|Cloud began losing his hearing at the age of seven. Graduated from Illinois School for the Deaf 1880, Gallaudet College in 1886, D.D. in 1914. He taught at Illinois School for the Deaf from 1886 - 1890, then moved on to become principal of the St. Louis Day School for the Deaf (also known as the Gallaudet School for the Deaf) and stayed until his retirement in 1922. While at the St. Louis School, he established the St. Thomas Mission for the Deaf. He served as president of the NAD for two terms from 1917 - 1923 and was active in the NFSD. He modeled his personal motto, "Do things, not dream them" and fought to retain the use of sign language in his school. In addition, Cloud took special interest in ministering to the "colored deaf" in Missouri.
In 1913, Cloud and Michael McCarthy teamed up to jointly sign and read aloud from a written address entitled "A Plead for a Statue of Épée in America." Reverend McCarthy's ministry to Deaf parishioners began when he studied sign language at Holy Cross and Fordham University. Ordained as a Jesuit priest in July 1897, he served in New York City at the College of St Francis Xavier and conducted masses for the deaf there, and in Brooklyn, New York, Jersey City, New Jersey, and at St. Joseph's Institute in Westchester, New York. His work was also recognized and appreciated among deaf students at Fanwood and Lexington schools for the deaf.