Blind Governor Predicted in 1921

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The Blind Doctor: The Jacob Bolotin Story tells about the amazing life of a remarkable man who was born blind to poor parents in Chicago in 1888 and fought his way into and through medical school to become one of the top heart and lung specialists in Chicago. Beginning in 1921 he gave speeches around the country pointing out that a blind man could be mayor, governor or president. When he died in 1924, 5,000 people attended his funeral.

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Of course, a blind man cannot drive a car, run a locomotive or paint pictures, or do anything that requires vision in every detail of the work. But a blind man can be principal of a school, president of a bank, Mayor of Chicago, governor of a state or President of the United States. Why not? These men work mentally....

As David Paterson becomes governor of New York, a dream of Dr. Jacob Bolotin, the first totally blind physician certified to practice medicine in the US, came true. In an impassioned speech Dr. Bolotin gave around the Midwest in 1921, he said: "Of course, a blind man cannot drive a car, run a locomotive or paint pictures, or do anything that requires vision in every detail of the work. But a blind man can be principal of a school, president of a bank, Mayor of Chicago, governor of a state or President of the United States. Why not? These men work mentally...."

The subject of a fascinating and inspirational new biography, The Blind Doctor: The Jacob Bolotin Story by Rosalind Perlman, this remarkable man, born blind in 1888 to a poor family in Chicago, became one of the top heart and lung specialists in that city by the time he was 30. Dr. Bolotin used his celebrity to raise the awareness of the awareness of the world to the plight of the blind. His words are as timely today as they were in the twenties when he said:

"I am blind, and I am a doctor. The fact that I am standing here before you is living proof of what we, the blind, can achieve.... the major problem for us is not our affliction, but the wall of ignorance, injustices, indifference and misconceptions that separate us from you who can see. We must break down that wall, but we can't do it alone. We need your help....

The book is based on the memories of the author's husband, Alfred Perlman, Dr. Bolotin's nephew, who had lived with the Bolotins for the four years preceding Dr. Bolotin's tragic death in 1924.

"The Blind Doctor is the moving and powerful story of a blind man who fought ignorance and prejudice to become one of the most respected physicians in Chicago. Everyone who reads Dr. Jacob Bolotin's story will learn that blindness is no barrier to a full life and great accomplishments," according to Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind.

After Ms. Perlman's death in 2004, she left a bequest in the name of the Alfred and Rosalind Perlman Trust to the Santa Barbara Foundation to publish The Blind Doctor and to establish a national award: the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award for the Blind. This annual award will be given out by the National Federation of the Blind to individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact within the blind community. The first awards, totaling $100,000, will be presented in July 2008.

The Blind Doctor is available in trade paper, large type and Braille editions from Blue Point Books (http://www.bluepointbooks.com). An audio book will be out in April. For more information, interviews or review copies, contact Cathy Feldman at 805-682-8775.    Published by Blue Point Books.

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