Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Famous Blind People




 Researched and compiled by Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, [www.pbs.gov.ph] 8-9 evening class Monday to Friday

 Helen Keller - (1880 - 1968) (1880-1968) American author, activist and lecturer. She was the first deaf/blind person to graduate from college.
 Keller
Claude Monet (1840-1926), founder of French impressionist painting, a movement that swept through Europe in the later part of the 19th century. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Monet
 Horatio Nelson – (1758-1805) British admiral
When enemy ships would display the signal flags Horatio would bring his telescope to his blind eye and say carry on with the attack, I see no signals.

 John Milton – (1608-1674) English poet and prose polemicist, well known through his epic poem Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.

 Andrea Bocelli –(1958 -  ) Andrea Bocelli had become blind at the age of 12 years old, famous singer. He once said "I don't think a singer decides to sing, it is the others who choose that you sing by their reactions". Bocelli is also a lawyer.

 Galileo Galilei - (1564- 642) Galileo Galilei was a Tuscan (Italian) astronomer, mathematician, physicist, and philosopher being greatly responsible for the scientific revolution.
                                                                                            Galileo
 Franklin Delano Roosevelt - (1882-1945) Franklin was the 32nd President of the United States of America.  In spite of several disabilities including vision impairment, he was responsible in the recovery of the economy from the Great Depression.

 Stevie Wonder - (1950 -  ) American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. Blind from infancy.

 Alec Templeton - (1909-1963) was a satirist and pianist who had moved from Wales to the United States where he played with several orchestras, eventually making it to his first radio performances on the Rudy Vallee Show, The Chase and Sanbourn Hour,The Magic Key and Kraft Music Hall. The way he would memorize his scripts before the show was by asking someone to read them 20 times in a row while he would listen. He was blind from birth but it did not stop him to doing what he wanted to do in the end.

 Louis Braille - (1809-1852) Louis Braille became blind after he accidentally stabbed himself in the eye with his father's awl. He later became an inventor and designed braille writing, which enables blind people to read through feeling a series of organized bumps representing letters. This concept was beneficial to all blind people from around the world and is commonly used even today.

 Harriet Tubman - (1820-1913), a slave throughout her youth, being treated as an animal until she eventually escaped captivity. When she had reached Canada she did not stay to enjoy her freedom. She returned to the lands and brought hundreds of black slaves back to safety, saving them from slavery by escaping from what they then called The Underground Railroad. After a severe wound to the head, which was inflicted by a slave owner before her escape, she became victim to vision impairment and seizures. Which did not keep her from tossing her fears aside and to keep fighting for the freedom of her people.

James Thurber - Comedian and cartoonist for New Yorker Magazine. His brother William accidentally shot him in the eye with and arrow while playing a game of William Tell making him almost completely blind after the loss of an eye. 

Jorge Luis Borges - (1899-1986) Argentine writer whose output includes short stories, essays, poetry, literary criticism, and translations.


Joseph Plateau - (1801-1883) Physicist, invented the stroboscope that led to the development of cinema, blinded by gazing at the sun for 25 seconds.
 Marla Runyan - (1969 - ) Marathon runner who is legally blind. She is a three-time US national champion in the women's 5,000 meters.
Thomas Gore - (1870-1949) Democratic politician. He became blind as a child through two separate accidents but did not give up his dream of becoming a senator.

William Prescott - (1726-1795) American colonel in the Revolutionary War, became widely attributed for the famous quote, "Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes," an important instruction to his soldiers in order to conserve ammunition. The former town of Prescott, Massachusetts, and the Prescott Peninsula today were named in his honor,

Ray Charles - (September 23, 1930 June 10, 2004) known by his stage name Ray Charles, was an American pianist and musician who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues. He brought a soulful sound to country music, pop standards, and a rendition of "America the Beautiful" that Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes called the "definitive version of the song, an American anthem. In 1965, Charles was arrested for possession of heroin, a drug to which he had been addicted for nearly 20 years. It was his third arrest for the offence, but he avoided jail time after kicking the habit in a clinic in Los Angeles. He spent a year on parole in 1966.

Sidney Bradford - (May 30, 1906 - August 2, 1960) went blind at 10 months of age but regained sight on both eyes after a cornea transplant at the age of 52. He was the subject of many scientific studies of perception by neuropsychologist Richard Gregory. His operation was able to reveal idiosyncrasies of the human visual system.

Arnolt Schlick - Arnolt was a German organist and composer of the Renaissance.

Esref Armagan - (born 1953) Esref is a blind painter of Turkish origin.

Frederick Delius - (January 29, 1862 June 10, 1934) was an English composer born in Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire in the north of England.

John Stanley - (January 17, 1712 May 19, 1786) John Stanley was an English composer and organist. 

Kelvin Tan Weilian - born 5 October 1981) Kelvin Tan Weilian is a visually impaired professional singer in Singapore.  

Thomas Rhodes Armitage - (1824-1890) Armitage was a British physician, founder of the Royal National Institute of the Blind.


Joseph Pulitzer - (April 10, 1847 - October 29, 1911) Joseph was a Hungarian-American publisher best known for posthumously establishing the Pulitzer Prizes (along with William Randolph Hearst) and for originating yellow journalism. In 1882 Pulitzer purchased the New York World, a newspaper that had been losing $40,000 a year, for $346,000 from Jay Gould. Pulitzer shifted its focus to human-interest stories, scandal, and sensationalism. At the age of 42 Joseph became blind due to retinal detachment leaving him no choice but to retire.
Pulitzer
Judy Heumann - (born 1947)  is an American disability rights activist.

Leonhard Euler - (born  April 15, 1707) Leonhard was a pioneering Swiss mathematician and physicist who spent most of his life in Russia and Germany. Euler made important discoveries in fields as diverse as calculus and graph theory.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - (August 7, 1936 - December 5, 1977) Rahsaan was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist, playing tenor saxophone, flute and other reed instruments.
                                                                                               
Tilly Aston - (December 11, 1873 1 November 1947) better known as Tilly Aston, was a blind Australian writer and teacher, who founded the Victorian Association of Braille Writers, and later went on to establish the Association for the Advancement of the Blind, with herself as secretary.

Doc Watson - (born March 3, 1923) Doc Watson is an American guitar player, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music.

Francesco Landini - (around 1325 September 2, 1397) Francesco Landini was an Italian composer, organist, singer, poet and instrument maker.

Sue Townsend - (born April 2, 1946)  is a British novelist, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole series of books. Her writing tends to combine comedy with social commentary, though she has written purely dramatic works as well. .

Bernard Morin - (born 1931) Bernard Morin is a French mathematician, especially a topologist.

Abdurrahman Wahid - former President of Indonesia (1940- )
Al Hibbler
Audre Lorde - Poet - Activist (1934 - 1992)
Blind Lemon Jefferson - (1893 - 1929) - Blues musician & singer
Eamon de Valera - (1882 - 1975) - President of Ireland.
Eduard Degas - French painter
Ella Fitzgerald - (1917 - 1996) - jazz singer - went blind as a result of diabetes in her old age.
Francisco Goya - (1746 - 1828) - painter - became blind and deaf in late life - painted blind(ed) subjects.
Frankie Armstrong - English folk singer and voice teacher - sight degraded in late teens onwards from glaucoma
Frida Kahlo - Artist (1907 - 1954)
George Shearing - (1919 - ) - jazz pianist.
Gilbert Montagn
Ginny Owens - Gospel singer - totally blind from age 2
Harilyn Rousso - Disability Rights Activist/Psychotherapist (1946-)
Henry Fawcett - UK Postmaster General - 19th Century
Homer - Greek poet said to have been blind.
Honor Daumier - (1808 - 1879) - French caricaturist - painter - and sculptor - blind later in life.
Isaac the Blind - (1160 - 1235) - French cabbalist (possibly blind from birth)
Isaac - biblical patriarch
James Joyce - (1882 - 1941) - writer - at times blind - underwent several operations
Jessica Callahan - singer - blind from retinopathy of prematurity
Jhamak Ghimire - Nepalese Poet and Writer (1980)
Joaquin Rodrigo - composer - from an illness at age three
Johann Sebastian Bach - (1685 - 1750) - became blind in later life.
John II of Aragon - (1397 - 1479) - able to see again after cataract surgery (couching) by Abiathar Crescas
John Wesley Powell - Explorer - Geologist (1834 - 1902)
Jose Feliciano - (born 1945) - blind from birth due to congenital glaucoma
Joshua Reynolds - (1723 -1792) - British painter - blind later in life.
Judi Chamberlin - Mental Patients' Liberation Activist (1944-)
King John the Blind of Bohemia - (1309 - 1346)
Mike May - (born 1954) - regained partial vision due to stem cell research.
Ronnie Milsap
Rt Hon David Blunkett - MP - politician
Samson - Biblical character - blinded by the Philistines

 St. Paul - Apostle (photo)
Stalebread Lacombe - Jazz musician - went blind in middle age
Surdas - a Hindu poet - saint and musician of India
Tim Cordes
Tom Wiggins (1849 -1908)
W.C. Handy - (1873 -1958) - Blues composer - went blind in middle age
Wilma Mankiller - Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation (1945-)
Zohar Sharon - blind pro golfer

Famous people with sight problems

Summary: Famous people, some real, some imaginary, who have lost their sight.


This is a list of famous people, both real and imaginary, who have lost their sight. The people on this list have been included because they are well-known in their own right rather than because they are, or were, blind or partially sighted.
The portrayal of some blind characters in literature or the arts is very negative. Blind characters are often seen as frightening or pathetic, or as being punished for some moral lapse.
It is important to realise that sight loss is a natural phenomenon which can affect anyone, irrespective of moral behaviour or religious belief. While it may cause very real problems it does not turn ordinary people into monsters or victims.
  • Thomas Rhodes Armitage - founder of RNIB
  • Rt Hon David Blunkett MP - politician
  • Andrea Bocelli - opera singer
  • Louis Braille - inventor of braille
  • Ray Charles - American singer and composer
  • Cupid/Eros - Greek/Roman god of love
  • Eduard Degas - French painter
  • Henry Fawcett - UK Postmaster General, 19th Century
  • Mikey Hughes - Big Brother 2008 contestant
  • Homer - Greek poet
  • Horus - Egyptian god
  • Helen Keller - American author and philanthropist
  • Denise Leigh - opera singer and winner of Channel 4's Operatunity
  • John Milton - English poet
  • Claude Monet - French painter
  • Dr William Moon - inventor of Moon system of reading
  • Horatio Nelson - British admiral
  • Odin - Norse god
  • Oedipus - mythological Greek King
  • Samson - Biblical hero
  • St. Paul - Apostle
  • Tiresias - mythological, Greek seer

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