Carrie Estelle Betzold was born in Philadelphia on August 2, 1875, the daughter of German immigrants. After moving to Los Angeles, she married oil tycoon Edward Doheny in 1900. A devout Roman Catholic, Mrs. Doheny dedicated her life to philanthropy, funding schools, churches and hospitals.
While kneeling to pray on her 69th birthday, Mrs. Doheny suffered a hemorrhage in her left eye, leaving her partially blind. Mrs. Doheny soon came to realize how urgently Los Angeles needed a center for advanced vision care and research. In 1947, she founded and funded the organization that would become the Doheny Eye Institute. To this day, the Institute remains dedicated to Mrs. Doheny’s directive, to “preserve, conserve and restore human eyesight.”