Native American (Navajo)
Grew up on the Navajo Reservation in a sheep-herding family; deaf at 4 from an accident in which he hit his head on rocks in a fall. Unschooled until about age 13, briefly attended a government-supported school on the reservation, then transferred to the New Mexico School for the Deaf at the age of 14. Left the school before graduation, at age 20, due to a maximum-age requirement, but had learned the shoe repair trade. Odd jobs around the reservation and in southern California followed; he married a hearing woman, Rosemary, in 1963. They established a shoe repair shop on the reservation, but relocated it to Farmington, NM due to the reservation's poverty. The new shop became unprofitable after several years, and they returned to the reservation to farm. His problem-solving skills made him in demand for the building of hogans, the traditional Navajo dwelling. He later re-entered shoe repair, working for another shop in Farmington.
Deaf Esprit, p.113-121; Step Into the Circle, p.186-190.
30 January 1938-