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Influential Deaf People

Updated on November 28, 2012

I have been studying the lives of many people. Recently I found three great persons, Beethoven, Helen Keller and Fransisco Goya and learned that they all had this one thing in common, they were deaf. Throughout history certain deaf people have contributed to society and the arts with an impairment which deserves recognition in our day and age. Here are a few brilliant minds and I will be adding more within time.

My first nominee into my Hub is Beethoven

Beethoven - December 16, 1770 - March 36, 1827


Did it make them, or break them?

Ludwig Van Beethoven was a German pianist and composer who began to go deaf in his late-twenties. By this time he was already making a name for himself as a virtuoso pianist since the age of seven. Once completely deaf, Beethoven's demeanor had changed pertaining to life and his music. He had entered into a dark age giving birth to some scary yet beautiful compositions like the Symphony No.5 in C minor. It is obvious that becoming completely deaf had an affect on his career. Beethoven had cut off the legs to his piano and sat on the floor with his ear to the piano base when composing music.

Hellen Keller


June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968

Helen Adams Keller was a great American author, political activist, and lecturer. She is notably the first deaf & blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Helen is thought to have started going death at 19 months of age as a result of a sickness thought now to be meningitis. Her teacher Anne Sullivan had the patience to teach Helen and helped her become a household name. Their relationship surpassed the years of lessons and they remained lifetime friends. Keller went on to become a world-famous author and speaker. She is widely known for being an advocate for people with disabilities. She was a suffragist, a pacifist, a radical socialist and a big supporter of birth control. Here are two of her published works including her auto-biography.

Frost King (1891)

The Story of My Life (1903)

Francisco Goya

portrait by Vicente Portana
portrait by Vicente Portana | Source

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish pioneer painter and printmaker known both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the modern artist. Goya was the prominent court appointed painter for Charles IV. His biggest influence was the artist Rembrandt and like Beethoven had a time of dark ages where becoming deaf had it's affects on his art. Between late 1792 and early 1793, a serious illness began a deterioration of his hearing capabilities. The years that followed are now known as the experimental years and furnished some of the greatest paintings and etchings ever known to man.

Helen Keller Books

Francisco Goya Books


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    • DRG Da Real Grinc profile image

      Felix J Hernandez 5 years ago from All over the USA

      Ty for reading my Hub. I was amazed to have learned these facts as well.

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 5 years ago from Paris via California

      I knew that Beethoven was deaf at the end of his life. In fact, one of his last works has a jazzy quality about that he might not have allowed himself at the time had he been to hear it! But I'd never heard the story about sawing the legs off his piano. That's resourceful. I didn't know that Goya was deaf either. Interesting.