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Facts About Helen Keller

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Helen Keller is a famous American political activist. She is also known for being an author and a lecturer. She suffered from deafness and blindness from an early age. Contrary to popular belief, she was not born with these complications; they were developed when she was 19 months old.

Helen KellerHelen Keller. Photo by LOC.

The first

She was the first to achieve a Bachelor of Arts with deafness and blindness. Her mother was greatly influenced by American Notes, a work by Charles Dickens where the record of the education of another deaf and blind child was given. She contacted several specialists in this field for Helen including Alexander Graham Bell, the notable American inventor. Then she contacted Perkins Institute for the Blind and appointed Anne Sullivan, a 20 years old former student of the institute, as Helen’s teacher and governess.

Helen and Anna were close

Anne Sullivan worked with Helen Keller for 49 years. They later became good friends as well. The first time Anne visited her student, she bought a doll for her. She was trying to teach Helen the name for different objects. However, Helen didn’t grasp the idea at first and was so frustrated that she broke the doll. The first object that Helen identified later was “water”. This is how the breakthrough in Anne’s work on Helen was made.

They were more than just good friends

The story of Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller was depicted in the famous work “The Miracle Worker”. It was based on Helen’s autobiographical work, The Story of My Life. Different plays and movies were produced based on her work. Helen Keller was a member of Socialist Party of America and was openly against war. She was also an activist for women’s right and worker’s right. She died on June 1st, 1968 in Connecticut, USA.