Samuel M. Genensky (26 July 1927 in New Bedford, Massachusetts – 26 June 2009 in Santa Monica, California) was an American computer scientist, best known as an inventor for devices to assist sight-impaired persons. He was also well known for his advocacy on behalf of the blind.
Early life and career
When Genensky was born, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had a requirement that all newborn babies receive drops of dilute silver nitrate in both eyes, to prevent the possible passage of syphilis from mother to child. He received the required drops, but unfortunately the chemical had not been diluted, and both his eyes were badly burned. Three months later he was treated by Dr. Frederick H. Verhoeff, a highly regarded specialist in ophthalmology, who performed partial iridectomy on both eyes (thinking that glaucoma would otherwise occur). The result of the burns and the iridectomies was complete loss of vision in Genensky's left eye and near-blindness in the right eye (the be