Famous Blind People

Here are some of the famous (or notorious?) people with visual problems. 
Some may not meet the BD8 criteria for full or partial sighted registration!
Some stamps with famous blind people could not be found on the 
internet such as Stevie Wonder issued by Burkina Faso or John Milton 
author of Paradise Lost issued by Hungary and Soviet Union.
Helen Keller (1880 - 1968) , a writer, social reformer and academic. Blind and 
deaf  from the age of nineteen months she learned how to read, type and speak 
with the help of a tutor, Anne Sullivan. She went on to champion the cause of the 
blind and deaf throughout the world. There are a great many stamps 
commemorating her achievement, only a few are shown here.

- from Oxford English Dictionary -


Homer, author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two major epics of Greek antiquity was believed to be blind in his later years. The stamp on the right shows a wooden craving of Trojan horse from an episode in Iliad.


Moshe Dayan (1915 - 1981) Israeli General. Blind in the left eye 
from gunshot wound. As minister of defence in 1967 and 
1969-74 was largely responsible for the victory over neighbouring 
Arab states in the 1967 Six Day War but he was criticized for 
Israel's alleged unpreparedness in the 1973 October War and 
resigned along with the Prime Minister Golder Meir.

- from Oxford English Dictionary -


Claude Monet, the famous French impressionist lost his sight due to cataract in his later years. The effect of cataract was visible in his later paintings. Click here for his paintings before and after developing cataract.


Degas, (Hilaire Germain) Edgar (1834-1917) was a French painter and sculptor, whose innovative composition, skilful drawing, and perceptive analysis of movement made him one of the masters of modern art in the late 19th century. He is best known for his ballerina paintings.
In the 1880s, when his eyesight began to fail (from myopic degeneration), Degas began increasingly to work in two new media that did not require intense visual acuity: sculpture and pastel. In his sculpture, as in his paintings, he attempted to catch the action of the moment, and his ballet dancers and female nudes are depicted in poses that make no attempt to conceal their subjects' physical exertions.
His pastels are usually simple compositions containing only a few figures. He was obliged to depend on vibrant colours and meaningful gestures rather than on precise lines and careful detailing, but, in spite of such limitations, these works are eloquent and expressive and have a simple grandeur unsurpassed by any of his other works.


Long John Silver from Treasure Island. Interestingly, some stamps show 
he has only left leg and the other right.


Theis the Blind (1747-1824) . 150th Anniversary of Death.
Theis the Blind was a wandering minstrel who was well known for propogating the Luxembourg dialect through popular songs. His real name was Mathias Schou. 


Sonny Terry . b. Saunders Terrell, 24 October 1911, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA, d. 12 March 1986, New York City, New York, USA. By the age of 16, Sonny Terry was virtually blind following two accidents, which encouraged his concentration on music. He was a famous blue folk singer.


The 26th President of the USA. He succeeded President McKinley following the later assasination. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese War.

Besides carrying a bullet in his body, Colonel Roosevelt was partially blind and partially deaf. The sight of his left eye was destroyed while he was in the White House in a boxing match. The hearing of one ear was destroyed by the abscess in his ear last February. He had suffered from broken ribs on numerous occasions, mostly in falls from horses, and a strained ligament on a rib caused him a severe attach of pleurisy in 1916. After that attack he was ordered by his physicians to give up violent exercise, but this advice he would not follow. 


American writer and cartoonist (1894-1961), whose best known characters are perhaps Walter Mitty, his snarling wife, and silently observing animals. Turber's prime interest was in the small events of human life, dealing with the frustrations of modern world. His stories have influenced later writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller. Thurber is generally acknowledged as the greatest American humorist since Mark Twain. 

    "Early to rise and early to bed makes a male healthy and wealthy 
       and dead." (from Fables for Our Time, 1940) 

Young James was partially blinded by a childhood accident - his brother William shot an arrow at him. When he was unable to participate in games and sports with other children, he developed a rich fantasy life, which would serve to inspire his later fiction.  

More ophthalmic stamps