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Here's your chance to learn about influential people who have had an impact on Deaf culture and history. Some are Deaf/hard-of-hearing themselves; others are hearing but had a significant impact.
German composer regarded as one of the greats of classical music. Became deaf in his 20s and wrote some of his most famous works after becoming deaf.
Renowned scientist & inventor of telephone; mother/wife were deaf. He advocated for oral education and the banning of American Sign Language.
Had a starring role as the title character in “Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye” that aired on television from 2002 to 2005, and later had a recurring role as Emma Coolidge on “Heroes”.
“The Apostle of the Deaf in America”; co-founded 1st school for the Deaf in Hartford, CT. The book by Harlan Lane, “When The Mind Hears' is told from his point of view.
Was the inspiration for the creation of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT; immortalized in a statue along with her teacher at Gallaudet University.
Became hard-of-hearing at a young age. He later became one of the most prolific inventors ever, inventing the phonograph, light bulb and motion picture camera.
Founded the world’s first public school for the deaf in Paris and was one of the first advocates for using sign language in the education of the Deaf.
Principal of Columbia Institution & President of Gallaudet University for 46 years. Advocated for Abraham Lincoln to sign a bill to award degrees to the Deaf.
Pioneer in education of the Deaf in the United States; co-founded the first Institution of the Deaf in Hartford, CT, in 1817, now known as the American School for the Deaf.
Ontario’s first Deaf teacher of Deaf students in Belleville, Ontario, in 1870 on the site of what is now known as Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf.
Is currently a MMA fighter with a 11-4 record and is the only person with a victory over Jon Jones, winning by DQ. Subject of the 2010 movie, 'The Hammer'.
Played for 15 years in Major League Baseball; was reportedly the inspiration for the umpires using hand signals for safe/out and balls/strikes calls that are still prevalent today.
American author, political activist and lecturer; first DeafBlind person to obtain a B.A. degree. She fought for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism and other rights.
The first (and, to date, only) Deaf player in the National Hockey League’s history; he played 13 years as a defenseman on five teams, primarily with the Winnipeg Jets.
Oscar winner; appeared on TV shows such as “Reasonable Doubts”, “The L-Word”, “Picket Fences”, and is now on “Switched At Birth'. Was 2nd on The Celebrity Apprentice.
Finnish rap artist and the first Deaf musician to sign a recording contract with an international record company (Warner Music).
Appeared on the sixth season of the U.S. television show, “Survivor” in 2003; finished in 6th place. Later went on to co-found an organization called 'Discovering Deaf Worlds'.
A scout, spy, and war hero in Texas; has an entire county named after him. During the Battle of Concepcion, he had a significant role gathering intelligence for Stephen F. Austin.
Was called the “Michelangelo of the West”; renowned sculptor with most of his works spread throughout San Francisco and in other places in California.
Won the Miss America competition in 1995, the only Deaf person to do so.
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