Laurent Marie Clerc (Laurent Marie Clerc)

Laurent Marie Clerc

Deaf Education Pioneer. He is remembered as the “Apostle of the Deaf in America” for his co-founding of the first school for the deaf in North America. He was born Louis Laurent Marie Clerc in the small village of La Balme, France where his father was the mayor. It is not clear if he was born deaf or if his deafness was attributed to a head injury that he sustained in a fall when he was a year old. He attended the Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris, a deaf school founded by Charles Michel de l’Épée where he was taught by l’Épée’s successor, Abbe Sicard, and also became a teacher there. In 1815 he first met Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet when he traveled to England to give a lecture. The following year he was invited to accompany Gallaudet to the US to establish a permanent deaf school, which they did in Hartford, Connecticut in April 1817, called the Connecticut Asylum (at Hartford) for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons, later renamed the American School for the Deaf. He taught there for over 50 years until his death in Hartford at the age of 83. (bio by: William Bjornstad)  Family links:  Spouse:  Eliza Crocker Boardman Clerc (1792 – 1880)*  Children:  Francis Joseph Clerc (1823 – 1907)* *Calculated relationship


  • December, 26, 1785
  • France


  • July, 07, 1869
  • USA


  • Spring Grove Cemetery
  • Connecticut
  • USA

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