by Michael from Canoga Park

Held dear to the hearts of many, are regular everyday people who have dared to dream, done something that others were afraid to do, or who have come to the aid of someone who needed their help. These people are called heroes. Most popular are the heroes that save innocent people from burning buildings or those that have "super powers" or some type of advantage which allows them to do what others can't. But one man, who has no super power or special ability has been a hero to millions, that man is Stevie Wonder.

Stevie Wonder was born Stevland Hardaway Judkins,(His mother changed his name, because she did not want him to carry the name of his absent father) in Saginaw Michigan on May 13, 1950. Stevie was born prematurely and spent the first fifty-six days of his life in an incubator. During his stay in the incubator, a devastating accident occurred that changed his life forever. Too much oxygen was accidentally pumped into his incubator, causing irreparable damage to his eyes, resulting in blindness.(This incident made an uncommon lifestyle a reality for him) As a child, Stevie followed his brothers everywhere and tried to do everything they could do. The other kids in the city would taunt him saying,"The blind man is coming." When he displayed his talent of singing in the church choir, he was kicked out when he was heard singing a rock n' roll song on his front porch. He was constantly reminded of his limitation by his school teachers. Some of his teachers said that despite his talent, education, and his desire to learn, he would end up in a career making pot holders. Another teacher teacher told him that he had three strikes against him: he was blind, black, and broke. Despite a major lack of support from those around him he continued to pursue his dreams.

Not only was Stevie Wonder a hero for himself, he had become a hero for many when he began to reach out and help in an attempt to heal the world. A group Stevie was involved in called,'USA for Africa' came together on January 28, 1985 to record the 'We are the World'. Stevie also participated in the National Rehabilitation Center for the handicapped in Taounda, Cameroon in 1992. He also performed in the 'Charge Against Hunger' campaign in 1993. Stevies' lyrics began to change from a gentle display of feelings to a very strong publication, geared toward changing America.

Stevie Wonder met the darkest hour of his journey on the night of August 6,1973, when he was involved in a tragic car accident that almost ended his life. This incident was a major turning point in his life, but it did not bring him down. In fact, it sent him soaring non-stop like a rocket in pursuit of his dream. Stevie said,"I came to realize that my time on Earth is not yet done and that there are many things to do."

After becoming one of the most popular recording artists in all of history (surpassed only by Elvis Presly and the Beatles), Stevie dreamed of the time when he would leave the music scene and be able to devote more of his attention to his family and live his life a little less in the 'public eye.' Now Stevie Wonder has come to the point of his heroic journey where he will ride off into the sunset and those who he helped will remember him by the music that he left behind.

Page created on 6/20/2012 10:43:13 AM

Last edited 6/20/2012 10:43:13 AM

Related Links

Stevie Wonder - Recordings