Lost Eye  /  Success After the Loss of an Eye

Success After the Loss of an Eye

Losing an eye isn't the end of the world. There are many people who lost an eye and then went on to fulfill their dreams despite the loss. Indeed, in some cases you could argue that the loss focused their attention on what was important and made them stronger personalities.


Jefferson Davis -- Lost an eye to disease, and went on to be the President of the Confederacy


Teddy Roosevelt -- Lost an eye while boxing, and went on to be President of the United States


Moshe Dayan -- Lost an eye in WWII , and went on to be one of Israel's most revered Generals.


Mo Udall -- Lost an eye as a small child, and went on to be an influential Congressman



Sandy Duncan -- Actress who lost an eye, and then went on to star on Broadway in the 1977 revival of Peter Pan.

Sammy Davis, Jr
. -- Lost his left eye in an car wreck in 1954. Depressed from the loss, he thought his career was over until his friend Frank Sinatra told him that that he was at a crossroads, that he could either fade away or overcome the loss and go on to greatness. Weeks later, at Sammy's first public appearance since the crash, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others made a surprise appearance on stage -- all wearing eyepatches. After that, Sammy went on to be one of the great entertainers of all time, and a member of the famous "Rat Pack".


Sammy and MarilynShown at left soon after the loss of his eye with film star Marilyn Monroe

Shown at right in 1960 -- six years after the loss of his eye -- at his marriage to Swedish movie actress May Britt. Sammy would continue to be a popular entertainer until his death in 1990.

Additional Reading: Yes I Can! -- The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr., by Jane & Burt Boyer and Sammy Davis, Jr.




John Ford -- Legendary one-eyed movie producer.


Peter Falk -- One-eyed actor of the famous Columbo television series.


Degas -- French impressionist who did some of his best work after losing his right eye.


James JoyceJames Joyce -- Famous Author who lost an eye and then went on to compose some of his greatest works. Author of:

        • Dubliners
        • A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
        • Ulysses
        • Finnegans Wake


Wiley Post


Wiley Post --Famous Oklahoman who lost his left eye, and then went on to be the first person to circle the Earth solo in an airplane.


Horatio Nelson -- When signaled by his superior to halt his attack during the Battle of Copenhagen, Nelson raised his telescope to his blind eye and then announced "I do not see the signal", and then pressed his attack to final victory. It is believed that this is where the phrase "turn a blind eye" originated.


Ian Douglas Smith -- Prime Minister of the Southern African nation of Rhodesia from 1964 to 1980. Lost his eye as a Royal Air Force fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain in WW-II. Went on to lead his country to independence from Great Britain in 1964, then through a vicious bush war with communist terrorists. Currently in his eighties, he is still very active in politics and the nemesis of Robert Mugabe, the notorious dictator of Zimbabwe. [Submitted by: Tom Allen, Real Estate Appraiser, Pilot, Expeditioner, (Three over-land expeditions through Mexico and Central America), who lost left eye in 1980]

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