February 9, 2021
February 2, 2021
Clergy who come across good sermon material have been known to exclaim, “That’ll preach!” The Rev. Bob Long found worthy fodder for not one but five sermons — his entire 2020 Advent and Christmas Eve series — in Hello Darkness, My Old Friend, the recent memoir of a blind philanthropist named Sanford D. “Sandy” Greenberg.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
AUGUST 4,, 2020
On December 14, in the chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court, a $3 million gift will go to the scientist who has done the most to end blindness. That the ceremony is taking place at that venerable institution is thanks to the donor’s longtime friend and neighbor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The New York Jewish Week
JUNE 23, 2020
. . . .the strength of this book is in Greenberg’s powerful descriptions of blindness and his determination to choose life — not to be seen or pitied as a blind man. His is a life of resilience, never surrendering to the darkness. Readers will think anew about sight and color, about the way we see and what we see — and appreciate the light.
JULY 15, 2020
A new book tells the extraordinary story of how, before stardom dawned, the musician devoted himself to being eyes—and a lifeline—for his beloved roommate Sanford "Sandy" Greenberg, who went blind during their junior year.
JUNE 23, 2020
Do you ever just want to read something that will make you feel a little better about the world -— maybe offering evidence of human kindness or our ability to triumph over adversity? We've got four new or upcoming books that will do just that: One is about a man who's physically confined but learned to free his mind; another is a memoir by someone who persevered and found insight and success in the face of hardship; and the last two are about our natural desire for social connection and simple ways we can reach out to help others. Each is worth a read if you need a dose of hope.
JUNE 23, 2020
“Just end it!” I will never forget hearing those words for the first time or the person who spoke them: Jonas Salk. This was the mid-1970s. I was sitting with Dr. Salk in the private office of a mutual friend, tongue-tied through much of our meeting. His Salk vaccine had been the seminal medical discovery of my youth. As David had with Goliath, this humble doctor had slain the giant polio. In such a presence, I struggled to even open my mouth. Finally, though, I summoned my courage and asked the question that had been burning inside me. “Dr. Salk, how did you conquer polio?”
The Today Show
JULY 30, 2020
After Sanford Greenberg lost his vision due to a misdiagnosis with glaucoma, his friend and college roommate Art Garfunkel became the light in his life that helped him see. The two men join TODAY’s Al Roker to talk about their special bond that inspired Greenberg’s newest book, Hello Darkness, My Old Friend.
DECEMBER 3, 2020
Thirteen doctors and researchers have won the Sanford and Sue Greenberg Prize to End Blindness and will share the reward of three million dollars in gold. The winners were chosen based on the strength of their contributions to eliminate blindness, the ambitious aim set out by the prize organizers in 2012.
The New York Times Op-Ed
NOVEMBER 3,, 2020
Ruth Bader Ginsburg knew for certain that history bent in the direction of our better angels, but also knew that sometimes circumstances are such that history needs a good push. And she helped give it that nudge time and again in her life and career.
JULY 16, 2020
It’s been over 60 years since Art Garfunkel met a student in his freshman humanities class at Columbia who forever impacted his life. “It was his voice,” the 78-year-old told People magazine on Thursday about Sanford “Sandy” Greenberg. “The voice is terribly important to me. All life long, I read through people’s voices so much of their temperament, their nature, their soul. When I first met Sanford in the very beginning, the resonance of his bass-baritone was just beautiful to me. As I started talking to him, I felt like I was singing with him." In a new memoir, titled Hello Darkness, My Old Friend, Greenberg, 79, describes how, at age 20, he suddenly went blind in his junior year of college after emergency surgery for long-misdiagnosed glaucoma.
The Kojo Nnamdi Show
JUNE 24, 2020
In college, Sandy Greenberg was a strong student and athlete with a devoted girlfriend, close friends and big ambitions. Then glaucoma blinded him, and he thought his bright future went dark too. But his family, girlfriend and a roommate named Arthur Garfunkel – yes, the Art Garfunkel – made sure he returned to school and graduated with his class. Greenberg went on to earn a doctorate at Harvard, a Marshall scholarship and invent a compressed speech machine that helped blind people all over the world. Hello Darkness, My Old Friend, a memoir decades in the making, comes out on June 30. We talk to Greenberg about building a rich life after a cruel blow and his campaign to end blindness.
Texas Jewish Post
JULY 8, 2020
If I suggested that you read a new book about a young man who makes good — would that be enough to get you to open it? I doubt it. But here’s some more convincing information that should do the trick: The man is Sanford D. Greenberg, who grew up in a poor area of Buffalo to become both well-known, and extremely wealthy, through a number of businesses in fields varying from real estate to technology. And he’s done it all without sight.
New York Journal of Books
With a Foreword by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Introduction by Art Garfunkel, and Final Word by Margaret Atwood, Hello Darkness My Old Friend is an enlightening read by a witty, appreciative, and accomplished Sanford Greenberg, who opens the reader’s eyes to how to truly live life, sightless.
In this remarkable and inspiring story of a Columbia University undergrad from a poor Jewish family who loses his eyesight to disease during his junior year, author Sanford D. Greenberg overcomes unimaginable adversity to forge a life of exceptional achievement. Through engaging storytelling and elegant prose, the book demonstrates with profound emotional clarity how friendship, faith and courage can help anyone overcome even the most profound limitations.
His story is a cruel irony and a fascinating paradox rolled into a remarkable life, powerful and inspiring enough to rally a group of the world’s top doctors and scientists, and undeniably audacious enough to garner the world’s attention. Yes, Dr. Sanford Greenberg, chairman of the board of governors of one of the best eye institutes on the planet, is blind.
On Low Plaza, Greenberg, smiling, recalled Garfunkel reading him Our Town, which, he says, was their “manual for living.” The play’s message is that humans, caught up in daily concerns, fail to appreciate life’s beauty and preciousness. “That’s all human beings are!” says the character Emily Gibbs, a dead woman looking down upon the living and astonished by their folly. “Just blind people!”
Not Greenberg. He sees everything, sings every blessing, great and small: from the love of his family and friends to the dew-dappled grooves of a blade of grass. “You are talking,” he says, “to the luckiest man in the world.”
"Often his memories brought smiles; other times they left me near to tears. From the first page to the last, I was captivated by his bright mind, ready wit, and indomitable spirit."
– SUPREME COURT JUSTICE
RUTH BADER GINSBURG
"Sandy plays the hand he got and tries to make the world a better place. He has aspirations and hope. Sandy is a role model for all of us."
– MICHAEL BLOOMBERG,
FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK
"An inspiring must-read for anyone facing challenges in life, as a guide to beating the odds and making your impact on the world."
– VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE
"Sanford Greenberg’s allegory, Education Embraced by the Human Spirit, is the story of his perpetual heroism."
– FRANK STELLA, ARTIST
"I was so deeply touched to read Sandy’s treatment of me in this magnificent book. I blush to find myself within his dimension. My friend is my gold standard of decency.”
– ART GARFUNKEL, SINGER
"This memoir is the story of a man brought from blindness to richness, from darkness to light, through his passion and his accomplishments, and from a deep commitment from those who loved him. This book renews life in us all."
– RICHARD AXEL, 2004 NOBEL LAUREATE IN PHYSIOLOGY
“There is no greater measure of character than viewing one’s personal setbacks as a call to serve others. Sandy and Sue soared above their personal challenges and dedicated their lives to making a positive change in the world. We’re confident that this magnificent book will be one of the most inspirational you will ever read.”
– ELIZABETH AND BOB DOLE
“A majestic book, authored by the most ‘haimish’ of men. This should be required reading for every young person with a dream of helping their community.”
– SENATOR RON WYDEN
"It's not always true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but it can sometimes be true, and in Sandy's case it has been.
– MARGARET ATWOOD, AUTHOR
"When blindness is vanquished, and it will be, we will have Sandy Greenberg and his story to thank."
– SENATOR CHRIS COONS