Hearing. Born at Philadelphia, PA; graduated Yale College in 1805 and settled in Hartford, CT. Moved by the plight of Alice Cogswell (q.v.), an uneducated young deaf neighbor, he tried and was successful in teaching her a few English words. Asked by Hartford community leaders to found a school for the deaf, he went to Europe to study methods of deaf education and brought back the French method as well as a French deaf teacher of the deaf, Laurent Clerc (q.v.). Founded and served as principal/teacher of what is now the American School for the Deaf, 1817-30. Married one of his pupils, Sophia Fowler (q.v.). Eight children, all hearing; those involved in work with the deaf were educator Edward Miner Gallaudet (q.v.) and teacher/priest Thomas Gallaudet (no middle name, q.v.). After retiring from deaf education, wrote several religious books. Active in various educational and philanthropic endeavors; died at Hartford, CT. Gallaudet University in Washington, DC is named for him, and a statue of him with Alice Cogswell stands at the front of the campus. Another memorial sculpture is in Hartford.
Gallaudet Encyclopedia, vol.1 p.444-447; ABC-Clio companion, p.132-133; American National Biography, vol.8 p.645-646; Deaf History Unveiled, p.53-73; Deaf Heritage in Canada, p.17-18; Encyclopedia of Special Education, vol.2, p.696; Dictionary of American Biography, vol.4, p.111; Gallaudet Almanac, p.237-238.
10 December 1787-10 September 1851