Louis Braille was born on January 4, 1809 in the town of Coupvray, France. At the age of three, he injured his eye with an awl, a sharp tool used for making holes in leather. That wound became infected and spread, and he lost his eyesight.
In 1819, at the age of 10, Louis Braille received a scholarship to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris. In 1821, Charles Barbier visited the school, and Louis learned about night writing, a system of raised dots that soldiers were using on the battlefield to quietly share messages.
Inspired, Louis worked on his own version of the system, and in 1829 published the first book with Braille writing. In 1937, he added symbols for music and math. In 1868, the system was picked up by the British Royal National Institute for the Blind and began to spread worldwide.