Norman Brown, from Bakersfield, California, struggled to read for 47 years, and kept it a secret from everybody. But one day he decided that he didn't want illiteracy to define the rest of his life.
His story of growing up in a country that makes it hard for anyone to function in society without having reading skills, keeping it a secret, and his life-changing decision to learn at the age of 47, is incredible and heartwarming.
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, approximately 32 million adults in the U.S. are unable to read. A study from Central Connecticut State found that Norman's hometown ranked as the least literate city in the United States.
Those who struggle living with illiteracy don't have the same opportunities when it comes to economic security, access to health care, and being able to actively participate in everyday life.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, "The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure."
In Norman's case, he fell behind in a school system that only set him aside, which made it extremely difficult for him to catch up.