Life of Helen Adams Keller

Successful Blind Woman Who Made Her Dreams Come True

Tina S
Tina S
Dec 18, 2009
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HELEN means 'light'! But very unfortunately the girl named Helen did not have light in her eyes. She was blind. Though the person Helen Keller could not see this beautiful world due to her blindness, but she had a dream to let the blind and the visually impaired see. And she made her dream come true by bringing the light to the blind and the visually impaired of the whole world.

Early Childhood:

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist and lecturer. The daughter of Captain Arthur Henley Keller and Kate Adams Keller she was born with full sight and hearing.
In February 1882, when Helen was nineteen months old, she fell ill. To this day the nature of her ailment remains a mystery.

The doctors of the time called it "brain fever", whilst modern day doctors think it may have been scarlet fever or meningitis. This fever caused her to become deaf and blind. No longer could she see nor hear.
Helen was a very bright child. She would hang on to her mother's skirt to get around. She would feel of people's hands to try to find out what they were doing. She learned to do many things this way. She learned to milk a cow and knead the bread dough. She could recognize people by feeling of their faces or their clothes.

Anne Sullivan:

The family knew they had to do something to help her. They found a teacher named Anne Sullivan. Miss Sullivan herself had been blind, but had an operation and regained her sight. She understood what Helen was feeling. She taught Helen the signs for the letters of the alphabet. Then she would "spell" the words in Helen's hand to communicate with her.
Because of blindness Helen became very angry and began to throw temper tantrums. By the help of Anne Sullivan she eventually stopped having the tantrums. Anne taught her for years. Helen learned to read Braille. This was a system of raised dots representing letters. A blind person could read by feeling of the dots.
Helen had an amazing memory, and she also had skills very few people have ever been able to develop. She could put her fingers to a person's lips and understand the words which were being spoken.


Helen moved on to the Cambridge School for Young Ladies in 1896 and in the Autumn of 1900 entered Radcliffe College, becoming the first deafblind person to have ever enrolled at an institution of higher learning.
On 28 June 1904 Helen graduated from Radcliffe College, becoming the first deaf blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
John Macy became good friends with Helen and Anne, and in May 1905 John and Anne were married. Anne's name now changed to Anne Sullivan Macy. The three lived together in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Writings:
While she was in college she wrote her book called "The Story of My Life" in 1903. With the money she earned from the book she was able to buy a house.
When she was living in Wrentham, Massachusetts this time Helen wrote "The World I Live In", revealing for the first time her thoughts on her world.
In 1913 "Out of the Dark" was published. This was a series of essays on socialism and its impact on Helen's public image was immense. Everyone now knew Helen's political views.
Her spiritual autobiography, My Religion, was published in 1927 and re-issued as Light in my Darkness.

Political Activities:

Keller was a member of the Socialist Party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working classes from 1909 to 1921. She supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency.

Keller and her friend Mark Twain were both considered radicals at the beginning of the 20th century, and as a consequence, their political views have been forgotten or glossed over in popular perception. Newspaper columnists who had praised her courage and intelligence before she expressed her socialist views now called attention to her disabilities.
Keller joined the Industrial Workers of the World (known as the IWW or the Wobblies) in 1912, saying that parliamentary socialism was "sinking in the political bog."

Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968, at Arcan Ridge, a few weeks short of her 88th birthday. Her ashes were placed next to her beloved companions, Anne Sullivan Macy and Polly Thomson, in the St. Joseph's Chapel of Washington Cathedral. On that occasion a public memorial service was held in the Cathedral. It was attended by her family and friends, government officials, prominent persons from all walks of life, and delegations from most of the organizations for the blind and deaf.

The world will recall Helen as she is immortal and alive in the hearts of millions of blind and visually impaired, children, women, people who regained and, being able to protect their eyesight, have become development activists, friends and well- wishers, beneficiaries as well as the stakeholders of Helen Keller International.


Keywords: Helen Adams Keller,Anne Sullivan,The Story of My Life,Light in my Darkness,Out of the Dark,light to the blind,Radcliffe College,Cambridge School Young Ladies,brain fever,the first deaf blind person.

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