Per The Mirror, Ringo Starr spent a year in the hospital recovering from his near-death experience. He was eventually discharged in 1948 (via the Daily Express). As a result, Biography states that he was “considerably” behind in school. The 8-year-old couldn’t read or write. With the help of a tutor, he managed to get caught up, but with little avail. In 1953, Starr contracted tuberculosis and spent two weeks at a hospital, before being transferred to a sanatorium. He would spend the next two years there and never return to school. There is, however, a silver lining to Starr’s ill health.

According to “Ringo: With a Little Help,” by Michael Starr (no relation), the sanatorium did it’s best to provide Starr and the rest of the children some “rudimentary education.” Most importantly, they gave the children creative outlets. They taught music classes and formed a hospital band that Starr joined. This is how he would end up falling in love with drumming. He later said that he “never wanted anything else from there on.” With no formal education, Starr was forced into working dead-end jobs when he recovered at the age of 15. It’s safe to say that everything worked out pretty well for Starr, who Rolling Stone writes is one of the greatest drummers of all time.

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