Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin has, as far back as she can remember, been an inventor. Growing up she learned to “convert abstract thought into visual pictures,” experimenting with designs, such as model airplanes and bird-shaped paper kites, and, by 18, after visiting her aunt on a cattle ranch, a “squeeze machine” to alleviate her stress and nervousness. “Thinking with pictures” is part of her invention equation. Another is using her experiences of anxiety and feeling threatened by her environment. Seeing situations from the visual perspective of others, including animals, Temple Grandin applied her insights to design a cattle dip vat, corrals and other devices, and quality standards in livestock industries. Diagnosed at two with Autism Spectrum Disorder, her life and work have as much “revolutionized the study of autism” as understandings that “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds.” Her twinned paths — opening the doors on autism and reimagining humane treatment of animals — undergird Dr. Grandin’s research, teaching and international consulting as a renowned expert on cattle behavior and on autism.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1947, Temple Grandin’s early years were filled with speech therapy, being read to by her mother, and play intended to draw her out. Her parents sought supportive private schools, enabling her to go on to a B.A. in psychology and a master’s and Ph.D. (University of Illinois) in animal science. While completing her master’s work, she founded her own company, Grandin Livestock Handling Systems. Author of 12 books and several hundred publications, Temple Grandin’s steadfast determination to learn about herself and the world, to invent and to do things, and to educate, has brought her well-earned recognition, including in the HBO award winning “Temple Grandin,” recognition as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Year Honored: 2017
Birth: 1947 -
Born In: Massachusetts
Achievements: Education, Humanities, Science
Worked In: Colorado, New Hampshire, United States of America
Educated In: Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, United States of America
Schools Attended: Beaver Country Day School, Mountain Country School (now known as Hampshire Country School), Franklin Pierce College, Arizona State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign