Celebrating over 95 years of service to the sight impaired
Every day is book day at the
South African Library for the Blind
Famous blind people who changed the world thanks to the power of books
Claude Monet - (November 14, 1840-December 5, 1926) Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting. By 1907, he had become quite famous, but began having serious problems with his eyesight and started to go blind. Even though his eyes continued to get worse, he never stopped painting.At the end of his life, when he was almost completely blind, he painted one of his most famous murals of water lilies.
Thomas Gore - (December 10, 1870-March 16, 1949) Thomas Gore was a Democratic politician. He became blind as a child, but never gave up his dream of becoming a senator. In 1907, he was one of the first two senators from the new state of Oklahoma. He was re-elected twice more. He was famous as a member of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Louis Braille - (January 4, 1809-January 6, 1852) Louis Braille accidentally stabbed himself in the eye, becoming blind from this injury. He was the inventor and designer of Braille writing which enables blind people to read from a series of organized bumps.
Marla Runyan - (Born January 4, 1969) Marla Runyan is a marathon runner who is legally blind. She is the three-time national champion in the women's 5.000 meter run. Runyan was the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympics Games. She placed eighth in the 1,500-meter in the 2000 Sydney Olympics making it the highest finish by an American woman in that event. In 2002 she finished as the top American at the 2002 New York City Marathon to post the second-fastest debut time ever by an American woman.
There were at least two good reasons to celebrate in 2014
Number one for the country is that our democracy turned 20 years young in 2014.
At the same time the South African Library for the Blind turned 95. It is a remarkable milestone for the only library of its type on the African Continent.
The library was founded by Ms Josie Wood in 1919. What started as a collection of 100 braille books has now turned into a national library.