Famous eye-patch wearers

Below, we will take a look at some famous eye-patch wearers.

James Joyce

Nicolas-Jacques ContéThe Irish writer and poet James Joyce (1882-1941) is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. In his landmark 1922 novel Ulysses, the episodes of Homer´s Odyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles, and Joyce makes frequent use of the stream-of-consciousness narrative mode.

Joyce suffered from eye problems for most of his life and began wearing an eye patch to rest his eyes. In May 1907, Joyce suffered from an attack of rheumatic fever which left him very ill for several weeks, and the illness exacerbated eye problems that he was already suffering from. He would continue to have serious problems with his eyes for the rest of his life and undergo numerous eye surgeries. By 1930, he was nearly blind in the left eye and had poor vision in the right one. At one point, he was so worried that he would not be able to finish the novel Finnegan´s Wake that he asked the Irish author James Stephens to complete it for him if he could not do it himself.


Louise Gabrielle Bobb (b. 1969), known professionally as Gabrielle, is a British singer and songwriter. Her 1993 début single “Dreams” topped the UK Singles Chart, and she later had continued success with songs such as “Going Nowhere”, “Give Me a Little More Time”, “Walk On By”, “If You Ever” (a duet with East 17), and “Rise”. The Rise album reached #1 on the UK Albums Chart and stayed there for three weeks. The song “Out of Reach” was included in the soundtrack to the film Bridget Jones´s Diary.

Gabrielle has had ptosis (a drooping of the upper eyelid) on one eye since childhood and is known to cover that eye in various ways in public. The habit has become a part of her distinct look. When she is not using an eye-patch, she normally covers it with her hair or sunglasses,

Nicolas-Jacques Conté

Nicolas-Jacques ContéNicolas-Jacques Conté (1755-1805) was a French painter, a pioneering balloonist, army officer, and inventor of the modern pencil. He had an exceptional understanding of mechanics, and in this capacity he proved to be highly useful for the French army in Egypt. Napoleon described him as “ a universal man with taste, understanding and genius capable of creating the arts of France in the middle of the Arabian Desert”.

Conté was a pioneer in the field of gas balloons and created the first airborne battalion. Carrying out ground-breaking experiments with gas was also what led him to wear an eye-patch, because he lost one of his eyes during a gas experiment. The accident is said to have occurred because a servant left a door open that should have been closed. After the accident, Conté took to wearing a black ribbon across the injury, and it can be seen in a few contemporary portraits of him.

Date Masamune

Date Masamune (1567-1636) was a regional ruler Japan’s Azuchi–Momoyama period through early Edo period, and the founder of the modern-day city of Sendai.

One of his eyes were missing and he was therefore known as dokuganryū (独眼竜),”The One-Eyed Dragon of Ōshu”. As a child, he contracted smallpox and lost sight in his right eye. Exactly why and how the eye itself was removed remains unclear. One legend claims he plucked it out himself, and another states that he commanded his trusted retainer Katakura Kojūrō to gouge it out for him.

Due to his fame as a leader, warrior and tactician, Masamune is a character in a number of Japanese period dramas (Jidaigeki).