Deaf wife of Alexander Graham Bell. Deafened at age 4 or 5 from scarlet fever; her father's efforts to find an oral education for her helped inspire the establishment of the Clarke School at Northampton, MA, in 1867, where Mabel was one of its first pupils. Bell came to this school as a speech teacher, eventually giving private speech lessons to Mabel; a courtship ensued, and they married in 1877. She assisted her husband in his less strenuous research, and helped found the New York League for the Hard of Hearing. She was a stubborn oralist, even more so than her husband, who would use sign language and fingerspelling with other deaf people, but she never would. She survived her husband, but dropped into obscurity after his death. Book-length biography is Mabel Bell: Alexander's Silent Partner (1984).
Notable Deaf Persons, p.145-147; Deaf Women, p.28-29.
25 November 1857-3 January 1923