Reverend Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787-1851) was a renowned American pioneer in the education of the Deaf. After graduating from the seminary and meeting the deaf daughter of a colleague he decided to travel to Europe to study methods for teaching the deaf. At the Institution Nationale des Sourds-Muets ÌÊ Paris he learned the school's method of teaching using sign language. Back in the states he co-founded the first institution for the education of the Deaf in North America, and he became its first principal. When opened in 1817, it was called the "American Asylum for Deaf-Mutes" in Connecticut, but it is now known as the American School for the Deaf. He lived to be 63 and died of natural causes.