Color Blindness: Famous Color Blinding People

color blind famous people

There are a lot of famous colorblind people. The National Eye Institute says about 8% of men and 0.5% of women in the U.S. have some form of color vision deficiency. They can’t distinguish certain colors as well as others who don’t have this condition. A person with red-green color blindness (the most common type) may see reds as brown or greenish. They see yellows as white or light grey and greens as black or dark grey. T

We research and list many famous color blind people. They include scientists, authors, actors, and athletes. Here are some of the most prominent:

Contents hide

Famous color blind artists

Many famous artists and musicians have been color blind. They include Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Isaac Newton, and Ludwig van Beethoven. One study found that color blindness made it easier for these artists. It helped them create works with bold color combinations that were still harmonious.

Leonardo da Vinci

People thought he was color blind. But, Leonardo da Vinci actually had red-green color deficiency. This condition makes people see blue and yellow as well as they would normally see red or green.

He used a limited palette of just five primary colors: yellow ochre, white lead, vermilion (red), black chalk, and earth pigment. He used them to make many shades.


A 16th-century Venetian painter was believed to have been colorblind. Due to this condition, his paintings tended toward muted tones and bluish hues.

Ray Charles

The singer and pianist who only discovered that he was red-green colorblind when he was 46 years old.

In 1997, Charles announced he had a degenerative eye condition called glaucoma. It causes blindness. Over time, his vision worsened and by 2004 he had lost most of it—he died on June 10 at 73 years old.

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter. He lived from 1853 to 1890. He is well-known for his Impressionist paintings of natural things like flowers and wheat fields. He was not only color blind but also suffered from depression and mental illness.

Vincente Minnelli

Vincente Minnelli was an Italian American film director, actor and producer who lived from 1903 to 1986. He won a number of Oscars for his musicial films including Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), The Pirate (1948) and Gigi (1959).

Vincente was color blind, which he claimed had little effect on his work. He said, “I don’t think I had much trouble doing color; I’m not sure it made any difference in my career.” Minnelli was married to Judy Garland for 16 years and directed her in a number of films including Meet Me In St. Louis.

Claude Monet(1840-1926)

Claude Monet was a French painter who lived from 1840 to 1926. He is known for his Impressionist paintings of landscapes such as water lilies or haystacks in different seasons throughout the year. Monet suffered from cataracts later in life which affected his vision significantly.

He could not see colors and had to hold his painting up to the light in order to determine if they were correct. Vincent Van Gogh Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch post-impressionist painter, was born in 1853 and died at the age of 37. He suffered from depression and mental illness his whole life. They caused him to shoot himself in 1890.

Alexander Calder

The artist who created the mobile, had red-green color blindness. It was said that he used red and green to create his art because it was easier for him to see those colors than others.

Andy Warhol

The pop artist’s works have bright colors. But, Warhol also had trouble telling some colors apart.

He was diagnosed with deuteranopia, a form of color blindness. It causes difficulty telling green from red.

Bill Cosby

The comedian was diagnosed with red-green colorblindness at age 8. Now, when drawing, they use yellow crayons because they “look like the real thing”.


Michelangelo was officially diagnosed with protanopia, one of the most common forms of color blindness. For him, reds, yellows and greens all looked like shades of gray.

Georgia O’Keeffe(1887-1986)

An American painter famous for her floral paintings, was also red-green colorblind. The artist liked to paint flowers because they were easier than people to paint without being distracted by their clothing or skin tone.

Jimi Hendrix

The guitarist was legendary. But, his colorblindness made it hard for him to tell red from green. So, during live shows, he often strummed the wrong strings.

Steven Spielberg

Movie director Steven Spielberg, the acclaimed director of movies such as E.T., Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List, is colorblind. It has not stopped him from making award-winning films. But, Spielberg has said that he will never use colors to tell characters apart.

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)

The French painter had problems distinguishing between reds, greens, blues and often painted them in the wrong shades. He once said that he saw “in a completely different light than other people.”

Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977)

He led several orchestras. These included the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1912 to 1930 and the New York Philharmonic from 1936 to 1969.

He became colorblind at age 70, but continued to lead orchestras for nearly 20 years after that.

Famous color blind actors

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby is a comedian and actor who is colorblind. He says that he cannot tell the difference between red and green, so he frequently mixes up his greens with browns.

Jeremy Irons

Actor Jeremy Irons, best known for playing the role of Scar in The Lion King—who is colorblind and associates his roles solely with black and white. If asked to choose a color that he associated with any character from one of his films, however—he’d pick gray.

David Bowie

David Bowie, the famous British musician and actor, is colorblind. He has said that he cannot tell the difference between red and green and often mixes up his greens with browns.

He says that he can never remember what colors are associated with which character in a film or play because he cannot tell them apart.

Michael J Fox

The Canadian actor best known for playing the role of Marty McFly in Back to the Future, is colorblind. He says that he cannot tell the difference between red and green or blue and yellow.

Stevie Wonder

The famous R&B singer and songwriter is colorblind. He says that he cannot tell the difference between red and green, however, he can see some colors like blue, black and white.

Aldous Huxley

The author of the novel Brave New World, is colorblind. He says that he cannot tell the difference between red and green or blue and yellow.

Jackie Chan

The famous actor and martial artist says that he is colorblind. He claims to be unable to tell reds, greens, and blues apart. Once, he was asked to wear a blue shirt for a movie. He only realized it was blue when someone pointed it out.

Josephine Baker

The famous singer and dancer was colorblind. She says that she couldn’t tell the difference between red, green, yellow and blue—colors that most people can easily distinguish.

Robin Williams

The actor and comedian could not tell the difference between reds, greens, or blues. Once he showed up to an event wearing a blue shirt with brown shoes—accidentally.

Steven Spielberg

The director had trouble telling colors apart. So, he once chose a green shirt for his character in a movie. But, he later realized that it was blue.

Eddie Murphy

At age five, the actor and comedian was diagnosed with a condition that makes it difficult for him to distinguish between reds, greens and blues.

Charlie Chaplin

color blind famous people

The actor and comedian is color-blind, so he sometimes wears the wrong colors. For example, once he wore a blue shirt to an event thinking it was black.

Famous color blind athletes

Dale Earnhardt Sr

One of NASCAR’s most famous racers is color blind. He lets his crew chief pick out the race car’s paint job because he can’t tell what colors they are choosing.

Sonny Liston

The famous boxer was color-blind, which made it difficult for him to see the difference between red and green. One time he accidentally put on a green shirt instead of a white one before stepping into the ring.

Jim Abbott

The pitcher for the New York Yankees has color-blindness, so he wears tinted contacts when he pitches. That way, he can more easily tell the difference between a red baseball and a green one.

Sidney Crosby

The star hockey player for the Pittsburgh Penguins has a type of color-blindness. It makes it hard for him to tell red from green.

Jack Nicklaus

The legendary golfer has been color blind for most of his life, and he even says that it helps him play better. In an interview with Golf Magazine, he said: “I’m not saying this is a good thing or bad thing—it’s just something I’ve learned to live with.”

Jim Abbott

The pitcher won a gold medal in the 1992 Olympics, despite being color blind. He was diagnosed with the condition when he was 12 years old—but continued to play baseball professionally well into his 30s.

Chuck Bednarik

He was a former standout player for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was colorblind. He famously missed a block. It led to the winning touchdown in the 1960 NFL Championship game. He also said: “When you get old, you don’t know what time it is—you’re too young for this; and too old for that.”

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is one of the most famous athletes in the world, but did you know that he has a form of red-green color blindness called deuteranomaly? He has trouble distinguishing between these two colors.

Jordan was diagnosed with a vision condition. It sometimes caused him to strike out. But, he went on to become one of baseball’s greatest players.

Kevin Love

A basketball player who has a rare form of color blindness called deuteranopia. He says he noticed the condition when he was a child. Although it doesn’t affect his game directly, it sometimes makes it harder for him to tell certain colors apart.

Brett Favre

Favre has a rare form of color blindness called deuteranopia. Despite this, he became one of football’s greatest players. But, he still sometimes has trouble telling certain colors apart.

Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky is a professional hockey player. He says he has a rare form of color blindness called deuteranopia. But, it doesn’t affect his game directly. It just makes it harder for him to tell certain colors apart.

Derek Jeter

Professional baseball player Derek Jeter has a rare form of color blindness called deuteranopia. But, it does not seem to affect his game. It just makes certain colors harder for him to tell apart.

Mike Tyson

Deuteranopia is called a rare form of color blindness. But, it does not seem to hurt boxer Mike Tyson’s performance. He just can’t tell certain shades apart.

Hank Aaron

Professional baseball player Hank Aaron has a rare form of color blindness called deuteranopia. But, it does not seem to affect his game. It just makes it harder for him to tell certain colors apart.

Famous color blind authors

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

The author Charles Dickens was colorblind. His famous novel A Tale of Two Cities uses a lot of symbolism. It uses reds and whites to represent the revolutionaries versus the British in early 1800s France.

Ernest Hemingway

The American writer Ernest Hemingway is best known for his novel The Old Man and the Sea, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was also colorblind. He often used symbols to convey meaning instead of accurate description.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

A 19th-century English novelist who wrote Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim. He had a condition called color blindness that made it difficult for him to read maps.

Mark Twain

The author wrote Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He was famously colorblind. He said he had trouble telling yellow from green.

Peter Sellers

A famous actor who was also colorblind. Sellers once said that he couldn’t tell the difference between red and green traffic lights when driving.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

The author of Tess of the D’Urbervilles and The Mayor of Casterbridge, among many other works. He may have been tone deaf but was still able to compose music by sight-reading scores at concerts!

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Despite being nearsighted, the English poet was considered one of the most important Romantic poets. His color blindness may have been caused by his poor vision.

Stephen King

The author of “The Shining” and “Cujo,” Stephen King, told an interviewer that he cannot recognize faces or colors. He said he used to rely on touch in order to experience colors—but this made his perceptions different from those who can see them.

Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)

The American poet and short story writer was colorblind. He wrote about his inability to see colors in his poem “The Raven.”

James Joyce

In his novel “Finnegan’s Wake,” the Irish writer James Joyce wrote about his inability to see colors. Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), a famous Dutch painter, suffered from deuteranopia, a form of color blindness.

Vladimir Nabokov(1899-1977)

A Russian novelist and short story writer whose works include “Lolita” and “Ada,” Vladimir Nabokov was born in 1899. An article on the author at Nabokov Online Journal says he had a type of color blindness called deuteranopia. It made it hard for him to see reds or greens, but not blues or yellows.

Famous color blind scientists

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is believed by many to have been red-green color deficient. In his autobiography, he wrote: “I am very bad in judging distances … My wife knows that if she comes to meet me when I’m walking out and wants me to look at something on the ground or on a wall or high up somewhere. She must first say how high up it is.”

Alexander Shulgin

Alexander Shulgin was a chemist who invented hundreds of psychedelic drugs and tested them on himself. He had deuteranopia, which made him unable to distinguish between reds and greens.

The reason he was so successful, however, is that he did not let his color blindness hold him back from pursuing a career in science. He discovered the theory of relativity and won a Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A French writer, poet, and aviator who is most famous for his novella The Little Prince. The book has been translated into 300 languages and sold over 150 million copies worldwide.

De Saint-Exupery had color blindness; in fact, he was so colorblind that he could not tell the difference between red and green. Despite this disability, he became one of France’s most famous writers.

Charles Darwin

color blind famous people

He discovered the principle of evolution by natural selection in 1859. But, he also suffered from deuteranopia, a form of red-green color blindness. It makes it hard for people to see differences between those two colors (and sometimes others).

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

The man who is considered the father of modern physics and mathematics was red-green colorblind. He had trouble telling certain shades of blue and green apart. He mixed up paint colors when buying supplies for his experiments, or building telescopes!

Nikola Tesla

color blind famous people

The man who invented alternating current electricity distribution was Nikola Tesla. People thought he was colorblind. He did not see any color in objects lit by fluorescent lights, which emit light at specific frequencies. However, there is no evidence that he himself suffered from any form of this condition.

Stephen Hawking

Physicist and cosmologist, who is thought to be colorblind but whose condition has not been medically diagnosed. In his books, he mentions difficulty telling green and blue apart. This is a possible symptom of red-green colorblindness.

Rene Descartes

René Descartes was a famous philosopher and mathematician who had colorblindness. He said that he relied on touch to experience colors, but this made his perceptions different from those who could see them.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

The astrophysicist’s interest in astronomy and space exploration began early. But, it was only after he was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 12 that he saw the need to overcome obstacles.

He said that he has problems with reds and greens, which makes it difficult for him to tell a traffic light from a stop sign. He also said that this means he can’t drive on the road alone because he doesn’t know what color lights mean.

John Dalton

The scientist who discovered the law of partial pressures was color blind. He said that he relied on touch to experience colors—a difference from those who could see them

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interest in space exploration began young. But, he only realized the importance of overcoming obstacles after being diagnosed with dyslexia.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

A German writer, poet and scientist. His works include Faust and The Sorrows of Young Werther.

Goethe was color blind. He wrote about this in one of his most famous poems: “I am weak, I am strong; / I am ugly, I am beautiful; / I am right, I am wrong. / If you find me changing my mind, / you can be sure my heart has not turned.”

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was an American scientist and inventor. He found over 300 uses for peanuts and sweet potatoes. He was also color blind and could only see reds, yellows, and blues.

Famous color blind politicians

Many successful politicians have been color blind too. For example, Ulysses S. Grant was known for his ability to “make lemonade out of lemons.” John Quincy Adams once said: “I do not expect the favoritism of fortune.” Woodrow Wilson once said: “I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.”

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Third president of the United States. He was a scientist, writer, inventor and statesman. He is often called one of America’s greatest Presidents because he accomplished so much during his lifetime.

His most famous accomplishment was writing the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was also color blind.

Abraham Lincoln

color blind famous people

The 16th President of the United States, serving from 1861 to 1865. He helped end slavery in America with his Emancipation Proclamation. The document declared the slaves free in states that were still part of the Union during the Civil War.

Lincoln was also color blind and could only see reds, yellows and blues.

Woodrow Wilson

The 28th President of the United States, Wilson served two terms from 1913 to 1921. He was a statesman and scholar who led America during World War I and helped create the League of Nations. Despite his academic success as a student at Princeton University, he could only see reds, yellows & blues due to color blindness

Richard Nixon

TDuring his presidency, Nixon was involved in the Watergate scandal. This event marked the beginning of his political downfall and ultimately led to him resigning from office.

Nixon was also color blind and could only see reds, yellows and blues

Bill Clinton

The 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001.who sufferer of red-green color blindness. He has difficulty distinguishing between red and green, but he can distinguish the colors blue and yellow.

George W. Bush

Bush was the 43rd President of the United States. At an early age, Bush was diagnosed with a form of color blindness called red-green dyschromatopsia. His wife said that she would sometimes have to help him pick out clothes because he had trouble seeing which colors went well together

She said that he didn’t even know what green and blue were until she explained them to him!

Barack Obama

The 44th President of the United States and a well-known example of a color blind politician, he was diagnosed with the condition in 2007. During his time as president however, it was not an issue.

Al Gore

In his famous documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, former Vice President Al Gore shows how gases cause climate change. He does this by illustrating their effect on temperatures using different colored pencils.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

The Prime Minister of Britain during World War II, he was a highly respected leader and is still considered one of the best in British history. Though color blind, Churchill could only see reds, yellows, and blues

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

The civil rights leader was diagnosed with deuteranopia at a young age. But, his vision problem did not stop him from achieving greatness.

King once said that, in fact, if he had not been color blind, he might not have become an activist for social justice. He said he would have seen racism more clearly than others did at that time.

Prince Charles (1948-Present)

The British royal is colorblind, which means he sees the world in black and white. Most people would think this would hurt his ability to appreciate art and beauty. But, it has actually helped him notice more details than most people do.

He told BBC News, “I have to take my glasses off when I’m distinguishing between red and green objects.”

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

Because she was color blind, the former first lady said that she saw the world more clearly. She once remarked, “I am glad there are colors in the world to paint our days with. If I couldn’t see them—and longed for death so my eyes could rest.”


Don’t be fooled by color blindness. The people who suffer from color blindness are not necessarily unintelligent. They have great personalities and have accomplished many admirable feats in their lives. Above all they should not feel condemned because they cannot see shades of colors. Although they are handicapped, color blind people have done their best to overcome it. In some cases, they have thrived despite their disability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCaptcha and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.