Following on from the BBC’s inspirational story last week on the Deaf women working in the White House and seeing as it is a dull and dreary Monday, I thought I would post an inspiring blog for you all today with the aim of reminding you that a) you are not alone in your hearing loss and b) you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
Below is a small selection of famous names and faces from around the world who have some form of hearing loss ranging from completely deaf to mild hearing loss. If Bill Clinton can carry out his role as President of the United States of America whilst struggling with hearing loss, you can go for that promotion you’ve been hankering after!
Thomas Edison was an American inventor of Dutch origin. He developed many devices that has shaped modern life as we know it, including but not limited to, the light bulb and phonograph. Edison’s hearing loss was attributed to a bout of Scarlet fever as a child and a recurring middle ear infection that was left untreated.
Halle Berry developed an 80% hearing loss in the 1990s after being struck on the head by her then partner. She now campaigns against Domestic Violence.
Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States of America first learnt he had a hearing loss during his annual physical. He had moderate loss of high frequencies and admitted he had difficulty hearing in crowded rooms and noisy political rallies. His hearing loss is believed to be a result of using hunting rifles and taking part in loud political gatherings.
Lou Ferrigno is an American Actor and bodybuilder. He lost 75-80% of his hearing due to a series of ear infections but says his hearing loss hasn’t held his career back at all.
Rob Lowe is a well-known American actor who is completely deaf in his right ear due to a nasty virus in his childhood.
Ludwig Van Beethoven;
Ludwig Van Beethoven is the world-renowned German composer who managed to both create and play spell binding music despite being completely deaf. It is widely reported that Beethoven had to face his audience before he was aware they were applauding him.
Pete Townshend is the Award winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. He is best known as the lead guitarist and songwriter for The Who, the founding members of this band were from my home town! He blames his hearing loss on a lifetime spent using headphones.
Marlee Matlin lost all her hearing in her right ear and 80% of hearing in her left ear at the age of 18 months, it is believed that this was a result of a genetically malformed Cochlea. Despite this, she won an Academy Award at the age of 21 for Best Actress in ‘Children of a Lesser God’. She has also won a Golden Globe and received four Emmy nominations.
Dimitra was elected to the Greek Parliament from 2007-2009, she was only the second deaf person in the world to be elected to a Parliament.
Sue Thomas was the first deaf person to work as an undercover investigator doing lip-reading for the FBI. In 2002 a TV Series entitled Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye was broadcast, this series was inspired by her role in the FBI.
Linda Bove is an actress best known for her role as Linda the Librarian in the popular children’s TV show, Sesame Street. She introduced sign language to thousands of children.
Nyle DiMarco is a model and was the winner of the 2015 America’s Next Top Model. So far, he has been the only deaf contestant to take part in the show.