Release Date: 
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
John G. Paré Jr.
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2371
(410) 913-3912 (Cell)
Cathy Feldman
Blue Point Books
(805) 682-8775

Inspirational Blind Role Model Brought Back From Obscurity

Prestigious Annual Award To Be Given in Honor of Dr. Jacob Bolotin

Baltimore, Maryland (June 13, 2007): In conjunction with the publication of The Blind Doctor: The Jacob Bolotin Story by Blue Point Books, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) announced today that it will be launching the “Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award for the Blind” at its 2007 national convention in Atlanta from June 30 through July 6.  The first award will be made in 2008 and will be given by the NFB to blind people or organizations that have made a significant impact within the blind community.  The book’s author, Rosalind Perlman, left a bequest to the Santa Barbara Foundation to publish The Blind Doctor and to establish an endowment for this important annual award.

In the biography The Blind Doctor, Perlman tells the fascinating story of Dr. Jacob Bolotin, the first man born totally blind to become fully licensed to practice medicine.  Born in 1888 to a poor family in Chicago, Jacob Bolotin fought prejudice and misconceptions about the capabilities of blind people in order to win acceptance to medical school and then into the medical profession.  He was one of the most respected physicians in Chicago in the early twentieth century, particularly well known for his expertise on diseases of the heart and lungs.  His remarkable story had faded into obscurity until the release of this important and inspiring book, which is based on the memories of the author’s husband, Alfred Perlman, who was the nephew of Dr. Bolotin’s wife and lived with the Bolotins for several years when he was a boy.

Dr. Bolotin was also one of the first to raise awareness of the true capabilities of blind people, and he used his celebrity status in Chicago and throughout the Midwest to champion the rights of the blind to education and employment.  Given Dr. Bolotin’s belief that the blind are only limited by their own ambition and imagination, the National Federation of the Blind, which holds the same belief, is the natural organization to bestow this award in Dr. Bolotin’s name. 
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,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind. 

Dr. Joanne Wilson, founder and director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind, said: “Belief in oneself is the key to living life as an independent, productive blind person; without self-confidence, no amount of rehabilitation training will make a blind person self-sufficient.  Dr. Jacob Bolotin’s inspiring story sets an example for all blind people, because he believed in himself and found ways to overcome obstacles at a time when the social, legal, and technological resources available to the blind today did not exist.”

The Blind Doctor: The Jacob Bolotin Story is available in both regular and large type editions. Review copies are available on request by contacting Blue Point Books at (800) 858-1058.  To purchase the book, visit or call toll-free at (800) 858-1058.