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Helen Adams Keller(1880-06-27)June 27, 1880Tuscumbia, Alabama, U.S.
June 1, 1968(1968-06-01) (aged 87)Easton, Connecticut, U.S.
Author, political activist, lecturer
June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968
Helen Keller was an American author and educator who was blind and deaf. Her education and training represent an extraordinary accomplishment in the education of persons with these disabilities.
She lost her sight and her hearing after a bout of illness at the age of 19 months. She then communicated primarily using home signs until the age of seven, when she met her first teacher and life-long companion Anne Sullivan, who taught Keller language, including reading and writing. After an education at both specialist and mainstream schools, Keller attended Radcliffe College of Harvard University and became the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Helen Keller wrote about her life in several books, including The Story of My Life (1903), Optimism (1903), The World I Live In (1908), My Religion (1927), Helen Keller’s Journal (1938), and The Open Door (1957).
Keller's works are mostly autobiographical. A main theme of The Story of My Life is the power of perseverance. Helen is at a significant disadvantage in her life due to her disabilities, yet she is persistent enough to overcome these great obstacles. Another theme is the importance of role models, as Anne Sullivan's guidance changes Helen's life.
Helen Keller’s personal accomplishment was developing skills never previously approached by any similarly disabled person. She also lectured on behalf of the American Foundation for the Blind, for which she later established a $2 million endowment fund. She then cofounded the American Civil Liberties Union with American civil rights activist Roger Nash Baldwin and others in 1920.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”
“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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