Juliette Gordon Low, a Hero to All People

March 8, 2013
Category: Submitted Posts

by Jodi J

(Parsons, KS, USA)

Ms. Low (center) with two Girl Scouts
Ms. Low (center) with two Girl Scouts

Perhaps no greater tribute can be said than she is not remembered as a “deaf person who” but rather as an outgoing and exciting example of what all people should strive for and that is to be a person of conviction. Ms. Low is known as the founder of the Girl Scout movement that lives on even today. Upon learning all that she endured through her life, it is all the more amazing that she was remembered at all.

Born in 1860 Ms. Low had humble beginnings including being a captive of native Americans for many years and being shipped around the country to different relatives and schools during her early life. She lost a great deal of hearing in one ear after an infection was treated with silver nitrate at the age of 25. A year later she would lose hearing completely in the other ear due to an infection from getting a grain of rice thrown at a wedding lodged in her ear. Her life continued on a downward spiral with a childless marriage and resulting divorce. Through it all she kept up her spirits and engaged people throughout America and England.

She would go on to become an artist and activist for several different causes. It was during a meeting with Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts in England that Ms. Low became enamored working with children to help them become leaders. Her first efforts were successful in England so she returned home to America and with her sister began the “Girl Guides” which a year later would be renamed the Girl Scouts. It is a testament to her will and great resolve that she did not let her deafness define her, rather she took it in stride as part of her life and went on to make history.

Comments for Juliette Gordon Low, a Hero to All People

Jan 24, 2013

Juliette Gordon Low

by: Anonymous

It was Juliette Gordon Low’s great grandmother Eleanor (Lytle) Kinzie who was captured and adopted by Seneca Indians as a child, eventually returned to her family, and later became the wife of the original pioneer to establish the now-city of Chicago. Juliette Gordon suffered a great deal more from her illnesses that led to her hearing losss, than is commonly known. Her health was sometimes frail, her family at times feared for her life, and she spent much time (fruitlessly) seeking out cures or relief.

As a plucky spirit she adapted and used her deafness to meet her need to remain socially active and eventually, to build her organization of volunteers.

Among the wealthy English aristocrat set of her early marriage, she became the life of the many dinner parties she arranged or attended (her main role as the wife of William Low, a wealthy irresponsible scoundrel who she loved but who betrayed her in the worst. most public, and humiliating fashion. Despite Wille (or maybe because of how loyally and nobly she dealt with his gambling and adultery) she built a wide circle of friends and admirers. Shed became an inveterate story teller, since she oculd not listen to the stories of others.

Later to recruit volunteers for GS, she would simply assign a friend to lead a troop of girls or acomplish another task- then ignore them if they tried to decline by using her deafness as an excuse not to hear.

Nov 29, 2012

Irresponsibly bad information

by: Lauren

Ms. Low was born into a family of priveledge. She was never kidnapped by native americans. She was sent to the best boarding schools and had an early childhood of priveledge, art, music, education and travel.

She had hearing impairment. The rice was lodged into the same ear that was treated with silver nitrate. She eventually lost most of the hearing in the other ear. Medical science at the time believed it was due to that ear having to overcompensate for the loss in the other ear.

Please do your research and view more reputable souces before making conclusions about Ms. Low.

Oct 29, 2012

Nothing Could Stop Her

by: Tracy J.

Amazing, I have been a Girl Scout for more than 30 years; I received the highest award, The Gold Award. Having done I that I have with the Girl Scouts, I never knew she was Deaf. I have always considered her and amazing woman, and now even more so.

Jan 23, 2011

Juliette Gordon Low

by: Anonymous

I did’nt know who she was at first bust I learned one thing make each day count, spend time together, create moments, celebrate life’s moments

Nov 26, 2010


by: Anonymous


Jan 28, 2010


by: Anonymous

juliette you are truly insperational to me you helped me write my essay

Jan 28, 2010

you rock

by: Anonymous

i think juliette is a great person wothout here there would be no Girl Scouts

Jan 04, 2010


by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for the information It helped me with my final essay questions

Dec 14, 2009


by: Michelle Jay – Webmaster

Just for the record, Irish’s facts are correct. Irish, thank you for adding these corrections. 🙂

Dec 14, 2009

Fact Check?

by: Irish

Juliette Low is a personal hero of mine, so it disappoints me to see such mistakes about her life when it is so easy to find the correct information.

Juliette Low was never held captive by Native Americans, her great grandmother was.

Her divorce was not a result of not having children, but because her husband cheated on her.

It wasn’t her sister she founded girl scouts with, but a distant cousin.

She probably didn’t feel bad about being “sent away” to different schools and relatives. It was common practice at the time and resulted in her being a very well educated woman, which helped her in her life’s work.

Not having children was probably something she was very grateful for later, as it made it possible to leave her husband (the divorce wasn’t yet final when he died though) and gave her the freedom she needed to do what she did.

She lived several years with breast cancer, which she later died of, but kept it quiet and continued to devote her time and energy to the Girl Scouts. Juliette Low was an amazing person… and deserves to have her biography relayed correctly.


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