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16 Famous People Who Are Deaf

Do you believe that being deaf made it harder for these celebrities to advance in their careers? Many renowned deaf and hard of hearing persons have founded organizations, been pioneers in deaf education, authored books, painted famous artworks, held world records in sports, acted in various well-known television shows and movies, and even launched newspapers.

Though they may have received little recognition from the mainstream press, many famous persons throughout history who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have earned accolades and prizes for their abilities. Let’s scroll down to the list of famous 6 deaf people.

#1 Russell Harvard

Source: David Gordon / Wikimedia Commons

Russell Harvard, a deaf actor, appeared in the 2007 film There Will Be Blood alongside Daniel Day-Lewis. He’s also in the television program Fargo.

#2 Katie Leclerc

Source: Jonathan Esquivel / Wikimedia Commons

Katie Leclerc, star of “Veronica Mars,” suffers from Ménière’s illness, which leads to her hearing loss.

#3 Dummy Hoy

Source: Goodwin & Co. / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Dummy, the MLB superstar Hoy lost his hearing at the age of three due to meningitis.

#4 Jim Kyte

Source: flickr / CC0

Jim Kyte was the NHL’s first deaf player.

#5 Sean Berdy

Source: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Sean Berdy, a deaf actor, has appeared in The Sandlot 2 and Switched at Birth.

#6 Phyllis Frelich

Source: Andrew Kent / Getty Images

Phyllis Frelich, a deaf actress, earned a Tony Award for her performance in the play Children of a Lesser God.

#7 Laurent Clerc

Source: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

Laurent Clerc, a deaf rights activist, established the first deaf school in 1817.

#8 Linda Bove

Source: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use

Linda Bove, who played Linda the Librarian on “Sesame Street,” exposed toddlers to sign language.

#9 Gertrude Ederle

Source: Bain News Service / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Gertrude Ederle became deaf after swimming in the English Channel in 1926. She also had poor hearing as a child due to a measles outbreak.

#10 Shoshannah Stern

Source: Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Shoshannah Stern, star of “Weeds,” was born deaf. She is the fourth generation in her family to be deaf.

#11 Curtis Pride

Source: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

Curtis Pride, an MLB player, was born deaf. He is the head baseball coach at Gallaudet University right now.

#12 Heather Whitestone

Source: Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

1995 Miss America Heather Whitestone lost her hearing at the age of 18 months. She was the first deaf lady to be crowned Miss America.

#13 Helen Keller

Source: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

Helen Keller was born with both sight and hearing, but when she was 19 months old, she became blind and deaf due to severe sickness.

#14 Ludwig van Beethoven

Source: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

When Ludwig van Beethoven was 26, he began to lose his hearing. He was almost entirely deaf by the age of 44.

#15 Marlee Matlin

Source: Metaweb (FB) / GNU Free Documentation License

Marlee Matlin went deaf at the age of 18 months. She received an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal in Children of a Lesser God.

#16 Thomas Edison

Source: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

Thomas Edison suffered serious hearing issues as a child as a result of scarlet fever. He frequently referred to himself as deaf, and he believed that his hearing loss made him a greater scientist.