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Profile of the Day: Louis Braille

On this day in 1852, Louis Braille died at the age of 43. Braille developed a system of reading and writing for the blind and visually impaired. Known simply as braille, the system continues to be used worldwide today.

Image: Braille alphabet / Library of Congress

Braille was born on January 4, 1809 in Coupvray, a small town near Paris, France. He was blinded at the age of 3 after an accident in his father’s shop. At the age of 10, he was sent to the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, one of the first schools for blind children in the world. He excelled as a student and even became an accomplished musician.

While at school, he met Charles Barbier, a soldier in the French army who had invented a code of dots and dashes impressed to thick paper to silently communicate on the battlefield without light. Inspired by Barbier’s system, Braille set out to develop a simpler code for blind individuals. By the age of 15, he created his own raised-dot system using six dots, allowing readers to easily recognize letters with a single touch of a finger.

Braille eventually became a teacher at the Institute and published several books about braille and education for the blind. However, his system would not be taught at the school during his lifetime. Braille died of tuberculosis two days after his 43rd birthday. Two yers after his death, Braille’s system was finally adopted by the Institute.

Explore Louis Braille’s family tree on Geni and share your connection!!

View Louis Braille’s Geni Profile

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The post Profile of the Day: Louis Braille first appeared on The Geni Blog.


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