James C. Marsters

James C. Marsters was born in Norwich, New York on April 5, 1924.  When he was born his mother had rubella.  She gave it to him.  He also had scarlet fever when he was three months old.  Because he was sick he became deaf.

Scarlet Fever

Photo Courtesy of Britannica 

Union College

Photo Courtesy of Union College

He graduated from the Wright Oral School for the Deaf.  Then he went to Union College.  He got his bachelors degree. He started to work. 

Marsters was very active in the Deaf community.  He attended the Midtown Manhattan Supper Club.  This group invited famous people to speak during dinner.  They chatted about different ideas. 

Marsters decided he wanted to become a dentist so he went to college again.  He knew his professors would be worried that he was deaf.  He pretended he was hard of hearing and wore a hearing aid.  To learn the information he relied on lip reading, notes from his friends, and reading extra books.  Marsters graduated from New York University College.  Then he passed the test to become a dentist.

Kids go the dentist.

Photo Courtesy of  University of Washington


Kids get braces to make their teeth straight.

Photo Courtesy of

He began working and went back to school at the University of Southern California for his graduate degree.  When he graduated with his master's degree he started his own clinic.  He became an orthodontist.  Marsters thought that communicating with his patients was very important.  He knew he had to work very hard to make them feel comfortable.

He is important to Deaf culture because he helped invent telephones that deaf people could use through a teletypewriter


Picture Courtesy of the University at Buffalo

Picture Courtesy of the Alexander Graham Bell Association


Marsters is still involved in education.  He travels around the United States and tells students how important it is to get a good education.  He also restarted the Oral Hearing Impaired Section of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf. 


Served on the National Advisory Committee in the Education of the Deaf

United Crusade’s Outstanding Service Award

American College of Dentistry Fellow

International college of Dentistry Fellow

National Advisory Group for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf          




Web Links


Lang, H. G., & Meath-Lang, B. (1995). James C. Marsters.  In A Biographical Dictionary: Deaf Persons in the Arts and
(pp.236-239). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.