Whether someone is born with hearing loss or encounters it later in life, it provides difficulties and challenges that many people will never understand. These inspirational people have gone down in history for their successes despite battling hearing loss.

1. Ludwig van Beethoven

At the age of 26, Beethoven began to lose his hearing and at the age of 44 he was almost completely deaf. Beethoven continued to compose music as his hearing declined and even when he was deaf. One of Beethoven’s greatest accomplishments during the time he had lost his hearing was the composition of the Ninth Symphony which was first performed in 1824.

2. Thomas Edison

Due to having scarlet fever as a young boy, Thomas Edison suffered from severe hearing problems. He referred to himself as deaf but he also believed his lack of hearing helped him to be a better scientist.

3. Marlee Matlin

When she was only 18 months old Marlee became deaf. In 1986, she won an Academy Award for her performance in Children of a Lesser God.

4. Helen Keller

Helen lost her sight and hearing at the tender age of 19 months old. An illness she contracted was the cause of her blindness and deafness. Helen Keller became a world-famous author, activist and lecturer.

5. Linda Bove

Linda Bove, who was an actress on Sesame Street, introduced children to sign language in her role as Linda the Librarian. She played her role from 1971 to 2003 and introduced children to issues surrounding the deaf community.

6. Gertrude Ederle

In 1926, Gertrude became deaf after she swam the English Channel. The American swimmer had poor hearing as a young girl due to contracting measles. 

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