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Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: How Daring Dreams and Unyielding Friendship Turned One Man's Blindness into an Extraordinary Vision for Life

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: How Daring Dreams and Unyielding Friendship Turned One Man's Blindness into an Extraordinary Vision for Life


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As seen on the Today Show and as featured in People Magazine!

The remarkable and inspiring story of a Columbia undergrad 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.

It’s a bitterly cold February in 1961, and Sandy Greenberg lies in a hospital bed in Detroit, newly blind. A junior at Columbia University from a Jewish family that struggled to stay above the poverty line, Sandy had just started to see the world open up to him. Now, instead of his plans for a bright future—Harvard Law and politics—Sandy faces a new reality, one defined by a cane or companion dog, menial work, and a cautious path through life.

But that’s not how this story ends.

In the depth of his new darkness, Sandy faces a choice—play it “safe” by staying in his native Buffalo or return to Columbia to pursue his dreams. With the loving devotion of his girlfriend (and now wife) Sue and the selflessness of best friends Art Garfunkel and Jerry Speyer, Sandy endures unimaginable adversity while forging a life of exceptional achievement.

From his time in the White House working for President Lyndon B. Johnson to his graduate studies at Harvard and Oxford under luminaries such as Archibald Cox, Sir Arthur Goodhart, and Samuel Huntington, and through the guidance of his invaluable mentor David Rockefeller, Sandy fills his life and the lives of those around him with a radiant light of philanthropy, entrepreneurship, art, and innovation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642934977
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication date: 06/30/2020
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 273,069
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Blinded at nineteen, Sanford D. Greenberg graduated from Columbia University (Phi Beta Kappa) and, following a Marshall Scholarship at Oxford, received his M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard and M.B.A. at Columbia. He was a White House Fellow under Lyndon B. Johnson and later chaired the federal Rural Healthcare Corporation and served on the National Science Board. His career as an entrepreneur and investor began when he invented, of necessity, a speech-compression machine for those who need to listen and absorb large volumes of printed matter. He subsequently founded several enterprises, including a company that produced specialized computer simulators and the first database tracking antibiotic resistance globally. A Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Trustee Emeritus, Sandy is chairman of the Board of Governors of its Wilmer Eye Institute and founder, along with his wife, Sue, of the Sanford and Susan Greenberg Center to End Blindness at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, the only facility in the world devoted solely to ending blindness for everyone, forevermore. In a December 2020 ceremony streamed worldwide, Sandy and Sue awarded the initial Greenberg Prizes: $3 million in aggregate to those researchers who have made the greatest progress toward ending blindness for all mankind.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ruth Bader Ginsburg xiii

Introduction Art Garfunkel xvii

Part 1 Day & Night

1 Stranger on a Train 3

2 Survival Skills 9

3 Brighter Days 18

4 The Seduction of the Mind 27

5 My Shadow Education 35

6 Shots Across the Bow 55

7 "Son, You Are Going to Be Blind Tomorrow" 64

Part 2 A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

8 Lights Out 75

9 A Walk on the Wild Side 91

10 The Blind Senior 111

11 Tough Love 122

12 Moving Forward 141

13 Paying Back 147

Part 3 Tikkun Olam

14 The Start of Something Big 161

15 The Beauty of Small Things 175

16 Road Tripping 188

17 My Blindness Balance Sheet: Debits 201

18 My Blindness Balance Sheet: Assets 215

19 Speak, Memory 223

20 No Man Is an Island 228

21 A Promise That Cannot Be Broken 236

22 Old Friends Sat on the Park Bench Like Bookends 246

23 My Big Party 249

Epilogue: To End Blindness Forever 268

The Final Word Margaret Atwood 278

Acknowledgments 281

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