Captivating her audience and leaving them speechless was Sue Thomas’ trademark. The inspiration behind the award-winning family TV series Sue Thomas: FBEye, she not only captured the hearts of millions of Americans but also hearts in 64 nations around the world where the TV show is syndicated.
Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Sue faced overwhelming odds when, at the age of 18 months, she became profoundly deaf. Instead of institutionalizing Sue, her dedicated parents set out to provide the tools to enable her to live and survive in the world of sound. It was imperative to them that little Sue would learn to speak, even though she heard nothing. Years of speech therapy gave her the voice that would one day be heard worldwide. Deemed “a dummy” and put into the slow-learner class throughout her public school days, she was finally discovered by her typing teacher, who saw the raw potential concealed by Sue’s deafness. Through the intervention of this teacher, Sue went on to college, where she studied political science and international relations and received her BS degree before doing post-graduate work in counseling at Case Western Reserve and Columbia Bible College and Seminary. The highlight of her professional career was in Washington, DC, where the FBI recruited her for her unique lip-reading abilities.
Sue’s story has been documented in a PBS special and featured on CNN Headline News. She was sought for her professional lip-reading expertise on 60 Minutes and Inside Edition. She made several guest appearances in the TV series Sue Thomas: FBEye and DOC with Billy Ray Cyrus.
National media publications such as Family Circle and TV Guide, as well as most major newspapers, have featured her as the inspiration behind the TV series. She appeared on Moody Broadcasting, Focus on the Family, 700 Club, 100 Huntley Street, and the Gaither Homecoming concerts.
Sue Thomas had a special niche for fundraising banquets. If you were looking for a voice that could bring your audience to their feet for your cause, your search was over. She was a national ambassador for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and gave her voice to raise money for disabilities, humanitarian missions, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, service dog foundations, and many more.
She was also an author and an internationally renowned motivational speaker. Full of energy and determination, her heart’s desire was to inspire and encourage people from all walks of life. She founded a non-profit organization called Sue Thomas Ministries, which includes WaterBrooks, a prayer sanctuary in Vermont, and an outreach to the homeless called Operation Silent Night.
There is a reason Sue was invited to speak in every denomination—for Sunday worship, youth events, leadership conferences, mother-daughter banquets, retreats, and conventions. Sue was a living testimony that the grace of God is sufficient. Her powerful story of overcoming the odds gave her a clear voice that resonated with her audiences.
Her humor was contagious, and her stories were compelling. Most of all, she inspired others through her love for God and her desire to make him known by encouraging his people to become all he created them to be. She lived a life of overcoming many challenges with grace, courage, and abundant joy. She considered her greatest accomplishment in life to simply be staying in the race.