Christy Brown Biography

Author, Poet(1932–1981)
Christy Brown was a writer with cerebral palsy who penned the autobiography My Left Foot, which was adapted into a film starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

Synopsis

Writer and poet Christy Brown was born in Ireland on June 5, 1932, suffering from cerebral palsy and near total paralysis; his left foot was the only part of his body not affected by paralysis. Brown's autobiography, My Left Foot, was expanded into a novel that became an international best-seller. Two lesser-known novels followed, as well as three books of poetry. Seven years after his death, on September 6, 1981, in England, Brown's autobiography was adapted for the big screen.

Early Life

Christy Brown was born on June 5, 1932, in Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland, the 10th of 22 children born to a bricklayer and his wife. When Brown was an infant, it was discovered that he suffered from cerebral palsy and was almost completely paralyzed; his left foot was the only part of his body not affected by paralysis. Brown was considered mentally disabled by doctors, but his mother taught him how to read and write.

'Down All The Days' and Other Novels

As a teenager, Christy Brown painted habitually and read frequently, mostly 19th century and early 20th century novels. He was later able to improve his muscle coordination and speech through therapy.

Brown's autobiography, My Left Foot, was expanded into the novel Down All The Days in 1970, and went on to become an international best-seller. Two lesser-known novels followed, A Shadow on Summer and Wild Grow the Lilies, as well as three books of poetry.

Personal Life and Death

On October 5, 1972, Brown married Mary Carr, who, according to My Left Foot, was a former prostitute and bisexual.

Christy Brown died on September 6, 1981, at the age of 49, in Parbrook, Somerset, England. Seven years later, his autobiography was adapted for the big screen; directed by Jim Sheridan and released in 1989, My Left Foot starred Daniel Day-Lewis as Brown and Brenda Fricker as Brown's mother. Both actors won Academy Awards for their performances.

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