Edmund Booth

Journalist and advocate

A native of Massachusetts, Edmund Booth was deafened and totally blinded in one eye by meningitis when he was 4. After graduating from the “Hartford Asylum” in 1830, he worked as a teacher. Craving independence, he settled in Anamosa, Iowa, and helped found the Iowa School for the Deaf. After the Gold Rush began, Booth journeyed to California, and was fairly successful in his gold-mining endeavors, returning to Iowa in 1854. In 1856, he began his career as an editor and publisher. In 1880, the first National Deaf-Mute Convention was held in Cincinnati. Booth, who chaired the gathering, was nominated for the presidency, but declined, fearing he was too old. Nonetheless, he helped found the National Association of the Deaf. He chaired its National Executive Committee, advocating for Deaf rights to the end of his long, vigorous life.

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