Steve Baldwin, PhD, Deaf Historian
In doing research for Texas Hero, Erastus Deaf Smith, one historian’s name came up more than any other – Steve Baldwin, PhD, who also happens to be deaf! We are so excited to have him as a show consultant, as well as a guest on the show for our episode on Deaf Smith that will close out our first season!
Much of Dr. Baldwin’s extensive research and work on Erastus Deaf Smith and his role in the Texas Revolution has been donated to the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin (The Erastus “Deaf” Smith Collection of Steve C. Baldwin, 1985-2012). His research spanning for more than 30 years consists of papers, articles, clippings, photocopies, original writings, photographs, videos, maps, theater scripts and programs, mounted posters and music sheets.
Dr. Steve Baldwin has a BA in American History, MA in Special Education and PhD in Theater History, Theory and Criticism from the University of Texas at Austin. He has spent more than 30 years researching and writing about Texas Revolution hero Erastus “Deaf” Smith. “Deaf” Smith (1787-1837), who lost his hearing due to a childhood disease, was a scout for Stephen F. Austin’s army, served as a messenger from William B. Travis and fought in the battle of San Jacinto close to Sam Houston. He died and was buried in Richmond, Texas.
As an advocate for deaf rights, Dr. Baldwin was the president, newsletter editor and secretary of the Texas Association of the Deaf between 2006 and 2012, and received several awards from institutions such as the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and the National Association of the Deaf. In 1985 he was awarded a Texas Humanities grant for producing a sesquicentennial play about “Deaf” Smith, premiered at the Texas School for the Deaf on May 25th.
In April 2012 he curated an exhibit celebrating “Deaf” Smith’s 225th Birthday that was displayed on the ground floor of the Texas Capitol Rotunda. The event was celebrated with a public commendation from Governor Rick Perry. Dr. Baldwin has also been a history instructor for 39 years in various cities and states, including 17 years at the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD), and authored a theater history book, 20 community plays, scripted an award-winning mini-documentary, authored Pictures in the Air: The Story of the National Theater of the Deaf, and Backspace, wrote about 110 cable interview scripts, several other documentaries and over 75 articles covering an eclectic list of topics.
More about Steve Baldwin, PhD:
Dr. Steve Baldwin was born on March 2, 1944 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Before living in Texas the last 28 years since 1980, he worked in Wisconsin, Louisiana, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Utah as a teacher and administrator.
He has won many awards, honors and recognition for his writings and leadership, particularly the NAD Literary Award, Greenmun Leadership Memorial Award, and West Texas Chamber of Commerce Cultural Award. He is currently in two athletic halls of fame as a record-breaking long distance runner: Gallaudet University Hall of Fame and USA Deaf Sports Federation.
Dr. Baldwin is now a retired educator who lives in Austin, Texas, and does freelance writing on a near-daily basis.