15 Famous People with Marfan Syndrome

Marfan Syndrome

Marfan Syndrome is a syndrome that affects the heart, eyes, and blood vessels. Marfan syndrome sufferers are generally tall and thin, with long arms, legs, fingers, and toes. It can cause severe or mild damage.

Marfan Syndrome Symptoms

Marfan syndrome symptoms can vary between members of the same household because it can affect multiple parts of the body. While some people only experience mild symptoms, others may develop serious complications.

Marfan syndrome may have the following features:

  • A tall and slim build
  • Long arms, legs, and fingers
  • Protruding chest bone
  • High, arched teeth and crowded palate
  • Heart murmurs
  • Extreme nearsightedness
  • Abnormally curled spine
  • Flat feet

Famous People with Marfan Syndrome

Marfan syndrome is a condition in which many people need preventive surgery to repair their aorta. Here are some famous people with Marfan syndrome you may not have heard of.

1. Julius Caesar

The first person to be on the top of the list is Julius Caesar. People who have been involved with Asterix comics will be familiar with Caesar’s flesh. Marfan syndrome made him the world’s greatest dictator and ruler.

Marfan syndrome did not stop him from becoming the greatest ruler, and dictator. Empires had to bow to Julius Caesar, the man with connective tissue and epilepsy frailties. Surprisingly, his trusted aide died for him and not because of any of the above conditions.

2. Jonathan Larson

Jonathan Larson is well-known for his compositions, but he was also a playwright by trade. However, Jonathan Larson’s career was cut short by the undiagnosed Marfan disorder.

Marfan’s-aortic dissection was the cause of his death. Larson complained of chest pains quite often, but his condition remained undiagnosed for a long time. 


Laden is a well-known person who doesn’t need introduction. He was the sixth child in a 16-child family. His bony, long face and long arms point to the fact that he suffered from Marfan Syndrome. He was 160 pounds in weight and could not walk, which indicates that he had a spinal problem.

This is another sign of Marfan syndrome. Because he was hiding for years, his disease was not diagnosed. He is the most well-known Marfan syndrome patient. This list shows us some people who have learned to live with disabilities and still excel in their lives.

4. John Tavener

Marfan syndrome also afflicted “John Tavener” a famous British classical composer. He had spent 46 of his years struggling with it. His family was the root cause of his disorder, as several members of his family had been affected by it.

His brother and two daughters were also affected. Taverner has spoken out publicly about his disorder. In 1991, he had an operation to develop his aortic root. He had an impressive trait: he was positive about life and believed in the importance of public awareness.

5. Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln’s tall stature and long head are two of the most striking features in photographs of the 16th President.

Although the above symptoms are indicative of classical Marfans and his descendants have been rumored as suffering from the same disorder since the 1920s but to support these statements still there is no evidence. 

6. Michael Phelps

With his endless list of accomplishments, Michael Phelps is an inspiration to many of us. It is shocking that a man with 18 Olympic Gold Medals and 39 world records is also plagued by physical frailty.

Michael Phelps, unquestionably the greatest swimmer ever, is flexible and 6’4″ tall, which is evidence that he is a victim. His knees appear to be double-jointed. Many doctors believe he may have this condition due to his unusual body structure.

7. Vincent Schiavelli

Vincent Schiavelli, an American actor and food writer, was a noted American character artist. Schiavelli, who was described as “instantly recognizable as a sad-faced actor”, was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome when he was a child.

He was one of the most well-known people to have been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. Vincent Schiavelli founded the Marfan National Foundation to help people with this condition.

8. Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson, commonly known as the “master of Blues”, a multifaceted talent who has many achievements to his credit, is an epitome of talent.

He was born in 1911 and is one of America’s most beloved musicians. Marfan syndrome took him in at the age of 27. Some of his most famous songs are “Sweet Home Chicago”,  “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” etc. His songs were recorded by Muddy Waters, Elmore James, and Eric Clapton.

9. Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninov, a genius in the field of music, was a composer and a pianist. His extraordinary reach on the piano was due to his flexible and long fingers. This was then attributed to Marfan Syndrome.

He was tall with a long, narrow nose. He was a composer, pianist, and an orchestra conductor. Later in life, however, complications such as arthritis and back pain significantly hindered his career.

10. Bradford Cox

Bradford Cox was a member of the rock band Deerhunter. He is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor by profession. He first noticed the Marfan syndrome signs at the age of 10-12.

Music was his only refuge. He persevered in spite of everything to become a well-known musician and also got his first major-screen role in the highly acclaimed film “Dallas Buyers Club”.

It is important to change how you look at life, as it can make a huge difference in your ability to see the world through a variety of perspectives.

11. Flo Hyman

Flora Jean Hyman commonly known as “Flo” was an American Olympic silver medalist. She also played professional volleyball in Japan & she had experienced rapid bone and tissue growth as a child.

Flo was inspired by her mother and encouraged to use it as an advantage. She was 6’5″ tall. She fell during a Japanese game and died on January 24, 1986, at 31 only. An autopsy revealed that she had suffered from Marfan syndrome, which causes aortic dissection.

12. Isaiah Austin

Isaiah Austin is an American professional basketball player who played 2 years of college basketball at Baylor University. He was a potential 1st-round NBA draft prospect until he was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome.

In 2016, however, he disclosed that his doctor had given him permission to pursue his dream of playing pro basketball.

13. Niccolo Paganini

Ironically, even though Niccolo Paganini lived a century before Rachmaninoff died, he was the source of most of Rachmaninoff’s most iconic work, The Rhapsody.

He was the most famous violin virtuoso of his time and is considered one of the greatest icons of modern violin technique. He also battled with Marfan syndrome.

14. Tutankhamun

It is surprising to see that the list includes King Tutankhamun, an Egyptian pharaoh who was rumored to have suffered with Marfan syndrome. His death at the very small age sparked speculations by historians about the familial disease.

He ruled for a decade. Many years of research, CT scans, and DNA tests on his mummy revealed that he may have been a victim of Marfan syndrome. King’s curved spine, unusually height, and thin extremities all proved to be the same.

Tutankhamun’s mother and father, who shared similar traits, are believed to have been the same.

15. Troye Sivan

Troye Sivan is the last person on the list of 15 famous people with Marfan syndrome. He was an Australian-South African-born songwriter, actor, singer, and YouTuber with mild Marfan syndrome.

Sivan was the young Hugh Jackman character in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” in 2009. At age 14, he made his acting debut.


The above mentioned are the 15 famous people with Marfan Syndrome. Let us know if we missed any famous person with Marfan Syndrome in the comment section.

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