was this great-looking kid, a beautiful child with gorgeous brown eyes.”
Besides school challenges, George also had a bout of Bell’s palsy that paralyzed half of his face for a year when he was 13 years old. Fortunately he also had considerable social EQ and amiability that won him friends. From a biography, “Clooney quickly learned to make the joke, especially the self-deprecating remark, before anyone else could.” Classmates “remember him as outgoing, committed to having fun, and possessing skill for defusing a tension-filled situation with charm and humor.”
Today George is known as a double-Academy Award winner Actor and Producer), writer, director, and activist. He’s served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace and has worked to find a resolution for Darfur, raising funds for the Haiti earthquake, Japanese Tsunami, and 9/11 victims. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. George’s early history reminded us of many brave souls who turn back bullying remarks with social poise, wit, and humor. What may be a survival skill in the early years turns into later leadership in work and life.