The Apollo Award is the highest award presented to the general public by the American Optometric Association. It honors persons or organizations for distinguished service to the visual welfare of the public, and recipients have included educators and spokespersons, organizations such as service clubs and philanthropic groups, programs in schools and communities, and publications.
Prior to 1961 the awards were known as “Distinguished Service Awards,” and through 1980 optometrists were eligible to receive the award.
1957 Mrs. Agnes Beaton, Automotive Safety Foundation
1958 Titmus Optical Company ● President Dwight D. Eisenhower
1959 Dr. Darell Boyd Harmon ● Better Light, Better Sight Bureau, New York ● Olin E. Teague
1960 Arnold Gesell ● Ben Massell .
1961 Alexander M. Skeffington, O.D. ● George D. Spache, Ph.D. ● WOI-TV, Ames Iowa
1962 Emmett A. Betts, Ph.D. ● R. Stuart MacKay, Ph.D. ● Elwin Marg, O.D., Ph.D. ● Optometric Center of
New York City
1963 Lois B. Bing, O.D. ● William Greenspon, O.D. ● Elbert Hugunin ● Helen M. Robinson, Ph.D.
1964 Glenn A. Fry, O.D., Ph.D. ● Peter J. Salmon ● U. S. Senator H. A. Williams
1965 Nathan Edward Acree ● Better Vision Institute ● H. Ward Ewalt, Jr., O.D. ● Good Housekeeping
Magazine ● Optical Manufacturers Association
1966 Howard J Brown, M.D. ● George H. Giles, O.B.E. (posthumously) ● John C. Neill, O.D. ●
Col. John W. Sheridan, MSC, U.S.A.
1967 Gerald N. Getman, O.D. ● Emanuel C. Nurock, O.D. ● Harold W. Oyster, O.D. ● Winter Haven Lions
1968 Irvin M. Borish, O.D. ● Robert S. Bray
1969 William C. Ezell, O.D. ● Hernando Henao, R., O.D., Bogota
1970 Samuel Howard Bartley, Ph.D. ● United States Jaycees ● Helen W. Worden
1971 Merrill J. Allen, O.D., Ph.D. ● Anna Berliner, Ph.D.
1972 Carel C. Koch, O.D. ● Ohio Lions Eye Research Foundation
1973 Henry W. Hofstetter, O.D., Ph.D. ● Luci Johnson Nugent
1974 Lions International
1975 Meredith W. Morgan, O.D., Ph.D.
1976 Ernest B. Alexander, O.D.
1977 Auxiliary to the American Optometric Association
1978 National 4-H Council / 4-H Program
1979 Louis Jaques, Sr., O.D. ● Natalie Carter Barraga, Ed.D.
1980 Francis A. Young, Ph.D.
1981 Reader’s Digest large-type edition
1982 Veterans Administration’s VICTORS program
1983 Cazamer Loyd Crouch, P.E.
1984 55 Alive/ Mature Driving - AARP
1985 (no award given)
1986 Henrik L. Blum, M.D., M.P.H.
1987 Robert Beeten
1988 Salvation Army - USA
1989 Literacy Volunteers of America ● Albuquerque Mayor’s Commission on Adult Literacy ●
New Mexico Coalition for Literacy
1990 (no award given)
1991 American Public Health Association
1992 Adolph Coors Foundation
1993 (no award given)
1994 Descriptive Video Service / WGBH
1995 Optical Laboratories Association
1996 General Motors Corporation
1997 John Jay Moores, founder, River Blindness Foundation
1998 Special Olympics International, Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver
1999 (no award given)
2000 American Foundation for the Blind
2001 Carl Kupfer, M.D., National Eye Institute
2002 Gov. Paul E. Patton, State of Kentucky
2003 (no award given)
2004 U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland
2005 former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter
2006 (no award given)
2007 Pierre Le Falher
2008 James Kesteloot, Chicago Lighthouse
2009 (no award given)
2010 Tom Sullivan
2011 (no award given)
2012 (no award given)