Famous Bipolar People


James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix), known to be the greatest electric guitarist of rock music was an American artist, singer songwriter. He was born on 27th November, 1942 in Seattle, Washington. As an infant, he was left in the care of friends of his mother until his father was discharged from the Army when he took custody of the child. Hendrix learned to play at an early age, practicing by strumming a broomstick till his father brought him an old ukulele which he found while cleaning a garage. Hendrix bought his first acoustic guitar at age 15 from a friend of his father at $5, with which he practiced almost all the time. He also learned from watching others play and listening to records of good artists during that era. His father later bought him a Supro Ozark, which was his first electric guitar.

Hendrix suffered from poverty and family disruptions and as a result grew into a shy and emotional boy. Unlike many Black American children at the time, Hendrix attended a school of mixed race made up of Blacks, Whites and Asians. He completed Washington Junior High School with problems attributed to his behavior. He was however expelled from Garfield High school, where the Principal said was due to poor attendance and grades. Hendrix however attributed his expulsion to other causes. . Hendrix decided to seek greener pastures in New York City when he got frustrated with the rules of bad leaders. There he befriended the Allen twins who acted as his back-up singers and kept him out of trouble.


Hendrix brought innovation into his works by recording in studios and was the first to introduce stereophonic and phasing effects in his recordings. His music did so well on the markets and won many awards.


Hendrix is believed to have suffered bipolar disorder because of his aggressive lifestyle and the kind of music he produced. He is believed to have written the song Manic Depression after he was accused during an interview as sounding like a Manic Depressive. This song describes exactly how people with bipolar disorders act. Hendrix got very angry when provoked and severely beat up those he believed had wronged him, which is also a possible sign that he had bipolar disorder. He once beat up a girlfriend with the public telephone handset.

Hendrix chose to enroll in the Army when faced with two choices; join the army or go to jail, for riding in stolen cars. In the army, he often slept on duty, obeyed no rules, had no skill and so had to be constantly supervised. These are visible signs of bipolar disorder. He was also noted for his extensive use of drugs which could be due to depression.


There were many rumors surrounding his death. While some speculated that he died as a result of an overdose of heroine, no heroine could be traced during the autopsy. There were later statements that there were no needle marks on him hence he could not have died of heroin.