‘Sue Thomas F. B. Eye’

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on February 29, 2004

We enjoy watching Sue Thomas F.B.Eye. We would like to know about the real Sue Thomas.
—Myrtle F., Michigan

The groundbreaking PAX drama was inspired by Sue Thomas, who lost her hearing before she was 2 years old and developed lip-reading skills, which she used to work surveillance for the FBI. These days, the 53-year-old lives with her hearing dog, Amazing Grace, in Youngstown, Ohio, when she is not on the road speaking to civic, professional, and church groups. Thomas is played by a deaf actress, Deanne Bray, in the television show based on her autobiography, Silent Night. As a child, Thomas escaped the teasing of her peers by ice skating, and at age 7 became the youngest Ohio State Champion freestyle skater in history. Thomas was hired by the FBI to help start a program to train deaf people to classify fingerprints. Later, an agent discovered that the sound had failed on a videotape of an investigation, so he asked her to try and read the lips of the speakers. That led to work in undercover surveillance. She eventually left the agency to attend Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions in Columbia, S.C. She is interviewed regularly on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, Court TV, Focus on the Family and The 700 Club. She also is working on another book and battling a new challenge—multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease that affects mobility and vision.