Helen Keller was an American author, political activist and lecturer. She lost her sight and hearing due to a childhood disease, and became the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
She overcame her disabilities, worked with the blind, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B Johnson in 1964. A year later, she was elected to the Women’s Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair.
Hellen’s life-long companion Anna Sullivan, half-blind herself, taught her to speak, use Braille, read sign languages with her hands and “hear” people’s speech by using her fingers to feel the lips and throat of the speaker.
Heller’s formal education was financed by such patrons as John Spaulding, the Sugar King, and Henry Rogers, of Standard Oil.
Keller met every U.S. president and was friends with many famous figures, including Alexander Graham Bell, who was involved with teaching deaf children, and Mark Twain, who compared her to Joan of Arc.
Helen was extremely political. As a member of the Socialist Party of America, she supported industrial workers’ rights, women’s suffrage, and birth control. She was investigated by the FBI for her far left views.
At the age of 22 Keller published her autobiography The Story of My Life.In total Helen wrote 12 published books.
Keller could enjoy music by placing her fingertips on a resonant tabletop.
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” - Helen Keller