Helen Keller (Helen Adams Keller)
BiographyTuscumbia, Alabama, USA
Helen Keller contracted a virulent childhood disease which resulted in complete loss of sight and hearing at nineteen months. Her parents futilely sought help for her, as did family friend Alexander Graham Bell. Finally, when Keller was seven, Annie Sullivan, a young teacher, was hired by the family. Through a system involving a constant physical contact with Sullivan, a touch alphabet "spelled" into Keller's hand, persistence, faith, and love - detailed in The Miracle Worker (1962) - Keller suddenly and amazingly understood; she quickly and efficiently learned language, and the world opened to her. Read more... the age of ten. With Sullivan's important emotional and intellectual support, Keller's development took off. Keller graduated - cum laude - from Radcliffe College in 1904. Sullivan was her companion until her death in 1936. Helen Keller wrote prolifically, traveled widely, lectured on various personal, political, and academic topics, and was awarded numerous honorary degrees from universities around the world. She died in 1968, one of the most famous and widely-admired women of our time.