Czech chemist who invented the first practical soft contact lens.
He created the polymer that would go into his lenses, but he shelved it soon after, coming back only when he started to work on contact lenses.
He sold the rights to his patented lenses to the American company Bausch & Lomb for $330,000, but because he worked for the state, he only received $330 from the sale.
His father ran a machine factory.
He and musician Bedrich Smetana were both famous Czechs.