Kim Peek, the real "Rain Man," dead now, at 58.
... Mr Peek was diagnosed as severely mentally retarded and his parents were advised to place him in an institution and forget about him. Thirty years later, he was classified as a "mega-savant," a genius in about 15 different subjects, from history and literature and geography to numbers, sports, music and dates....
He would read eight books a day, taking just ten seconds to read a page. He could read two pages simultaneously, his left eye reading the left page and his right eye reading the right page.
But throughout his life he still needed 24-hour care. Despite his great mental agility, his motor skills remained limited; he could not perform simple tasks such as dressing himself or combing his hair.
His father Fran became his sole carer after Mr Peek's parent divorced in 1975. Fran Peek said that care of his son was a 30-hour-day, 10-day-a-week job but he did it devotedly, encouraging Kim to make the most of his abilities. But Mr Peek remained deeply introverted. It was not until he met Dustin Hoffman, when the Hollywood star was researching his role in Rain Man, that he could look into another person's face. He was 37 at the time.