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17 Famous Deaf People

Updated August 6, 2020 653.1k views17 items

List of famous deaf people, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Deafness is a condition which causes an individual to lose their hearing. It can be caused by exposure to noise, illness, or physical trauma. There are new technologies that have allowed deaf people to be able to hear, but they are still considered controversial in the deaf community.

Who is the most famous deaf person? Helen Keller tops our list. Helen Keller was born with sight and hearing, but when she was 19 months old she contracted a terrible illness that left her blind and deaf. Anne Sullivan taught Keller to communicate and the two remained close friends and colleagues until Sullivan's death in 1936. Helen Keller became a renowned speaker and author and a pioneer for deaf rights.

Several actors and actresses are also deaf. Movi star Marlee Matlin became deaf when she was just 18 months old. She won an Academy Award for her performance in Children of a Lesser God. Deaf actress Phyllis Frelich won a Tony award for her performance in the on stage version of Children of a Lesser God. Other famous deaf people include Thomas Edison, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Curtis Pride.

Do you think that being deaf made it difficult for these celebrity men and women to break-in to their careers?

  • Video: YouTube
    Body builder Shelley Beattie became deaf at age three because of an aspirin overdose.
    • Age: Dec. at 40 (1967-2008)
    • Birthplace: Santa Ana, California
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Profession: Bodybuilder
  • Heather Whitestone

    Miss America 1995 Heather Whitestone lost her hearing when she was just 18 months old. She was the first deaf woman to ever win the Miss America title.
    • Age: 48
    • Birthplace: Dothan, Alabama, United States of America
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Profession: Deaf Advocate
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    MLB player Curtis Pride was born deaf. He is currently the head baseball coach at Gallaudet University.
    • Age: 52
    • Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Profession: Baseball player
  • "Weeds" actress Shoshannah Stern was born deaf. She is amongst the fourth generation of deafness in her family.
    • Age: 41
    • Birthplace: Walnut Creek, California, USA
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Profession: Actor