It may prove somewhat comforting to know that not only are you far from alone in experiencing hearing loss, but you share this condition with some very prominent people from the worlds of entertainment, music, sports, and history. Here are just a few inspiring examples.

Whoopi Goldberg, actor/comic

Star of stage, screen, and most recently, co-host of The View on ABC, Whoopi Goldberg has openly discussed her hearing loss and the fact that she wears hearing aids in both ears. She believes that her hearing was damaged by listening to very loud music too close to her ears for many years.

Gerard Butler, actor

The Scottish star of 300 and many other film and stage productions, Gerard Butler had surgery as a child that left his right ear physically deformed. He suffers from lifelong tinnitus and hearing loss in that ear, which he says is responsible for his smile appearing crooked in photos. His condition did not prevent him from starring in the film version of the musical Phantom of the Opera and belting out the titular character’s challenging rock-opera anthems.

Pete Townshend, musician

Lead guitarist and driving force behind the legendary rock band, The Who, Pete Townshend is completely deaf in one ear and only has partial hearing in the other – which is further troubled by tinnitus. He attributes his condition to using earphones in the recording studio while playing back music tracks (not to mention years of playing live on stage with one of the loudest acts in rock history). He has a hearing aid now and says its use and other assistive technology have helped him feel, “reborn.”

Huey Lewis, musician

Another rocker who played loud and without hearing protection, Huey Lewis suffers from extensive hearing loss and tinnitus. He wears hearing aids in both ears and contributes his story to campaigns to raise awareness among musicians and others of the risks that may lead to hearing loss.

Chris Colwill, athlete

Chris Colwill has competed on behalf of the United States in two Olympics as a member of the diving team. He was born with 60 percent hearing loss in both ears and wears hearing aids outside of the pool. Since he cannot dive with his hearing aids in, to keep track of when it is his turn to dive, he relies on watching the scoreboard.

Jim Ryun, athlete and US Congressman (2nd district, KS)

Inspirational Olympic silver medalist Jim Ryun was a member of the US Track and Field team in the 1968 Mexico City games. He suffered 50 percent hearing loss as a young child after a bout with measles. Ryun later served as a Congressman from 1996-2007, a term distinguished by his introduction of the Hearing Aid Tax Credit Act. [1]

Historical figures known to have hearing loss

In addition to the folks mentioned above, many historical figures have accomplished great things, in spite and because of their deafness or hearing impairments. The best known of these include the following:

  • Helen Keller, advocate, public speaker, author
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven, composer, musician
  • Thomas Edison, inventor, businessperson
  • Francisco Goya, master painter, printmaker

Call a hearing care professional for assistance

These folks didn’t let hearing loss get in the way of achieving great things. Neither should you. Call 855-355-9064 or schedule an appointment online today to get tested, get help, and get on with your life.