Moments of Truth, Softcover

by Harry G. Lang, Oscar P. Cohen, Joseph E. Fischgrund
Price: $18.00

Withstanding childhood poverty in a migrant farming family and an illness in 1943 at age 11 that left him profoundly deaf, Robert R. Davila persevered to become one of the first deaf persons in history to earn a doctorate. He did so at a time when interpreting in higher education had not yet become a professional support service. Davila worked unfailingly to achieve positions of stature as vice president of Gallaudet University, the president of three major deaf education organizations, and the seeming culmination of his career as the highest appointed deaf official ever in the U.S. government at the Department of Education. Yet, after this government service, he returned to his field to achieve another series of firsts. He served as Headmaster of the New York School for the Deaf at White Plains for three years, and as the first deaf chief executive officer of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology for seven years. Then, in 2006, Bob Davila was invited to assume the presidency of Gallaudet University in a time of crisis.

Moments of Truth summarizes a series of defining experiences that enabled Davila to rise to the pinnacle of his profession as an educator. This book is not merely a roadmap on how he achieved such honors—it is an inspiring tale of self-discovery and resilience appealing to all who face overwhelming odds, especially deaf children who are sure to be encouraged by his pioneering legacy.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Book details

Publisher: RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-933360-26-3
Binding: softcover
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 19 Black & White
Size: 6 x 9 in.
Shipping Weight: 1

Table of contents

Foreword by Albert J. Simone, ix 
Acknowledgments, xiii
Introduction, 1
Terms and Abbreviations, 5 
1. A Sense of Loss, 7 
2. Waking Up in Silence, 15
3. Out of the Barrio, 23 
4. A Rough Start, 37 
5. Bedazzled, 49
6. Breaking Down Barriers, 55
7. Syracuse, 69
8. Giving Back to the Profession, 77
9. Blessed and Tormented, 91
10. Deaf President Now, 99
11. Momento de Verdad, 107
12. Assistant Secretary!, 121
13. The Second Firestorm, 135
14. Fiercely the Product of Both Cultures, 145
15. Return to White Plains, 157
16. The NTID Years, 167 
Afterword, 185
Appendix: Robert Davila: Selected Honors and Awards, 193 
Notes, 197
Selected Bibliography, 209
About the Authors, 215
Index, 217


"One of the greatest honors of being President of the United States is that you have the privilege of meeting and working with the best of the best in America. Certainly, Bob Davila is one of those ‘best’ who is an inspiration to all who know him. His story is proof that hard work, determination, and courage can overcome even life’s toughest challenges.”

-President George H. W. Bush 
"Bob Davila’s biography describes his truly meaningful academic and public service careers. I consider him a role model, not only for deaf and other disabled persons, but for all of us." 
-Lauro Cavazos, Ph.D., Former U.S. Secretary of Education