- Thomas O. Edwards
pediatric neurosurgeon, was born Benjamin Solomon Carson in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Robert Carson, a minister of a small Seventh-Day Adventist church, and Sonya Carson. His mother had attended school only up to the third grade and married at the age of thirteen; she was fifteen years younger than her husband. After his father deserted the family, eight-year-old Ben and his brother, Curtis, were left with their mother, who had no marketable skills. Sonya worked as a domestic when such jobs were available, and she struggled with bouts of depression, for which, at one point, she had herself admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Despite her disabilities, she became the biggest factor in determining Ben's later success, which she and Ben attribute to divine intervention.
Except for two years in Boston Ben grew up in a dangerous and impoverished neighborhood in Detroit Initially he did so poorly in ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.