Ben Schowe, a Gallaudet graduate, became a Labor Economist with the
Firestone Tires plant in Akron, Ohio. He did not set out to become
an economist but somehow, by luck, fell into that capacity. It was
during the World War I years and he made it a point to have the
factory foremen hire the deaf. When the war ended and layoffs
took place, he made it a point to see that deaf employees were
given job protection. Over the years he prepared labor and economic
reports for the Firestone management. And on the side, he became an
outspoken critic of deaf issues – education, employment, social services, etc. When Frederick C. Schreiber served as the National Association
of the Deaf executive director (sixties and seventies) Ben became
Fred’s sounding board, advisor and confidante. Not too many people
were aware of the close relationship between Ben and Fred. People
who did not like him considered him a loose cannon. He certainly wasn’t.