Many know that silent film star Lon Chaney, renowned for his work in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Phantom of the Opera,” is from Colorado Springs.

What you might not know is his connection to the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Chaney’s maternal grandparents, John and Mary Kennedy, had three children, all of whom were born with impaired hearing.

John Kennedy would establish what would become the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind with a $5,000 appropriation from the Colorado Territorial Legislature and land donated by Gen. Palmer’s Colorado Springs Co. in 1874.

Chaney stayed connected to the school and in 1925 even held a special screening of “The Phantom of the Opera” for students.

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