17 May 1900
Esther Franks, physician and first woman ophthalmic surgeon to practise in SA, was born in Zurich, Switzerland. Her parents emigrated from Russia via England and Switzerland and came to SA shortly after her birth. She was a pioneer in the fight against blindness. In 1971 she was adjudged Woman of the Year by the readers of The Star for her outstanding work in restoring sight to thousands of rural Africans.