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who was Helen Keller?

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American writer, political activist and lecturer who was the first deaf-blind person to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The story of Keller and her teacher Ann Sullivan was made famous by Keller’s autobiography, The Story of My Life, and The Miracle Worker, an adaptation for film and stage. Her birthplace in western Tuscumbia, Alabama, now hosts a museum and an annual “Helen Keller Day.”

Her birthday, June 27, is honored as Helen Keller Day in Pennsylvania, and the centenary of her birth is recognized by the presidential proclamation of U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

A prominent writer, Keller was a good traveler and outspoken in his beliefs. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the artisan of the world, she campaigned for women’s suffrage, labor rights, socialism, opposition, and other similar causes.

She was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1971 and attended the Alabama Writers’ Hall of Fame’s twelve opening ceremonies on June 8, 2015. Keller proved to the world that deaf people can all learn to communicate and that they can survive in the hearing world.

She also taught that deaf people could do things that people can do by hearing. One of the most famous deaf people in history is an idol to many deaf people in the world.

Early Life and Family

Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on June 2, 1880. Keller was the first of two daughters born to Arthur H. Keller and Katherine Adams Keller. Keller’s father served as an officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. She also had two older stepbrothers.

The family was not incredibly wealthy and earned from their cotton plantations. Arthur later became the editor of a weekly local newspaper called North Alabamian. Keller was born with her eyesight and hearing and when she started talking at just six months old. He started walking when he was one year old.

Loss of Sight and Hearing

Keller lost both sight and hearing at just 19 months old. In 1882, he contracted an illness – called “meningitis” by a family physician – that caused a high body temperature. The illness’s exact nature remains a mystery to this day, although some experts believe it could be hemorrhagic fever or meningitis. Within days of the fever breaking out, Keller’s mother noticed that her daughter did not respond while ringing the dinner bell or waving her hand in front of her face. As Keller grew up in childhood, she developed a limited way of communicating with her cook, Martha Washington, the youngest daughter in the family. They both deal with their reliance as they choose to embark on their play activities. When Keller was 7, they discovered more than 60 signs to communicate with each other. During this time, Keller also became very wild and illegal. She would kick and scream when she was angry and giggle uncontrollably when she was happy. sHe tortured Martha and angrily murdered her parents. Many relatives in the family felt that he should be institutionalized.

Helen Keller education

In May 1888, Keller began joining the Parkinson’s Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Keller and Sullivan moved to New York to attend Wright-Humason School for the Deaf and learn from Sarah Fuller at Horace Mann School for the Deaf. They returned to Massachusetts in 1896 and entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies before Keller was admitted, in 1900 to Radcliffe College at Harvard University, where he lived at Briggs Hall in South House. Her admirer, Mark Twain, introduced Standard Oil magnate Henry Hilton to Rogers, who paid for her education with his wife, Abby. In 1904, at the age of 24, Keller graduated from Radcliffe as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the first deaf person to receive a bachelor of arts degree. She maintained a correspondence with the Austrian philosopher and educator Wilhelm Jerusalem, who was the first to discover her literary talents. Determined to communicate with others as much as possible, Keller learned to speak and spent most of her life lecturing and lecturing on various aspects of her life. sHe learned to “listen” to human speech using the Sedona Method, which meant using her fingers to feel the speaker’s lips and throat – her sense of touch became stronger. She became proficient in using Braille and reading sign language with her own hands. Shortly before World War I, with Joel’s Fourteenth help, she determined that she could enjoy the music playing nearby by placing her finger on a resonating tablet.

Companions with Helen Keller Teacher

Helen Keller became proficient in using Braille and reading sign language with her own hands. Shortly before World War I, with Joel’s Fourteenth help, she determined that he could enjoy the music playing nearby by placing her finger on a resonating tablet. Polly Thomson (February 20, 1885 – March 21, 1960) was rented to keep the house. She was a young woman from Scotland who had no experience with deaf or blind people. She also made progress in working as a secretary and eventually settled down with Keller. Keller moved to the Forest Hills in Queens with Sullivan and Massey and used the house as a base for her efforts on behalf of the American Foundation for the Blind. “When Helen had a love affair in the thirties, she secretly got involved and tried to kill her teacher and her family, with whom she was in love.” sHe was the finger-spelled socialist “Peter Fagan, a young Boston Herald journalist who was sent to Helen’s home to work as her personal secretary when her lifelong colleague Ann fell ill.” Her father died at the time and Sullivan was returning to Lake Placid and Puerto Rico. Keller moved to Montgomery, Alabama with her mother.
Ann Sullivan died in 255 at Keller’s hands after falling into a coma in 1936 as a result of coronary thrombosis. 266 Keller and Thomson moved to Connecticut. They traveled the world and collected money for the blind. Thomson suffered a stroke in 1957 from which he never fully recovered and died in 1960. Winnie Corbally has initially been a nurse to care for Thomson in 1957, remained after Thomson’s death, and was a Keller’s lifelong associate.


Keller wrote a total of 12 published books and several articles. One of his earliest writings at the age of 11 was The Frost King (1891). There were allegations that Margaret Canby stole the story from Frost Fairies. An investigation into the matter revealed that Keller might have had an incident of cryptocurrency. She had read Canby’s story but forgot it, the memory remaining in his subconscious state. Keller published her autobiography, The Story of My Life (1903), at the age of 22, with Sullivan and Sullivan’s husband, John Massey. It tells the story of her life until he was 21 years old and was written while in college. Keller wrote in The World I Live In 1906, giving readers insights into how he felt about the world. Out of the Dark, a series of articles on socialism, was published in 1913. When Keller was young, Ann Sullivan introduced him to Phillips Brooks, who introduced him to Christianity. Keller famously said: “I always knew he was there, but I didn’t know his name!” Her spiritual autobiography, My Religion, was published in 1927 and was subsequently revised and reissued in 1994 under the title Light in My Darkness. It is in favor of the teachings of the Christian theologian and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. They gave spiritual interpretations of biblical teachings and claimed that the second coming of Jesus Christ had occurred.

Overseas visits

Keller visited 35 countries from 1944 to 1957.
In 1948 he visited New Zealand and visited schools for the deaf in Christchurch and Auckland. she met Canterbury Life Member Patti Steele’s Deaf Society in Christchurch.

Later life

Keller suffered several strokes in 1961 and spent the last years of her life at her home. On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the two highest civilian honors in the United States. In 1965, she was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair. Keller spent most of his later life raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind. In her sleep on June 1, 1968, she died in Easton, Arkansas, Connecticut, just a few weeks after her eightieth birthday. A service was held in her honor at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., her body was cremated, and her ashes were laid to rest next to her endless associates, Anne Sullivan and Polly Thomson. She was buried in Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

Posthumous honors

In 2003, Alabama honored its native daughter in its state quarters. The Alabama State Quarter is the only U.S. currency featuring Braille.
A pre-school for the deaf and hard of hearing in Mysore, India, was first named after Helen Keller by its founder K.K Srinivasan. In 1999, Keller was listed as one of Gallup’s most admired people of the 20th century. Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama, is dedicated to her. Streets are named after Zurich, Switzerland, Getafe, Spain in the United States, Lode, Israel, Lisbon, Portugal, and Caen, France. In 1973, Helen Keller was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp in 1980 depicting Keller and Sullivan on the occasion of Keller’s birth centenary.

On October 7, 2009, Caller’s bronze statue was added to the National Statue Hall collection, replacing the statue of former Alabama education reformer Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry of 1908.

Helen Keller quotes

We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.

Helen Keller

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”


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