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Irving King Jordan

I King JordanIrving King Jordan was born in a small town of Glen Ridge, Pennsylvania on June 16, 1943. In school, he was an average student with a great sense of humor.

One evening in 1965, at the age of 21, King was riding a motorcycle when he got in an accident in Washington D.C. He was hospitalized for fourteen months and suffered serious injuries, which deafened him.

In 1967 he met and married Linda Marie Kephart. They had two children. King enrolled in Gallaudet College, where he learned to sign. He also hit the books hard. He graduated in 1970 with a B.A. in Psychology, and did postgraduate work at University of Tennessee, without an interpreter. He was an honor student.

He earned his Master's in 1971; his doctorate in 1973. Then he returned to Gallaudet and joined its Department of Psychology, where he became an excellent professor. It was not long before he got promoted to various positions.

rallyIn 1987, after the resignation of 6th president, Jerry Lee, people wanted a qualified deaf president, but a hearing woman Dr. Elisabeth Zinser was selected. It caused a big uproar among the college students and public. They closed the gates of Gallaudet and marched to the Capitol building in support of Deaf President Now (DPN). It caught the world's attention and after a few days of unrest, Dr. Zinser resigned.

Dr.King Jordan was appointed the seventh president of Gallaudet University. He quoted Frederick Schreibert, saying, "Deaf people can do anything hearing people can, except hear," which became the motto of the deaf community.