Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Two Oldest Brothers who are Deaf

Did you know that Marie Osmond has two brothers, who are deaf?
You may want to know more than that. Virl and Tom, the two oldest Osmond children, are deaf and raised orally. Their deafness was the inspiration for the Children's Miracle Network. Olive Osmond started the Osmond Foundation, which is the Children's Miracle Network. Marie Osmond served as Chairperson of the Foundation. I don't really read all of the stories. Just wanted to share a tiny bit of the news on my post. I wanted to add something else that I caught Marie Osmond signing: "Thank you" on the television show, Dancing with the Stars. Just the perfect sign, "Thank you!"... That's nice to see that. Well, I thought it would be cool if her deaf brothers would be on the T.V. show than just her brother, Donny, but I don't really mind. I guess that's all for my blog. =)
Here is the website you may want to check and learn more about the Mother Osmond.

What I learned from this website: Their first two children, Virl and Tom, were born with a degenerative condition which left them nearly deaf. Doctors warned the couple that any other children would be at risk of inheriting the same disorder, but George and Olive wanted a large family. The rest of the children, Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Donny, Marie, and Jimmy, were born healthy.

You can copy and paste it.

After you read all the comments below, you may want to see Barb's post regarding deaf/Deaf. http://deafprogressivism.blogspot.com/2007/10/should-we-get-rid-of-small-d-in-deaf.html (copy and paste it)

Thanks to Kim's help for explaining about the degenerative condition, she clarified it.


Deaf Pixie said...

Interesting, I just researched about degenerative condition and there is no explaination what it is meaning. I assume Their olderest brother hearing loss from birth or unexplainated of what cause the brother's hearing loss. It did not say Rubella or diease or be specifically.

I think they want to keep their private. Of course, I saw the Osmonds were invited by Oprah show. They were there along with their famous silbings,too. They appear talked very well with Oprah.

Anonymous said...

You're not kidding? I just saw one of their older brother along with Marie on some news gossip show last week but didn't even know he was deaf, no sign language used. I will check out this wikipedia link you just left in your post when I get home from work soon. I'm using sidekick now. I wonder what's up with Gerald McRaney's deaf son these days. Thanks for that Osmond news.

Deb Ann said...

I wish I watched Oprah's Show, but I missed it!

I know what you mean. Virl and Tom were born with a degenerative condition (I assume it's a "weak" gene") which left them nearly deaf. Doctors warned the parents that any other children would be at the risk of the same disorder. It's caused by their "weak" gene or something like that, but they wanted to have a big family and they were all born healthy.

Here are the names and birth dates:

Alan Ralph Osmond (born June 22, 1949)

Melvin Wayne Osmond (knew as Wayne Osmond) (born August 28, 1951)

Merrill Davis Osmond (born April 30, 1953)

Jay Wesley Osmond (born March 2, 1955)

and Donald Clark "Donny" Osmond (born December 9, 1957).

They were later joined by younger siblings (Olive) Marie Osmond (born October 13, 1959)

and James Arthur "Jimmy" Osmond (born April 16, 1963).

Older brothers George Virl Osmond, Jr. (born October 19, 1945), and Thomas Rulon Osmond (born October 26, 1947) were born deaf and did not appear on any of the records. In later years, they occasionally performed and appeared on various TV shows with their siblings.

I noticed the healthy children of Osmond have been in public since they were in the music group back in 1970. I once saw the two deaf oldest brothers were applauding on T.V. but I don't see any of them signing. If you try to research on them, you will find more about the singers, but I don't think we would ever be able to find some further information about the two deaf brothers. If you find some information about them, please share with us!

Deb Ann said...


I didn't know that Gerald McRaney has a deaf son! It surprised me!

Michelle D said...

I have seen those two deaf brothers signing. They were raised orally. I saw them singing with sign language along with brothers and sister at performing stage in Branson, Missouri. It was beautiful to see them singing together. Deaf brothers were at the end of each line singing in sign language. Awesome.

Deb Ann said...

Oh, my! I would love to see them singing with sign language! I missed it, but I am so glad you shared with us! Thank you, Michelle!

Deaf Pixie said...

Deb Ann

Michelle is correct that Marie and Donny's older brother are orally and sign language but not sure if they are frequent ASL. I doubt it about that.

I never know that " Mac "Gerald McRaney's son is deaf. I just figureed out who is Gerald and I checked and It did not say about his son. but they say divorced twice. I was curious and Try to researched to find out his son and why he became deaf from birth or unknown. I m so curious

Anonymous said...

The Osmond parents produced 9 kids? wow. I just read that from the link you left on your post. It'll be interesting to see what Virl and Tom are doing these days.

Deaf Pixie, I found this link that shows McRaney do have deaf son....it showed the dad and the son took classes at John Tracy Clinic so I would assume they do not know sign language.


Anonymous said...


They are deaf, NOT Deaf.

It goes the same for deaf babies, they are deaf, NOT DEAF unless of Deaf parents or are being exposed to ASL and the Deaf community. That is my understanding of the capitalized D and lower case d.

The Osmonds are deaf and raised orally as per LDS friend of mine.

Anna S

Deaf Pixie said...


Thank you for website and I will try to find be specifically of his deaf son later on today.

Donny's brother are morely like orally long time and might learn ASL from Mormon Church. I think?

Deaf Pixie

Anonymous said...

I saw Tom last Sunday at church and we had a brief conversation about his father passing away. Unless I'm insane, we signed our conversation.

JungleForest said...

I recall saw a Maury Povich (I think) show had a guest of Osmond family for doing interview and on stage singing a few years ago. I saw two brothers were in ASL talk to siblings. One of two deaf is orally. Their other siblings weren't use ASL on the stage.

Strange, each pair of siblings are close knit to each other in family.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Gerald McRaney's son is a hard of hearing, not exactly deaf.
We went to counselor together many years ago when we were teenager. He does not know any ASL but using a lot of gestures. His name is Angus. He is now married and have two children and living in Los Angeles if I am correct.
Angus was very quiet guy and I enjoyed his company a lot.

Anonymous said...

On lighter note...aw, Marie was eliminated from the Dancing the Stars
last night! She is my favorite entertainer. It was fun to watch her
dancing. I did watch Oprah Show and it was good. It was really nice of
Oprah that she walked up to Tom and Virl and hugged them when
by Marie and Donny.

Yes, the Osmond family are LDS. I've heard about Tom and Virl through
husband and my sister-in-law whom they had socialized with them several times.

Deb Ann said...

Again, I wish I didn't miss Oprah's show! Oh, my, I'd love to see it, but many thanks to you for sharing!

I agree with you that Marie did really beautiful dancing on the stage and I love her smiles!

Deaf Pixie said...

Deb Ann,

Yes, Tom and Virl are really good talked with Oprah.

I agree with you about Marie is excellent dancer. One day, Just happened after I just watched TV program. I did not really pay attention.
Donny was kind of security over his sister's son is now drug Reb right now and he was mad at Latty King and after he apologized Larry. I completed understood.

Thank you for share about their brothers.

Deb Ann said...

Wow, it's getting more interesting to know more.

I am sorry about her son and I think she's lucky to have a brother who cares about her son.

It's cool to know about the actor, Gerald's son, Angus. Glad he's doing well.

Dennis Bacon said...

I might miss a comment somewhere. May I ask what LDS stand for?

BobRRR said...

I just learned from my friend that there is another deaf family nephew! Check it out at:

His name is Justin Osmond. He looks lot like his uncle, Donnie!

He is deaf son of Merril Osmond.

Deb Ann said...

LDS stands for Latter-Day Saints and I am sorry to keep you waiting so long.

Wow, it's so cool that they have a deaf nephew!

Anonymous said...

glad that you called me tonight. Whew! There's one thing I forgot to tell you that Cheyenne told me last night on the local news on ABC right after the Dancing with the Stars was over that she heard that there will be someone from the Osmond family will be dancing next season but doesn't know who it was. That made me wondering who will be...Donny??? Oh, it will be fun to see one from the Osmond family again. I loved "Donny and Marie Show", I've never even miss an episode of that show!


W. David Samuelsen said...

I've known Virl and Tom Osmond over the years. Tom more often whenever he visit the Deaf community.

Also Justin, their nephew (Merrill's son)

all siblings but Marie & Jimmy (Donny is about to be) are now grandparents.

They have next generation band -
The Osmond Brothers, Second Generation.

They have their own website
All individual photos including Tom and Virl are onsite.

Yes, Justin does bear very strong resemblance to his uncle Donny. And he has his own website.

and Justin is fluent in ASL.

Deaf Pixie said...

W. David Samuelsen said...

WHAT? Merril have a deaf or hard of hearing son, Justin.

We are from Oregon. I am sure you dont remember me. I know your son, Sam Samuelsen pretty well. I have not seen your son more than 30 years, but names is quiet familiar, if I'm correct?

Let me to find Merril's son'swebsite or something I have to research more..

Deb Ann said...

I checked the websites of Justin and the family..so thrilling!

Wow, I got the chance to watch Oprah's show at her website. It was great! My kids listened to their singing and liked it!

kw said...

HI Deb Ann and all,
I just wanted to clear up the misunderstanding about "degenerative condition" that Virl and Tom were born with. When people have a degenerative hearing loss it means their hearing is initially normal or in a better state, then declines into deafness. This is precisely what I have-- a degenerative hearing condition. Often a degenerative hearing loss can be genetic and is passed from generation to generation. Other times degenerative hearing loss is caused by sickness, such as measles, meningitis, chicken pox or some other auto-immune virus. Another thing that can cause a degenerative hearing loss is bad side-effect to medical treatment, such as certain very strong antibiotics or chemotherapy drugs. These things can happen at any age. The doctors believe my degenerative hearing loss was caused when I got the measles at age three. I did not become Deaf at age three. I had a mild hearing loss for most my childhood, then it began to decline when I was a teenager. I am deaf now. Consequently I was raised orally, since no one knew I was going deaf. Often-- with a degenerative hearing loss doctors do not know how deaf a person will become. Thomas Edison also had a degenerative hearing loss, as did many well-known deaf people in history. :-)

J said...

Just checked Justin Osmond's website...

If you read his BUSINESS BIO, you will find... "The second son of Merrill & Mary Osmond was born in Provo, Utah. He has experienced a severe hearing loss from birth and has been raised wearing hearing instruments." OBVIOUSLY, he is Hard of Hearing (HoH) OR, possibly more towards hearing.. Depends on how much his hearing loss. is.

And, also..

IF he is Deaf, then this would not make any sense... read below...

ALso on his website.. "Mr. Osmond has also participated and helped raise millions of dollars to help promote hearing health awareness through the annual ‘So the World May Hear’ Gala and he continues to touch the lives of the hearing impaired in many special and contributing ways, helping them to reach their greatest aspirations in life.

Justin lives by his personal motto: 'I may have a hearing loss, but that hearing loss doesn’t have me.'"

He works for Starkey Hearing Foundation.

Anonymous said...

I think she used D for Deaf on the title to get their attention to her blog.

Deaf Pixie said...

J and KW,

I have been reading about Justin's blog. I was really surprised he is hard of hearing and not meaning he say he might be hearing loss since his uncle tom and Virl's hearing loss possible similiar to Justin. I think it might be the reason why they have a hereditary. They seem that they are so good to support their older brothers of two who are invloved with related with hearing loss foundiation as such involved with famous people they know how to deal.

I think Osmonds Family are very supportive alot. but can sign ASL I have not seen their ASL ?

Some deaf people say they have seen. I never saw. I know and realized that they are not shame about their hearing loss issues. Very honesty family. I think it is so impressed that.

Anonymous said...

Deaf Pixie,

You are very beautiful!

Alan said...

Both Virl and Tom were raised orally, by "force". Once they became adults, they learned ASL and have been signing for many years now--probably more years than they were purely oral. For a time, both were also ostracized from their family for learning ASL--and both, especially Tom, resent their family for raising them orally and not allowing them to sign at home and such. They have spoken in church and among the Deaf community about this. Fortunately, the Osmond family is now more accepting of their choice to use ASL and, indeed, learning ASL themselves. We shouldn't be labelling them or making comments on their "label"...that's up to them.

Deaf Pixie said...

Anonymous said...

I know Donny is one of overprotected Marie.. but he is most best smile and Marie is also best laugher. Donny and Marie are really actually " Twin silbings" they are not .. Less their age about less 2 years apart of their ages.

Agree with Anonymous that It is very beautiful Osmonds family.

Donny and Marie have a excellent example. Donny interview from Insider.. he did apologized to Larry King and Larry King realized Donny want to take care of Marie's childrens. Amazing family keep the way of their knit familys. I know much as I grewing up very poor and keep family knit of our family's personal is some of tragdey and Osmonds also have some serious with Marie's condition. Her ex husband dying of brain tumor. She say I will be there for him. No matter what? They finally going to be divorced. It is sad and what's more she is very strong lady herself as she raise 8 childrens. Myself I am 9th of 12.. It is not really bother me as huge family. I getting use it.

Many time Mormon have a more kids and Catholic do also more than 6 kids.. I know what is the difference.

Deb Ann said...

Hi Pixie,

It's interesting! I am sure that they are a very good, strong family.
Wow, that's cool. You are the 9th of 12. My husband's Deaf mother is one of 13 children. They grew up in Wisconsin.

Deaf Pixie said...

Hi Deb,

Right on. At deaf school student know I have a large family. Funny things that No one never seen my dad has not been OSD since I was almost 4 yr old when I stayed OSD. The some of staff have met my dad in 1964 and never seen my dad for more than 10 years. One day I graduated that night.

The boy asked me who is that man? I said It is my dad. he say No, Why other guy always take you every friday. I said My uncle who is rasied me and say Tonight it is my last day to not live with them anymore. I feel bad because he thought it was my grandpa. I explained to him that My dad turned 41 after few days old when I was 10 days old. he turned 41 yr and had me when I was 10 days old. He said oh, large family . he did not know .. Several of student from Girl dorm they know about me.. but not at boy dorm, The boys student often dont know or care about student's background.
Actually I was catholic.. Not anymore.

One state I think Arkansas. Senator have a 17 kids. I said "No way, I don't want to have more kids. They want another 18th child." I said too much!