David Peikoff


A native of Russia, David Peikoff was deafened at age 5 by spinal meningitis, and grew up in Manitoba, Canada. He left the Manitoba Institute when he was 17 and worked as a Linotypist, then entered Gallaudet College, working nights at the Washington Post. An accomplished student and dynamic leader, he received his B.A. in English and Journalism in 1929, having already begun his remarkable career as a “one-man fundraising committee.” He established scholarship funds for Canadian students, was a leading activist in Canadian and U.S. Deaf organizations, and staunchly defended the right of deaf Canadians to drive. When the GCAA launched its Centennial Drive in 1961, Peikoff chaired it—and raised a million dollars. He and his wife Polly helped raise funds to restore the old gymnasium, “Ole Jim.” After his death, it was renamed “Peikoff Alumni House.”

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