Stories

Ludwig Guttmann and the birth of the Paralympics

As this year’s Paralympics return to Tokyo, the city where they were first held in 1964, Lalita Kaplish and Christy Henshaw explore the remarkable life and legacy of neurosurgeon Ludwig Guttmann, who organised the first “paraplegic games” in 1948.

Words by Lalita Kaplish|words by Christy Henshaw

  • In pictures

All the images in this gallery are from the Ludwig Guttmann archive collection at Wellcome Collection. We are grateful to the Guttmann family for donating his archive, which contains documents and photographs spanning his life from his early career in Germany to his death in 1980, and for allowing us to make this collection publicly available online.

About the authors

Photograph of Lalita Kaplish

Lalita Kaplish

Lalita is a digital editor at Wellcome Collection.

Photograph of Christy Henshaw

Christy Henshaw

Christy Henshaw manages Wellcome Collection’s digitisation programme. She is constantly amused and mystified by the collections and works with her team to make them available freely to all.