Birthday: July 31, 1897
Died At Age: 86
Sun Sign: Leo
Also Known As: Louise Ten Broeck Treadwell
Born in: New Castle, Pennsylvania
Famous as: Founder of The John Tracy Clinic
Spouse/Ex-: 1923 - June 10, 1967), Spencer Tracy (September 12
father: Alliene Wetmore Treadwell
mother: Bright Treadwell
children: 1924 – June 17, 1932 - ), 2007), John Tracy (June 26, Louise ‘Susie’ Treadwell Tracy (July 1
Died on: November 13, 1983
U.S. State: Pennsylvania
Founder/Co-Founder: John Tracy Clinic
education: Lake Erie College, Painesville, Ohio, USA
Louise Tracy or Louise Ten Broeck Treadwell was an American actress and pioneer, who became famous for founding the ‘The John Tracy Clinic’ in Los Angeles, California. She was also the wife of Oscar winning actor Spencer Tracy. It was her work with children with hearing loss, through her clinic, that gave her an iconic status in the USA. The idea for the clinic stemmed from the personal tragedy of son, John Tracy, being born with no hearing abilities. Her contributions were recognized with several awards throughout her lifetime including the ‘Hearing Advancement Award’ from the ‘Lions Club Hearing Foundation’ and the ‘Sixth Annual Award of the Save the Children Foundation’. She was also a member of the ‘National Advisory Council on Vocational Rehabilitation’ in the USA. Louise garnered the admiration of one and all. Perhaps, it’s Spencer’s own testimony that sums up her life the best, “...there's nothing I've ever done that can match what Louise has done for deaf children and their parents”.
Career & Fame
After graduating with honors from the Lake Erie College, in Painesville, Ohio, Louis Treadwell started to take acting seriously. She started her career on stage and in March 1923, got her first major break. She was signed as a leading lady by Leonard Wood Players in White Plains, New York. Her career was on the rise and around the same time she met actor Spencer Tracy while traveling on a train. Spencer’s charm and their instant chemistry led them to fall in love and they got married in 1923. She officially became known as Louise Tracy.
The couple welcomed their first child John on June 26, 1924, who was diagnosed with no hearing abilities. Her determination to help John, received a boost when in 1926, she met a deaf woman who could lip read and speak. Louise took John to another doctor who diagnosed that he could still learn to talk and lip read. Filled with hope, Louise devoted all of her efforts to teaching John. After three years in 1927, John said his first word ‘Mama’ and was admitted to the ‘Wright Oral School’ for the hearing impaired in New York City.
Her married life with Spencer Tracy was already beginning to unravel, due to his numerous adulterous affairs with other actresses. In spite of all the unhappiness in her personal life, Louise Tracy became an expert in the education of children suffering from hearing loss. She also got involved with organizations involved with raising funds and awareness about children with deafness. Her speech in 1942 at the ‘University of Southern California’ describing the experiences of raising and educating a deaf child, led to requests by other parents to help them.
This eventually led to the formation of the ‘The John Tracy Clinic’ a free and non-profit organization to help parents and children. Louise was the director of the clinic and established many of its core ideals. Spencer Tracy donated more than half a million dollars throughout his lifetime to the clinic. Although she left the position of Director in October 1974, due to her failing health, her contributions earned her numerous awards and recognitions until her death in 1983.
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Awards & Recognitions
In 1953, Louise Tracy was awarded the ‘Testimonial of Merit/Woman of the Year’ award from the ‘La Sertoma International’ organization. Besides receiving honorary degrees from the ‘Northwestern University’, ‘Lake Erie College’ etc. she was also given a ‘Doctor of Letters degree’ from ‘Gallaudet College’ in 1966. Louise also received ‘Doctor of Humane Letters’ degrees from both ‘Whitworth College’ (1974), and ‘Rippon College’ (1976).
In 1963, Louise Tracy became part of the ‘Neurological and Sensory Disease Advisory Committee’ of the ‘HEW’ and in 1965, she was appointed a member of the ‘National Advisory Board’ of the ‘NTID’ in the USA. The same year she was given a four-year term as part of the ‘National Advisory Council on Vocational Rehabilitation’. In 1969, she was a part of the ‘President's Task Force on the Physically Handicapped’. Before her death, Louise was also awarded the ‘1974 Award of Honor Otolaryngology’ and the 1977 ‘Humanitarian Award’ by ‘AMVETS’.
Louise Tracy was born Louise Ten Broeck Treadwell to parents Alliene Wetmore Treadwell and Bright Treadwell on July 31, 1897, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, USA. She was married to actor Spencer Tracy from September 12, 1923, until his death on June 10, 1967. Although they never divorced, they were estranged a majority of their marriage. The couple’s first son, John was born on June 26, 1924, and passed away on June 17, 2007. Their daughter, Susie Tracy was born on July 1, 1932. Louise Tracy passed away on November 13, 1983.