Helen Keller

HELEN KELLER was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. At nineteen months old an acute illness nearly took her life and left her deaf and blind. At the recommendation of Alexander Graham Bell, her parents contacted the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston and Anne Sullivan was sent to tutor Helen. The story of their early years together and of Helen’s remarkable psychological and intellectual growth, is told in The Story of My Life, which first appeared in instalments in Ladies’ Home Journal in 1902. With Anne Sullivan, “Teacher,” at her side, Helen Keller graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904, an extraordinary accomplishment for any woman of her time. Helen was dedicated to helping the blind and handicapped, raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind and lobbying for commissions for the blind in thirty states. A women’s rights activist, a Swedenborgian, a socialist and a world-famous celebrity, Helen Keller received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and many honorary degrees. Her other books include The World I Live In (1908), Midstream: My Later Life (1929), Helen Keller’s Journal (1938) and Let Us Have Faith (1940). She died in 1968. Her burial urn is in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.