Vital Thebeau of Canada stopped going to school by the time he was a 10-year-old. By the age of 14, he was working in mechanics, impressing employers with his technical know-how. As an adult, he served as head of the New Brunswick Trappers’ Association, and even patented a humane animal trap. When he retired, he wanted a hobby, so he opened a fish hatchery. The hatchery would earn the now 85-year-old man millions of dollars. Mr. Thebeau did all of this, despite never learning how to read or write. And now, as the CBC reports, with the help of speech software, he has published his autobiography.
Mr. Thebeau didn’t let his lack of a formal education prevent him from living a fruitful life. He told the CBC, “There's no such thing as can't, as far as I'm concerned, and that's the way I work. I don't take no for an answer and keep on trucking." Friends told him that he had an amazing life story, but it was an episode of Oprah’s old talk show that inspired him to go forth with a book about his experiences.
Thus began a six-year process. Mr. Thebeau had to learn how to operate a computer, and then he had to learn how to use dictation software. It wasn’t easy for the computer to understand what he was saying, as he has a noticeable Acadian accent. He told the CBC that one day it took him two hours to get a single word across.
The hard work paid off, and now he has finally published his autobiography, A Message For You. Mr. Thebeau says, "To me, it's the biggest adventure I ever got into."
More info: CBC