Inspire A Friend—With Helen Keller

People Who Kick Buts: Helen Keller

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Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

  • Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on June 27, 1880; passed away on June 1, 1968.
  • An American author, political activist, and lecturer.
  • She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker.
  • Helen Keller was not born blind and deaf; it was not until she was 19 months old that she contracted an illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain”, which might have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her deaf and blind. At that time, she was able to communicate somewhat with Martha Washington, the six-year-old daughter of the family cook, who understood her signs; by the age of seven, she had over 60 home signs to communicate with her family.

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