Dr. Donald Golden, optical icon, dies at 99 years old

Posted at 5:48 AM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 06:19:44-04

The man once referred to as the "Emperor of Eyeglasses" and a "Czar of Contact Lenses" by the Detroit Free Press, Dr. Donald Golden, has died in Miami. He was 99 years old, just two months shy of his 100th birthday.

Golden was one of the first doctors to use newspaper, radio and TV ads in the 1940s to build his business, an optometry office in downtown Detroit's First National Building.

“Back in the late 1940’s doctors seldom, if ever, used advertising as a medium to promote themselves. There was a lot of pressure on him, both legally and professionally, to stop. He persevered, having the foresight to continue on an unorthodox path that would ultimately pay off in spades," his son, Richard Golden, said. "The best part was that when you fast forward, ten, twenty, thirty years, most optometrists and others in the medical field jumped on the advertising bandwagon – including his harshest critics.”

After his office became successful in Detroit, he opened a contact lens specialty office in Midtown Manhattan.

Later, he was appointed to the Michigan Boxing Commission by then Gov. Jim Blanchard, and he partnered with school districts across metro Detroit to award three underprivileged graduating high school seniors with the Donald L. Golden Scholarship, which paid their college tuition.

Golden is survived by his wife of 61 years, Norma, and is survived by his wife, Marion and her children, Danny Bloomfield and Tania Bloomfield; sons and daughters-in-law Michael "Mickey" Golden, Richard and Shelley, Randal and Tracey Golden; grandchildren Bradley (Diana) Golden, Seth (Hilary) Golden, Jessica (Nici Maruri) Golden, Jaclyn Golden, Jaynee Golden and Jenna Golden, and great-grandchildren Claudia and Miles Golden, Gabriella, Giuliana and Gemma Golden. He was the brother of the late Dorothy (the late Irving) Chaiken, brother of Florence (the late Jack) Posar and son of the late Philip and Ethel Golden.