In Memoriam: Jack R. Gannon

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) remembers Jack Randle Gannon, who passed away on March 14, 2022. He was 85 years old.

Jack worked closely with the NAD to chronicle the history of our Deaf Community, and was well known for his book, The Deaf Heritage: A Narrative History of Deaf America, which the NAD published in 1980. With Jack’s beautiful writing style and ability to capture our heritage, this book garnered attention from thousands of readers across the nation. Jack also spent extensive time researching and interviewing people around the world to write World Federation of the Deaf: A History, also published by the NAD in 2011 in collaboration with the World Federation of the Deaf. Jack went on to write four more books in his life with support from his wife. Jack has inspired many Deaf authors and his work was cited everywhere.

“With his talent, Jack Gannon captured so much of the Deaf heritage, both in the USA and the world,” said NAD President Melissa Draganac-Hawk, “Though he will be missed, his remarkable work has inspired countless Deaf writers.”

Jack was born on November 23, 1936, in West Plains, Missouri, and attended Missouri School for the Deaf in his formative years. He studied at Gallaudet College, where he met his wife, Rosalyn, and graduated in 1959. Both Rosalyn and Jack taught at Nebraska School for the Deaf from 1959 to 1968. In 1968, they moved to Maryland and he worked as Director of Alumni and Public Relations at Gallaudet. Eventually, he became Special Assistant to the President for Advocacy before he retired. Jack has received numerous awards and honors and was recognized for his advocacy work for Deaf citizens, including the National Association of the Deaf’s Distinguished Service Award and WFD’s International Solidarity Merit Award, First Class in 2011.

The National Association of the Deaf has lost a friend, but Jack R. Gannon’s spirit will carry on through his work.


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