Born in Paris; deafened at age 5 by an artillery shell exploding close by during a French civil war in 1871. Attended a regular (monk-run) school for a while, then transferred to the National Institute for the Deaf in Paris where he was trained as a typesetter and printer. In 1886, began to become involved with the French deaf resistance against government-imposed oralism in the deaf schools; 1891, founded a mime company of deaf actors. By 1893, was editor-in-chief of the only French deaf newspaper founded by deaf people themselves, La Gazette des Sourds-Muets. Attended an international deaf education conference in Chicago in 1893 as respresentative for the French deaf. Seeing the place of sign language and deaf activism in America, he returned to France as a strong advocate for sign language and the rights of deaf Frenchmen. Re-visited the U.S. in 1917 and wrote of his travels and experiences then; in 2001, his travel journal was published in English translation under the title Gaillard in Deaf America.
Deaf History Unveiled, p.40-52.