Helen Keller was an educator, disability activist, and author. She is the most famous DeafBlind person in history. Claudia Gordon is the first deaf female African American lawyer in the United States. Marlee Matlin, who became deaf when she was just 18 months old, won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Children of a Lesser God in 1986. Heather Whitestone was the first deaf Miss America in 1995.