In the 1988 movie Rain Man Dustin Hoffman played a mega-savant. His character was based on Kim Peek, a man with a number of severe mental handicaps but also with some remarkable skills and abilities that still defy explanation.
Kim Peek passed away a couple of days ago of a massive heart in Salt Lake City aged 58.
Although Kim had difficulty with simple things like turning on lights or dressing himself, his memory was legendary, inspiring Barry Morrow to write the movie Rain Man and earning him four Academy Awards.
According to Peek’s father, Fran, Peek was able to memorize things from the age of 16-20 months. He read books, memorized them, and then placed them upside down on the shelf to show that he had finished reading them, a practice he maintained.
He read a book in about an hour, and remembered almost everything he had read, memorizing vast amounts of information in subjects ranging from history and literature, geography, and numbers to sports, music, and dates.
His reading technique consisted of reading the left page with his left eye and the right page with his right eye and in this way he could read two pages at time with a rate of about 8-10 seconds per page.
He could recall the content of some 12,000 books from memory. – Wikipedia
The movie Rain Man made Peek so famous he traveled the world displaying his talents. It’s estimated that he has spoken to over 64 million people and traveled nearly 3 million air miles. There have been 2,800 newspaper and magazine articles and 22 documentaries about Peek and his extraordinary capabilities. His memory got even better as he got older.
He was an amazing person and it’s so sad to say goodbye to the real Rain Man.If you enjoyed this post please use the buttons above to share.