He was totally deaf in the left ear and had only 10% hearing on the right. He was schooled for only 3 months, when his teacher scolded him for being "addled" and unteachable. His mother took him home and schooled him.
Later Thomas Edison would say that his deafness helped him in his work. He could concentrate more and was less likely to get caught up in the "babble of conversation". His advice to deaf people: "Take up reading." Edison liked hands-on learning and teaching through play. He cautioned: "The present system casts the brain into a mold. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning."
Edison was awarded 1,368 different patents during his lifetime, including the firs elecric motor, first commercially practical electric lamp, first successful typewriter, and phonograph among others.
Edison National Historic Site
Thomas Alva Edison