Around 35 million people in the U.S. have some level of hearing loss, so it’s not surprising to find celebrities among them. But did you know about these? Whether through genetics, illness, injury or occupational hazard (think “rock stars”), these celebs adjust, adapt and move forward.
Stephen Colbert — Despite his sharp ear for absurdity, he’s profoundly deaf in one ear due to childhood surgery to remove a tumor and his eardrum.
Whoopi Goldberg — She’s an advocate for people with hearing loss and leads by example, openly discussing the fact that she wears hearing aids in both ears.
Halle Berry — This major star and Academy Award winner lost 80% of her hearing in one ear as a consequence of domestic violence.
Vincent Cerf — This “father of the internet” lost his hearing at age 13, which hasn’t stopped him from his pioneering work in technology.
Heather Whitestone — With brains, beauty and determination, the first deaf Miss America used “anything is possible” as her platform.
Derrick Coleman — The fullback for the Super bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks has been deaf since he was 3 years old. He’s the first deaf offensive player in the NFL.
Rob Lowe — This hunky actor lost hearing in his right ear as a baby, when a case of mumps went undiagnosed.
Jim Ryun — A 50% hearing loss has never stopped Jim Ryun, an Olympic medalist in track and field and a U.S. Congressman. He was Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year” and also championed the Hearing Aid Tax Credit Act in Congress.
Larry Brown — The Washington Redskins running back’s career improved significantly after his hearing loss was diagnosed and he was fitted with an earpiece in his helmet. He was named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins of all time.
And then there are the musicians. Constant exposure to loud noise will cause hearing problems, both hearing loss and tinnitus. And these rockers can attest to that! Pete Townshend is completely deaf in one ear, with partial hearing in the other. Between playing live and using headphones in the studio, he has both hearing loss and tinnitus.
And the list goes on, to name a few:
If you’re one of the millions of people with some level of hearing loss, you’re in good company!