Heather Whitestone

By Chloe Long

Early Life

Born in Dothan, Alabama on February 24, 1973, Heather Whitestone struggled with her hearing loss. Growing up in Alabama, she lost her hearing at only 18 months old. She was hospitalized because she suffered from Haemophilus influenza which caused her hearing to stop working.


Heather went to public school in Alabama until fourth grade, until she started falling behind her peers. She went to the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, Missouri. She eventually caught up and returned to public school.

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Why Is She Famous?

Heather Whitestone became the first Deaf Miss America in 1995, after winning Miss Alabama 1994. Heather also went on to be a motivational speaker and author, and she has been on many commercials and ads, like the famous "Got Milk?" campaign.


She was appointed to be on the National Council on Disability by George Bush, and resigned in 2010.

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Impact On The Deaf Community

Heather was the first Deaf Miss America, which spread awareness for the Deaf community. Winning this title showed that even without the use of hearing, Deaf people can accomplish anything. She also participated in the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education.

Where Are They Now!

Heather Whitestone got cochelear implants in 2002. She now lives on Saint Simmons Island in Georgia with her husband and three sons, who are all hearing. She is now 42 years old.

The More You Know

Graduated from Jacksonville State University.

Has had a passion for ballet since she was a child.

Has 3 sons named John, James, and William.

Has looked up to Helen Keller since 4th grade.

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"Through ballet, I was fortunate to find a place to escape, a refuge from my feelings of being an outsider." -Heather Whitestone.