Superhearoes thatmade it to thehistory books
In our “Superhearoes” sequel, we talk about famous people who work and live with a hearing loss and have achieved great career success in their lives. For us at hear.com, these personalities are true Superhearoes because they did not let themselves be stopped or intimidated by hearing loss, yet they thrived to their fullest every day.
As we can see all throughout history, hearing loss certainly does not mark the end of a successful career. From politicians to composers and military generals to scientists, some of history’s most influential figures had to grapple with the effects of hearing loss. They faced their condition with positivity and achieved incredible milestones in their chosen fields. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who experience partial or severe hearing loss, these accomplished figures prove that there’s no reason to be discouraged. We’ll learn from some of history’s greatest talents and get inspired to reach our full potential!
Even the greatest musicians can handle hearing loss
Let’s start with an area where hearing is vital – music. To ordinary people, it might seem like hearing loss is a total boundary for a successful musical career, whether you’re a virtuoso pianist or a revered composer. But that’s not how Ludwig van Beethoven saw it. The German romantic composer is probably the most famous example of a deaf musician, and rightly so. The creator of the Moonlight Sonata and Ode to Joy first started experiencing tinnitus in his mid-twenties. When in this 30s, he was asking friends and doctors for help, and after he hit 40, Beethoven could barely listen. Yet as he came to hear less and less, the pianist became even more productive. Some of his greatest pieces were created when he could hardly hear a note. His mind adapted, using his vast musical knowledge to conjure up sounds – many of which were radically new forms that changed classical music forever. He adapted his music as his hearing grew dimmer, focusing on the notes he could hear and creating softer, darker melodies. In a time without sophisticated hearing aids, Beethoven gave his best and continued to compose masterpieces until his death.
Hearing loss is no barrier to a successful political career
What about politics? Surely politicians would need to be able to hear clearly, whether they are negotiating with foreign diplomats, managing cabinet meetings, speaking in public or taking advice. That’s all true, but plenty of great politicians have thrived despite being hard of hearing. Take Bill Clinton as an example. The 42nd President of the United States famously had to purchase hearing aids for both ears in 1997, due to his exposure to loud music during his youth. Clinton then used an inside-the-ear hearing aid for the rest of his presidency – although he may have turned it off at times during the impeachment scandal. And he isn’t the only US President who has experienced hearing loss. Ronald Reagan wore hearing aids while in the office. His predecessor Jimmy Carter also deals with hearing loss in one ear, but has continued to play an active role in international diplomacy since he left the office.
World-changing discoveries come from the hard of hearing
The same applies to some of the greatest scientists in American history. Thomas Edison is one example. Probably the world’s most prolific inventor, Edison was profoundly deaf from childhood. No one knows exactly why. Edison himself attributed his condition to scarlet fever and a blow in the ears from a railroad conductor. But what we do know is that Edison’s hearing loss wasn’t an impediment to remarkable success. In fact, many of Edison’s most famous inventions were all about sound. For example, the phonograph revolutionized the way we listen to music. Just like Beethoven, Edison developed a deep awareness of sound without crystal-clear hearing. His mind adapted, and he thrived as a result.
Hearing loss can lead to the ability to work miracles
We can’t move on without celebrating the achievements of Helen Keller, dubbed the “Miracle Worker” by an Oscar-winning 1962 movie. Keller, who was both blind and deaf, overcame her disabilities to found the American Civil Liberties Union. She worked for decades to learn how to read and speak, graduated from university, wrote a best-selling autobiography and traveled across Asia at the age of 75 raising awareness of issues affecting the visually and hearing impaired. If anyone provides evidence that hearing loss is more a mental than a physical limitation, this person is Keller – who remains an inspiration for many across the world.
Emulate the Superhearoes from history and conquer your own hearing loss
At hear.com, we like to call people like Keller and Beethoven “Superhearoes.” But they are really not that different from the millions of Americans who currently experience mild to severe hearing loss. The only major difference is that in the past, most of our Superhearoes didn’t have access to advanced technology to treat their hearing loss. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. If you feel inspired by their example, why not schedule a consultation with one of our hearing experts and let us guide you in finding hearing aids that work for your case? Even if you don’t intend to compose concertos or assume the Presidency, you can greatly change your own journey by acting today.