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The savant that inspired Rain Man has died

23rd December 2009

Kim Peek, the autistic savant who provided the inspiration for hit Hollywood movie Rain Man, has died aged 58.

Peek, who had committed more than 9,000 books to memory before his death, suffered a major heart attack on Saturday (December 19th) and was pronounced dead at a hospital in his hometown of Salt Lake City.

Originally thought to be severely mentally impaired, Peek was later re-diagnosed as a mega savant. Capable of memorising vast amounts of information, he became an expert in a large number of subjects, including history, literature, geography, sport and music.

When Dustin Hoffman met Peek during his time researching Rain Man he told his father, Fran, not to hide him away.

Mr Peek said: 'Dustin Hoffman said to me, you have to promise me one thing about this guy, share him with the world. And pretty soon it got so that nobody was a stranger to him, they were people and so was he.'

The 1988 film Rain Man was both a critical and financial success, winning four Academy Awards.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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