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Born in 1942 in Harlem, Bath became a pioneer in the treatment and prevention of blindness. She also advocated for eyesight as a basic human right by founding the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness in 1976.
Bath became the first African-American to complete a residency in ophthalmology in 1973, which led to her appointment two years later as the first woman faculty member at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute. In 1988, Bath became the first African-American woman physician to receive a medical patent with her Laserphaco Probe, which improved cataract treatment.