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Jules Stein, MD

  • Presented: 
    2003
  • Recognition: 
    ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame

(1896-1981)

“He brought power and vision to the building of an extraordinary apparatus that is at the forefront of the fight against blindness.”
—Katrina Vanden Heuvel, granddaughter of Jules Stein, MD

Jules Stein, MD, was inspired to found Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., (RPB) after a visit to the New York Lighthouse for the Blind, an organization highly regarded for its programs to aid the partially sighted and blind. During that time, his wife implored him to further help those without sight.

His response was incredible. In 1960, Stein founded RPB. This national health organization became a catalyst for eye research in the U.S. RPB has funneled over $170 million into eye research, influencing virtually every major scientific advance in the field. Stein also founded the internationally recognized Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine.

In addition, Stein led a determined, eight-year campaign that was mainly responsible for the passage of legislation to establish the National Eye Institute as a separate entity in the National Institutes of Health.

Stein received numerous awards including honorary doctoral degrees from a host of universities, an honorary fellowship in the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and multiple humanitarian awards.