(Salt Lake City, Utah)
My favorite person from Deaf History is Alexander Graham Bell because he gave the deaf population something to fight for.
Every story needs a great villain and quite often the villain does not seem so villainous on the surface. Every great story where good triumphs over evil the villain makes the hero stand up and fight for something, anything.
While I will readily admit that Alexander Graham Bell was most likely a villain out of ignorance he was still a villain nonetheless. The push he made to force oralism gave the deaf community a reason to remember how proud they were of a language they had created. Had Bell not pushed for oralism it is quite possible that ASL would never have seen the realization that it has today.
Now recognized as its own language and taught in most colleges, including hearing schools, ASL has become a force to be reckoned with. It is always nice to see a group stand together to defend something they are proud of.