Kim Peek, who was immortalized by Dustin Hoffman in the Oscar-winning movie "Rain Man" has died of a heart attack at age 58.  Peek, who was originally considered autistic, is now believed to have had FG Syndrome (also known as Opitz-Kaveggia syndrome).  He is perhaps the most famous example of a "savant," that is, an individual with remarkable abilities in the midst of severe disability.  Peek was a veritable walking encyclopedia, having memorized over 12,000 books.  He remembered virtually everything he read.  He appeared publicly in front of over 2,000,000 people, accurately answering obscure questions about history, geography, mathematics, sports, music, and literature from questioners.  Peek was born without a corpus collosum, that bundle of nerves that connects the two hemispheres of the brain.  Some speculate that this may have resulted in unusual connections in his brain that led to his incredible memory. Despite his achievements and abilities, he still required 24-hour care, largely from his father Fran Peek. Kim is survived by his father, Fran, his mother, Jeanne Willey Peek Buchi, and siblings Brian Peek and Alison Peek.

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I am the author of 16 books including my latest: The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion (Tarcher-Perigee).

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