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Famous Blind and Vision Impaired Persons

  • Synopsis: Published: 2017-11-10 (Revised/Updated 2017-11-16) - A list of famous and well known sight impaired people who are or were blind or blind in one eye. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Ian Langtree at Disabled World.

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Blindness is the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or neurological factors.

Total blindness is the complete lack of form and light perception and is clinically recorded as "NLP," an abbreviation for "no light perception.

In order to determine which people may need special assistance because of their visual disabilities, various governmental jurisdictions have formulated more complex definitions referred to as legal blindness.

Eye injuries, most often occurring in people under 30, are the leading cause of monocular blindness (vision loss in one eye).

Visually impaired and blind people have devised a number of techniques that allow them to complete daily activities using their remaining senses.

Recent access technology such as screen reading software enable the blind to use mainstream computer applications including the Internet.

Listed below are well known people who had or have a vision impairment including total blindness, sight conditions, and blindness in one eye.

Famous Blind and Sight Impaired People

  • Abdurrahman Wahid - former President of Indonesia (1940- )
  • Abraham Nemeth
  • Al Hibbler
  • Alec Templeton
  • Alecia Alanzo
  • Andrea Bocelli
  • Apl.de.ap
  • Arnolt Schlick
  • Audre Lorde - Poet - Activist (1934 - 1992)
  • Bernard Morin
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson - (1893 - 1929) - Blues musician & singer
  • Blind Willie McTell- (1901 - 1959)
  • Brandon Jardine - was stabbed in the eyes by his parents with red hot pokers in 1991.
  • Brian McKeever
  • Clarence Carter- (born 1936)
  • Claude Monet
  • David Alexander Paterson
  • David Blunkett - (born 1947) - British ex-cabinet minister
  • Denise Leigh - opera singer and winner of Channel 4's Operatunity
  • Doc Watson
  • Dorothea Lange - Photographer (1895 - 1965)
  • Dr William Moon - inventor of Moon system of reading
  • Dr. Jacob Bolotin
  • Eamon de Valera - (1882 - 1975) - President of Ireland.
  • Edgar Degas - French painter
  • Ella Fitzgerald - (1917 - 1996) - jazz singer - went blind as a result of diabetes in her old age.
  • Enrico Dandolo - (died 1205) - doge of Venice - blind from trauma.
  • Erik Weihenmayer
  • Esmond Knight - British actor
  • Esref Armagan
  • Fanny Crosby
  • Francesco Landini
  • 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
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Frederick Delius
  • Fritz Lang - (1890 - 1976) - nearly blind at the end of his life
  • Galileo Galilei
  • George Shearing - (1919 - ) - jazz pianist.
  • Gilbert Montagn
  • Ginny Owens - Gospel singer - totally blind from age 2
  • Harilyn Rousso - Disability Rights Activist/Psychotherapist (1946-)
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Helen Keller - (1880 - 1968)
  • 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.
  • Horatio Nelson
  • Isaac - biblical patriarch
  • Isaac the Blind - (1160 - 1235) - French cabbalist (possibly blind from birth)
  • Jacques Lusseyran
  • James Joyce - (1882 - 1941) - writer - at times blind - underwent several operations
  • James Thurber
  • Jeff Healey
  • 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.
  • Johanna "Anne" Mansfield Sullivan Macy
  • John II of Aragon - (1397 - 1479) - able to see again after cataract surgery (couching) by Abiathar Crescas
  • John Milton
  • John Stanley
  • John Wesley Powell - Explorer - Geologist (1834 - 1902)
  • Johnny Depp
  • Jorge Luis Borges
  • Jose Feliciano - (born 1945) - blind from birth due to congenital glaucoma
  • Joseph Plateau
  • Joseph Pulitzer
  • Joshua Reynolds - (1723 -1792) - British painter - blind later in life.
  • Judi Chamberlin - Mental Patients' Liberation Activist (1944-)
  • Judy Heumann
  • Kelvin Tan Weilian
  • King John the Blind of Bohemia - (1309 - 1346)
  • Leonhard Euler
  • Louis Braille
  • Maria Theresa Paradis
  • Marla Runyan
  • Mike May - (born 1954) - regained partial vision due to stem cell research.
  • Omar Abdel-Rahman
  • Percy Wyndham Lewis
  • Peter White MBE
  • Rahsaan Roland Kirk
  • Ray Charles
  • Richard H. Bernstein
  • Ronnie Milsap
  • Sabriye Tenberken
  • Samson - Biblical character - blinded by the Philistines
  • Sidney Bradford
  • St. Paul - Apostle
  • Stalebread Lacombe - Jazz musician - went blind in middle age
  • Stevie Wonder - (born Steveland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950, name later changed to Steveland Hardaway Morris)
  • Sue Townsend
  • Surdas - (Sant Kavi Surdas)
  • Surdas - a Hindu poet - saint and musician of India
  • Thomas Gore
  • Thomas Rhodes Armitage
  • Tilly Aston
  • Tim Cordes
  • Tom Wiggins (1849 -1908)
  • Tony Max
  • W.C. Handy - (1873 -1958) - Blues composer - went blind in middle age
  • William Prescott
  • Wilma Mankiller - Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation (1945-)
  • Zohar Sharon - blind pro golfer

NOTE: If you know of a discrepancy in this list please contact us so we can amend the entry.



Related Information:

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