Kim Peek, the real-life savant who inspired the Dustin Hoffman/Tom Cruise classic, gave a speech yesterday at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. That was a Monday. Peek could also tell you-- instantly-- what day of the week October 5 was in 1979, 1994, 1852 or any other year.
Peek was diagnosed with several mental disabilities as a child and he suffers from a variety of social disorders. He also has a photographic memory and has been called "the living Google." He can't comb his hair or shave, relying on his 80-year-old father to help him with such daily necessities, but he reads an average of eight books per day (taking them two pages at at time, reading one page with his left eye and the other with his right!) and retains 98 percent of the information.
Peek, unfortunately, doesn't have a speaking engagement scheduled in this part of the state. It's a shame, because judging from this YouTube video he would win over an October crowd in St. Louis in a heartbeat.
After telling his life's story and explaining his condition, Peek playfully fields absurd questions from the audience. When one kid asks "Who was the winning pitcher in game 3 of the 1926 World Series?" he doesn't even flinch.
Check it out:
Skip to the 5:50 mark to see some extraordinary Cardinal trivia prowess:
The whole video is pretty amazing, especially when he says he couldn't look people in the eye until after Rain Man was released, giving him confidence. Almost as good? His MySpace page, which lists Animal Collective as his favorite musical act.
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