Lowell J. Myers

Attorney and advocate

For many years, Lowell J. Myers was the nation’s best-known deaf lawyer, having earned a reputation as a tough, shrewd advocate. The son of deaf parents, Myers grew up in Chicago and originally worked as a CPA. Despite obstacles, discouragement, and no support services, he enrolled in law school and excelled. After earning his J.D., he took on thousands of cases, including several considered unwinnable, representing many deaf and destitute clients. Myers’ The Law and the Deaf (1964) was instrumental in getting sign-language interpreters into courtroom. An expert in Biblical law, Myers argued 17 cases before the Illinois Supreme Court, and won them all. His brilliant defense of Donald Lang, a languageless deaf man accused of murdering two prostitutes, made legal history, and inspired Ernest Tidyman’s best-selling 1974 book and a 1979 TV-movie, both titled Dummy. Myers noted, “My clients like me and my opponents dislike me—which is just the way it should be!”

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