Famous and Historic Deaf (and Hearing) People

From Anthony to Marlee

Read articles about a wide variety of deaf and hearing people:

Actor Marlee Matlin talking to a crowd
Tasia Wells / Getty Images


Louis Frisino
Deaf painter of realistic-looking animal portraits.

Granville Redmond
One of the most successful "California Impressionists" of the 20th century, Redmond is best known for his landscapes of Northern and Southern California.

Douglas Tilden
Sometimes referred to as the "Michelangelo of the West," Tilden won international fame for many public sculptures, including "The Baseball Player" and "The Tired Boxer."


Julia Brace
Born in 1807, Brace is the first deafblind person to receive an education in America.

Laura Bridgman
Bridgman was the first deafblind person to communicate using finger spelling and the written word.

Helen Keller
History's most famous deafblind person, Keller was the first person with deafblindness to earn a bachelor of arts degree.


William Castle
He was the vice president of the Rochester Institute of Technology for the National Institute for the Deaf in 1979.

Laurent Clerc
Often called "The Apostle of the Deaf in America," this French-born deaf teacher co-founded the first school for the deaf in America.

Dr. Richard Orin Cornett
In 1966, Dr.Cornett's invented cued speech, a visual communication system for deaf children, to help the deaf improve reading comprehension and speed.

Charles-Michel de l'Épée
This French Catholic priest founded the first school for deaf people in the mid 1700s.

Andrew Foster
The first African-American to graduate from Gallaudet College, Foster went on to establish 32 schools for the deaf in 13 African countries.

Thomas H. Gallaudet
In addition to co-founding the first public school for the deaf (with Laurent Clerc), Gallaudet's work was instrumental in the creation of American Sign language.

Samuel Heinicke
A pioneer of deaf education, this German advocate established the first oral school for the deaf in Germany.

I. King Jordan
The first deaf president of Gallaudet University.


Antoinette Abbamonte
A professional actress, writer, and producer, Abbamonte is an advocate for fellow members in the deaf community in Hollywood and beyond.

Michelle Banks
Michelle Banks is an award-winning, African-American deaf performer who founded Onyx Theatre Company in New York City—the first deaf theater company in the United States for people of color. 

Sean Berdy
Sean Berdy is an American actor, writer, and director best known for playing Emmett on the popular ABC Family show, "Switched at Birth."

Linda Bove
A deaf theater actress who played Linda the Librarian on the PBS children's series Sesame Street.

Deanne Bray
Most recognized for her lead role in "Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye," Bray was the first deaf person Hollywood created an entire television series around.

Amy Ecklund
Ecklund is a deaf actress who received a cochlear implant.

Lou Ferrigno

A bodybuilder and actor with hearing loss.

Phyllis Frelich
One of the most respected deaf actresses.

C.J. Jones
A longtime actor and comedian.

Marlee Matlin
She is perhaps the best known deaf actress today. Matlin has an article on Verywell, as well as an interview. Her autobiography was also reviewed.

Anthony Natale
In my opinion, he is one of the best deaf actors around today.

Howie Seago
Another top deaf actor.

Christy Smith
An episode of "Survivor" included this deaf contestant.

Shoshannah Stern
Deaf actress.

Deaf actress.

Heather Whitestone McCallum
She was the first -- and maybe the only -- deaf Miss America.


Kelby Brick
Profile of deaf leader Kelby Brick.


Laura C. Redden Searing
She was perhaps the first deaf woman journalist.

Julius Wiggins
Founder of Silent News.


Juliette Low
The founder of the Girl Scouts of America.

Rocky Stone
Founder of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH) which is now Hearing Loss Association of America.


Shelley Beattie
A successful deaf bodybuilder.

James "Deaf" Burke
He was a boxer in the 19th century.

Dummy Hoy
A deaf baseball player who has yet to make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Terrence Parkin
Swimming in the pool in the summer is my favorite summertime activity. Terrence Parkin is a deaf man who not only likes to swim but made a name for himself doing it.

Curtis Pride
A retired professional baseball player who is deaf.

Kenny Walker
For awhile, he was a professional deaf football player.

Sudden Deafness

Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh experienced sudden deafness.


Alexander Graham Bell
Going beyond the telephone, the hearing Bell was an active member of the deaf community.

Vinton Cerf
The "father of the Internet" happens to be hard of hearing.

Thomas Edison
This historic inventor had a hearing loss.


Erastus Smith
The only deaf man known to have an entire county named after him.


Connie Briscoe
It isn't often that I get the chance to interview an author as well known as Connie Briscoe, a deaf African American.

Raymond Luczak
Luczak is a contemporary deaf writer. He has written poems, plays, and novels.

Stevie Platt
Platt is a contemporary novelist who includes deaf characters in his stories.

By Jamie Berke
 Jamie Berke is a deafness and hard of hearing expert.