“Soon will come a time when all God's children can not only feel the sun shining on their faces, but also witness with their own eyes its rising and its setting.”
— SANFORD D. GREENBERG
on ending blindness
An inventor, author, public servant, and philanthropist, Sanford Greenberg was blinded at age nineteen while an undergraduate at Columbia. With the help of his roommate, Art Garfunkel, Greenberg returned to college, went on to earn a PhD at Harvard, serve as a White House Fellow, and launch multiple highly successful enterprises while also serving as chairman of the federal Rural Healthcare Corporation and as a member of the National Science Board.
The driving force of Sandy Greenberg’s life has been his determination to eradicate blindness from human history. In 2020, Greenberg and his wife, Sue, awarded the first Greenberg Prizes to researchers at the cutting edge of achieving that goal. They have since launched the Sanford and Susan Greenberg Center to End Blindness at Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Wilmer Eye Institute, where Greenberg serves as Board chairman. In 2023, Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences honored Greenberg with its Centennial Medal, bestowed on those alumni “who have made fundamental and lasting contributions to knowledge, to their disciplines, to their colleagues, and to society.”
The Sanford and Susan Greenberg Center
to End Blindness
at Johns Hopkins University’s
Wilmer Eye Institute
Founded in October 2021 in partnership with Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Wilmer Eye Institute, the Sanford and Susan Greenberg Center to End Blindness is the world’s only facility devoted solely to ending this ancient scourge for everyone and for evermore. The Center’s roots trace back to a Detroit hospital in 1961 when Sandy Greenberg, newly blind, made a tikkun olam — a sacred vow to God in his Jewish faith — that he would do everything in his power to make sure others would not have to suffer his same fate. “It was an insane, adolescent promise,” Greenberg recalls, “but it stayed with me all this time. The launch of this center means the end of blindness is near.”
Hello Darkness, My Old Friend
How Daring Dreams and Unyielding Friendship Turned One Man's Blindness into an Extraordinary Vision for Life
Foreword by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg / Introduction by Art Garfunkel
Final Word by Margaret Atwood
The remarkable and inspiring story of a Columbia University undergraduate from a poor Jewish family who, after losing his eyesight to disease during his junior year, finds the power to break through the darkness and fulfill his vision for a life of great professional success and distinguished public service.
Hello Darkness - Young Reader Edition
My doctor said, "Son, you will be blind tomorrow."
With his Watergate neighbor and dear friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Sandy with Michael Bloomberg, left, and Columbia roommate Jerry Speyer.
Sandy receiving Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Centennial Medal, reserved for alumni who "have made a lasting impact to knowledge, to their disciplines, to their colleagues, and to society at large."
With Booker Prize winning novelist Margaret Atwood. As a Harvard graduate student, Atwood volunteered to read to blind fellow-students.