Obit of the Day: Making Contacts
Every once in a while OOTD finds someone with so many fascinating moments in his life that I must use the best means to capture them all…bullet points:
• Born Newton Uyesugi in Oregon. He graduated from high school at 16 and opened his own optometry practice at 22.
• Was sent, with thousands of other Americans of Japanese descent, to an internment camp (Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho) at the beginning of World War II but released early, perhaps because he had Anglicized his name for business reasons. (He chose Wesley as the closest thing to Uyesugi.)
• Moved to Chicago, his family joining him later. There he researched his own eye disease, keratoconus, which would cause him to go blind unless he found a solution…
• And working with George Jessen he did. They developed hard (or “rigid”) contact lenses that fit on the cornea, and most importantly, were worn for long periods of time. A major breakthrough in lens development.
• Sported the coolest sideburns since Ambrose Burnside, for whom they are named.
Dr. Wesley was 93 years old.
(Image courtesy of the Chicago Tribune)