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 Christy Brown

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Christy Brown

  • Birth 5 Jun 1932 Crumlin, County Dublin, Ireland
  • Death 6 Sep 1981 East Pennard, Mendip District, Somerset, England
  • Burial Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
  • Plot St. Paul's Section, IF 50
  • Memorial ID 2009

Artist, Author. His life was the subject of the 1989 motion picture "My Left Foot," starring actor Daniel Day-Lewis. Born in Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland, he was the tenth of twenty-two children (only thirteen would survive) of a poor Catholic family whose father was a bricklayer and mother was a schoolteacher. Born with a severe form of cerebral palsy, he was incapable of normal movement or speech, and remained virtually paralyzed all his life. Doctors considered him mentally retarded as well, although this proved to be an incorrect diagnosis. His mother, not giving up on him, worked with him and tried to teach him. When he was five, he was able to snatch a piece of chalk away from his sister with his left foot, and make a mark on the floor. Only his left foot would answer his brain's direction, but with it, he was able to carve out a real life. His mother taught him the alphabet, which he would copy with the chalk held by his toes, and learned to read and write. Once his ability was recognized, he was examined by Dr. Eileen Cole, who designed a new physiotherapy program to give him more normal movement and speech. As he grew up, his mother persuaded his brothers and sisters to construct him a studio, which became his refuge from the world. He decided to write his autobiography, which was published in 1954 as "My Left Foot." This book eventually became expanded into a novel, "Down All the Days," (1970) which became an international bestseller, translated into fourteen languages. This was followed by a series of novels, of which "A Shadow on my Summer" (1976) is perhaps the best known. He also became a writer of poetry, including "Come Softly to my Wake" (1971) and "Background Music"(1973). On October 5, 1972, he married Mary Carr, and settled in Ballyheigue, County Kerry, Ireland, and later moved to Parbrook, in Somerset County, England. He and his wife there designed several devices to make his home more accessible and to improve his mobility. His last novel, "A Promising Career," was finished shortly before his death, and has never been published. He died at his home in Parbrook at the age of 49.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2009
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Christy Brown (5 Jun 1932–6 Sep 1981), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2009, citing Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland ; Maintained by Find A Grave .