Helen Adams Keller was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer. Born in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, she lost her sight and hearing after a bout of illness at the age of nineteen months. She communicated primarily using home signs until the aged of seven when she met her first teacher and life-long companion Anne Sullivan.
About Helen Keller in brief
Helen Adams Keller was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer. Born in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, she lost her sight and hearing after a bout of illness at the age of nineteen months. She then communicated primarily using home signs until the aged of seven when she met her first teacher and life-long companion Anne Sullivan. After an education at both specialist and mainstream schools, she attended Radcliffe College of Harvard University and became the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She worked for the American Foundation for the Blind from 1924 until 1968, during which time she toured the United States and traveled to 39 countries around the globe advocating for those with vision loss. Keller was a prolific author, writing 14 books and hundreds of speeches and essays on topics ranging from animals to Mahatma Gandhi. She was one of twelve inaugural inductees to the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame on June 8, 2015. Her June 27 birthday is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in Pennsylvania and, in the centenary year of her birth, was recognized by a presidential proclamation from U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The story of Keller and Sullivan was made famous by Keller’s autobiography, The Story of My Life, and its adaptations for film and stage, The Miracle Worker. Her birthplace is now a museum and sponsors an annual ‘Helen Keller Day’ in Pennsylvania, where it is celebrated every year on June 27, the anniversary of her birthplace and her first birthday.
She had four siblings: two full siblings, Mildred Campbell Tyson and Phillip Brooks Keller, and two older half-brothers from her father’s prior marriage, James McDonald Keller and William Simpson Keller. Her father, Arthur Henley Keller, spent many years as an editor of the Tusumbia North Alabamian and had served as a captain in the Confederate Army. In 1886, Keller’s mother, inspired by an account in Charles Dickens’ American Notes of the successful education of another deaf and blind woman, Laura Bridgman, dispatched the young Keller, accompanied by her father, to seek out specialist Julian Chisholm, an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist in Baltimore, for advice for deaf children. It was the beginning of a nearly 50-year relationship during which Keller’s governess and eventually her companion, Anne Sullivan, arrived at Keller’s house on March 5, 1887, to become Keller’s instructor. She lived, as she recalled in her autobiography, “at sea in a dense fog””. At that time, Keller was able to communicate somewhat with Martha Washington, the two-years older daughter of the family cook, who understood her signs;: 11 by the Age of seven, Keller had more than 60 home signs to communicate with her family, and could distinguish people by the vibration of their footsteps. She joined the Socialist Party of America in 1909. In 1933, when her book How I Became a Socialist was burned by Nazi youth, she wrote an open letter to the Student Body of Germany condemning censorship and prejudice.
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This page is based on the article Helen Keller published in Wikipedia (as of Jan. 01, 2021) and was automatically summarized using artificial intelligence.