This list of famous blind people is the newest addition to Ongig’s series of famous people with disabilities. These 100+ folks include successful blind entrepreneurs, leaders, actors, musicians & more.

Note: This is a dynamic list and I will keep adding to it! If I missed any famous blind people, email heather@ongig.com to get them added to the list.

 

Famous Blind Singers, Musicians & Composers

famous blind opera singer
Andrea Angel Bocelli, a famous blind opera singer at a performance (image source: Wikimedia Creative Commons, Jakub Janecki)

Here’s a list of famous blind people who have musical talents:

  • Tsutomu Aragaki — famous blind singer and tenor
  • Garret Barry — famous blind musician
  • Blind Blake — famous blind guitarist and singer
  • Andrea Angel Bocelli — famous blind Italian singer
  • Ricky Boon – famous blind guitarist from the Australian thrash metal band Fury
  • Clarence Carter — famous blind singer of soul music
  • Ray Charles — famous blind pianist and musician who pioneered rhythm and blues
  • José Montserrate Feliciano García — famous blind composer, singer, and guitarist most-known his single “Feliz Navidad”
  • Casey Harris — blind keyboardist and founding member of X Ambassadors
  • Jeff Healey — famous blind guitarist and musican
  • Al Hibbler — famous blind singer most-known for “Unchained Melody”
  • Ravindra Jain — famous blind composer and musician from India
  • Lemon Henry “Blind Lemon” Jefferson — famous blind guitarist and gospel/blues singer-songwriter
  • Rahsaan Roland Kirk — one of the most famous blind musicians and jazz multi-instrumentalist, playing tenor saxophone, flute and others
  • William Samuel McTell — famous blind guitartist, blues singer, and songwriter known as Blind Willie McTell
  • Ronnie Lee Milsap — famous blind pianist and country music singer
  • Alec Templeton — famous blind composer, pianist and satirist
  • The Blind Boys of Alabama — a changing group of famous blind singers and gospel hall of famers who sang at the White House during the Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama administrations
  • John Stanley – famous blind composer and organist
  • Helmut Walcha — German organist who recorded the organ works of Bach
  • Blind Willie Walker — famous blind guitarist and singer
  • Doc Watson — famous blind guitarist, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music
  • Blind Tom Wiggins – famous blind pianist and composer
  • Stevie Wonder — famous blind piano player and singer
  • Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu —  Aboriginal Australian blind musician

 

Famous Blind Leaders, Entrepreneurs & Politicians

famous blind leaders
Tiffany Brar, a famous blind leader and social activist (image source: Wikimedia Creative Commons, Kleinhansl)

These leaders are famous blind people today and from the past:

  • Richard H. Bernstein — blind disability rights activist and American attorney
  • David Blunkett — first blind person to hold a ministerial position in Great Britain
  • Tiffany Brar – blind social activist
  • Gordon Brown — 52nd Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Francis Joseph Campbell — co-founder of the Royal National College for the Blind
  • Haben Girma – Disability rights advocate, first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School
  • Juan Carlos González Leiva — a blind attorney and human rights activist in Cuba
  • Thomas Gore — blind Democratic politician 
  • Ashish Goyal — first blind trader in finance
  • Kenneth Jernigan – Long-time leader of the National Federation of the Blind
  • Sophia Matilda — blind Princess from the United Kingdom
  • Robin Millar – famous blind record producer and philanthropist
  • David Alexander Paterson — first legally blind person to be sworn in as governor of a U.S. state
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt — past U.S. President and one of the most famous people blind in on eye
  • Sabriye Tenberken – Braille Without Borders co-founder
  • Louis the Blind – 10th century European king, blinded after being captured
  • Harriet Tubman — abolisionsit and humanitarian who became blind from injuries
  • Abdurrahman Wahid — served as the President of Indonesia

 

Famous Blind Painters, Artists & Photographers

blind artist painter
A portrait of famous blind artist Claude Monet (image source: Wikimedia Creative Commons)

These famous blind people used their artistic talents to be successful:

  • Esref Armagan — famous blind painter from Turkey
  • John Bramblitt – famous blind artist and painter
  • Francesca Alexander — American illustrator who lost her sight in her final years
  • Claude Monet — famous blind artist and French painter
  • Keith Salmon – English painter & sculptor
  • James Thurber — famous blind artist and cartoonist most known for his contributions to New Yorker Magazine
  • Carleton Watkins — famous blind landscape photographer

 

Famous Blind Writers & Poets

famous blind writer helen keller
Famous blind writer, Helen Keller in 1920 (image source: U.S. Copyright Public Domain)

Here’s a list of famous blind people who are known for their writing:

  • Helen Adams Keller — American author, activist, and the first blind person to graduate from college
  • Matilda Ann Aston — Australian blind writer and teacher who founded the Victorian Association of Braille Writers and the Association for the Advancement of the Blind
  • Jorge Luis Borges — short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator
  • John Lee Clark — famous blind poet
  • Homer – Ancient Greek famous blind poet know for his poems Iliad and Odyssey
  • Taha Hussein — blind writer from Egypt
  • Aldous Huxley — blind writer and Philospher from England
  • James Joyce — famous blind man and Irish writer
  • Ed Lucas – blind sports writer coevring the New York Yankees
  • John Milton — famous blind poet and prose polemicist from England
  • Nikolai Ostrovsky — famous blind writer from Russia
  • Joseph Pulitzer — Hungarian-American publisher best known for creating the Pulitzer Prizes
  • Surdas — famous blind poet and Hindu singer
  • Susan Townsend — English novelist know for the Adrian Mole series
  • Jack Vance — blind writer of the fantasy and science fiction genres

 

Famous Blind Athletes

famous blind athletes
Marla Runyan, one of the famous blind athletes — winner of 5 Gold medals in the 1992 Barcelona Para Olympics’ and the first disabled woman to compete in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games (image source: The Xtraordinary)

These famous blind athletes have made history in their sport:

  • Zeeshan Abbasi – Blind cricketer
  • Muhammad Akram – Blind cricketer
  • Jessica Gallagher — legally blind athlete representing Australia in three sports: skiing, athletics and cycling
  • Miles Hilton-Barber – blind British adventurer and climber
  • James Holman — first blind person to circumnavigate the globe
  • Chris Holmes — famous blind swimmer and House of Lords member from the UK
  • Masood Jan – Blind cricketer
  • Cedric Jones — famous visually impaired person and NFL player
  • Tofiri Kibuuka – one of the first three blind people to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and the African competitor at the Winter Paralympic Games
  • Sam Langford — blind boxer from Canada
  • Suzanne Lenglen — French tennis player who lost her eyesight
  • Shekhar Naik – Blind cricketer
  • Jackie Robinson — famous baseball player who went blind in middle age
  • Marla Runyan — marathon runner who is legally blind
  • Suranga Sampath – Blind cricketer
  • Zohar Sharon – Blind golfer
  • Crazzy Steve – legally blind professional wrestler
  • Henry Wanyoike – Long-distance runner with 95% vision loss
  • Erik Weihenmayer — the first famous blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001
  • Trischa Zorn — famous blind athlete and paralympic swimmer

 

Famous Blind Scientists, Doctors & Mathematicians

blind doctor
Dr. J. W. Bolotin, a famous blind doctor, sitting at a desk in a room, reading Braille text with his left hand and typing with his right hand in a room (image source: Wikimedia Public Domain)
  • Thomas Rhodes Armitage — British physician, and founder of the Royal National Institute of Blind People
  • Dr. Jacob Bolotin — the first man born blind to become fully licensed to practice medicine
  • Amy Bower – American oceanographer
  • Louis Braille — the famous blind man who invented Braille
  • Gustaf Dalén – Swedish blind inventor and Nobel Prize winner
  • Leonhard Euler — blind mathematician and physicist
  • Galileo Galilei — Italian astronomer, mathematician, physicist, and philosopher
  • Dr. Abraham Nemeth — famous blind mathematician and inventor
  • Joseph Plateau — famous blind Belgian physicist

 

Famous Blind Actors & Entertainment Personalities

christine ha famous blind celebrities
One of the most famous blind celebrities, Christine Hà winner of Master Chef (image source: @theblindcook on Twitter)

These famous blind celebrities include famous blind actors, actresses, and other entertainers:

  • Jack Birkett — blind actor and dancer
  • Belo Cipriani — blind media personality and author
  • Dana Elcar — blind actor who also famous blind characters on The Magic School Bus, MacGyver, and ER
  • Christine Hà — first blind contestant of MasterChef and the winner of its third season in 2012
  • Geraldine Lawhorn — famous blind actress and performer and the first deafblind African American to earn a college degree in the U.S.
  • Callan Mulvey — blind actor from Australia
  • Ed Walker — blind radio personality
  • S. Robert Morgan — blind actor who starred in the Wire
  • Marilee Talkington — blind actress who starred in NCIS

 

Famous Blind Characters from TV, Movies & Books

star trek famous blind characters
One of the most famous blind characters and Star Trek star, Geordi La Forge (image source: startrek.com)

Here’s a list of famous blind characters in literature or on the screen:

  • Toph Beifong — from Avatar: The Last Airbender was born blind
  • Daredevil — blind superhero in Marvel Comics
  • Phillip Enright — Main character of The Cay who becomes temporarily blind from a concussion
  • Geordi La Forge — a Star Trek character created by Gene Roddenberry, blind since birth, but uses a VISOR and later ocular implants that allow him to see the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Jerec — a Star Wars character with no eyes who served Emperor Palpatine as an Inquisitor
  • Master Po — from the Kung Fu TV series

 

Why I Wrote This

Ongig is on a mission to eliminate boring and biased job descriptions. As part of this, we try to share best practices on all aspects of diversity. Ongig’s Text Analyzer helps you avoid words that exclude famous (or non-famous) people with disabilities like visual impairments. Please visit Ongig if you’d like to learn more.

 

Shout-Outs:

  1. Famous Blind People (by Ranker)
  2. Historically Famous People with Blindness or Visual Impairments (by BrailleWorks)
  3. List of blind people (by Wikipedia)
  4. Famous Blind People (by The Famous People)
  5. ‘See’ Actress Marilee Talkington On What It’s Like To Be Legally Blind In Hollywood (by Toni Fitzgerald)
  6. Famous Visually Impaired and Blind Athletes (by ibvi)

by in Diversity and Inclusion

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