Dr. Ben Carson's mother, Sonya Carson, died on Monday, the secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development announced in a Facebook post that paid tribute to Sonya Carson's legacy.
"Although she came from an impoverished background with very little formal education, she somehow understood how success was achieved in our society," Ben Carson wrote. "If anyone had a reason to make excuses, it was her, but she absolutely refused to be a victim and would not permit us to develop the victim mentality either."
He also included the poem, "Yourself to Blame," which he said Sonya Carson would quote to him whenever he made an excuse.
Sonya Carson battled Alzheimer's disease for several years, CBN News reported.
According to Fox News, Ben Carson memorialized his mother in his biography, "Gifted Hands."
She encouraged her son to succeed in school and to focus on his education, despite the fact that she was illiterate.
Sonya Carson had a third-grade education and spent her childhood in numerous foster homes, History's Women, a website dedicated to influential women, noted.
She married Robert Carson at age 13, and escaped a world of abuse and poverty but, when Ben Carson was 8, she left her husband and took her sons to Boston.
According to History's Women, Sonya Carson restricted her children's TV time and insisted they visit the library weekly.
Her rigidity paid off when Ben Carson became a world-renowned surgeon. He was widely recognized for performing and mastering ground-breaking surgical procedures, according to his biography on the website of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he practiced for over 30 years.
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