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 Kim Peek
Kim Peek
US man who inspired Rain Man dies

13:08 AEST Tue Dec 22 2009
4 minutes ago
By Doug Alden
 

A relative says Kim Peek, the man who inspired the title character in the Oscar-winning movie Rain Man, has died. He was 58.

Fran Peek says his son had a heart attack on Saturday and was pronounced dead at a hospital in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray.

Peek was a savant with a remarkable memory. Fran Peek says his son could read a book just once and memorise it.

Kim Peek inspired Barry Morrow when he wrote Rain Man, the movie that won four Academy Awards, including best actor for Dustin Hoffman, who played the title role.

Source:   http://news.ninemsn.com.au/entertainment/986627/us-man-who-inspired-rain-man-dies

 
Going Home For Christmas: Goodbye To Kim Peek

Kim Peek, “The Real Rain Man,” Dies at 58
 
While some may dislike the Oscar winning film, “Rain Man,” it has always had a special place in my heart.  For me, watching it was a revelation – it gave me a name, for the first time, for what made me different.  When I read today that the man who inspired the movie, Kim Peek, passed away last Saturday, I was deeply saddened.  

Over the years, Kim has inspired many people, from school children to fellow savant, Daniel Tammet, whose meeting with him was taped for the documentary “Brainman.”   (An encounter which still has the power to move me to tears.)  As the Associated Press quotes: “‘It was just unbelievable, all the things that he knew,’ Fran Peek [his father] said Monday. ‘He traveled 5,500 miles short of 3 million air miles and talked to nearly 60 million people — half have been students.'”   That’s an amazing impact…and quite a legacy to leave.  

Kim met screenwriter Barry Morrow at a conference in the early 1980s where, the Associated Press reports “… the writer was taken with Peek’s knack for retaining everything he heard. Morrow wrote the script, and the movie went on to win Oscars for best film and best actor for Dustin Hoffman, whose repetitive rants about being an excellent driver and the ‘People’s Court’ about to start were a hit with moviegoers.”

What surprises many people is that Kim was actually not autistic. Dr. Darold Treffert, consultant on the movie and author of the book “Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndromewrites: “Along the way to its completion, the original script for the movie Rain Man underwent a number of modifications. While Kim Peek served as the initial inspiration for the story, Raymond Babbitt, as portrayed so admirably by Dustin Hoffman, is a composite savant with abilities drawn from a number of different real life individuals. The main character in that movie, Raymond Babbitt, was modified to be an autistic savant. The story thus is that of a person who is autistic but also has savant skills grafted on to that basic autistic disorder. It is important to remember, therefore, that not all autistic persons are savants, and not all savants are autistic. In preparation for his role, Dustin Hoffman spent time with several other autistic savants and their families, as well as with Kim.”

According to Dr. Treffert, “Kim Peek was born on November 11, 1951. He had an enlarged head, with an encephalocele, according to his doctors. An MRI shows, again according to his doctors, an absent corpus callosum — the connecting tissue between the left and right hemispheres; no anterior commissure and damage to the cerebellum. Only a thin layer of skull covers the area of the previous encephalocele.”  His unique brain structure led to his amazing abilities, but also caused difficulties.  He found many typical daily activities, such as dressing himself, difficult. 

Despite his challenges, he was able to memorize every book that was read to him by the time he was 16-20 months old.  Over the years he was able to developed encyclopedic knowledge in at least 15 subject areas. He was an expert in everything from history, to literature, area codes, zip codes, classical music, and calendar calculations.  Barry Morrow summed up Kim’s impact on people in the following quote: “I don’t think anybody could spend five minutes with Kim and not come away with a slightly altered view of themselves, the world, and our potential as human beings.”

In honor of the man he profiled and knew for many years, Dr. Treffert wrote the following tribute:

“There has never been, and there will never be, another person like Kim Peek. His talents were unique, exceptional and spectacular. And the story of the love and bond between he and his Dad was inspirational. Their willingness to share both the skills and the story with so many audiences world-wide so unselfishly was their gift to us. Kim says ‘Rain Man

Last night I looked up and saw a new star in the heavens. It shown brightly but it had a uniquely different shape than all the rest. It was truly one of a kind. Kim was one of a kind.

Kim went home for Christmas.” changed my life.’ Well, Kim, you in turn, along with your Dad, touched and changed our lives as well.

Source:   http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/200912/going-home-christmas-goodbye-kim-peek


Father: Utah Man Who Inspired ‘Rain Man’ Dies

Published: December 21, 2009
 
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The man who inspired the title character in the Oscar-winning movie ”Rain Man” has died.

Kim Peek was 58. His father, Fran, says Peek had a major heart attack Saturday morning and was pronounced dead at a hospital in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray.

Peek was a savant with a remarkable memory and inspired writer Barry Morrow when he wrote ”Rain Man,” the 1988 movie that won four Academy Awards.

Fran Peek said his son met Morrow at a convention in the early 1980s and the writer was taken with Peek’s knack for retaining everything he heard. Morrow wrote the script, and the movie went on to win Oscars for best film and best actor for Dustin Hoffman, whose repetitive rants about being an excellent driver and the ”People’s Court” about to start were a hit with moviegoers.

Although the character was technically fictional, Fran Peek said his son was every bit as amazing as Hoffman’s portrayal of him. And Kim’s true character showed when he toured the world, helping dispel misconceptions about mental disabilities.

”It was just unbelievable, all the things that he knew,” Fran Peek said Monday. ”He traveled 5,500 miles short of 3 million air miles and talked to nearly 60 million people — half have been students.”

In his later years, Peek was classified as a ”mega-savant” who was a genius in about 15 different subjects, from history and literature and geography to numbers, sports, music and dates. But his motor skills were limited; he couldn’t perform some simple tasks like dressing himself.

NASA scientists had been studying Peek, hoping that technology used to study the effects of space travel on the brain would help explain his mental capabilities.

Fran Peek says the funeral will be next Tuesday in Taylorsville. Details were pending.

Source:   http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/12/21/arts/AP-US-Obit-Rain-Man.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Kim%20Peek&st=cse

 

Kim Peek

Published: Monday, Dec. 28, 2009 12:23 a.m. MST 

Utahn Kim Peek, the mega-savant who helped inspire Dustin Hoffman’s character in the 1988 motion picture “Rain Man,” died recently of an apparent heart attack. Peek, considered a genius in about 15 different subjects, was 58 years old.

Although the fictional “Rain Man” was an autistic savant, researchers in recent years determined that Kim Peek was not autistic. NASA scientists had studied Peek with the hope that technology used to research the effects of space travel on the brain could help explain his mental capabilities.

Peek continued to gain more knowledge as he aged, learning in recent years to play the piano and even tell jokes.

Peek’s recall and command of history, literature, math, sports, classical music and geography was remarkable. Between the vast audience for the Academy Award-winning “Rain Man” and Peek’s thousands of personal appearances over the years, the public learned a great deal about mental disabilities and, specifically, the remarkable capabilities of savants. He and his father, Fran Peek, also lobbied for equal educational opportunities for people with disabilities.

Peek was the subject of more than 4,000 articles and 22 documentaries.

While Peek literally memorized entire books during frequent visits to the Salt Lake City Public Library — somehow being able to read the left and right pages simultaneously — he was 16 years old before he mastered climbing stairs.

Yet he and his father traveled nearly 3 million air miles for speaking engagements. Fran Peek said the pair addressed more than 60 million people over the years.

Perhaps the only thing more noteworthy than Peek’s extraordinary capabilities was his father’s devotion to him. Fran Peek was his son’s primary caregiver. He, too, marveled at Kim’s ability to conduct complex calculations in his head or to recall significant dates in history. But he was also the person who daily helped his son with simple tasks that were beyond his reach, such as dressing himself or setting the table. Fran Peek authored two books about his son.

Peek’s life was an inspiration to many. The contributions he and his father have made to the community, especially to those who are disabled, will pay dividends for many years to come.

Source: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705354483/Editorial-Kim-Peek.html

Fran and Kim Peek
Fran and Kim Peek 
Fran Peek, Kim Peek and Ernie Jones
Fran Peek, Kim Peek and Ernie Jones 

Kim Peek on the Discovery Channel
Kim Peek on the Discovery Channel 

Kim Peek's Oscar
The Oscar given to Kim Peek (aka Rain Man) by Barry Morrow, the writer of Rain Man.
Kim carried it everywhere with him. It’s gold exterior is worn off, as you can see, because of how many people have held it. It’s called the “Most Loved Oscar Statue.” It’s heavy; it weighs about eight pounds. – S. Kirsch

Condolences to Fran Peek and to all who knew and loved Kim.   



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