Are left handers really more successful in business?

News Bill Gates Left handers

International Left Handers Day on 13 August is no awareness-raiser in aid of a minority. Rather, it celebrates left- handedness as an apparent signifier of greatness. Estimates vary from five per cent to thirty per cent when it comes to the proportion of people who are left-handed – but clearly an extraordinary number of successful people can’t write notes without smudging ink on the side of their palms. Here are five of the most famous…


News Barack Obama Left handed July August 2015

The incumbent “most powerful man on the planet” joins Herbert Hoover, Harry S Truman and Bill Clinton as southpaws who made it to the White House.


News Steve Forbes Left handed July August 2015

The chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media also ran for the Republican nomination for presidency in 1996 and 2000. Is there something in that left-handers/ multitasking theory?


News Oprah Winfrey Left handed July August 2015

From a childhood so impoverished she wore potato sacks to a net worth of $2.9bn (£1.85bn), Winfrey’s success lies in her multi-disciplinary creativity, with acting, talk show hosting and media ownership now on her CV. Another polymath, Leonardo da Vinci, is thought to have been left-handed.


News Bill Gates Left handed July August 2015

A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research in the US posited that left-handed men earn more because they favour “divergent” thinking – the extraordinary success of Harvard dropout turned Microsoft mogul Gates, last valued at $76bn, certainly doesn’t undermine its findings.


News Marie Curie Left handed July August 2015

The Polish-born physicist and chemist earns her place for discovering the principles of radioactivity and winning two Nobel prizes. Other notable left-handed women include Joan of Arc, Helen Keller and Queen Victoria.

Read more on great left handers at:


About author

Christian Koch

Christian Koch

Alongside his work for Director, Christian has written features for the Evening Standard, The Guardian, Sunday Times Style, The Independent, Q, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, ShortList and Glamour in an eclectic career which has seen him interview everybody from Mariah Carey to Michael Douglas through to Richard Branson with newspaper assignments including reporting on the Japanese tsunami and living with an Italian cult.

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